January 10, 2009

a discussion...

So I found this online posted by someone in one of the forums I frequent. I think that the arguments are pretty good/interesting...I posted it on my facebook and I got some great responses and I wanted to share some of them here….and also some of my own further comments on the matter…

"Marriage is sacred, it's intended to be between one man and one woman, and the bible says it's a covenant before the Lord."

If marriage is so sacred then why does the government have control over it anyway? Because the government is in charge of marriage it makes marriage a contract. It packages civil rights with the word “marriage" stamped on top, and is not marriage in the biblical sense because it is a contract with the state and not a "covenant before God". Because marriage is a contract with the government you cannot argue that gay people should not be able to get married because in America "All men are created equal". You cannot insert religion into a government that is based on separation of church and state.

"The bible says that homosexuality is an ABOMINATION."

Right below that verse in the Old Testament the bible calls gluttony an abomination, yet I don't see Christians protesting obese people. In fact, many preachers I’ve met are big fat white men.
The OLD testament calls being gay an abomination. In the New Testament Jesus calls all sins the same. I know plenty of Christians that struggle with many sins, so why is being gay the BIG no no? In fact the bible has much more to say on sex out of wedlock, adultery, and divorce, and in fact many Christians are active participants in these activities. So why is being gay the end all sin? Furthermore Jesus said not to judge, in the same harshness you judge, you will also be judged by that degree of harshness. (Luke 6:37-41)

And now:
We have complete 180ed from the teachings of Jesus; UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND FORGIVENESS.
In Luke 6:32-41 Jesus says DO NOT JUDGE, AND YOU WILL NOT BE JUDGED and that us judging others is like pointing out a speck of sawdust in someone else's eye with a stump sticking out of our own eye. He goes on to say that you have to remove the stump from your own eye before you judge another. In other words you have to be sin free before you call someone else a sinner. Jesus is very clear that no one is sin free in the story about the woman who cheats on her husband and everyone comes to stone. (John 8:1-11) Jesus says "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." Yet modern day Christians have come running with a wheel barrow full of giant rocks to toss.

Modern day Christians do not realize that Jesus’ life was meant to free us from judgment and hatred and bound us in forgiveness and love that we are meant to share with others, but instead Christians have hoarded this love and forgiveness and I'm not sure why. I cannot comprehend why anyone would prefer to judge someone and hate someone rather than embrace and love someone, especially someone who has never done you any personal harm (Although Christians are supposed to love their enemies as much as they love their friends).

In conclusion Jesus also said to treat others the way you would like to be treated, and that Christians are supposed to love everyone. How can you say you love someone when you deny them the same basic rights that you enjoy? Furthermore he is very clear in saying that you will be judged by the degree that you judge others. Self righteousness earns you no points.

Personally, I’m surprised that Christians weren’t on the front lines protesting Proposition 8.

Judging gay people, and denying them the same rights you have is in no-way Christ-like.

“Well, your Uncle and I did not get married with any intention of involving any single persons God. We attempted to leave God out of it all together. Our married is a promise to each other and to the kids to love and cherish each other, until we die! This vow has nothing to do with God. My cousin Lulu at the wedding, if you remember her, was there with her wife Jody. They made the same commitment to each a few years ago that Doug and I did. If God is the determining factor in marriage than, I am not actually married. What a shame and how sad that would be for my husband and 3 kids.”
-Lucinda, my new aunt

“haha totally right *my name was here* i tho personallly i believe a marriage is a religious thing but a civil union is a govt thing and i dont believe that any union not before the eyes of God is technically a marriage but a civil union... which should, in the govt's eyes be between two consenting adults i dont think it should b called gay marriage but civil unions should b given equal rights.. like a religious ceremony doesnt even necessarily make u married in the eyes of the govt u have to sign a marriage license.. and i think homosexuality is just a big no no for people because it scares them and its not usual.. for whatever reason.. gay people are people too and so long as theyre not like flaming and totally pervos theyre perfectly decent folk, basically anybody who wears their sexuality on their sleeve is disgusting”
-Andrew, a guy I knew from high school

“I think that Marriage is something that should be handled by the religious institutions, be it Christian, Buddhist, Wiccan, Muslim, whatever. The role of the government is to acknowledge the rights of two people to desire to be claimed as a dual entity, so technically all marriages that are legally registered are Civil unions, much like two corporations merging. I personally don't have a problem.
“That being said, I think this is exactly why the founding fathers wanted Separation of Church and State. Most Christians are taught it's a bad thing and that it's meant to silence religion. THat is a lie. Jefferson wrote it regarding government not interfering with religious institutions rights and roles in society, because in England, the king had that right to interfere with religion. This is a classic example of when we need Separation of Church and State.”
– Eric, a guy I knew from high school

“Lucinda, Thanks for posting and letting me know your thoughts on the matter. I don't remember your cousin there but good for her to follow her heart! I am not 100% sure what I believe about homosexuality...though I am beginning to form my own opinions rather than just copying the opinions that I was raised to believe. I want to know for myself what I believe rather than just believing things because I was raised in the CRC church. It is actually really really fulfilling!
“I guess I am learning something at college...LOL”

“as for Andrew and Eric...Thanks for sharing you thoughts and opinions! I am glad to hear your opinions in my search to make my own opinion!
“Eric I think that you are completely right about the seperation of church and state...thanks I hadn't really even considered that yet in my quest to realize what I believe about this much debated issue.
“Andrew...I don't know if you will read this whole comment or not but I have a question for you. you said, "so long as theyre not like flaming and totally pervos theyre perfectly decent folk, basically anybody who wears their sexuality on their sleeve is disgusting" are you as sickened by those who "flame" their straightness as those who "flame" their gayness?””

“I'm happy to see the open-mindedness on this discussion. So long has this been a topic of general ignorance on the part of Christians that it gives me joy to see Christians viewing it in such an objective sense.”
-Tim, a guy I knew from high school (He calls himself “agnostic” but sometimes flip-flops back to believing in God)

“Well the fact of the matter is that it is morally wrong to discriminate against homosexuals if you are a Christian. It is true we need to help our gay brothers and sisters understand their sin, but we must not be pious in it or show contempt for them. Rather we must show them God's love and his forgiveness, because we all sin, but we all need to come to God and we all need him in our lives and we need to treat them with that love.”
-Eric, a guy from my high school

“Eric, do you think that we need to tell those who are homosexual of their sin any more than the person who struggles with lying or with cussing?”

“As a non-Christian I rather not have anyone tell me what it is I do wrong. I had a very dear friend in high school who was Christan and sat me down to talk about her religion. It was a very moving and loving discussion. Since then I have taken classes, read books and talked to many people about what they believe and why. This journey of discovery has lead me to understand that it is not God or religion that makes us do the "right" thing. It's the people in our lives that are our examples on how to live, treat each other and love. Good luck on your own journey!”

“Lucinda, if you don't mind my asking, what do you believe? Do you have a religion or are you an atheist...or do you believe in like a vague idea of a supreme being? I am just interested to hear what you believe, but you don't have to tell me if you don't want to.”

“Well, I don't believe Jesus was our savior. I think that he may have existed and beyond that maybe a profit of his time. The Pagan religions are way too close to the story to believe. I don't believe the Bible is the word of God. I think it is full of great teachings on how we should behave towards each other. The fact that it was written by multiple people over many years, that not all of the books are included that were written and that it has been re-written in parts during various times in history makes it an unlikely true tale. But, as I said, a great start to how we should behave as humans. As for God, well that is hard for me. I struggle to this day with the concept of one God. I will not believe in a God who will send anyone to a burning hell because they did not believe in the "teachings" or Jesus. If the teachings are correct, "he" created us with that very "will". The whole concept of a loving creator damming one of "His" children to hell is just wrong. I think there must be something and that it can not be all evolution. It is just as difficult for me to wrap my head around that as it is God. I do believe in evolution but just maybe that was a creation by a God(s). And if you wonder why I think there is possibly more than one, the old testament translates as Gods when talking about the creation of earth. Always found that interesting. I think what comes around goes around in this life or the next. I do believe that some people come back multiple times. You can look at some babies and know they are an old soul. People who are evil, they will pay for their "sins". This I have to believe because of things that have happened to me and people I love. I love the Christian tradition of Christmas. I don't celebrate any other religious holiday. I have also been know to celebrate Hanukah. If you ever get the chance go to Temple! The services are just like Catholics in many ways! Okay, I'm done talking now. We can talk any time.”

“(: sweet, thanks for sharing that Lucinda!”

“I do think we need to correct our homosexual brothers and sisters from their strayness, just like with lying and cussing. But personally I think that if they receive the love of God then they will be able to combat the desires.”

“do you think that homosexual "sin" is worse than the other sins?”

“Scripture says that all sexual sin is the worst kind of sin, and I agree because those are the sins that harm your body. I think heterosexual sin is just as bad as homosexual sin.”

“what about murder???? isn't that "worse" than sexual sin?”

“Just as a note to you, Eric...the bible does say fairly that no sin is worse or less than another...
“James 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
“weather you "stumble" with lying or weather you "stumble" with sexual sin or weather you "stumble" with murder...you are guilty of breaking all of the law...
“Below are 2 more translations of the same verse as well as the verses before and after it…
“New Living Translation James 2:9-11: But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law. For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder. So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.
“The Message James 2:8-11: You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: "Love others as you love yourself." But if you play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it. You can't pick and choose in these things, specializing in keeping one or two things in God's law and ignoring others. The same God who said, "Don't commit adultery," also said, "Don't murder." If you don't commit adultery but go ahead and murder, do you think your non-adultery will cancel out your murder? No, you're a murderer, period.”

1 comment:

Not the usual said...

"I am not 100% sure what I believe about homosexuality... though I am beginning to form my own opinions rather than just copying the opinions that I was raised to believe."

Naughty, NAUGHTY girl! How dare you intelligently question received doctrine and the Bible? And well done on remaining polite in your discussions; I wish I could, but nil self-esteem forbids. It used to be even worse: I used to just slate the fuck out of someone I disagreed with, especially if I deemed them less intelligent than me or if the discussion was nice and anonymous, say on a forum. It sickens me now to think how I used to be. I have tried so hard not to be arrogant and condescending (or worse) when I talk with someone who disagrees with something I strongly believe to be right. It's just so hard not to be those things with no self-esteem because a moderate level of intelligence is an easy fall-back as a self-esteem prop, since it's reasonably objectively-true when my self-esteem asks me to carry out a comparison of my level of intelligence with those of people around me.

I always used to like it that Jesus focused on 'being a good person' as the most important thing. He didn't value inherited, unchangeable personal traits like height, gender, race, intelligence, sense of humour, and so on. I find the most moving thing in the whole world is when someone with little or no education, average intelligence or below, facing impossible odds, no money - maybe a slum-dweller on a protest in Cairo, a prostitute in Namibia, a kitchen worker in Peru - talks of their humble, inglorious fight to end injustice: "It allows us to meet other people and understand situations that are worse than ours and allows us to reach others. It's good to know you are helping, that you are doing something for your people." ... "It gives me food for my children and allows me to help others. It makes me happy to be here, not just to receive, but also to be able to give. What I like most is to be here... The women on the Glass of Milk Committee and in the kitchens are the most active in the community, the first to come and help when there is a problem." It actually moves me to tears sometimes.

Race is another quality which is objectively true as well. If, say, White racial supremacy is true, which of course it isn't, that's an easy fall-back for building some sort of self-esteem on. Define yourself not by who you are as an individual (which your self-esteem tells you is worthless), but by the average for your race, which is 'objectively true' (though, again, it isn't, just an example). I bet there are many racists who have low self-esteem.

I very, very occasionally - like, twice a year - flick through Mum's Bible and think to myself, "Wow, I've really let my reflective periods and introspection slip since I left church." I think I should spend more time analysing my behaviour rather than just justifying it to myself to try and avoid a guilty conscience.

My atheism is four-years-old, now, I think. The real bonus of atheism is the amount of time saved in singing songs, feeling guilty even for private thoughts, and confessing sin. That's really good. Looking back it's interesting how I used to use confession to God as a means of assuaging my guilt, rather than admit to the person who I'd actually hurt that I made a mistake (or worse) and that I was sorry for it.

Religion can be dangerous in so far as it can allow you to justify all sorts of things to yourself; just look at bin Laden and his ilk.