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  1. #81
    Senior Member Ming's Avatar
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    Oh yea, and those who thinks that if homosexual relationships is allowed, then everything else (like polygamy, etc.) will be allowed.

    GET REAL!

    Homosexual marriage aren't allowed, at least not worldwide. That means that straight marriage shouldn't be allowed either. According to the above theory that is.

  2. #82
    Senior Member Ming's Avatar
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    Oh yea, just to make another point. To those Christians believers out there who are against homosexuality + call us 'sinful', you should look back at what you have done in your history of 'holiness'. Maybe that might have you reflect on your personality.

    The church has hurt far more than it has helped. In every single country that has been colonized by Christians the indigenous people have been the victims of genocide. Christians have in the past used the bible to justify slavery. The church has subjugated women for centuries and continues to do so and the Catholic Church has been molestering children and covering it up for centuries. The church does not help anyone unless they have an alterior motive; namely money and potential suckers to convert. (Of course, other than the ones who actually HELP people. But isn't that better known as a hospital?)

    Funny how ironic it is, huh?

    Of course, this is not ALL Christians. There are many well-mannered ones too. I'm making quite a generalization here; but that's mainly how people see it.

  3. #83
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    Separation of church and state is to keep the government from imposing laws on people's religious beliefs (why the pilgrims came to America in the first place)

    As far as Christianity goes, you are right that they should not judge you--

    7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7)

    1Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    3"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? (Matthew 7:1-3)

    17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"[d]says the Lord. (Romans 12:17-19)

    On the other hand...

    1Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently


    So, this is another area where attitude is very important. The truth is that homosexuality is a sin, and it is best for you to escape it. However, I think it is a mistake to separate homosexuality from the other sins, for anyone to mistreat homosexuals, or most of all to exclude them just because homosexuality is a sin of commission that has a lot of social demerit. Every single person in every church is sinful, including homosexuals is no more condoning of sin than including anyone else. Sexuality is something we all feel very strongly about... whether it is fornication, adultery, or homosexuality is not as much an issue as the attitude of pride rather than repentance that comes with it.

  4. #84
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    I have a lot more respect for people who just come out and say they're homophobic than those who hide behind religion.
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

  5. #85
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Shit, I can't believe I forgot about this video. I find it applicable to this debate. He talks mainly about the Catholic church, but I believe it applies to all sects of Christianity... Except the Quakers lolz.

    Dailymotion - The Intelligence² Debate - Stephen Fry (Unedited) - a Film & TV video

    [EDIT]Well perhaps not entirely applicable, but provocative nonetheless.[/EDIT]
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

  6. #86
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    This is very similar to Roger Williams' viewpoint, and that is where the concept of "separation between Church and State" comes from. He was also the founder of the first Baptist church in the New World. Ironically the Baptists originally gave us the separation between Church and State, but now it seems like they want to take it back.
    I know. I don't like to sound negative, but I cannot avoid the observation that nowadays they'd like to preserve the boundary as long as it protects them as a minority but would like to remove it if they happen to be a majority. It's a shame especially if this is a deviation from their original heritage.

    That sort of thing really really bothers me, not even just as a spiritual person but as a rational one. It's just so inherently unfair and hypocritical to me. The same rules should apply to everyone. If you don't want it done unto you, don't do it unto others.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    There are churches that accept and have no issues with gay people. They would even officiate the wedding. I'd hope that a gay religious couple would seek a place like this if they want a religious ceremony, instead of asking a conservative church that isn't accepting to do so instead.

    I think a majority conservative church has the right to not want or have gay people in their congregation, but those views shouldn't determine law.
    Yup.

    I think church and state should be separate in this area, and legal privileges should be based on civil unions determined by the state. ("Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." ~Jesus. Anyone heard of this guy? )

    Churches should be free to determine what official membership in their group entails and what marriages they will recognize within that body.

    Gay (and other) people should be free to look for religious bodies that reflect their own views.

    Freedom for all, and the government should not be someone's trump card to impose their views on others.

    Quote Originally Posted by fireypheonix
    Here's a tip though, no-one knows what's gonna happen in life, chook, but you can't live a lie either to keep every one happy. It will be hard, but if you can wait until you have independence from your parents, it tends to go smoother. I had several friends come out to thier parents with varying results, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If you guys are close, it won't be a surprise though.
    Ming, I agree with the sentiments here. I have worked with trans teens in situations like this and it is very similar. If you feel you will get support from your parents, then it's good to let them be part of this with you; but if you're pretty sure it's going to cause a lot of headache, it's often better to wait for just a few more years until you're on your own and have the resources to take care of yourself. If you're still a minor under your parents' custody, then you could have some real struggles ahead. I've seen some real positive outcomes with parents, and I've seen some godawful ones up to and including physical abuse/assault... and the emotional trauma can linger.

    I had issues with my family, initiated years after I became an adult, and still it was just very emotionally devastating; I can't imagine what it would have been like if I had still been a teen and they had still been my legal guardians.

    I know a few years seems like a lifetime, but it's not. You have your whole life ahead of you.

    Anyway, if you can find a local support LGBT support group, please do. Honestly, the experience of older people in the area who have already had to navigate such waters will be immensely helpful to you... and when bad stuff happens and you feel like you have nowhere to go and no one who cares.... you'll know there ARE people who want to help and who you can depend on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ming View Post
    Oh yea, just to make another point. To those Christians believers out there who are against homosexuality + call us 'sinful', you should look back at what you have done in your history of 'holiness'. Maybe that might have you reflect on your personality.

    The church has hurt far more than it has helped. In every single country that has been colonized by Christians the indigenous people have been the victims of genocide. Christians have in the past used the bible to justify slavery. The church has subjugated women for centuries and continues to do so and the Catholic Church has been molestering children and covering it up for centuries. The church does not help anyone unless they have an alterior motive; namely money and potential suckers to convert. (Of course, other than the ones who actually HELP people. But isn't that better known as a hospital?)

    Funny how ironic it is, huh?

    Of course, this is not ALL Christians. There are many well-mannered ones too. I'm making quite a generalization here; but that's mainly how people see it.
    Yes, it is a generalization.
    No, I'm not sure it's "mainly how people see it."
    You can speak for your own views, though, and let others speak for theirs.

    From what I can see, Christianity has survived 2000 years and not because of its evangelistic properties, it's because there are things inherent to the faith that are positive and meaningful.

    I see it as a double-edged sword.
    It has been used to cause a lot of damage to people.
    But I also have seen it miraculously change lives, give people strength to survive horrible experiences, motivate them to change and reach out to others, provide a lot of care to the homeless, needy, abandoned, and starving.

    These are not necessarily the same people doing all these things over the centuries. But they have all been dumped under the umbrella of "Christian," which can confuse the issue.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #87
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyNoLimits View Post
    So, this is another area where attitude is very important. The truth is that homosexuality is a sin, and it is best for you to escape it.
    No, the truth is that you believe that homosexuality is a sin.
    Christians don't even agree on this issue... and I'm betting if 50% of the population had a homosexual orientation, the discourse would change drastically. It's easy for a majority to slur and conveniently categorize and rationalize what it doesn't understand.

    However, I think it is a mistake to separate homosexuality from the other sins, for anyone to mistreat homosexuals, or most of all to exclude them just because homosexuality is a sin of commission that has a lot of social demerit. Every single person in every church is sinful, including homosexuals is no more condoning of sin than including anyone else. Sexuality is something we all feel very strongly about... whether it is fornication, adultery, or homosexuality is not as much an issue as the attitude of pride rather than repentance that comes with it.
    And here is the problem -- when you start labeling someone's identity as "sinful" and compare it to a sin of "commission," you're on treacherous ground.

    We're not talking about adultery, or fornication, or murder, or theft, or a host of other sins of commission. We're talking about identity. So when you label someone's identity as sinful, regardless of how they manifest themselves in the external world, you're necessarily slandering the person's self-worth. All these other things you are comparing homosexuality to are specific acts that are committed against another against their will, violating their right to life or equal value.

    That's not what the homosexual preference actually is.

    And so this is why your explanation is still viewed as highly offensive by people who have these things in different categories. You think you're being gracious and taking so much care about how you phrase things, without realizing it's not how you phrase it but your entire perspective that is offensive: You're judging people by inherent preferences, without any regard whatsoever to HOW they live or HOW they relate to others. For a gay person, it's the same as your damning someone for being black:

    However, I think it is a mistake to separate being black from the other sins, for anyone to mistreat black people, or most of all to exclude them just because being black is a sin of commission that has a lot of social demerit. Every single person in every church is sinful, including black people is no more condoning of sin than including anyone else. Sexuality is something we all feel very strongly about... whether it is fornication, adultery, or being black is not as much an issue as the attitude of pride rather than repentance that comes with it.
    Did you feel offended when reading this? Regardless of whether or not you agree with my example, my point really is to get across how offensively your nicely worded point about "how it's no worse a sin" comes across to gay people. If you felt repulsion, then my point succeeded. That's the feeling it triggers. That is what you are up against here. And this is why there won't ever be an agreement between the two sides.

    ... but I'm also going to beg to differ about the "homosexuality not being a worse sin" ... because that is not how it is actually practiced. Frankly, I think the Right makes a much bigger fuss over gay people being in office, versus people who have been caught in lies, or adultery, or other illegal activities. Violations of law and decency can and are forgiven and the perpetrator still allowed to serve; but being gay is death in right-wing politics. Same thing goes for the pulpit, in practice; you can recover from adultery and other sins, but if you're gay, forget it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #88
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Violations of law and decency can and are forgiven and the perpetrator still allowed to serve; but being gay is death in right-wing politics.
    It's death even in New Jersey politics.
    There is no such thing as separation from God.

  9. #89
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I know. I don't like to sound negative, but I cannot avoid the observation that nowadays they'd like to preserve the boundary as long as it protects them as a minority but would like to remove it if they happen to be a majority. It's a shame especially if this is a deviation from their original heritage.

    That sort of thing really really bothers me, not even just as a spiritual person but as a rational one. It's just so inherently unfair and hypocritical to me. The same rules should apply to everyone. If you don't want it done unto you, don't do it unto others.
    You make an excellent point. Instead of following the teachings of Christ they are simply behaving like everyone else.

    In general religious conservatives want the Church to be protected from the State. On the other hand liberals want the State to be protected from the Church. The original idea was that "separation between Church and State" was to work in both directions.

    The State and the Church are the two most influencial institutions. The idea is that if you don't keep them separate, then they slowly meld into one institution that is overly powerful and consequently overly corrupt. The two institutions must be kept separate (protection in both directions) in order to have hope that either could be free from much corruption.
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  10. #90
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Sorry for the huge catch-up post, but here it is, anyway:

    I think if you go back to the original Hebrew for:

    Originally Posted by Genesis 2:21-25 (ESV)
    21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
    “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was staken out of Man.”
    24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
    You'll find that it's not an imperative. See: NETBible: Genesis 2:24

    In fact, most translations use the word "will" rather than shall. As the above link says:

    This statement, introduced by the Hebrew phrase עַל־כֵּן (’al-ken, “therefore” or “that is why”), is an editorial comment, not an extension of the quotation. The statement is describing what typically happens, not what will or should happen. It is saying, “This is why we do things the way we do.” It links a contemporary (with the narrator) practice with the historical event being narrated. The historical event narrated in v. 23 provides the basis for the contemporary practice described in v. 24. That is why the imperfect verb forms are translated with the present tense rather than future.
    And linking to Exodus International may not be the most helpful of arguments, seeing as a number of the leaders have come out of the years, some have publicly apologized (video), included the co-founder who claims "we never 'cured' a single person." I think you'll find studies have found sexual orientation to be fairly immutable (although suppressing expression of one's sexuality is possible at some cost).

    I was raised a conservative Christian (Church of Christ), believed and was baptized. My being gay put me through over a decade of struggling. I prayed to be made straight, avoided anyone I found attractive, read the Bible, prayed more. At the end of college, I was engaged to a woman—fortunately we broke off the engagement (not directly because of homosexual issues). When I look back on how unfair a marriage would have been to my wife, and I think of all the women living with half of what a marriage should be because they are married to gay men... I think there must be a better way. When I thinking about the depression, suicides and hazings suffered by gay teens... I think there must be a better way.

    So, some of us have stood where you stand, believing what you believe. I agree that knowledge≠wisdom. However, it is equally true that the absence of knowledge is not inherently wise, either. God gave us eyes with which to see and minds with which to reason.

    All Christians—of every denomination—interpret what the Bible says. None of us attempts to follow every law in the Bible. We reason about the intent behind the laws and try to live in accord with that intent; we try to obey those laws which seem most central. Being human, we fall short and depend upon God's grace. Our understanding changes how we interpret what the Bible says. Most of us today wouldn't claim that the Bible is pro-slavery, even though one can find support for slavery in both Old and New Testaments. Despite verses in support of slavery, we look at how slaves were accepted as believers and Jesus's general treatment of despised classes of people. We understand that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."

    So, given my upbringing I have some understanding your perspective, and I absolutely support your right to believe and express your belief. I'd gladly fund a legal defense of your right to express your beliefs (including your belief that homosexuality is wrong), were that right infringed upon. However, as a fellow INFP, I suspect your Ne will eventually find other perspectives and interpretations also have merit. One can see those as threats to security, or as challenges leading towards a greater understanding of God and the world.

    I would highly recommend reading Thy Kingdom Come by Randall Balmer. Not because it will change your mind (it won't), but because it gives a liberal but Evangelical take on the emergence of the Religious Right, and how it falls short of representing the message of Christ. Balmer goes back to the roots of the Baptist denomination, and how separation of church and state occurred for the benefit (in part) of churches. Denominations are not helped by being established and funded by the state, nor is belief helped by enforced piety. In fact, he argues that the "mainline denominations" were badly hurt because they over-identified with power structures and political affiliations, hence their current decline.

    It's hard to come up with a non-cynical reason why homosexuality should be the focus of religious conservatives these days. Jesus focused far more on preaching against wealth and about helping the poor and marginalized than he did castigating people for their sexual behavior. I think it not entirely coincidental the specter of the "homosexual agenda" works well for both fund-raising and voter-turnout. Focusing so much attention on homosexuality allows true sinfulness to be "out there" in the world, and not something that involves good God-fearing Christians.

    I do appreciate your directness, and don't think everyone who thinks homosexuality is wrong for religious reasons is a homophobe. I do think it wrong that homosexuality should come between a believer and his or her faith, but we disagree on where the problem lies.

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