Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Big Gay Marriage Debate

It's Wednesday, my pets. And that means it's time for the resumption of the weekly roundtable discussion between me, Shrub and Billy D.

This week's topic: Should gay marriages be legalized so that homosexuals can enjoy the marital bliss along with the 50 percent of heterosexuals who actually stay married?

Now look at that. I just gave you a spoiler. Naughty me.

Oh well. I might as well give you the rest. Here's my take on it:

With this ring, Fred weds Ted. And I couldn’t care less.

Oh, I know. For one person like me who doesn’t care, there are any number of rabid fundamentalist types opposed to the idea of two men or women bonding through matrimony. Or any other way, for that matter. But for now, we’ll stick to their objection to matrimony.

The most common argument I hear is that if we let homosexuals marry, it will destroy the “sanctity” of marriage. Maybe they're right. Why should we heterosexuals let anyone else help us destroy the sanctity of marriage when we’re already doing so well by ourselves?

The U.S. divorce rate stands at about 50 percent. A 1999 poll conducted by the Barna Research Group found that that number of divorces is higher for conservative Christians than it is for atheists and agnostics. About 29 percent of Baptists, for instance, have at least one divorce in their past.

Of American couples who remain wedded, there seems to be a shortage of bliss. Twenty-four percent of married men and 14 percent of married women admit to having extramarital affairs. One-third of divorce litigation involves Internet affairs. Internet discussion groups play to this nation's burgeoning marital satisfaction. Forums with names like “Married But Flirting” or “Married But Looking” are quite popular.

So thanks but no thanks, gay couples. We’re doing just find making a mockery of what that which we claim to revere.

If the Christian leaders were serious about preserving marriages, they’d lobby their representatives to tighten the laws that make divorce so easy. No more of this no-fault nonsense.

Yeah, like that'll ever happen. Getting conservative leaders to go for tighter divorce laws would be about as successful as launching online Braille lessons.

Tighter divorce laws would be extremely unpopular with opponents of gay marriage. Tighter divore laws may have kept Rush Limbaugh from discarding his wives like so many empty Oxycontin bottles. Tighter restrictions may have kept Newt Gingrich from serving his last wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital being treated for cancer. Stricter divorce laws may have kept Operation Rescue’s most wild-eyed zealot Randall Terry from dumping his wife in favor of a twenty-something. Nothing says "sanctity of marriage" like a new piece of ass.

"But marriage is meant to produce children!" the conservatives cry. Hey, that's a great idea. Let's make the ability to procreate a prerequisite to marraige. Gays will be excluded on those grounds, but so will elderly and the infertile. How do you like your restrictions now?

You know what I think? I don’t think government should be in the business of deciding the definition of marriage, or of sanctioning it. Nor should the government be in the business of issuing tax breaks as a reward for people who marry or have kids. My single, childless sister works just as hard as I do. Why should I get tax breaks for marrying and having kids that are only going to demand more resources while she pays through the nose?

It’s all about political pandering. And money. Politicians like Gingrich, while touting “traditional values”, throw a bone to heterosexual couples by promising to “protect” marital sanctity - and its monetary perks - from the gays. Religious leaders send out fliers and the money pours in from the terrified followers who find it easier to pull out the wallet than to actually think things through.

But these religious types forget a fundamental truth - that marriage is a personal, spiritual union. If a Joe wants to marry Beth, or if Joe wants to marry Ted, or if Joe wants to marry Beth and Ted, I'll throw the rice as they run from whatever church gives its blessing. Even if it’s just the gay atheists in a field, making their vows to each other, who’s to say they shouldn’t be allowed to wed. The only restriction should be age, for obvious reasons. But beyond that, there should be no barriers to marriage.

Should that day ever come, only the weak will worry. And I will not be among them. There are only two people who can make a mockery of my marriage - my husband and I. We made the vows, and only we can break them. If a couple wants to honor the sanctity of marriage, they have but to stay together with honor, love and respect.


Billy D.'s take is way different that mine:

Before we even get started here, let me say up front, that without having read Shrub’s or Morgan’s POV on this, I’m thinking I’m going to be on my own on this one.

Homosexual marriage. Where do I begin in explaining why this is so absolutely wrong for this or any other country? Marriage used to be between a man and a woman, and usually it was a precursor to having children. Now, I understand that this sounds old fashioned, and it is, really. Say, pre 1960-ish.

Homosexuals stayed in the closets, where they belonged. They weren’t "gay and proud" they were rightfully ashamed of the choices they were making. Sodomy (defined here as homosexual intercourse) was wrong, and they knew it. They still do know it, deep down inside, which I suspect is why there’s such a high number of gay suicides.

Now, I won’t go into any scripture here, it’s been done to death. Obviously homosexuality is very, very wrong in God’s eyes, at least in the Christian sense. But let’s focus on the marriage part of it.

First, the homosexuals claimed they want legal marriage for the benefits; partners rights after their deaths, insurance benefits (As an aside here, if gay marriage were to be legalized nationwide, your insurance rates would go through the friggin roof. Why? You would lose a portion of the pool paying in, as many would jump on their partners plans, and once the insurance companies have to start paying out for the ills that go along with a lifestyle making the average lifespan 42 years someone’s going to have to make up that difference) Civil unions were offered as a means to this end, and were flatly rejected by the gay community.

No, they want normalization. And legal equality is not nearly enough. See, homosexuality has already permeated most segments of our society. Obviously movies and music, television, even some of the various religions are now embracing homosexuality. So, marriage would be a logical next step, wouldn’t it? See, this has nothing to do with wanting legal rights. It has everything to do with forcing the other 98% of the country to not only accept homosexuals, but embrace them. An exaggeration? What’s happening in California right now with the textbooks? Mom and dad are being wiped from the pages, and replaced by mom and mom, or dad and dad.

I’ll not argue the repercussions gay marriage would have on the institution of marriage as a whole, as I don’t think there would be any. Marriage today is a government run thing, with not much at all to do with God anymore. And ever since the government took over the business of marriage, it’s been downhill since. Adding homosexuals to that group would hardly make it much worse, aside from driving the standing 50% divorce rate up even higher. And with a very large percentage of homosexual men claiming to have had between 100 and 1,000 different lovers in their past, with that amount of promiscuity the divorce rate would obviously be impacted.
Finally, take a quick look at the "slippery slope" factor. (I’m a big fan of the slippery slope) I know, it gets laughed off. "Where does it end?" people ask. Man and goat? Man and wife and wife? Man and Uncle? In each different scenario, the very arguments used to legally alter the state of marriage right now, can also, and would also, be applied to admit all the other perversions into the tent. You can’t legally have one without the other, at least not when someone starts screaming "It’s not fair".

I know this is going to be an unpopular POV with many, and I understand that. But I don’t think the institution of marriage should just go quietly into that goodnight. It will eventually, but until then, it should be fought for and defended against those set to destroy it.

And last but not least comes Shrub's analysis:

I have no opening statement so instead I’ll tell a joke…

How do you know if you’re at a gay wedding? Only half the guests are kneeling.

Now that that’s out of the way we can address the topic at hand…gay marriage.

The institution of marriage has existed in one form or another for eons. No societal tradition is as celebrated or sacred. Marriage and family have formed the foundation of society since the dawn of history. And truth be told, no commitment that one can enter into is as profound or life-altering.

So it’s amusing when some rail against gay marriage as if it’s the death knell for the very practice of pledging one’s fidelity to one another in the face of God and His church. Nuptials have been performed for as long as we’ve been walking upright and a few homosexual unions are going to undo in a few years what humans have been practicing since the Stone Age? Puh-leez.

All this hyper ventilating only serves two purposes; to raise the blood pressure and make one’s faith of choice look intolerant. Now if you want to deny the right for homosexuals to receive the holy sacrament of marriage, then by all means, as a private institution, do so to your little heart’s content. But to advocate a Constitutional Amendment barring homosexual unions under the guise of “defining” what marriage is is both unnecessary and foolish.

A federal government mandate to define what is and has always been a private arrangement is akin to handing the feds the keys to one’s house and saying “Stop by any time”. We as a populace would not dream of giving government such authority…but that’s precisely what you do if you favor a law that defines marriage.

Now there are those on the religious right who will make the stunning leap of logic that condoning gay unions will lead us down a slippery slope wherein polygamy, pedophilia, and a host of other taboo practices will be inexorably legitimized. Bah, nonsense. Polygamy and pedophilia are, by definition, illegal.

The same cannot be said of homosexuality. The only way to make homosexuality illegal is to strengthen sodomy laws and give the government sweeping police powers to burst into bedrooms at will and arrest adults for consensual sexual conduct. This is truly a Pandora’s Box that should be left closed, tightly.

Gay marriage may be an affront to God but isn’t that between the person and their church/deity. I really tire of hearing the self righteous crying from their ivory towers of indignation that gays are an abomination and should be ruthlessly persecuted and denied that which is maybe the most fundamental right we enjoy as humans, the right to cohabitate with whomever thou chooseth.

My mother has friends who are gay, one of my fraternity brothers is gay, and I’m certain 90% of the people out there know someone who’s gay. Now imagine walking up to them, looking them dead in the eye, and saying you will see to it that they never have the right to marry their mate. The gays I know are fiercely devoted to one another, and in the case of my mother’s friends, have been together for 20+ plus years. Like it or not you can’t deny the adoration they feel towards their partners, a love that is transcendent and beautiful. We should all be so lucky to wake up next to the person we envision spending eternity with.

All this consternation could have been avoided had we as a people told the government long ago to butt out of our marriages. Some will say that a certain amount of oversight is necessary for delineating inheritances, tax liability, and protecting the public health. These things were accomplished long before the proliferation of litigious legal systems and will sort themselves out if given due time and space. The legal fictions written and the unwieldy system that was created have served one primary purpose, to exponentially expand government power. And we are precariously close to handing over further power, on a silver platter, all in the name of preventing a few million gays from getting married.

So in my eminent way I’ve established that supporting gay marriage is a fairly foolproof way of strengthening the institution as a whole. Gays bring honor to marriage, their efforts to stay together and private makes your and my ability to keep the bedroom free from prying eyes all the more secure, and God will separate the worthy from the chaff when the time comes. Besides, at a gay wedding, you know the decorations will be elegant and tasteful.

171 comments:

Billy D said...

Good job ma'am. There's some there I agree with, as far as the hypocrisy of the right's "leaders" and their "do as I say..." attitude.

Morgan said...

Why thank you, Charming Billy. You did a good job framing your debate as well. And I think we agree that the government has botched the matrimonial works. :-)

Janet said...

Ha! I liked all three statements in their own way....

tc said...

I'm not posting here to divert this discussion over to other forms of "perversion", as Billy D put it.

I just want to say that I believe firmly that the government needs to stay as far away from the concept of marriage of any type as it can. It's a matter of religion, any worldly issues can be dealt with by drawing up agreements ahead of time.

Tom

Morgan said...

Tom, my autistic son wants to marry the cat. If Billy D. is indeed correct, John and Jingles may actually have a chance for happiness. *grin*

Janet, thank you. If I'm going to exchange big gay views with anyone, I want it to be my pals Shrub and Billy.

tc said...

It's time for (tah-da-DA!!!!)

BIG GAY AL'S BIG GAY MARRIAGE DEBATE!

Morgan, I just got it, you rock.

Tom

Oh, btw, in answer to your question about ConCarolinus in Charlotte, I'm going to try to speak on two panels:

Gaming for Non-Gamers (an explanation of the appeal of gaming aimed at, you got it, non-gamers.) This'd be late Friday afternoon, assuming I can get there in time and

The Gospel of Judas, on which, given my study of Gnosticism and New Testament apocrypha and pseudoepigrapha, I should be able to bring some light (pun intended.)

This'd be on Sunday morning, instead of church, I guess.

Janet said...

Pass the popcorn. I have a feeling there might be some interesting comments for this one....

JohnR said...

Morgan: He will kill the cat when he tries to consumate the marriage.

What a sad way to start a marriage!!

I do hope you will try to discourage him.

JohnR

Morgan said...

JohnR, that would truly the the love that dare not speak its name. It will be a marriage in name only.

Morgan said...

BIG GAY AL'S BIG GAY MARRIAGE DEBATE!

Morgan, I just got it, you rock.

I'm so glad someone got my Southpark reference. :-)

Your topics for the conference sound awesome. I'd like to hear the one on the Gospel of Judas.

eaglewood said...

Well you guys finally came up with a debate where it is hard to take sides on.

First I have to agree with Billy in that the act of homosexual sex is an abomination in the eye’s of G_d. In that light if two men or two women decide they want to have sex with each other then they are committing a sin. That being said I believe that Christians cannot hold the lost to the same moral standards as those who have been bought with the blood of Christ. I also agree with Billy that the homosexual marriage agenda is part of a larger scheme to legitimize and mainstream a practice most consider to be at least objectionable.

Morgan is right in her argument that divorce, adultery, and abuse is doing more to destroy the sanctity of marriage than homosexuals getting married ever will. But her argument is a weak one. Claiming that one group of people committing sinful acts does not legitimize the sinful acts of others. I do think that we should strengthen divorce laws. They are very loose and allow for people to get out of a marriage when things get a little difficult. You will get me going on a rant here on this issue so I will shut my mouth for now on the divorce issue. Now if Morgan had stayed on the argument that Government should stay out of marriage and allow the private sector govern it her argument would have been a lot stronger, but delving off into criticism of the sinful actions of other people just weakens your argument.

Shrub mostly stayed on target with his arguments, but he had to bring up the intolerance issue (steam under the collar), and his argument against the slippery slope is weak as well. He is forgetting that homosexuality was largely illegal until a few decades ago. What is to say that at some point polygamy and pedophilia won’t be made legal as well? I will admit that the hurdles are higher, but given enough pressure our lawmakers would buckle.

At this point you guys are thinking I am more on Billy’s side on this. You would be wrong. The libertarian side of me thinks government should get out of our private lives and marriage should be handled like any other private contract. So in that sense two homosexuals could enter into a contract that would in effect make them married. And this from someone Morgan labels a fundamentalist.

thimscool said...

As shrub pointed out, there is a necessary link between government and marriage, although it's not taxes. A better example is to consider what happens when your spouse is hospitalized.

If you’re gay and effectively married, but not legally married, you may not be able to see your spouse during ‘family visits’. This is particularly problematic when the parents of the injured party are adamantly against homosexuality. And to follow that tangent a little further, you can imagine any number of despicable acts which may have landed the person in a hospital in the first place, and then separated from their love.

There are a host of other issues where marriage affects general law (insurance, debt collection, etc.), although none makes the problem so crystal clear as the thought of being denied the ability to be with your life’s love as they die.

Both Bush and Kerry expressed support for civil unions, which are already legal in a few states. However both Kerry (reluctantly) and Bush (enthusiastically) refused to call this marriage.

Why? As you say, marriage defines a family, and these people want to declare that they are so joined as to form a family. If there is a difference in the word, there will likely be a difference in interpretation of law. Gay people aren’t (necessarily) stupid. They want the right to legally marry someone they love. It’s very simple.

So you can’t duck behind the comfortable excuse that the government should just stay out of it. Sorry. You can decide to avoid this issue if you desire (but then why would you blog about it)… but if you’re gonna deal with it, I can’t stand by and watch such a grievous misconception of the essential problem.

Marriage is undeniably a legal concept, in addition to any spiritual, cultural, or communal considerations. Law is the purpose of government. Gay people are telling you to deal with it. What are you gonna do?

thimscool said...

Oops. I should have refreshed before I posted. Sorry to pile on, Morgan!

Bah... you can handle it.

Erik said...

I'd have to agree with Eagle. No side to come down on this one.

I think it is quite interesting that all three of you come down on the side of removing the Gov from marriage. In this I couldnt agree with you more. Lets allow churches and civic organizations to define marriage in their own way, and if one chooses to get a divorce then they would have to follow the rules/regulations/bylaws of the organization/sect that they were married under.

The sanctity of marriage has been destroyed by its being watered down so much. Lack of commitment, easy divorce and lack of support from the community (both support and shame) have led to its demise. Along with the Church turning a blind eye.

The internet is a huge temptation as it is anonymous and affairs of the heart (if not physical) take place there every day. Limbaugh and Gingrich I dont much care about, but Randall Terry was a huge huge huge dissapointment to me.

Billy argues for the slippery slope and Shrub argues against it. Billy is right. Both polygamy and bestiality proponents are gaining ground. Case in point, some woman being allowed to marry a dolphin. Crazy stuff. Shrub, you said that "Polygamy and pedophilia are, by definition, illegal." Might I remind you that sodomy is also (wait for it....) illegal. That it is being allowed and "decriminalized" has nothing to do with why polygamy etal. is illegal, in fact it makes Billy's argument.

steve said...

All of you 'Homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God' people are fools.

Do you think you know God so well that you know exactly what she wants?

If there is a God, and she is good, she certainly wouldn't appreciate your bigotry in her name.

Billy D- Nothing in your statement contains an ounce of logic. You're so coy with your 'this is going to be an unpopular pov' nonsense. Your point of view will be unpopular because it is ignorant and it is hateful. Whatever God you believe in created everyone here.

thimscool said...

Eaglewood,

Whether or not God thinks homosexuality is an aboination is immaterial in the discussion of the legality of gay marriage.

See the first ammendment for more details.

thimscool said...

You too Erik!

Morgan said...

Eaglewood, I don't think pointing out the hypocrisy of the anti-gay marriage crowd weakens my argument at all.

The biggest argument I hear against gay marriage is that it denigrates the sanctity of marriage. True, fundamentalists consider homosexuality a sin. But so is adultery. If those who practice homosexuality should be barred from marrying, does it not stand to reason that those with a
should carry restrictions, should it not stand to reason that those guilty of adultery face similar restrictions?

The point is that Christians pick and choose what is "acceptable" sin in their effort to formulate public policy. A man is not Biblically allowed to put away his wife just to take up with a younger woman, but as I pointed out, it does happen. I don't hear calls from many Christians to bar these men from remarrying. In fact, I'd be willing to wager that a number of anti-gay activists were among those dancing at that second wedding.

Safeguarding the sanctity of marriage begins not by looking outward, but looking within one's own house.

And while I applaud your libertarian views on this issue, which I share, the uncomfortable truth of the situation is that the fundamentalists' don't fare well when held to the standard of their own objection.

I'm simply measuring them by their own yardstick, and I believe that gives my viewpoint teeth.

thimscool said...

"Lets allow churches and civic organizations to define marriage in their own way, and if one chooses to get a divorce then they would have to follow the rules/regulations/bylaws of the organization/sect that they were married under."

There are so many holes in this approach I don't where to start. First of all, what happens if they move.

But more importantly, what if one of them leaves the faith and refuses to honor the contract. It will go the court system, and guess what happens next...

Dig deeper.

Morgan said...

"Billy argues for the slippery slope and Shrub argues against it. Billy is right. Both polygamy and bestiality proponents are gaining ground. Case in point, some woman being allowed to marry a dolphin."

Perhaps bestiality and polygamy are gaining ground, Erik, but can you really blame homosexuals? I personally believe homosexuals are born the way they are. So are heterosexuals, who can be diabolically perverted. Today on CNN they showed the arrest of a man who came to a shopping mall in hopes of meeting and having sex with a 14-year-old girl.This guy wasn't gay, and whether gay marriages were legal or not wouldn't have stopped this guy from talking sex to the person he thought was a kid (it turned out it was an undercover adult.)
The Homeland Security official who was soliciting the underage girl on the Internet was - HELLO! - married to a woman. Please tell me how stamping out homosexuality would cool such a monster's desire for little girls.

Bestiality? Please. That's just off-the-charts sick. A man who wants to fuck a horse or a woman who wants to marry a dolphin walks between the worlds of normal, healthy eroticism. Again, you can't blame homosexuality.

It's apples and oranges.

Morgan said...

"But more importantly, what if one of them leaves the faith and refuses to honor the contract. It will go the court system, and guess what happens next..."

Obviously the courts would have to get involved in the civil distrubution of property, but it shouldn't be as it is now. As with the any partnership, a judge would have to decide each partner's contribution to the relationship. That, I believe, is an appropriate role for the government. Deciding who can and can't marry is not.

thimscool said...

"Deciding who can and can't marry is not."

Ah. Then I take it you're for gay marriage.

thimscool said...

I guess your post made that clear, yes.

The problem is the laws that exist by default, not the details of property ownership that can be hammered out in a court settlement.

I already gave an example...

Morgan said...

"Billy D- Nothing in your statement contains an ounce of logic. You're so coy with your 'this is going to be an unpopular pov' nonsense. Your point of view will be unpopular because it is ignorant and it is hateful. Whatever God you believe in created everyone here."

Settle down a bit, Steve. I don't think if Billy D. knew a homosexual personally he'd hate him or her. In fact, he probably knows some now, whether he realizes it or not.

For a lot of people, an aversion to homosexuality is not a matter of logic, but of deeply held religious convictions. They are convictions I don't share, but he has every right to hold and express them.

Rather than tell him he's ignorant, tell him why you think he is. There are myriad reasons to disagree with him. Let him know what they are. As an esteemed member of The Roundtable, BillyD will surely respond as a gentleman if he's approached in kind.

Morgan said...

Thimscool, I don't advocate marriage unless, ideally, people are truly committed to one another, and it matters not to me if they are gay, straight or polygamists. All I ask is that the government do the same.

I've not led a perfect life. I've much to atone for, and am far too busy doing it to ride herd on the life and lifestyles of others.

thimscool said...

In any case, whether or not the state government should have any legislation connected to the issue of marriage is another way of avoiding the issue.

The fact is that there are laws about marriage, and gays are asking to be included legally. They aren't asking for your churce to marry them (and if they are, let your church decide, as you say.

Gay marriage is not about God. It is not about sin. It is about law.

Morgan said...

"Oops. I should have refreshed before I posted. Sorry to pile on, Morgan! Bah... you can handle it."

Not a problem, Thimscool. And thanks...I think. :-)

Morgan said...

"Gay marriage is not about God. It is not about sin. It is about law."

And that's at the heart of the problem. I feel my marriage is a spiritual union with my husband - a union that transcends the legal. If the definition of "marriage" were banned tomorrow, we'd still stay together and still would be married.

Lookit, thimscool. Many gay couples feel the same way, and if the law is going to step into a spiritual issue then the law is overstepping itself.

What if you woke up tomorrow and found yourself in a theocracy that defined "Christian" - a theocracy that decided that you couldn't "be" a Christian unless you were a member of the First Government Church of Christ. (Don't laugh. It could happen.)
You could still call yourself a Christian, but what if there were places only government-sanctioned Christians could go and things only government-sactioned Christians could do that you were suddenly barred from because the government didn't recognize you as being a member of the faithful?

It's a bit like that for gay couples, who live together, pay the bills and in some cases raise families with much love and care. But they aren't recognized as other couples and families are. They are held apart and denied the benefits other couples and families take for granted.

I just don't think the government has any business deciding what makes a family.

steve said...

Sorry, Morgan. This is a hot button issue for me. But nobody who says things like 'Homosexuals should stay in the closet where they belong'and homosexuals were 'rightfully ashamed of the 'choices' they are making, is a gentleman.

The whole economic argument put forth here, and often elsewhere, is nonsense. The people who cite this are often the same people who insist the population of homosexuals is only a percent or two of the general population and, thereby, contradict themselves. I'd like to see an actuarial statistic that gay men have an average lifespan of 42 but, even if that were the case, insurance premiums reflect risk.

Civil unions were rejected because they are not equal. If my partner and I spend a lifetime together and build up a certain amount of wealth and he dies before me, the government gets 51% (ish) of my partner's share of our mutual estate. Hetero couples pay no estate taxes between spouses. To be fair, gay people should pay a lower income and capital gains tax rate to offset the estate tax inequity. Civil unions did not address this huge, financial factor.

You don't want us to have children yet we pay the same property taxes to support the school system. Maybe we should get a break there, too.

Yes, we want normalization. What, exactly does that mean to you and why is that so threatening? Mom and Dad are not being wiped from the literary pages; others are simply being included.

How many gay people do you know that have had 1,000 partners?

And what other 'perversions' would be affected by the legalization of gay marriage?

Ive met more gentlemen that call gay people perverts than I do gay people with 1,000 lovers.

thimscool said...

“I just don't think the government has any business deciding what makes a family.”

On some level, neither do I; and that is precisely why gay marriage should be legal. The government shouldn’t tell Ted and Fred that they can’t get married (as you said).

But on another level, the concept of a family must be defined if you want to make laws based on it. So, if the government wants to adopt a libertarian definition of marriage, then they should include gay couples in the definition of families.

And to go ahead and point out the elephant in the room, of course this would mean that gay families could have children, with the laws concerning those children in relation to their parents. That is the real ‘slippery slope’ in the argument.

As for me, I will state that I am for legal gay marriage, although I am generally not in favor of the homosexual rights movement. I make this exception, because it is the one credible area in which the government is clearly discriminating against gay people. I don’t advocate forcing the Boy Scouts to let gays openly join, nor do I support any legislation preventing companies from discriminating against hiring or firing gays.

Marriage and family are the basis of so much law that not even libertarianism will save you here. There is a legal necessity to define families, so that you can deal with custody issues, inheritance (not everyone has a will), etc. So Morgan, what will it be, then?

Morgan said...

Steve, I fully understand your objections. I myself was a bit taken aback by Billy D's rather absurd claim that sodomy is behind the homosexual suicide rate. More likely, societal-imposed guilt and angst over feeling they must change who they are is more to blame.

It's funny; I don't know a single gay person who bears ill will towards me because I'm straight. My gay friends are just that - my friends. They celebrate my successes and comfort me when I'm sad. I've never had one of them point the bony finger of judgement in my face over something I've done. Would it be that Christians could be so gracious.

I don't claim to speak for BillyD, but I'm glad he spoke as frankly as he did, because in one post he pretty much laid out the standard fundamentalist line.

My point is that this can either turn into a free-for-all, or a teachable moment.

I appreciate your pointing out the flaws in the economic argument, and especially your pointed question to Billy of just what it is he finds so threatening about gays and gay marriages.

I personally am looking forward to his response. And I thank you for your excellent contribution. Don't think I don't understand why you were hot under the collar. I certainly do.

I'd just like to see some good conversation.

Morgan said...

"Marriage and family are the basis of so much law that not even libertarianism will save you here. There is a legal necessity to define families, so that you can deal with custody issues, inheritance (not everyone has a will), etc. So Morgan, what will it be, then?"

Thimscool. That's a good question, and I'm off to bed soon but will venture an answer before I do. After a night to sleep on it, I may expand my answer tomorrow.

When you're talking about two people (or more) entering a marriage, you're talking about adults. I don't think the government has any right telling adults they can and cannot marry.

You're right that when kids enter the picture, it becomes a stickier wicket. Obviously, minors need to be protected. In a perfect world, the adults would safeguard the interests of their children. But we know from looking at the dissolution of heterosexual marriages that isn't always the case.

So you're right; there seems to be a need for the government to safeguard the interests of children in wrecked homes.

Must marriage and family be defined to do this? IT's an interesting question. When you think about how parents are now stopped from fleeing over state lines with a minor child, it does seem obvious that some custodial guidelines be in place to prevent that from happening.

And to do that, you'd have to define family I suppose.

So now, I'll admit it. I'm stumped. I shall have to sleep on it.Someone else want to tackle this?

thimscool said...

Steve,

In the minds of some, you are the enemy. They will say that they hate your sin, but love you. They will say that they are libertarians, and then they will ignore their bible and their constitution to specifically limit your ability to conduct your life as best you can.

(I’m assuming you are gay and were not speaking hypothetically).

It comes down to their conviction that you chose to be gay, rather than being born that way. I find it unlikely that people would choose to be gay, unless they are simply masochists (no doubt, this happens at times). Then they may as well advance to being a gay wigga with a crack addiction… that would be perfect.

But for the rest of the gay people, to the extent that they choose their behavior, they probably did not choose their predilection. What are you gonna do? Live a life thinking that “God must really want me to suffer. Thanks God!”

And as for the crusaders that think you should be forced to go underground to have a family, all I can say is that they are heartless to use the law to cast the first stone.

Roland said...

I personally believe homosexuals are born the way they are. - Morgan
Bestiality? Please. That's just off-the-charts sick. - Morgan again

Morgan, c'mon. We all know that those with a prediliction for bestiality were born that way. Give them a break. :)

I'm gonna tackle this a little differently.
Hair color is something you are born with. You can change it, but the natural color is still what you were born with.
Heterosexuality is something you are born with. You can change it, but the natural desire is still what you were born with.

I know that will light buttons, but oh well...

As to the marriage thing in particular. Who instituted this practice in the first place?
The church. The government.
I have my own opinion. But the atheists out there don't want to hear it, so I'll just let everyone read between the lines on that one.

Everyone seems to agree that government has mucked up the marriage thing.
Maybe, it's because marriage isn't something that government was supposed to be involved in, in the first place.

steve said...

"Don't think I don't understand why you were hot under the collar. I certainly do".

With respect, Morgan, I don't think you do.

Homosexuality is the last acceptable prejudice. Billy D. essentially called me an abomination and a pervert in his post and you responded by calling him 'charming' and a gentleman. When I called him a fool you corrected me.

From as much as I can gleam of you from our interaction here, I find you to be a kind and open-minded person who I really like. I don't even think you noticed that you inadvertently excused what is somewhat extreme prejudice on his side but objected to what was, admittedly, bad manners on my part but, actually, relatively mild.

Thimscool, you say you're in favor of gay marriage but against laws that forbid discrimination against gays by employers or the boy scouts.

Is discrimination more objectionable when it's against Black people or Jews? Does it resonate more when I say I dont' want any Hispanics in my neighborhood?

You would never, in a public forum, say you think it's okay for employers to discriminate against Blacks but you didn't blink an eye saying it's okay to discriminate against gays. You confuse me; in a later post you seem to have some good insight into the root of the problem - that people believe this is some choice I made (yes, I'm a homo).

What is your nationality? Are you Japanese? How would it feel to you if you paid taxes to a government that funds institutions that won't hire Japanese people? Or that allows them to fire Japanese just because they are Japanese? It would piss you off.

This is how I feel when, for example, the Catholic Church makes billions of dollars and lives in this country tax free yet asserts its political muscle to deny me, a heavily taxed citizen, the same rights that heterosexual people enjoy. It's unjust and it's absurd.

It is injustice that is so infuriating. I'm a well-to-do white guy living in New York City and I'm not going to try to make the argument that I suffer; I don't.

But here I am in 2006 in a room full of strangers justifying my existence.

eaglewood said...

“Eaglewood, I don't think pointing out the hypocrisy of the anti-gay marriage crowd weakens my argument at all.

The biggest argument I hear against gay marriage is that it denigrates the sanctity of marriage. True, fundamentalists consider homosexuality a sin. But so is adultery. If those who practice homosexuality should be barred from marrying, does it not stand to reason that those with a should carry restrictions, should it not stand to reason that those guilty of adultery face similar restrictions?”

The problem here is that your basic argument that government should just stay out of the marriage picture is sound and an excellent argument, but adding an attack upon those who oppose gay marriage based upon the sanctity of marriage is simply an attack and does not support your basic argument. It paints people who disagree with you with a broad brush and strays from the facts of the argument. That is why it weakens your basic argument.

eaglewood said...

Steve,

Let me be the first “fundamentalist” to come out and say not all of us think alike.

I am going to make an assumption based upon your statements that you are not a follower of Jesus Christ. With that assumption I have no qualms with you being a homosexual. While the Word of G_d does state that the actual physical act of someone having sex with someone of the same gender is a sin, there are a great number of things that are considered sins in His Word, and each one of them will keep the person lost in sin separated from G_d. That same Word also states that each and every one of us has some kind of sin in our life. No one on this planet has the required perfection that He demands in order to approach Him. We all are born with some kind of predilection towards some kind of sin, some towards gossip, some towards promiscuity, some towards stealing, it does not matter what it is we are all that way.

I think that too often the Christian leaders forget this and target a particular group of people who would be considered sinners. I think that this is the wrong way to approach those that are lost in their sin. I think that we should present our message of His great love and what he did to redeem us from our sins, and then leave it to the hearer to either accept or reject that free gift. If after hearing the message the hearer rejects the message then we move on, no fighting or condemning it is not our place.

I am truly sorry that my Christian brethren have hurt you in the past, and I wish to extend the same offer that He has given us all. It is yours to accept or reject. If you want to know more just let me know, otherwise I will let you live your life as you see fit.

Billy D said...

So we're square, two of my "top five" best friends are homosexual men. I love them both like brothers. I would also never, ever support them getting "married".
Both my girls know them and love them like family too. But, only the older (16) one knows they're gay. The little one doesn't yet. And that is the one thing that really hurts your "cause". The push for "normalization". When the Ma. public school system decided to let the gays basically run the schools, and started handing out pamphlets to nine year olds describing homosexual sex acts including anal fisting, what do you suppose that did for your cause Steve-o?
Thing is, seems like the militant homo's are hurting the ones who want to be left alone and not "brought out". The harder you push, the harder the rest of the world will push back.

Morgan said...

"It paints people who disagree with you with a broad brush and strays from the facts of the argument. That is why it weakens your basic argument."

No, it does not. I'm pointing out that some of the top leaders who oppose gay marriage have stuck a dirty thumb right in the eye of marriage.
I'm pointing out that divorce is rampant in this country and that Christians would be served to look at the problem in its own house, and stop acting as if marriage is revered in this country and can only be threatened by gays.
My argument was that gays aren't damaging the sanctity of marriage, heterosexuals are. And that some of the worst offenders are in the forefront of the anti-gay marriage movement.
Now tell me again how that weakens my argument?

Erik said...

thimscool said...
Whether or not God thinks homosexuality is an aboination is immaterial in the discussion of the legality of gay marriage.

See the first ammendment for more details.

thimscool said...

You too Erik!


For reference, the 1st amendment states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

So Thimscool, just what was your point in bringing up the 1st Amendment?

Morgan said...

"Homosexuality is the last acceptable prejudice. Billy D. essentially called me an abomination and a pervert in his post and you responded by calling him 'charming' and a gentleman. When I called him a fool you corrected me."

Point taken. But there's a difference. Billy D made some broad, sweeping generalizations that would be hurtful and offensive to anyone.

Perhaps I was wrong to correct you, but like I said, I believe BillyD's like a lot of people who seeks to define a group by what he sees as the worst element. His fisting post here is beyond ridiculous. I'm curious as to whether BillyD is now ready to define heterosexuals by the actions of those who favor child rape. Do you Billy? Most homosexuals don't run around touting fisting. Most heterosexual men aren't out looking for little girls to have sex with.

As a homosexual do you identify with the man stalking underage girls, BillyD? Is it OK if we now identify you that way? After all, you've decided to define Steve and other gays that way and - yes - that includes people you claim to call your friends.

Well, you may say, these horrible, horrible gays are trying to normalize their "deviance." Look around my good man. Internet busts are netting lots of heterosexual men sniffing after girls younger than your daughters. It seems that heterosexuals are making inroads into normalizing such predation. Pre-pubescent looking models are now common in fashion.

If you want to fight "militancy," Billy D, why not start fighting to keep heterosexual predators off the street. I guarantee your daughters stand more of a chance of being preyed upon by a heterosexual than they do of being handed a pamphlet on gay fisting.

Honestly.....

Morgan said...

"As a homosexual do you identify with the man stalking underage girls, BillyD?"

That should have read "as a heterosexual..."

Sorry.

Erik said...

There are so many holes in this approach I don't where to start. First of all, what happens if they move.

But more importantly, what if one of them leaves the faith and refuses to honor the contract. It will go the court system, and guess what happens next...

Dig deeper.


Have you ever heard of a contract? The terms of that contract are binding upon all parties who willingly and knowingly signed it. It doesnt matter where one goes in the world that contract still binds. The only place for the courts is if there is a dispute on if the document was properly signed or if the contract has been arbitrated and one side fails to comply with the resolution. Gee, that is the exact same way contracts are now. Wow. Whodathunkit.

Morgan said...

"Point taken. But there's a difference. Billy D made some broad, sweeping generalizations that would be hurtful and offensive to anyone."

Blah, it's early and I just realized I made no sense here. What I was trying to say is that we often are harder on general audiences than we are on individuals we're dealing with. But I respect Steve's right to be offended on behalf of other gays and in retrospect understand why he is. BillyD's comments are harsh and Steve, you have every right to punch back.

I'll have to again clarify and say that BillyD has always been charming and gentelmanly to *me*. :-)

I was just trying to keep this from becoming a pissing match. But *I* clearly need to step back and let people slug it out like adults.

Steve and BillyD, my apologies for trying to micromanage.

steve said...

Eaglewood,

Though I disagree with you on a fundmental level, I appreciate the empathy and kindness with which you present it.

I don't believe I am a sinner because I was born homosexual. For other reasons, yes. But there are many faiths and beliefs in this world and, though I respect your right to believe what you will, none of us knows anything for sure. We are like fish, unaware of what is above the surface of the water.

I don't think you even realize the insult in your comparison between homosexuality and theft and other crimes. I am a gay man. I also spend most of my free time working with children from abusive homes and saving dogs from the shelter down town. The last 2 holiday seasons I gave large sums of money to oversees victims of war and natural disaster. I donate regularly to about a dozen charities benefitting animals, children, spousal abuse victims, AIDS victims, holistic cancer research, etc. I started a foundation 3 years ago to enact legislation that will clean up our air and water supply so your children don't get asthma when they are 5 and cancer when they are 35. I am kind to everyone I meet. I give my change, unjudgementally, to street people when they ask. I take days off from work to bring baby birds who have fallen from their nests to the bird sanctuary. I do everything I can yet you group me with common thieves because I am gay. How do you contribute?

Billy D., my name is not 'Steve-O' and I do not propone teaching 9 year-olds about fisting in school. I don't believe for a second that this happened in Massachusetts - I am 100% sure this is something bigots spread amongst themselves so they can gather round in a cirlce of comraderic justification of hate.

2 of your best friends are not homosexuals and you do not love them. You don't consider people you love abominations or perversions.

You seem to take some measure of satisfaction in your assertion that the world will just push back on me every time I try to make a normal place for myself here. Oh, the Christian way.... I'm sure that was the intended message of your Christ.

Morgan said...

Good points, Steve. It's one of life's little ironies that a charitable, kind gay man will be labeled a "sinner" while Randall Terry, who dumps his wife for a new piece of ass, is still embraced as a "Christian."

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus hasn't returned because he's so embarrased by his followers.

I'll be so happy when the day comes that Christians preach as hard against sinful adulterers as they do against gay people.

But that won't happen because if they do, half their Christian friends would tell them to shut up.

Morgan said...

"I'm gonna tackle this a little differently.Hair color is something you are born with. You can change it, but the natural color is still what you were born with.Heterosexuality is something you are born with. You can change it, but the natural desire is still what you were born with."

I love you, Roland, but that's a far-off analogy. I don't think we can really compare homosexuality to hair. What are gays supposed to do? Use a "straightener?"

Eaglewood said:
"I am truly sorry that my Christian brethren have hurt you in the past, and I wish to extend the same offer that He has given us all."

Eaglewood, are you presuming that Steve hasn't accepted Christ???

Morgan said...

"Have you ever heard of a contract? The terms of that contract are binding upon all parties who willingly and knowingly signed it. It doesnt matter where one goes in the world that contract still binds."

That's a really good point. You know who would be really good at addressing this? Tom (TC). He lives in an unconventional relationship. You out there, Tom?

Erik said...

Morgan

Perhaps bestiality and polygamy are gaining ground, Erik, but can you really blame homosexuals? Personally, polygamy would be a benefit to me, so I am not blaming them. However it is no leap of logic to state that the homosexual movement has caused society to re-examine other areas of behavioral & societal norms. In fact, this is the only conclusion that logic can lead us to. This re-evaluation will lead us to public discussion of many different areas of sexual "norms." Some current norms will be rejected and others may be held to tighter than is done now.

I personally believe homosexuals are born the way they are. Recent studies are saying pedophiles are "born the way they are." Dr. Herbert Wagemaker states "I feel that there is a strong genetic predisposition in pedophilia."

Please tell me how stamping out homosexuality would cool such a monster's desire for little girls. It wouldn't, but that is irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

Bestiality? Please. That's just off-the-charts sick. Some say the same thing about polygamy/andry, pedophilia, incest, homosexuality, bestiality, and even necrophilia. Why is it that what you think is off-the-charts sick is wrong but what others consider otc-sick is really okay? Please explain your reasoning behind that.

thimscool said...

“So Thimscool, just what was your point in bringing up the 1st Amendment?”

Although Eaglewood has now changed his tone and retreated to the ‘government’s got nothing to do with marriage’ pose, in his first post to this thread he mentioned that homosexuality used to be illegal. And you chimed in by happily pointing out that sodomy is still illegal.

Now tell me, why is sodomy illegal? What principle, other than religious, can be used to justify our sodomy laws? Hmmmm... I do believe that this might be a violation of the establishment clause.

Moreover, think about how you are going to enforce this law without seriously violating the fourth amendment.

~~~

I’m not a lawyer, but I doubt that the law permits you to write a nuptial contract that handles the issue of custody rights if you wanted to assign them to someone other than the biological parent. Moreover, I find it likely that some hospital administrators will refuse to read your contract and would refuse entry to the partner of a dying woman. I acknowledge that both of these are speculative arguments; I’m sure you will correct me if I am wrong.

Nobody is saying that you can’t write your contracts. I’m saying that you can’t avoid some level of entanglement of the concept of family with general law. As such, you must confront this issue and cannot retreat to saying that gays should be able to marry, in their own churches.

Anyway, there are laws about family on the books, regardless of your preference for private contracts. So, while we wait for your utopian libertarian vision to unfold, what do you suggest we do in the meantime? Keep gay marriage illegal, right?

And where does that sentiment come from if not religious? Religious law… 1st amendment again.

Mia said...

Morgan,

Just an aside - New York is the only state that doesn't have "no fault divorce". I believe that MA is the state with the lowest divorce rate and the northeast, in general, has the lowest divorce rate - the bible belt has the highest.

Morgan said...

"However it is no leap of logic to state that the homosexual movement has caused society to re-examine other areas of behavioral & societal norms."

Well, then there's no leap of logic to assume that the heterosexual movement started the intitial re-examination. The first couple who spooned re-examined whether it would be OK to do it from behind. That made them reexamine oral sex, doing it doggie style, anal sex, etc.

"Recent studies are saying pedophiles are "born the way they are." Dr. Herbert Wagemaker states "I feel that there is a strong genetic predisposition in pedophilia."

Erik, I refuse to believe you are so dim that you can't draw a moral distinction between two consenting homosexuals having sex and a 30-year-old raping a three year old. One is different. The other is criminal.

"Please tell me how stamping out homosexuality would cool such a monster's desire for little girls. It wouldn't, but that is irrelevant to the discussion at hand."

It certainly isn't irrelevant. Some right-wingers seem to be focusing on homosexuality as some sort of deviancy, while there are any number of deviancies under the umbrella of heterosexuality.
As I told Billy D, gay-haters would be better served going after the pedophiles.

"Why is it that what you think is off-the-charts sick is wrong but what others consider otc-sick is really okay? Please explain your reasoning behind that."

Because I'm a reasonable person, and know the difference between a victimized child - or a sheep - that's unable to give consent, and adults.

Erik, you should also know the difference. If you think about it for a bit, I'm sure it will come to you.

Morgan said...

"Now tell me, why is sodomy illegal? What principle, other than religious, can be used to justify our sodomy laws?"

Amen. Technically I'm a repeat offender, given that in some states oral sex is considered sodomy. I bet others here are, too. I'd love to see Eaglewood's reaction if the cops break into his bedroom while he's getting busy with the missus.

I guess he'd just agreeably throw up his hands and say, "You got me guys," given how he respects "the law" and all.

Roland said...

Morgan,

First, you never said why bestiality isn't something one is born with.

Second, the hair thing is just to point out what IS.
Whether or not I want to have sex is one part of it.
How I want to act upon it is another.

Now, if you really believe bestiality is wrong, prove it.

I hate to do this, but God made the rules. I don't follow the rules. I follow him. When I do, the rules just seem to follow. Not all of them and not all the time.
I honestly believe that someone could be a christian and have problems with stealing, coveting, homosexuality, or whatever.

And Eaglewood, yes He accepts us as we are. Every morning, every moment, every second.
We change because we grow closer to him. Not instantly. Someone could accept Jesus and still take part in homosexuality. I think it would start to get awfully uncomfortable for them, though.

Roland said...

Okay, Morgan.

On the bestiality. What if the animal wanted it?
What makes you so sure?

(I know I'm pushing, but with reason) :)

Anonymous said...

Mia is repeating an myth. Yes, Mass has a lower divorce rate because they have a lower rate of marriage. Fewer marriages mean fewer divorces.

And why do you assume that the higher divorce rate in the Bible Belt is hypocritical, do you assume that it is the Christians doing all the divorcing? I live in Texas and meet few native Texans, most people nowadays are from somewhere else.

As to the gay marriage debate; people are calling for the govt to butt out but they still want the benefits that govt provides; tax breaks etc. Can't have it both ways, if you want the govt out they have to go the full distance.

Steve wants to marry but if he can't he wants tax incentives. Steve are you ignoring the fraud that would develop if such a law was passed?

And at the risk of being called a True Christian by Morgan, if the adulterous woman was replaced by a homosexual, Christ still would have said, "Go and sin no more." Homosexuality, like adultery, was frowned upon by Jewish society and nothing Christ said or did leads me to believe he would have been any different. He came for the forgiveness of sin not it's approval.

JohnR

Billy D said...

A couple points:
I do not now, nor ever have, claimed to be speaking for Jesus. He and His Father speak plainly in the Bible.
Two of my best friends are homosexuals, and I do indeed love the. I hate the sin, not the sinner. I'm sure if I got to know you, I'd love you too Steve. You seem like a decent fellow. You may even find yourself loving me.
You're trying to understand me from one post. That's a mistake.
I am a sinner. Everyday. I can't not sin, as I'm a human. I am not "holier" than anyone else.
I have, and continue, to fight to get freaks of all stripes off the streets, be they homo or hetero, makes no difference to me.
Whether a person is born gay or not matters not to me. If you choose to put your penis into another man, you've chosen to commit a homosexual act. Now, I'm going to type slow here... I don't care. Read it again. I don't care what you do with your penis, and I'm quite sure you don't care what I do with mine.
This is about gay marriage. My most basic point was, civil unions yes, marriage no.
As far as the pamphlet incident, yes, that did happen, and was very much publicized. This is what I am talking about with regard to the "militant" wing hurting your cause. Flies and honey, you understand. If some hetero group handed out pamphlets like that at a local school, I would scream just as loud against that.
As far as grouping folks goes, you, and I, will always tend to put each other in broad groups, as we can only relate to what we see around us on our tellies and the like. I'd say maybe 75 or 80% of the folks you see playing Christians on TV or down in D.C. are anything but. Would the same hold true for the gay community members I see on my TV? At the gay pride rallies and parades? If so, then you, "the rest", need to shut them up. If not, this is how you'll continue to be seen, just as the first thing folks think of when they hear the word "Christian" is Jerry Fallwell or some such babbling, pious, holier than thou idiot.

Morgan said...

"First, you never said why bestiality isn't something one is born with."

Roland, I simply don't know. I only know that I can draw a distinction between being sexually deviant and sexually different.

As aggressive as I am, I'm a sexual submissive. I'm drawn to strong, dominant men. So sue me. It's just how I'm wired and I bet if everyone in here were honest we'd all be admitting to some sexual fantasies and practices outside someone's "norm." Homosexuals are outside the norm in that they are wired to be attracted to their same sex.

But we're talking about adults.
Pedophila and bestiality are urges that rely on victimization. You ask whether it would be OK to have sex with an animal if an animal wanted it. I don't care if that sheep is sticking it in your face, Erik, it's a sheep and can't give consent, just as that 10-year-old girl can't give consent to a heterosexual pedophile.

Sexual urges should end where someone's lack of ability to consent begins.

My problem with people who want to ban homosexuality is that they don't have any business telling consenting adults how to have sex based on their religious views.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Morgan, I am happy you walk this planet--and even more so that you have Internet access.

For the "but it leads to polygamy and incest" slippery-slope argument---who gives a shit? Incest involving an underage person will always be a horrible and reprehensible crime, and no society on earth is going to stand for it (although their ideas of "underage" may vary widely). However. And here's where I show my Libertarian stripes. Why the hell do I care if you marry your cousin (who is of consenting age, of course)? Why do I care if you then proceed to add three women, two men, a hermaphrodite and a billy goat into the mix? Seriously, how does that affect me? Is my husband suddenly going to wake up one morning and say, "Oh, wow, now that them faggots can get married, I guess I don't have to take all that fidelity shit seriously anymore! Honey, I callin' a hooker!" Why do ANY of us believe that "allowing" (which I find a hilarious concept) people to marry whomever they wish is going to affect our lives at all? Aside from destroying the health insurance industry, that is. (Please.)

I'm asking, folks. How exactly are married gays going to be pissing in your personal Post Toasties? And don't give me this, "But it's promoting a social atmosphere that is corrupting to my TrueChristian children!" If what two people down the street do is seriously going to undermine the 18 years that you have to instill your children with your values, you maybe need to take a closer look at how secure you are that A) you're doing a good job parenting, and B) the doctrine you teach them is sensible. If your kids reject your TrueChristian lifestyle, I can damn well guarantee you that it's not because Tom and Tom exchanged vows.

Erik said...

The whole economic argument put forth here, and often elsewhere, is nonsense.

per the CDC there were 15,756 new HIV cases in 2003 from male-to-male sexual contact. This builds upon similar #s in the previous years. This # does show growth every year. Also per the CDC there are 459,390 cumulative cases thru 2003. Per www.hivandhepetitis.com the lifetime cost of treatment for AIDS is 648,000, this with a lifespan of 24.1 years after diagnosis. This cost, mind you, is AIDS only, not the complications that come from a depressed immune system.

So doing the math, we would be taking 6 million people with an HIV infection rate of %13 whose costs 648,000 over a lifetime (and rising thanks to inflation) which is $26,887 per year. This means that 12,351,618,930 (that is 12 Billion) is going to be added to what the insurance companies are paying out.

Steve, are you trying to say that those at higher risk of AIDS (homosexual men) are going to bear that entire burden? Is that even possible? Would you put up with paying an extra $2,058 a year for your insurance on top of the usual premiums? Somehow I doubt it. That cost will be pushed off to other insurance purchasers or perhaps the Gov.

And lets not forget that thru the magic of inflation and ever increasing #s of infected those costs will continue to rise. Quite rapidly, as these things do.

Morgan said...

anonymous...Preach it, sister!
Geesh, that was so on point that I can't think of anything to add. I can only agree, and especially liked your closing salvo. It's one of the things that has always mystified me about the True Christians ™ . They seem to have real lack of faith in the ability of themselves and their children to stay beyond corruption. So they superimpose their own weaknesses on everyone else and then fight for public policy to accomodate it.

tc said...

Hi Morgan, I'm here--been over on Vox extrapolating trends....

Our family uses contracts to arrange things like property rights, inheritance, medical information and so forth. Such contracts are void everywhere *except* where a particular one would be against their law.

(For example, a contract between a man and a woman over property would not be legal in a country where women's possession of property would be against the law.)

I know the above is an extreme case but it is merely an illustrative example.

As far as the perversion angle goes, I'm very tolerant of others' opinions. I've never asked anyone to approve of my family.

However, if someone called us perverts to my face, I would wait until there were no witnesses and then beat them senseless. Repeatedly. No one insults my family that way.

The first amendment states that politcal speech is protected from Congress. Personal insults are not protected from me.

Other than that, people can *feel* any way that they like about us. Just stay as far away as you can.

Tom

Mia said...

Anon,

No, I'm not repeating a myth. Many studies show (google christianbooks.com studies or christianitytoday, etc.)that southern Baptists, living in the southeast, have the highest divorce rate. My point being, all the rhetoric by the religious right about saving families/marriages, doesn't match their OWN actions.

I live in upstate NY and I constantly get bombarded with "assumptions" that I'm a wild, liberal, heathen living in Babylon when NY is the ONLY state with no fault divorce.

Don't know if this makes sense - it wasn't my attention to offend anywone.

Mia said...

Oopsie, I meant "wasn't my intention to offend anyone"...never type with emotion :)

JohnR said...

The arguments here are like most arguments, poorly rationalized.

Tom claims a libertarian philopsophy but will happily violate it over perceived insults. Violent reaction to non-violent insult. Grow up. You chose an alternative to traditional arrangements. Try educating instead of acting like the persone that insults you.

Steve wants the govt to grant rights it does not have the right to grant.

Anons final point is not right on, a parent can be secure in their faith and the child can still reject their parents faith. Come on Morgan, that is a poorly reasoned argument. Or do you love it because Anon reflects your viewpoint?

We all tend to like people who reflect our viewpoint better than people who don't.

JohnR

Shrubbery said...

per the CDC there were 15,756 new HIV cases in 2003 from male-to-male sexual contact. This builds upon similar #s in the previous years. This # does show growth every year. Also per the CDC there are 459,390 cumulative cases thru 2003. Per www.hivandhepetitis.com the lifetime cost of treatment for AIDS is 648,000, this with a lifespan of 24.1 years after diagnosis. This cost, mind you, is AIDS only, not the complications that come from a depressed immune system.

So doing the math, we would be taking 6 million people with an HIV infection rate of %13 whose costs 648,000 over a lifetime (and rising thanks to inflation) which is $26,887 per year. This means that 12,351,618,930 (that is 12 Billion) is going to be added to what the insurance companies are paying out.

Steve, are you trying to say that those at higher risk of AIDS (homosexual men) are going to bear that entire burden? Is that even possible? Would you put up with paying an extra $2,058 a year for your insurance on top of the usual premiums? Somehow I doubt it. That cost will be pushed off to other insurance purchasers or perhaps the Gov.--Erik

Dude, your premise is flawed because it relies on a few false assumption and glaring omissions...

False assumption #1--your figures assume the proportionality of AIDS cases will remain static or go higher. Not so. The spread of AIDS reached its apex in 86-89 and went down until very recently.

False assumption #2--you assume there are 6 million gays...depending on who you believe the numbers of gays are anywhere between 1%-10%. Until we can determine definitively, which may never be possible, the true number of gays any CDC calculation is mere conjecture.

Omission #1--disorders such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, can all be linked to bad lifestyle choices and the burden on the insurance industry from obesity is incalculable when you figure 1/3 of Americans are considered obese.

Omission #2--How much of the $26,000+ price tag for AIDS care is pharmacueticals? Equipment? Doctors? The reason I ask is that AZT, the most prevelant HIV treatment drug, is also one of the most expensive prescription medications going. Price controls of AIDS related drugs could signinicantly reduce the cost of treating AIDS patients.

Before we attempt to examine the financial impact of AIDS let's set realistic perameters, if that's even possible

Mia said...

And for clarification, I'm not a "wild, liberal, heathen" - I'm a Christian, stay-at-home mother looking for the goodness that Jesus shared in His message - a message that's sadly been distorted to sway people politically.

JohnR said...

By the way, I am not arguing that my arguments are not poorly formed either.

Shrub: every time price controls are tried they fail. If I develop drugs, why do I want to develop a drug that the govt sets the price for. I think I wouldn't. Price controls don't work, never have.

JohnR

Morgan said...

"Anons final point is not right on, a parent can be secure in their faith and the child can still reject their parents faith. Come on Morgan, that is a poorly reasoned argument. Or do you love it because Anon reflects your viewpoint?"

JohnR, thanks for stopping by to deliver another load of poo.

When my daughter entered college, I knew she'd be challenged to the hilt at the university by professors far more liberal than I. And I was correct. She certainly was. But I didn't worry. I had 18 years to instill in this girl the ethical and moral guidelines our family embraces. Even before that, she was exposed to differing viewpoints. I made sure of that. For how can one refine their convictions without testing?

Am I to keep my kids locked away simply because kids can and do rebel?
Our oldest son did rebel, for about three weeks he ran about doing just about everything you were afraid a kid could do. Then he came back and announced that being such a libertine wasn't all it was cracked up to be, settled down and now is in school with a good job and a nice girlfriend. Was I worried during those weeks when he'd lost his mind. You betcha? Did I doubt he'd come around. No. I was comfortable that the lessons we'd taught him would be remembered. And they were.

Just because you have personal doubts about the strength of you and yours to resist temptation is no reason to assume we're all like that.

Methinks your viewpoints are good for little more than compost. :-)

Shrubbery said...

Now, for those of assaulting my anti-slippery slope rationale, to you I say bah, chowderheads. ;)

The reason incest, polygamy, and pedophilia are illegal is they are, by nature, exploitative and a significant danger to public health.

Pedophilia involves a relationship between an adult and a minor. This is exploitative in that legally only one of the people involved can form legal consent. This type of arrangement is thus illegal per se. The NAMBLA crowd should be dismissed as their rationale supports men sleeping with unser-aged boys. Just as heterosexual intercourse between an adult and minor is prohibited so should homosexual couplings involving minors and adults.

Incest is verboten because the public health consequenses are dire. Inbreading leads to a whole host of genetic disorders that make one's gene pool look like the Love Canal. Such genetic abnormalities dwarf in cost and consequence the proliferation of 15,000 new AIDS cases per year.

Polygamy is prohibited as it is even more taboo than sodomy. The practice of having multiple spouses, ala the Islamic harem, has been frowned upon in every Judeo-Christian society since the advent of monotheism, save only the Mormons. The same cannot be said of sodomy.

Homosexual unions involve two fully consentual adults. Where's the problem with this logic?

tc said...

John, I feel that insults should be answered in kind. With the exception of a few instances, such as Vox's blog and emails to people like Morgan, I have had little interest in educating anyone. We live our lives, other people live theirs.

What do you think Libertarianism is about, anyway? It's taking action against people who present dangers yourself, rather than waiting for the government to grant you "rights." By the same token, you leave other people the hell alone unless they're interfering with you.

A person with enough of a will to insult me to my face may also have enough of a will to present a danger to my family. It's like owning a wolf--any time that they show the possibility of competing with you for dominance, you have to alpha them, FAST.

I'm just not a "fuzzy-bunny, we all should get along" type Libertarian, that's all. Leave us alone.

shrubbery, if you consult the archives of Vox Day's blog, I think you'll find a great deal of scriptural authority on polygamy. Vox certainly believes that it is not forbidden, and perhaps promoted by traditional Judaism and Christianity. I hold that your assumption concerning its taboo nature is absolutely wrong and shows a tacit ignorance of religious history.

Tom

tc said...

Ah, I used the wrong word in the last post. Please substitute wilful for tacit.

Thanks

Tom

Erik said...

Morgan

I wasnt making a moral distinction. Simply a legal one. It seems that is the main thrust of the arguments here. You are asking that since some people are "born that way" we should treat them differently. Why should we lift up one group and opress the other? You are the one making that distinction.

Because I'm a reasonable person, and know the difference between a victimized child - or a sheep - that's unable to give consent, and adults.

Because you are a reasonable person? And who decides this? you? You need to base your arguement on something outside of yourself, unless you expect the whole world to ask you everytime it has a question.

Morgan said...

"You are asking that since some people are "born that way" we should treat them differently."

Actually I'm saying the opposite. I'm saying we should treat them like we treat everyone else. I don't believe in discriminating against people who are born blind, homosexual, African American, or disabled.

"Why should we lift up one group and opress the other? You are the one making that distinction."

Just how is granting gays the right to marry oppressing you?

"Because you are a reasonable person? And who decides this? you?"

No. Not me, but at somewhere a line has to be drawn and most people draw it at the issue of consent. What you seem to be saying is because you can't differentiate between homosexuality and bestiality no one else should.
I've spelled it out for you already, and so has Shrub.
But dear, if you're that committed to defending your right to have sex with sheep, don't let me stop you. But don't ask me to feel sorry for you when they haul your ass out of the barn.

Shrubbery said...

Tom

I'm aware of the scriptural rationale highlighted over at VD. However, you & I both know there is a big difference between church/biblical proclimation and actual societal mores. Few practices are as reviled throughout the history of Judeo-Christian society as polygamy.

Morgan said...

I personally don't have a problem with polygamy so long as underage girls aren't involved. I can see advantages and disadvantages to polygamous setups.

But I also think a dinstinction needs to be drawn between a polygamous relationship and a communal one. The dynamic is different and it's disingenous to defend polygamy on a communal model.

Shrubbery said...

The crux of this debate centers around the practice of sodomy. My whole problem with this is two-fold...first, the very definition of sodomy, legal or otherwise, is amorphous and nebulous. Second, we're dealing with private consensual sexual conduct.

If you look at the sodomy laws in this country they include under their definitions anything from felation and cunilingis to anal sex. So, concievably, if you like it up the poop shoot you're engaging in illegal activity. In some states if you go down on your spouse you're guilty of illegal activity.

Second, why should we as a free people care who's shagging who in their private consensual activities. This is the very definition of invasion of privacy.

Erik said...

Shrubbery

2% of the population is the most accurate number. therefore 6million in the US.

Your "Ommision 1" is already included in the cost of health insurance. Adding large #s of AIDS patients to the base is going to increase the costs. (Remember they have heart attacks too!)

Your Ommision 2 is laughable. I "ommited" it because that 26K includes in and out patient treatment and drugs. (But if I failed to include any of those then the cost would be even higher, which would be bad for your argument and good for mine) But I also would never include "price controls" in any argument of mine as I know far too much about economics to make such a laughable suggestion. Price controls limit supply and access to what is being controlled.

tc said...

shrubbery:

No, I disagree with your assumption that "few practices are as reviled...."

You and I DON'T both know that. I hold that your assumption is wrong.

Islam did NOT think up their polygamy on their own. Part of the reason it's in the Koran is because it was common practice in Jewish communities into early Roman times as well as early Jewish-Christian communities.

Tell you what--if the church fathers and the bible didn't condemn it, but society did, show me some secular writings from the Jews or Romans specifically addressing its taboo nature.

Morgan, I am certainly not equating polygyny with either group marriage or polyandry. I was mentioning to those in the blog that using the term perversion in regards to my family (I doubt very much that they would refrain from doing so simply because I have three wives and a husband, rather than just three wives)would be seen as a deadly insult.

My problem with shrubbery is much like the one I had with Gene. There's unwarranted assumptions going on. Shrubbery's is that the practice has a long history of being taboo, which it does not have. Gene's was that polygamy inevitably led to pedophilia, in specific to the exploitation of post-pubescent, but underage girls. This assumption is also incorrect.

Tom

JohnR said...

Morgan: Compost it and use it in your greenhouse.

Good dodge, but I was speaking generally and you replied with your specific situation, and you know I wasn't talking about your family.

I think you should take what I write literally and stop trying to read things into it. I made no mention about the strength of my faith or keeping my children sheltered to preserve theirs. You make assumptions about me and apply them to everything I post.

Tom: OK, so no education, but your rights stop at the end of the other person's nose. You have no rational reason to assume because someone calls you a pervert because of your lifestyle that they are a threat to you or your family.

Would you beat every passer-by?

If you and your family are in the Chinese buffet on Friday night and another diner figures out your situation and calls you pervert on his way out the door, how do you justify following and attacking them (no witnesses, remember). How would that be self-defense?

It would be hard to maintain a family while you spend time in jail and all your money on reconstructive surgery for your victims.

JohnR

tc said...

John, I have no interest in justifying my past actions to you. I am a believer in a polite society. Neither I, nor any member of my family would ever dream of insulting someone who was different that us.

Why then, should we tolerate others doing this to us? I'll give you a challenge--walk into a black neighborhood and drop the N-bomb on a healthy man. What do you think would happen to you? Do I feel sorry for you in that case?

Absolutely not. Anyone who would purposely insult a stranger deserves a sound thrashing--a purposeful, pre-meditated one.

And, I have to say that, so far, none of us have ever had any problems with legal authorities.

Part of the problem is that polyamory of EVERY type is CONSTANTLY being used in discussions of gay marriage as the end result of legalizations.

Gay organizations deny that such legislation would lead to such a horrid end.

I'm just damn tired of being used as a bad example by people like shrubbery or gene who have no idea what they're talking about.

Morgan, at least, tries to listen even though she doesn't always understand, and has been very polite in her questioning and discussions with me.

I am sure that I have come off as somewhat strident in my objections. However, when Billy D makes the accusation of perversion *immediately* in the discussion, how would you expect me to react?

I find it fascinating that the tolerance level, support and respect for my family is considerably higher among the TrueChristians on Vox's blog than among the, perhaps, more "enlightened" folks on this blog.

Tom

Morgan said...

John, here is what you said, just in case you forgot:

Anons final point is not right on, a parent can be secure in their faith and the child can still reject their parents faith. Come on Morgan, that is a poorly reasoned argument. Or do you love it because Anon reflects your viewpoint?

If you can generalize, I can use my own situation as an example to show the flaws in your argument. It's not in any way a dodge to observe that those terrified of being around "sinners" are usually the ones who deem themselves to have the least resistance.

Eaglewood and Gene illustrated this on the porn thread. Gene alluded to past problems with "immodesty" and Eaglewood admitted to a porn addiction. Knowing their own weakness, they seek to transfer it onto everyone else. It matters not that other people may be able to enjoy erotica without it ruining their lives. They clearly cannot view it without going straight over the edge. So what do they do? They seek to restrict for others what they themselves cannot handle.

You seem to share that view. Why else would you seek to "protect" others from the influence of homosexuality unless you perceive a weakness for it in others and in yourself?

Pardon me for being specific in response to your generalizations, but a living example is always better than a sweeping, hypothetical.

Now, I will have to say that I'm making a split decision on your post, for I am in complete agreement that Tom risks making himself look utterly ridiculous with all the threats of posturing and violence.

Tom, let's say someone did come up to you and your family at the Chinese buffet and call you perverts. Let's say you all lay in wait outside and trounced the guy.
In what way would that make them think of you as any less a pervert. It would only add "violent" to the preconceived "pervert," and nothing would be gained for either of you.

I believe I've told you before that such chest-thumping will earn you nothing but an amused shake of the head from me and many others, and you'd be wise to think before you go punching someone who may either have a better lawyer or a larger, stronger group of friends.

Erik said...

Thimscool said
What principle, other than religious, can be used to justify our sodomy laws? Hmmmm

I dont know, Ask the various godless communist countries around. They have certainly found non-relifgious reasons to do so.

And you chimed in by happily pointing out that sodomy is still illegal.
Happily? No, I simply pointed it out because Shrub said that polygamy and pedophilia are "by definition" illigal. Funny thing is, if you look up those words in the dictionary, they dont say illegal anywhere in the definition.

Acts are illegal because a body of legislators have declared it so. They need not have a moral or even logical basis.

tc said...

Morgan, I'm sure that you realize that I am a reasonable human being. I've communicated with you, shown you photos of my happy family and demonstrated my sense of humor.

This is not chest-thumping. This is just a statement of fact. Respect for the dignity of others has been a cornerstone of my life. I would NEVER verbally insult a stranger, no matter what the situation--it's on the order of a religious tenet.

If it was legal, I would not hesitate to challenge a person who did such a thing to me to a duel. Call it a Rhett Butler complex.

In every case in which the issue was pressed the perp involved apologized profusely *before* any bodily harm was inflicted. I never had to swing a fist.

I hold that it's because such people are gammas by nature--they feel inferior in themselves and attempt to prove that they're superior by insulting others.

So, we've got an existance proof here. I am not exaggerating to be egotistical, my method of dealing with insults has worked so far and perhaps the perp has gone on to think twice about doing it again to someone else. Who knows, maybe I prevented an incident of gay-bashing?

Tom

Morgan said...

"Who knows, maybe I prevented an incident of gay-bashing?"

Although I'm fond of you and feel like I know you through our correspondence, I'm afraid I find your reasoning wrong-headed, Tom.

Gamma people won't attack alpha people, they'll just take their anger out on someone further down the chain.

Your threats of violence do nothing to turn aside wrath; it only fuels it. The person afraid to hit you back will only perpetuate his hatred for anyone different through the Internet, rhertoric, or by passing along his venom to his kids. If he fumes long enough, he may find some gay kid who isn't as brave as you, somoene he thinks he can hurt with the help of like-minded friends, and will do it.

Duels only have good outcomes when both parties are honorable, Tom. You are an honorable man. Anyone who calls you a name is not honorable. Beating that person physically is not going to make him any more honorable than he was before you hit him. It's just going to piss him off.

I don't know much, but I'm about 100 percent sure I'm right about this.

Billy D said...

"However, when Billy D makes the accusation of perversion *immediately* in the discussion,..."

From Merriam Webster:
Perversion:
a perverted form; especially : an aberrant sexual practice especially when habitual and preferred to normal coitus

We could also go with a distortion of the considered norm, if you like.
But by definition (above) that is exactly what we were talking about. An act of homosexuality is definitively an act of perversion.

tc said...

Well, I disagree with you on this one, Morgan, but I concede that you might have a point.

Tell you what, I will try henceforth to make sure I have correctly discerned the difference between a perceived insult and a real one. I will only act on the ones real ones.

There might be a way to decide which one of us is right. Has there ever been any good studies of bullies in the Public High Schools--i.e. What is the result of bullies that are confronted physically versus ones that are surrendered to versus ones in which someone goes to authority?

If confronting a bully reduces the amount of bullying behavior, I hold that my way will reduce the possibility of future problems. If confronting a bully increases the amount of such behavior, I will concede that you are correct and act accordingly.

Tom

Morgan said...

BillyD, baby, we are *all* perverts by that definition. And those who aren't perverts are just plain boring.

It's like that old line, "I though I wanted to be a missionary but decided I wouldn't like the position."

tc said...

Ah, Billy, but the flaw in your argument lies in the definition used....

Webster's:

aberrant--deviating from what is normal or true.

I hold that polygyny is the normal situation for humanity, since it has been practiced in virtually all cultures and still is in some today.

Monogamy has been the exception, rather than the rule. Therefore, it is more likely that monogamy would fit the normal definition than polygyny.

As far as the true part of the definition, we've already seen that the Christian scriptures arguably support polygyny. Therefore it would also fall under the "true" category for believers.

Don't shoot dictionaries at me, Billy, I'm well-armed.

Tom

JohnR said...

Tom: I have no problem with your lifestyle, nor do I have any interest in it. I agree with you comment on the ancient roots of polygamy, the OT was full of it. David and Solomon had multiple wives. If you are basing my opinion of you on Morgan's opinion of me you are being misled. Morgan has not quite come out and called me a True Christian but I think she thinks I am one. I was just pointing out the trouble you are asking for with your hypothetical response.

Uh, Morgan, I have no problem with erotica. I am not trying to protect anyone from anything. Anon made a generalization and I responded with other side of the generalization. Now you're reading things into 1 sentence; 'a person can be secure in their faith and the child can still reject their parents faith.' Didn't say a word about me or any worries I might have, which are no worries. I think I was just pointing out the obvious.

JohnR

JohnR said...

Tom: I think most men, religous or not, would envy you.

JohnR

Morgan said...

Tom,

We aren't talking about kids, but adults. Kids are molded by peer influence. If a group of kids is taunting the class runt, who suddenly displays his black belt skills, that can be a life lesson.

By the time a person is an adult, if they are so ill-mannered that they feel free to hurl insults at people they don't know then it's going to be hard to change them, even through violence. You also need to consider that some people are just crazy, Tom. That person you punch may not just be rude. They may be a sociopath who comes gunning for you later. Is your family's safety worth the confrontation?

Now, there are exceptions. I know of a very soft-spoken Asian man, quiet and respectable, who was taunted at work one night. He brushed his tormenters off until one physically grabbed him and then laid a roundhouse kick on the guy that broke his jaw. This meek little man was a veteran of the Cambodian killing fields, it turns out, and could have done worse. But he was restrained, even when he counter-attacked. And it's important to note that he didn't use physical violence until the other party laid hands on him.

I think that's an example of when and how to put a bully in his place.

tc said...

Actually, to be fair, Billy, shrub was a lot more in the "pervert" camp than you as far as polygyny goes. I went back and reread the original arguments and see that my singling you out was unwarrented. Morgan is the only one of you three that didn't make that mistake.

Ok, John, I can accept that. I think that you'd be a great person to argue with in a coffee shop. No offense taken.

(And as far as men envying me, they obviously have never seen my "honey-do" lists.)

And, Morgan, as I said before, I've never had any ill results from my actions, nor have I actually had to *use* violence, just demonstrated the willingness to do so.

This has not been something that happens daily, as a matter of fact, the situation has only happened a half-dozen times in the last decade. In at least one case, I would have let it go, since I'm fairly thick-skinned, but two of the wives were in tears. (Sharon wanted to head for the car for the pistol but I stopped her.)

In that case, simply balling his shirt and lifting him against the back of his car while giving him the "DI Major Malfunction" speech was sufficient to end his problem with us. He was about two inches taller than I was so I had to look waaay up at him.

I don't think we're going to agree on this, Morgan. I'm beginning to think that this is a guy/girl thing.

Tom

Billy D said...

Tom - I don't know you, and you me. BUT, for the record, I tend to worry about my own failings which tends to not leave me too much time to worry about everyone elses.
I'm a sinner, and a "pervert" in the strictest sense, per Morgans comment above.
What two people, over 18, do is up to them. As long as it hurts no-one else, hey, great.

tc said...

You bet, Billy.

Now, if this was real life, I'd buy everybody a round of their adult beverage of choice and we'd go back to whatever it was we were doing before all this came down.

This was a good topic Morgan. What's on tap for next week?

Tom

eaglewood said...

“I don't think you even realize the insult in your comparison between homosexuality and theft and other crimes. I am a gay man. I also spend most of my free time working with children from abusive homes and saving dogs from the shelter down town. The last 2 holiday seasons I gave large sums of money to oversees victims of war and natural disaster. I donate regularly to about a dozen charities benefitting animals, children, spousal abuse victims, AIDS victims, holistic cancer research, etc. I started a foundation 3 years ago to enact legislation that will clean up our air and water supply so your children don't get asthma when they are 5 and cancer when they are 35. I am kind to everyone I meet. I give my change, unjudgementally, to street people when they ask. I take days off from work to bring baby birds who have fallen from their nests to the bird sanctuary. I do everything I can yet you group me with common thieves because I am gay. How do you contribute?”

Steve,
Try me; I think you would be surprised. My comparison was based upon what the Word of G_d says, not on the subjective feelings of man. You list a large number of good works that you perform, but in G_d’s eyes they do not matter if you do not have a personal relationship with Him. I am glad you do them, but when we talk about eternal destiny they do not cover our sin nature. You are, like most people, classifying sin, G_d does not He either sees sin or he does not. I am sorry that having homosexual acts classified as sin offends you, but I cannot change what the Word says. I knew that you would be offended by it as we all are when confronted with our sins; I was offended when I was confronted with mine. It is part of the stumbling block set before us. Do we love our sin more than we love Him? It is a simple question but one we must all answer.

“I'll be so happy when the day comes that Christians preach as hard against sinful adulterers as they do against gay people.”

You will find no argument with me here Morgan. I still think part of your argument is week in that it attacks the messengers, and does not support your assertion that homosexuals should be allowed to marry.


“Eaglewood, are you presuming that Steve hasn't accepted Christ???”

I made it clear that I was making an assumption based upon what Steve had already written. In his latter comments he did not refute it. I also do not make the assumption that someone has accepted Christ, It is up to the individual to show their love of Christ.


“Although Eaglewood has now changed his tone and retreated to the ‘government’s got nothing to do with marriage’ pose, in his first post to this thread he mentioned that homosexuality used to be illegal. And you chimed in by happily pointing out that sodomy is still illegal. “

Nowhere have I retreated. I have made it clear from the beginning that I think the government should stay out of private affairs. Marriage is just one of them. I also think the tax code should be abolished, but that is another discussion.


“I guess he'd just agreeably throw up his hands and say, "You got me guys," given how he respects "the law" and all.”

Obviously you have me confused with someone else. I have no respect for our government and 95% of the idiotic laws that they pass.


“Eaglewood and Gene illustrated this on the porn thread. Gene alluded to past problems with "immodesty" and Eaglewood admitted to a porn addiction. Knowing their own weakness, they seek to transfer it onto everyone else. It matters not that other people may be able to enjoy erotica without it ruining their lives. They clearly cannot view it without going straight over the edge. So what do they do? They seek to restrict for others what they themselves cannot handle.”

Morgan,

I am not sure what you think I wrote but I do not think that porn, or erotic writing should be illegal or banned, as you have insinuated. The only thing that I questioned was to propriety of a person claiming to be a Christian writing the stuff. That is all, nothing more nothing less. My past addiction problems had nothing to do with it and in fact Christ has strengthened my resolve that it would take a willful act upon my part to fall back into that addiction.

JohnR said...

Tom: Thanks. Like Morgan, I do like to argue.

It's not your 'honey-do' list they envy but your honeys.

I think if someone thought your arrangement 'perverted' it would because they want to take part in the 'perversion' and their jealous.

Know what I mean; nudge nudge, wink wink.

JohnR

Shrubbery said...

For the benefit of y'all...sodomy laws, at least in Texas, were stricken as unconstitutional by the SCOTUS last summer in, I think, Stanley v Texas.

A couple questions upon which this debate hinges...

1. In your opinions, what should be the legal definition of sodomy?

2. How do you propose to enforce these laws?

3. How far should the right to privacy extend?

BTW, I concede the point about taboos, sodomy, polygamy, and Judeo-Christian civilization.

thimscool said...

Erik:
“Ask the various godless communist countries around. They have certainly found non-religious reasons to [outlaw sodomy].”

Yes, well they don’t have first amendments either. What is your point? We’re talking about states in the USA. The fact that there is widespread anti-homosexual bigotry outside of Christendom is also irrelevant. The point is that sodomy laws should not constitutional.

“Acts are illegal because a body of legislators have declared it so. They need not have a moral or even logical basis.”

No. Many laws have been passed by the legislatures that are then struck down by the courts. You missed a little step, there. No worries, though. I have reminded you, and anybody that may have been comforted by your argument.

The challenge may go all the way to the highest court in which case the standard used to judge the worthiness of the law is the constitution of the US. In the past, a lot of religious (or ‘societal norm’) legislation has not been challenged because nobody had broken the threshold of that taboo. But make no mistake, even with mostly Republican appointed SC justices, the religious laws are being overturned with every passing year. Brick by brick, religious ‘law’ will be confined to a matter of *personal* discipline, rather than the actual law of the land.

~~~
Eaglewood:
“Nowhere have I retreated. I have made it clear from the beginning that I think the government should stay out of private affairs. Marriage is just one of them. I also think the tax code should be abolished, but that is another discussion.”

OK Eaglewood. I’ll give this another try, although at this point I think that you are willfully ignoring the parts of my posts that you have no answer for.

If you die tomorrow, there is no question that your wife will maintain custody of your kids (unless there is a big problem in your home, which I doubt). However, if a lesbian couple has kids, and the biological mother dies, what might happen? Let’s say that the biological mother’s parents decide that the lesbian partner is an unfit parent, and they sue for custody. Is it a foregone conclusion that the lesbian partner will retain custody, even if there is a contract between her and her dead partner? I seriously doubt that this would be an open and shut case, if the biological grandparents have a good lawyer and the baby is in the right state. It would also depend on the judge.

Gay people are saying that they want to be able to ensure that they have custody rights by default, not by examining some non-standard inter-personal contract in a court of law. Civil unions are an attempt to solve this, but any fool can see that you can’t amend every law that uses the word “marriage” to include “marriage or civil union”. Moreover, gays don’t want to see civil union redefined away from ‘effectively being married’ due to differing political circumstances in the future. They want it called ‘marriage’, just like everyone else, so there can be no doubt as to the legal meaning. They are saying: “We want to be able to have a family, under the law.”

~~~
Eaglewood and Erik:

The government necessarily *does* need to get involved in defining marriage and families, as demonstrated above. As such, gays want to be allowed to *legally* marry someone that they actually love romantically. State your problem with allowing *legal* gay marriage. No one is saying it must happen in your church.

I have put it as plainly as possible. Please come up with a substantive answer that doesn’t involve communist countries, God’s will, and elementary misunderstandings of how law is implemented in the USA. Otherwise, expect no further response from me; I can lead you to water but I can’t make you drink.

steve said...

Woooh, looks like I’ve missed a lot here while I’ve been busy working..

I think the biggest issue I have with this argument is how many of you state your beliefs as fact. You don’t know what God wants. Do you honestly believe that a being or an energy so powerful and brilliant it can create the whole universe is only a little smarter than YOU are?

You all have every right to believe what you want to believe regardless, but you have no right to impose your view of morality on people who believe differently. If you’re going to debate me with ‘logic’ such as ‘this is Gods’ word’, skip it. I don’t believe you know what God’s word is.

John R. – you are discriminating. Yes, there is the potential for fraud in a system where people are compensated with tax breaks (not incentives) designed to make everyone equal financially. I’m sure there are a million straight people who get sick and marry for someone’s health benefits. There are a million women who marry rich men for their money. There are a million people who kill their spouses for the insurance money. Fraud is not a gay marriage issue- it is a human issue.

Billy D – “Love the sinner, hate the sin” – Mahatma Ghandi
“I like your Christ, but I don’t like your Christians” – Mahatma Ghandi.

Funny, that.

And stop talking about loving me in the same sentence that you talk about both of our penises - you’re freaking me out.

I have to admit, I agree with you on the Jerry Falwell/Gay Pride parade comparison. I don’t want to be represented by 7 foot tall drag queens and topless lesbians on motorcycles. I am nothing like them. I find them embarrassing. I leave town on Gay Pride weekend in June in New York, every year. But I’m not the one calling you an abomination because of an inferred association with Jerry Falwell. I called you a fool, that was rude, but it was based on your own words, not a perceived association.

Eric, you are discriminating. You are analyzing one disease and there are many diseases that different people are susceptible to. Is it fair that I sacrifice steak and cheese and eat a cholesterol-free vegetarian diet and pay insurance premiums that cover your doctor bills when you have a heart attack because you eat too much beef? Of course it is. That is how insurance works. They are betting you stay healthy and you are betting you get sick. It is a gamble and no one person’s care can be judged unfairly subsidized because you don’t like the social implications of a particular disease.

Additionally, Eric, being gay doesn’t cause AIDS. Unsafe sex with an infected person causes AIDS so, NO, I wouldn’t pay an extra premium for health insurance because I’m gay. I’m not promiscuous and I’m not unsafe.


And now I am leaving here. This is too exhausting. If you are allowed to get married, so should I be. No matter what your religious beliefs are – this country was founded on the belief that all men and women are equal. My life is not your concern or your business. So get your Jesus off my penis.

Love,
-Steve

P.S. Morgan, you are a gracious host and a nice person.

Erik said...

What is your point? We’re talking about states in the USA.
Thimscool, you werw talking about religion.

No. Many laws have been passed by the legislatures that are then struck down by the courts. You missed a little step, there.
Not a missed step. There are tens of millions of pages of law at just the federal level. Now, what percentage of those have been invalidated by ANY court? not enough to add to 1%

thimscool said...

As shrub pointed out, the law which we are discussing has already been struck down.

Sheesh. You operate entirely by missdirection and obfuscation.

Erik said...

State your problem with allowing *legal* gay marriage.

My problem with allowing "legal" marriage of gays is the same I have with allowing the "legal" marriage of heteros. It is a religious rite. Let it stay in religion.

And as for the state having to "define" marriage... There is simply no need. There is Common Law for that. In fact, has been since the 1200's. Two people who put forth that they are married are then married under commonlaw. This can be easily done by representing yourself as married for a period of time not to exceed 6 months. It is easier if the two obtain mutual property or one uses the last name of the other. There is no reason why this does not apply to gays.

But if you allow the Gov to define marriage than you give them the power to, well, define marriage. Using Morgan's little scare-tactic/strawman of the theocratic state if you gave the current gov that power, then the theocratic one would also have it. And you should never ever ever give power to someone that you wouldnt give to your worst enemy, because one day that enemy will have it.

Erik said...

Please come up with a substantive answer that doesn’t involve communist countries, God’s will, and elementary misunderstandings of how law is implemented in the USA. Otherwise, expect no further response from me; I can lead you to water but I can’t make you drink.

Done, done, done (tho in fairness, it is your misunderstanding of the Law), haven't gotten one yet anyways, and no you can't.

Erik said...

And why is it that certain people make assumptions about my beliefs? Have I stated once that I am against gay marriage? No. I havent. I find the thought of gay sex personally off-putting, but if they want the blessings of the State, then I say let them have it.

And I havent made a single religious argument. I refrain from them. Have done so since I started on this blog. There isnt much point to quoting from a guidebook that you refuse to consider. There are more useful ways of making my point.

Erik said...

Eric, you are discriminating. You are analyzing one disease and there are many diseases that different people are susceptible to.

Discriminating? The latest #s from the CDC show a cumulative (thru 2004) of 441,380 cases of AIDS from male-to-male sexual contact, with an additional 64,833 from "m2m sexual contact & injection drug use"

Compare that to a cumulative 59,939 from hetero-sex. Even if you threw in the 176,162 from injection drug use as all heteros, there is a huge disparity of infection.

AIDS infection rates (at the most favorable rate of 10% gay/90% hetero)
Hetero .000874
Gay .0168
That is more than 19 times more likely to get it. At a more realistic 2% gay, they are 104 times more likely to contract AIDS
Hetero .000803
Gay .084

Additionally, Eric, being gay doesn’t cause AIDS. Unsafe sex with an infected person causes AIDS so, NO, I wouldn’t pay an extra premium for health insurance because I’m gay. I’m not promiscuous and I’m not unsafe.
True, but how many hetero men are having anal sex with other men? Outside the prison population I daresay it is a miniscule number. But yes you would pay more for insurance just as a young man pays more for auto insurance. He can drive as slow as a granny, but the ins. co. is going to place their bets with the odds, which is not in the homosexuals favor.

It is a gamble and no one person’s care can be judged unfairly subsidized because you don’t like the social implications of a particular disease.
If only the state would get out of this and allow people to choose plans that dont cover overything under the sun. Case in point. A huge Catholic charity in California was forced to start covering abortions even tho the Catholic church is utterly oppsed to such a practice. This was a group of Catholics mind you, who it stands to reason, believe the same as the church.

Morgan said...

"This was a good topic Morgan. What's on tap for next week?"

I dunno. We usually brainstorm over the weekend. We'd talked about the legalization of pot, prayer in schools. But those seem kind of dull after this.

Any suggestions, guys? I'm sure Shrub won't mind input if I solicit input from the readers.

prettylady said...

Gracious, my dears! I forgot that yesterday was Wednesday, and here it is Thursday already, and I have so much catching up to do.

Amongst all this most intriguing and well-argued rhetoric, I find little to no discussion as to what commitment really means, from a personal perspective, as opposed to a governmentally or religiously sanctioned one. This, to me, is the fundamental issue that we should be debating, for everyone perceives his or her commitments, or lack thereof, through the lense of personal experience, which is bound to vary infinitely.

It does not surprise me that according to statistics posted here, 'fundamentalists' are more likely to divorce than non-fundamentalists. This is because the fundamentalist perspective is to demand that people adhere blindly to crudely established, inflexible rules, regardless of circumstance. Reality has a way of intruding rather harshly on inflexible rules, when there are no additional skills to rely upon in coping with them. Plus, 'fundamentalism,' in its worst form, tends to crush attempts at honest communication, which is one of the most important tools in adhering to a genuine, healthy commitment.

No, people make 'commitments' for all kinds of reasons, at all kinds of different times. Some of these commitments are frivolous, ill-advised, and untenable; some could be made to function well, with a few skills, and some are instrumental in establishing a basis for long-term happiness. I see no discussion whatsoever as to how to tell the difference among these types of commitments, and what should be done about discouraging the ill-advised variety, or strengthening the healthy ones.

Morgan said...

"P.S. Morgan, you are a gracious host and a nice person."

Thank you, Steve. You have been a gracious guest and an eloquent debater who has beaten the heterosexuals hands-down, if you don't mind my saying so.

Sorry boys, but you've been trounced. Eaglewood, as soon as I see your heiney out there speaking out against Christian wife-dumpers remarrying (it's a sin, after all) then I'll take you seriously. Until then, you're just another selective yammerer riding on the bandwagon. I admire your wanting to be a prophet, and would like to challenge you to preach something that won't play so well outside your echo chamber.

I found it interesting that Eaglewood said:

"I still think part of your argument is week in that it attacks the messengers, and does not support your assertion that homosexuals should be allowed to marry."

Since you're such a big fan of the Word of God, Eaglewood, let me paraphrase Jesus: He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone. If that doesn't attack the sanctimonious messenger, my dumpling, I don't know what does.

And Eaglewood, I am *not* picking on you. Just pointing out what I see as some spiritual inconsistencies given your stance on Steve.

To you, Steve, I hope your absence won't be permanent. I like having different viewpoints on here -yours, Billy's, Shrub's, Eaglewoods. We're a passionate bunch and it's a good mix.

This really is a great group.

prettylady said...

You see, there are a number of different levels on which commitment can take place; the institution of marriage can occur on one or many of these levels, and we are talking at cross-purposes when we do not acknowlege this.

As a purely economic institution, marriage is a legal contract having to do with the fair division of wealth and labor; it is a business partnership. In this sense, government is a perfectly appropriate, if necessarily limited, arbiter of marriage.

As a social construct, marriage is a convenient and effective unit for the nurturance of children. People who get married in order to raise a family with economic and social efficiency can very well do so in the context of any community organization, churches being the most obvious.

However, as a spiritual partnership, marriage is much, much more, and much much more complicated, and much more difficult. To me, personally, this is the only type of marriage I am interested in (at least as it includes the other levels.) A true spiritual marriage uses commitment as a tool for propelling mutual communication, understanding, and growth.

Of course, if a person has married, in a civil or social sense, a person who is a perfectly decent economic and reproductive entity, but is utterly incapable of matching one's capacity for intellectual, emotional and spiritual development, the marriage will either stagnate or founder. No number of enforced rules will prevent this.

Thus we need other criteria for examining the state of marriage, in addition to the factors discussed here.

Janet said...

Oh, I missed all the fun. Figures. There still isn't any good scientific evidence that people are born gay, thus I do not believe that they are.

But yeah, I kinda feel like if they're going to live together for 20 years, why not let them get married? That doesn't defile marriage, it creates a stability that the homosexuality community lacks.

Morgan said...

I think, Pretty Lady - that by limiting the topic to gay marriage - we're not trying to avoid a key issue, just not bite off more than we can chew.

I believe it's safe to say that a topic on marriage supposes that the parties are ideally committed to each other. If you reread the threads, you may see that committment - or the lack of it - has been discussed, at least as applies to heterosexuals who are hardly setting the best marital example.

That said, you raise a good point. What is marriage without the commitments you laid out, particularly the spiritual one?

I believe to avoid the ill-advised marriages, two people need to enter the marriage as complete human beings, and not feel that they need the other person to complete them. I've seen a number marriages fail because one or both of the partners just wanted to *be* with someone, and weren't too selective over who they chose.

A realistic view is also important. People can only change but so much. Marrying the spousal equivelant of a fixer-upper is a recipe for disaster.

Marrying someone who doesn't speak your sexual language is another pitfall. Sex can't make a marriage, but it can break it. If partners don't actually engage in the act beforehand, they should at least have a frank discussion about what they want. Libidos should also match somewhat.

It's important to have some things in common, but equally important to have interests apart from each other. Everyone needs their own space. When Larry and I married, he tried to get me into Kempo. I refused, because I wanted him to have "his" thing. And because I didn't want to get kicked in the face.

I could go on, but those are just a few things I think should be considered.

It's sad that more couples don't think things through. People today seem more in love with the idea of being married than with each other.

So there's my two cents.

Thanks for putting another good spin on the issue.

Billy D said...

"And stop talking about loving me in the same sentence that you talk about both of our penises..."

I didn't say we should have a swordfight dude, I'm just sayin...

eaglewood said...

“I think the biggest issue I have with this argument is how many of you state your beliefs as fact. You don’t know what God wants. Do you honestly believe that a being or an energy so powerful and brilliant it can create the whole universe is only a little smarter than YOU are?

You all have every right to believe what you want to believe regardless, but you have no right to impose your view of morality on people who believe differently. If you’re going to debate me with ‘logic’ such as ‘this is Gods’ word’, skip it. I don’t believe you know what God’s word is.”


I know that Steve is gone and will not answer this, but here I go again.

1. I state my beliefs as fact because that is what is written, not because it is what I think. The fact that you do not believe it does not negate the fact that it is written down for us. For those of us who have a personal relationship with Jesus this is the only guide we have. We cannot change what it says. If you have some insight other than that feel free to share it with us.
2. We can know what G_d wants because, again, He had it written down. You are free to believe or not to believe that it is the true Word of G_d, but the fact of the matter it is here for us to read.
3. I am going to state this emphatically. You, Steve are free to live your life the way you want to. It is called free will. If you want to live a life of having sex with other men feel free to do so I am not stopping you and I do not want to. It is your life. As a matter of fact if you want to marry one of those people you have sex with feel free to do so.

I have stated this time and time again, Steve has been too deaf to hear it, and so have others. We as Christians cannot impose biblical morality upon those who do not have a personal relationship with Christ.

Ok, just so we can see Steve’s logic on this lets just say that we cannot know G_d’s will on any one subject. Then that means that morals are subjective and really based upon our own ideals. (Before I go any further this is extreme and has nothing to do with what is legal or illegal just what is moral and immoral.) When I lived in AR I have a person there that just made life a living hell for my wife, my children, and myself (this person had a great deal to do with my decision to move back to TX) life would have been much easier if I could have just killed him. If there was no moral absolute that says we should not murder then I could have just killed him and his family (to ensure there is no retaliation) and made my families life simpler. Yet the fact of the matter is that he has made His will known that murder is a sin, so even though I would have been tempted to commit this grievous act we all know it would have been wrong for me to do so. That is the logical path that can be followed if you take Steve’s reasoning that we cannot know what G_d’s will is in matters of morality. This is not what this discussion is about though.
Themscool,

I have not engaged your debate because we are in reality talking apples and oranges. You want to discuss how to fix the current system. I have no desire to even try and fix the current system. I think it is corrupted beyond repair and nothing we do will fix it.
I offered up what I think is the ideal solution since we cannot fix the current one. Government needs to get out of all domestic issues. All issues pertaining to families can be handled through simple contractual arraignments. If a homosexual couple wishes to get married they simply work out a marriage contract. It can be simple or elaborate it really matters on what is important to the individuals involved. Rights of survivorship and child guardianship can easily be handled this way. If there is a dispute then they can be handled on an individual basis that has nothing to do with laws other than contractual law. If the contract says that the children go to the surviving spouse them the bio family has no say in it.

JohnR said...

Morgan: Since you quote Jesus in the story about the adulterous woman, how do you handle his admontion to 'go and sin no more.' When he said that he was quite clearly calling adultery a sin and telling her to stop it.

And yes, I know he told her he was not judging her.

I am interested in your opinion on this as that admonition at the end is always left out.

JohnR

Morgan said...

You're quite correct, JohnR. But notice that Jesus took it upon Himself to issue that directive while people like Eaglewood feel compelled to do it for Him.

1. I state my beliefs as fact because that is what is written, not because it is what I think.

Eagelwood, you state your beliefs because that's how you interpret the Bible, and what you state is selective. And preaching about the Sin of Homosexuality is safe, isn't it? Safe and oh, so acceptable.

Jonah was a prophet. He preached a message no one wanted to hear. It wasn't a safe canned message. If I recall, that's why he fled instead of going to Ninevah. He was afraid to preach a message that would make people angry.

You're smart. No one is going to get angry if you bash gays. But if you start going after men and women who've remarried outside the guidelines of God. Well then, that's not a can of words you want to open, is it.

That's why I cannot take Christians seriously when they start quoting from the Bible. They are terrified to say anything controversial.

My problem with your shoving a Bible under Steve's nose is that I don't see you shoving under the nose of divorced Christians. Such selective preaching may be OK for the Sunday morning pulpit, but I expect a lot more from a man who calls himself a prophet.

Morgan said...

Eaglewood, I have another question for you. Do you think people are born gay, just like they can be born blind, deaf or with other things that make them different?

Every gay person I know has said they were born gay. I taught preschool years and years ago and there was a little girl named Corey who only wanted to wear boy clothes and talked about marrying a pretty girl when she grew up.

Her parents were beside themselves and tried to feminize her for years. They tried all kinds of inducements and even put her in therapy. Nothing worked. They finally gave up and put it in God's hands. Today Corey is 16 and gay.

Erik said...

onah was a prophet. He preached a message no one wanted to hear. It wasn't a safe canned message. If I recall, that's why he fled instead of going to Ninevah. He was afraid to preach a message that would make people angry.

Actually, Jonew knew that G-d is gracious and that if Jonah took them the Word of G-d that they would repent and G-d would show mercy and not destroy them (at that time anyways. G-d might delay but ultimately the word that was given the Ninevites came to pass)

So Jonah fled so that the Ninevites might be destroyed, not that his preaching might upset some. The book of Jonah ends with him being upset that G-d wasnt destroying them.

eaglewood said...

Morgan,

Not to burst your bubble here but 97% of what I have said here would get me thrown out of the average Bible thumping church.

I have maintained that we should allow homosexuals to live the way they want to live, (A live and let live approach) I have maintained that the government should stay out of marriage, which would allow consenting adults to marry regardless of their gender; I have maintained that Christians have no business telling non-believers how to live their lives. All of these things would get me ostracized. I have no echo chamber.

I, like you, do think that it is disingenuous to claim that you are against homosexual marriage based upon maintaining the sanctity of marriage and not rail against the other things that have hurt the sanctity of marriage such as high divorce rates and adultery. I have no echo chamber

Now with that out of the way, I do not think you realize that I am trying to help you in your debating skills. This is debate 101 kind of stuff but here it goes.

Your premise: Homosexuals should be allowed to legally marry.

Statement one: Homosexuals are people who are born with the propensity to have sex with people of the same gender, and should have the same rights as those who are born with the propensity for having sex with the opposite gender. Therefore I believe that they should have the right to get married.

That is a statement that supports the premise.

Statement two: The people who are against homosexual marriage on the grounds that it will destroy the sanctity of marriage are hypocrites because they do not preach against adultery and divorce in the same way. Therefore the critics should just shut up and let the homosexuals get married.

This statement while it may be true for some involved does not directly support the premise and therefore would be seen as a weak argument at best if not an outright prejudicial attack in a debate.

This is the last time I will go over this. This has been a common theme in your debate style, and you seem to like it in others as well. For the record Steve did not shatter anyone’s arguments. Steve does not like that the Word states that what he is practicing, and has every right to do so as a non-Christian, is in fact seen as a sin by G_d. So he makes the very weak statement that we cannot know what G_d thinks when it comes to morality. I tried to explain where that could go in my last comment, but then I have consistently maintained that Christians cannot expect non-Christians to live by the same moral code.

Erik said...

Come on now Morgan

That is simply the way that Eaglewood interprets it? Just how else is one to interpret the following to verses?

Lev 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.

Lev 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination:


There are more, but you alreaddy know that so I wont bother to post them. If the Bible is the Word of G-d, and that IS the belief of the church for the last 1700 years, tho the Tanach (OT) was in black and white 600 years before that. So for 2300 years, Judeo-Christian theology has held that homosexuality is a sin. If you hold that it isnt sin, then you are in direct opposition to centuries old church doctrine. Or, perhaps you have had a recent revelation from G-d that countermands His Word. Or perhaps your morality is higher than is His.

State that you disagree with this or quit harping on Eaglewood for stating what the Bible has said for over 2300 years.

Morgan said...

I will double-check my facts and if I stand corrected, I will say so. But I'd still like an answer to my question, even if my analogy came up scriptually short.

Too often Christian leaders stick to the safe messages, the ones that will get them donations and followers. Would you be willing, as a prophet, to openly and publicly rebuke Christians who have divorced and remarried outside of Biblical guidelines.

It seems that with Christians, homosexuality is deemed worse than adultery, even though the Bible addresses both.

But the messengers don't want to touch anything politically sensitive, not that I can blame them. If you posted something like that on your blog, Eaglewood, you'd be chewed up and spit out so fast your head would spin. The thing is, to be a prophet, you need someone to listen to you. Condemn divorce and there goes half your audience.

If you esteem family, Eaglewood, why not risk it, though? You've been strong and eloquent on your condemnation of gays. I'm looking forward to seeing you turn up the heat on other sinners now! Divorce is a much bigger threat to the nation's families than homosexuality, wouldn't you say? Go get 'em, Tiger!!!

Shrubbery said...

Prety Lady, will you marry me?

Morgan said...

The Bible says what the Bible says, Erik. I can't argue with it. Homosexuality is listed as a sin right along with the danced-around divorce, which Eaglewood won't touch with a ten-foot pole.

But I do have to wonder about whether the interpretation is accurate, if indeed people are born gay.

God says he knew us before knit us in the womb. It stands to reason if he knows us, and people can be born gay, he allows it to happen.

Why would a God put someone behind the spiritual eight-ball like that? I don't know. It seems a contradiction to the scriptures if he does.

OK, but let's go with it, Erik. So the Old Testament says that a man should not lie with a man.

The Old Testament is full of cool laws:

Deut. 21:20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.
Deut. 21:21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

There you go. If your kid rebels, stone him.

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die.--Dt.22:22

I really like that one. I'm pretty sure there are good Christian mean who've had affairs with married women, and are still embraced by the brotherhood. But according to this they should be dead! Whoa, dude.

"If a man marries, then decides that he hates his wife, he can claim she wasn't a virgin when they were married. If her father can't produce the "tokens of her virginity" (bloody sheets), then the woman is to be stoned to death at her father's doorstep. Deut. 22:13-21"

Your wives were virgins, weren't they? Because if they weren't, they should't be alive, according to God's law.

I have to admire you guys, living by the letter of Old Testament law just as you expect gays to do it. And I bet your wives keep their heads covered and don't speak in church, either.

You guys are so awesome!

prettylady said...

Shrub, I require an extensive courtship procedure before I will consider that question seriously.

Morgan said...

"Not to burst your bubble here but 97% of what I have said here would get me thrown out of the average Bible thumping church."

And preaching against divorce would have you thrown out of 100 percent of churches. You've got three percent. I guess that's better than nothing.

"This statement while it may be true for some involved does not directly support the premise and therefore would be seen as a weak argument at best if not an outright prejudicial attack in a debate."

This is where your argument falls flat. A group of people seeking to deny the right to marry to another group based on a religious objection loses the moral authority to do so if they are themselves immoral.

I'm not surprised that you don't want to see this; I've met few professed Christians who do. It's the old "beam in the eye" problem.

"Now with that out of the way, I do not think you realize that I am trying to help you in your debating skills."

*smirk* Gee, thanks. I'll let this one go while noting that I find your delusions of adequacy...amusing.

"Steve does not like that the Word states that what he is practicing, and has every right to do so as a non-Christian, is in fact seen as a sin by G_d."

No, Steve is a good and decent man who knows better than to argue with someone who sees scripture as a hammer to be applied to others. As I pointed out on your blog, Christians have turned what should be a personal walk into a race to tell others how to live.

Buddhists incorporate their beliefs into their lives, and spend their lives developing their personal walk. We've lost that as Christians. It's easier to focus on others. If we focused on ourselves we might have to ask some tough questions, such as, "If the Levitical law applies to gays, do other levitical laws apply to straight people?"

As I've pointed out, there are a lot of Old Testament laws. If gay sex is prohibited and you believe gays should live by that law, then you need to take every law from the Old Testament and live by it yourself.

For instance, in the 12th chapter of Leviticus, a woman is considered unclean 7 days after having a boy child, and 14 days after having a girl child.

In Leviticus 20, it calls for any man who has sex with his menstruating wife to be shunned, along with the woman.

In Leviticus 20, it also calls for both parties in adultery to be executed.

Yes, there's a lot for straight people to think about. Eaglewood, if you're going to quote the passage about gays, you've also got to literally inerpret the others. So do you live by Levitical law? If not, why? And if Levitical law no longer applies, does that mean it doesn't apply to anyone?

Morgan said...

Pretty Lady, I want to be the maid of honor. :-)

Erik said...

But I do have to wonder about whether the interpretation is accurate, if indeed people are born gay.
Simply put, they aren't born that way. It is really a raising issue. Emotionally and possibly physically distant father, overbearing mother who depends emotionally on her son. First sexual encounter with a, usually signifigantly, older trusted man at a young age (14 or earlier) he percieves himself to be different from a very young age because by the time that child has gotten out of the house he IS different than the other boys. He doersnt relate to them due to different circumstances/raising.

The only deviation to that that I have ever seen was a man who'd had a rather traumatic life (parents murdered) got married and she kicked him out of his (his!) house after one week. She then had another guy moved in within a week after that. Poor guy was straight terrified of women after that. Kinda comical cuz he wouldn't let us leave work if there was a single female in the building. Got some extra time on a weekly basis so it worked out for me.

eaglewood said...

“Jonah was a prophet. He preached a message no one wanted to hear. It wasn't a safe canned message. If I recall, that's why he fled instead of going to Ninevah. He was afraid to preach a message that would make people angry.”

Morgan,

I think you need to read the book of Jonah a little more carefully. Jonah wanted the city of Nineveh to be destroyed. So when G_d tasked Jonah to go tell them, he knew that the people would repent and he rebelled. He wanted no part of it. After the people of Nineveh repented Jonah left Nineveh in a rage saying in sense “I told you so” and demanding that G_d kill him.


“That's why I cannot take Christians seriously when they start quoting from the Bible. They are terrified to say anything controversial.

My problem with your shoving a Bible under Steve's nose is that I don't see you shoving under the nose of divorced Christians. Such selective preaching may be OK for the Sunday morning pulpit, but I expect a lot more from a man who calls himself a prophet.”


I am not afraid to say anything controversial. If a man cheats on his wife I am not afraid to call it what it is. I too think that pastors should not be afraid either. The problem there is to many of them are beholden to a paycheck rather than G_d and look the other way when their paycheck is threatened. I have no respect for a pastor who will do this. If a pastor truly believes what he teaches then he will understand his support comes from G_d not the members of the church and will have no problem calling out a brother who has refused to turn from his sin.

JohnR said...

Buddhism is just as intolerant a religon as Christianity.

They will attack and kill anyone who abandons the religon as would a Muslim. Lots of that going on in India.

Are you sure you aren't thinking of American Buddhists?


JohnR

Morgan said...

I just don't buy that, Erik. The little girl I mentioned - Corey - came from a middle class, Christian conservative family. From the time she was three she was demaniding "boy" haircuts and boy clothes. She had a sister and brother who are straight, and they were all raised the same. And her parents did everything they could to un-gay her.

I hear time and time again from gay friends how they were never attracted to the opposite sex.

It just doesn't bear out that homosexuality is always caused by trauma. I allow that it can be in some cases. But you can't dismiss that gays who say they were born that way.

Thing about our automatic attraction, and how you'd feel if you were attracted to men in spite of yourself. It would be frustrating, I'm sure. Imagine trying *not* to be heterosexual. It would be impossible, and it's impossible for gays to make themselves straight.

Also, as someone pointed out, why in the hell would anyone choose to be gay? It's a got to be a terrible way to spend an adolescence and early adulthood.

Erik said...

state your beliefs because that's how you interpret the Bible, and what you state is selective.

Also what you state as well, Morgan. I have admitted and even blogged on the fact that we take some and leave others. It has bothered me for quite some time. We all do it, so pointing out that someone else does is hardly constructive. What would be more constructive is determining what to leave out (if any) and why. You have effectively stated that Eaglewood should ignore homosexuality as a sin, but you havent ever given a coherent reason (any reason at all really) to do so or to change what is written.

cutting this short. baby needs attention

Morgan said...

"I am not afraid to say anything controversial. If a man cheats on his wife I am not afraid to call it what it is."

Good for you, Eaglewood. I'd love to see a post on your blog laying out the only acceptable terms for divorce and reminding remarried Christians that they are living in sin if they violated those terms. I'll link to it, OK? I really can't wait to read it.

Yes, my knowledge of the Book of Jonah appears to be as selective as your knowledge of Leviticus. Sorry. So do you live by the laws of Leviticus, Eaglewood, since you quoted Leviticus to tell the gays they are sinning.

A yes or no will suffice.

thimscool said...

I'm way behind the conversation, but I'm gonn post this anyway. This one's mostly for you, Erik...

~~~

I spoke with a lawyer over dinner this evening, and discussed the various viewpoints we have posted here.

First, I must take one on the chin. She pointed out that my argument about child custody is tenuous at best, since custody rights are legally tied to paternity and maternity. The exception, of course, is adoption. In her opinion, the law does not equate marriage with family at all. Two separate concepts.

OTOH, I hope we can all agree that the government has a role to play in policing and regulating adoption (to prevent abuses). And I think that people here would agree that if two adults jointly adopt a child, the law should regard any future custody, insurance, inheritance issues in exactly the same way as if the child is the biological child of both parents. And I hope we can agree that, from the standpoint of the child, it is best if those parents are committed to each other for the long term (i.e. married). I suspect that this preference might be codified into adoption law, depending on the state (correct me if I’m wrong). So, although I admit that this is a long way to go to make a point, the issue remains that marriage status (or lack thereof) could still affect the ability of a committed homosexual couple to adopt a kid.

Now you might think that’s good… but the question is, what reason do you have besides convention or religious beliefs to deny (or at least inhibit) gay’s right to get married and have children.

~~~

She also thought that there is merit, intellectually, to the legal POV advanced by many in this thread (notably Erik, as well as all of the panelists). She agreed that it would have been best if marriage never entered the law at all. She would probably respond to the paragraph above by saying that no adoption law should codify marriage as a qualification for dual guardianship.

However, she also pointed out that in our state there is no such thing as common law marriage, as recognized by the state. Moreover, it is always the case (in our state) that legal statute trumps common law, as long as it does not get stricken by the courts or future legislation. And finally she pointed out that the reality is that marriage is a part of law in many instances, and agreed that it is therefore necessary to have a legal definition thereof (leaving aside intellectual exercises). Since you’ll never get all these laws off the books without a revolution, you must come to terms with what you think we should do about legally defining marriage.

~~~
What can I say? She’s my wife as well as my attorney, so I better listen up and think about it… One thing I would say is that I remain convinced that marriage should be legally defined as a voluntary but binding union between any two people. No offence, TC… I’m not saying it shouldn’t be more, but I’d have to think about that one… Where would it stop? You can’t have an entire town married to each other. Forgive my ignorance if this is obvious, but I ever haven’t put much thought into polygamy…

I also feel that I owe Erik an apology, for being overbearing about my admittedly ill-informed legal opinions. Sometimes I get a little caught up in the moment. I am sorry for accusing you of obfuscation. I accept that your wish to avoid defining gay marriage is genuinely due to a wish to avoid defining marriage, especially since you have stated that gays can be married by common law (I’m not sure this is accurate, however).

Morgan said...

I believe the Bible is full of confusing and obsolete laws, some of which are selectively quoted when pointing out the sins of others.

Leviticus says a man ought not to lie with another man. It also says the community of believers should shun a couple who has sex during a woman's period. It tells a man that his wife is unclean twice as long after having a girl than a boy, although scientifically this is ridiculous. Deuteronomy commands us to stone disobedient children.

What do I believe? I don't know *what* to believe when I read this. I only know that if it's the Bible, and I believe gays are sinners, then I have to believe that anyone else who doesn't follow the laws of Leviticus are just as sinful.

So by that standard we're all damned.

Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's why I believe that if a person follows Christ, and obeys the new commandement - to love one another as He loved us - they are under grace, whether they are a gay man or a couple who ocassionally has sex in the last few days of her period.

So there you go.

Now, rock that baby, Erik. :-)

eaglewood said...

Morgan,

How many times do I have to say it here before you will listen? Adultery is wrong. Divorce destroys families. These are all things that have caused problems with marriage in the world. Pastors who are afraid to preach about these problems are weak and not beholden to G_d.

As far as what is on my blog first go see if I have written anything on the homosexual marriage issue. You will find that I have not. It is not what my blog is about. I have no desire to condemn those lost in their sin, but I will not be afraid to call something a sin if it is indeed a sin.

Each of us have a stumbling block that we will have to cross when come to that decision of whether or not to accept Christ, that stumbling block will always be our pet sin. The ultimate question is always “Do you love your sin more than your desire to know Christ?” If that answer is “yes” as it is for most people then you will remain lost in your sin separated from G_d. Simple and straightforward that is the message.

You seem very fond of trying to beat me over the head with my status as a prophet, yet you do not seem to know what exactly my calling is. Although you seem very willing to tell me what it should be. I ask you kindly to please stop, I answer to only one being, and that is Yeshua. My calling is from Him, if you want to learn more then read some of my archives. I may post again soon on my calling, although my latest post has something to do with it.


Next to answer your question on whether or not homosexuals are born that way. My answer may surprise you. I indeed do think that some of them are born that way; others are driven into it by circumstance. Where I may differ from you is why they are born that way. We are all born with a sin nature. This comes from the fall, as you should well know. I believe with that sin nature we are all predisposed to one particular sin more than others. It varies from person to person, one may be born with a propensity to gossip, another with a propensity to steal. I was born with a propensity for promiscuity (one that was not thwarted by lack of desire but a lack of opportunity as a youth). It is also what led me into my addiction to pornography. It is now only by the grace of G_d that I do not have that desire to have sex with lots of different women. I still have a more than healthy appetite for sex, but the energy has been directed at my very loving wife.

thimscool said...

Steve,

I am sorry that I did not respond earlier.

I want to make it clear that I never said I support discrimination against gays. I just said that I don’t support a law forbidding the discrimination against gays. There is an important difference.

And I certainly did not mean to imply that I think that the Boy Scouts should discriminate. The Boy Scouts clearly accept and include many gay members already. But I do not favor forcing a private organization to adopt a policy of acceptance based on sexual orientation. I do favor legislating that public institutions (like marriage) avoid discrimination on this basis.

The comparisons between racism and homophobia are not entirely valid. I am sympathetic to the fact that the root of both phenomena is prejudice. However, there are very obvious differences that should affect public policy and law differently. Blacks are always born into their culture, whereas gays are born in the most powerful and influential families in America. Therefore the cumulative economic/social damages of racism are more severe than anti-homosexual bigotry.

Of course, that’s easy for me to say from my armchair, and I understand that it would be tough to face the type of behavior evidenced in parts of this discussion. I’m sorry if a large part of our world seems to be out to get you, while you are just trying to mind your business (especially since it seems that your business is to try to make the world better).

Steve, I support you. You’ve acquitted yourself well here. It’s a shame you left early, but I understand why. Keep your head up, and don’t take any gruff from the swine!

-Luke

Shrubbery said...

Pretty Lady, if we do this I must make Billy D my best man and he MUST where the blue bunny suit. That's non-negotiable.

As for our courtship I was thinking a Bronco game, followed by Mexican food (God love those immigrants), and Captain & Coke as night caps.

eaglewood said...

I am sorry about the first part of my post if i had refreshed before posting I would have seen your reply.

Morgan said...

"I am sorry about the first part of my post if i had refreshed before posting I would have seen your reply."

Don't worry about it, Eaglewood.

And I'm not mocking your claim to be a prophet. If you say you're called, I believe you are.

No, I haven't read your archives but will have a look.

I hate repeating myself, but in case you missed the question, do you live by all the laws of Leviticus since you expect gays to do so?

thimscool said...

Eaglewood,

I read your 5:05 post, and I am happy that you answered forthrightly. I acknowledge that we are talking about apples and oranges.

If you read my post to Erik above you will see that my position has evolved somewhat. But I still can’t agree that contract law resolves this issue in the real world.

I respect your point of view, but I can’t agree with throwing in the towel on America. Times are rough, but we must still try to make a just future.

Morgan said...

I agree with you, thimscool. I kind of cringe when I hear the gay civil rights issue compared to the struggle of blacks. Not that I personally have a dog in either fight, but gays aren't generally barred from housing and employment as blacks have been. And I've never heard of a gay slave. OK, actually I have, but not the kind in the history books.

thimscool said...

JohnR:
" Buddhism is just as intolerant a religon as Christianity."

Might you be talking about Hinduism?

prettylady said...

As for our courtship I was thinking a Bronco game, followed by Mexican food (God love those immigrants), and Captain & Coke as night caps.

I am so sorry, dear. Pretty Lady doesn't do football games, and you have already been trumped by a food tour through France, swimming in the presa, and sixteenth-century port in the quad at Brasenose. Thank you for applying.

eaglewood said...

“I hate repeating myself, but in case you missed the question, do you live by all the laws of Leviticus since you expect gays to do so?”

I think you missed that part. I do not expect any non-believer to live up to biblical law. It is not possible. I do believe that under the new covenant the believer is washed with the blood of the Lamb and for him the Law is fulfilled. That does not mean that we are free to sin as we please, but we are covered by grace. The law is there to prove that we are unworthy to enter into His presence. He made the law nearly impossible to follow,and it was all part of His plan to reconcile us to His perfection. If you read closely there were thousands of years before the law was written by Moses in that those who believed only had the occasional contact with Him and his messengers to inform them of His will. The punishments in the law were harsh so that we would understand the harshness of sin and the ultimate cost He would have to take to reconcile us to Him. Do I live by the Laws in Leviticus and the other books that Moses wrote? No I do not, I cannot because it is impossible. We as Christians are not bound by the law, but our love for Christ compels us work toward eliminating sin in our lives.

Janet said...

Oh, and next week, I vote that we insult the feminists.

(heehee)

Janet said...

JohnR:
" Buddhism is just as intolerant a religon as Christianity."

thimscool:
Might you be talking about Hinduism?


You guys are both funny. Neither of them are intolerant..... Hinduism is the religion of "1 god, 3 gods, and 3 hundred million gods." Part of the reason Christianity did not spread well in Hindu areas is because the missionaries came and said "God has come to earth!" and they're like "great! he's done it before" and they just tacked Jesus onto their long list of ..... ok, I don't think anyone cares.

Let's just say that neither Buddhism nor Hinduism is intolerant.

thimscool said...

Pffft.

And now, more than a few Hindus throw molotov coctails into Christian/Muslim shops and homes.

Billy D said...

"Oh, and next week, I vote that we insult the feminists."
Janet

I could do that.

tc said...

Nah, Janet, Vox has that one sewed up. No sense reinventing the wheel when we can do original stuff better.

Tom

JohnR said...

Janet: You are funny. Go to www.gfa.org and read about people who are rejected, beaten, and killed by their families and neighbors(Hindu and Buddhist) for converting to Christianity.

And the Hindus and Muslims were real tolerant of each other during the Independence of India weren't they?

thimscool: Yes, I mean Buddhists, and Hindus.

Lots of radicals in any religon.

JohnR

Janet said...

Oh JohnR, Christianity is exactly the same. There are radicals, fundamentalists, and fruits, in all religions. I just know from their creed and their religious documents themselves, not their politics, that they are not a intolerant religions. At least they do not claim everyone else is going to eternal punishment like Christianity does. Politics is another issue. I know all about how they treat women in form and yes I find it disgusting.

TC, I would rather see three viewpoints on feminism here, even if I did not agree. At least people express themselves intelligently here. I find the vox place an excellent example of Christianity at its worst-- if it could even be called Christianity at all.

scooterhawk said...

Morgan:

Wow! I’m gone for a week and….wow! So…how are things?

I’d didn’t have time to read every post but to add my two cents to the debate as a intolerant Christian fundamentalist lunk-head my opinion is, surprise, I’m against the idea of homosexual marriage in the US of A. State governments need to be involved in the institution of marriage for a variety of reasons stated in other post and if the issue stayed at the state level I wouldn’t have a problem but it won’t. Gay couples will inevitably move to a state that does not recognize their union and petition (sue) for that right. The case will eventually be heard by SCOTUS who will ultimately rule in their favor. When this occurs you have a federal issue and you endanger certain religious groups’ 1st amendment rights via their tax exempt status. As Billy-D pointed out this is a slippery slope. Unfortunately, we’re already on the downslide careening towards the bottom.

Roland said...

It stands to reason if he knows us, and people can be born gay, he allows it to happen

I know I missed a lot here, but...

Is it chosen or fated?
That seems to be at the crux of this discussion.

Did Adam and Eve choose to eat the fruit, or did God make them do it?

God hates sin and tempts no one. (lots of references, look them up in a concordance if you want)

So, God (not me or Eaglewood or anyone else), God says He tempts no one. God says He hates sin (in essence a separation).

So Adam and Eve didn't eat the fruit because God made them do it.

But He allowed it.
Just like He allows this discussion.

I wonder what He wants us to LEARN?

Does He want us to learn to hate?
No.
Does He want us to be loving?
Yes.

We all fail. The "rules" are there to help us. Not to keep us from "having fun." The rules point out that we all fail.

I don't follow the rules.
I follow God. He is love and grace.

The rules just seem to follow on their own.

Why would someone want to be gay?
I don't understand it.
Why do I look at women lustfully?
I don't understand it.
But, I know that I need to have limitations. Else, I won't be true to what I believe.

We all draw our own lines in the sand.
Morgan's is at bestiality.
What should be the age of consent?
What if some develop faster than others?
Who decides?

Hmmm... Who decides?
Interesting question.

JohnR said...

Uh, Janet, didn't I say that in my post. ALL religons...

JohnR

eaglewood said...

Janet,

Just a cursory glance on google proves your statement wrong. While Buddhists do believe in a recurring cycle of birth ending in Nirvana for those who have gained ultimate enlightenment the Hindu do in fact believe in heaven and hell. It is a slightly different concept than in Christianity but it does exist. See the following web site as an example.

http://hinduwebsite.com/heavenhell.htm

thimscool said...

"I just know from their creed and their religious documents themselves, not their politics, that they are not a intolerant religions. At least they do not claim everyone else is going to eternal punishment like Christianity does."

touché

eaglewood said...

Uh,

Themscool... I fail to see your point. Read my last comment.

Morgan said...

"Do I live by the Laws in Leviticus and the other books that Moses wrote? No I do not, I cannot because it is impossible."

Eaglewood, they are not impossible. Nothing is impossible with God. If you consider it too difficult to live by Levitical law as a believer, you are no less a sinner than the gay man who doesn't live by Levitical law. You imply that somehow you are exempt because you are "saved." You are no more exempt than a gay man who claims to be saved.
You sir, have no moral right to deem anyone a sinner for failing to live under Levitical law when you deem it too much trouble to obey yourself.
That represents the main problem I have with many Christians. It is do as I say, not do as I do.

Morgan said...

"Wow! I’m gone for a week and….wow! So…how are things?"

Things are good, Scooterhawk. I spent my morning at a park playground, if that's any indication!

It's nice to see you back.

scooterhawk said...

“Things are good, Scooterhawk. I spent my morning at a park playground, if that's any indication!”

Sounds like a fantastic way to spend the day! Weather is lousy here in the Ohio hinterlands so I’m not too unhappy about being confined to my office. Enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother’s Day!

eaglewood said...

Morgan,
It takes quite alot to piss me off but you have done it.

The vey first two sentances I wrote was and I quote "I think you missed that part. I do not expect any non-believer to live up to biblical law.

I knew you were looking to try and make me out to be a hypocrite. Salvation by grace is the fundamental tenant of Christianity. We are all sinners. I am, you are, my wife is, Billy D is, each and every person on this planet is. There are no exceptions.

I am too mad to comment further.

Morgan said...

Eaglewood, if anyone has a right to be mad, it's Steve, whom you assumed wasn't a Christian. Then because he didn't feel it necessary to dignify your question you assumed it further.

Why can't Steve, as a gay man, be a Christian, and still be gay. True, he'd be a Christian violating Levitical law, but SO ARE YOU.

Now it may be easier for you to save face by using your personal indignation as an excuse to duck this question. But Eaglewood, I have higher expectations of someone who claims to be a man of God.

So here's the question. You can either answer it, or you can't:

Can an active homosexual be a Christian if he accepts Christ but refuses to adhere to the Levitical law not to lie with a man. If not, how can you say you are a Christian if you yourself don't adhere to Levitical law.

I understand this is upsetting to you and I mean no offense. I just simply don't understand why Christians don't appear to think these things through and then act wounded when someone else presses them on the issue.

Morgan said...

"I think you missed that part. I do not expect any non-believer to live up to biblical law."

I assume you think any gay person is a non-believer because he's not living up to Biblical law. So I assume that a gay Christian could ignore the Levitical law, just as you heterosexuals do, and still be embraced as a believer, then?

thimscool said...

"Themscool... I fail to see your point. Read my last comment."

My point was to Janet. I flipantly brused off her statement about Hinduism, and in the quoted response she rightly pointed out that Hinduism is different from "Hindus".

I was acknowleging her point.

Why?

And by the way, it is thimscool (my old name phonetically backwards).

thimscool said...

Yes indeed, Morgan and Janet:
Happy Mother's Day this weekend.

Morgan said...

Thank you, Thimscool. I got a jumpstart on mine today.
And it looks like since Eaglewood has fled the roost in a holy snit, I'll have to post the Leviticus question on my blog and see if anyone else is brave enough to tackle it.
I do hate to end a discussion with a disappointed feeling. Darn. To see ducks at the park and come home to find a duck on your blog is such a downer. :-(

Billy D said...

Well, IMHO, again, what two people of age do, is up to them, and God.
Can someone be gay and still claim the Christianity mantle. Absolutely yes. Jesus didn't come here and hang with those who didn't need saving, did he? No. Theives and whores, the lowest of the low. (The "least of them")
Tp drive them away from "the church" is to attempt to cut them off from salvation. Jesus did NOT want that.
*Note - this does not infer any change in my opinion of gay marriage, or the "normalization" of homosexual practices in society. I just see nothing to gain by ostrasizing and belittling folks who happen to have a different type of sin than you or I.
Just keep it out of the schools. I won't tell your children what my wife and I do, and you don't tell mine what you and yours do. Deal?

Janet said...

JohnR said, "Uh, Janet, didn't I say that in my post. ALL religons..."

Whoops! :)

Eaglewood, I try to say this as nicely as possible because I believe in treating others as you want to be treated, but a cursory glance on google isn't going to teach you much about another religion. If you are really interested, I can recommend books. Somehow I think not, and that is okay. I hope that you will take my word for it as a person who has done more than a cursory glance on google.

Yes, The Hindus have heaven and hell but they are not eternal punishment which was the exact words I used. However, I have recently been made aware of a minority in Christianity that does not believe in eternal punishment either using the Bible in the original languages as their backing. Religion is quite interesting.

Janet said...

I would like to make that say "which WERE the exact words used" ....

Roland said...

Eaglewood is right.
We don't LIVE by laws.

We LIVE by the love of God.

Man, I hated being dead.

Now one LIVES by the law. The law only brings death. (It's in the Bible, look it up) There in only one that brings life.

Roland said...

Oops!

"Now one" should be
"NO ONE"