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Framing religious debates
The Daily Princetonian (Princeton U.) ^ | 12/9/03 | Julie Park

Posted on 12/10/2003 12:56:09 PM PST by NorCoGOP

PRINCETON, N.J. -- In the debate over gay marriage, Christians tend to be dismissed by their opponents as fools who live by an ancient book, and they use that only selectively. (Last week's Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times is an example.) So what if God condemns homosexuality, they say, the Bible also says to stone people for working on the Sabbath and that eating shellfish is wrong! They then congratulate themselves for turning Christians' own book against them, expecting Christians' jaws to drop in awe. "Gee, that never occurred to me!" they would exclaim in this fantasy. "Maybe this God fellow isn't so reasonable after all!"

Arguments like these reduce Christians to caricatures -- Bible-thumping, finger-wagging rednecks too brainwashed to see the obvious "flaws" in their religion, too ignorant to know as much about their own beliefs as even their opponents do. To ridicule Christians, proponents of gay marriage have resorted to a tactic that shows no regard to historical context or how and why the majority of Christians live out their faith.

The tactic is as common as it is cheap. Christians make a statement -- "God forbids premarital sex," "We are required to honor our parents," "The Bible prohibits homosexuality" -- that many feel is outdated and irrelevant. To discredit such beliefs (and perhaps also the entire religion and all its followers), they respond by mocking obscure Jewish civil laws from the Old Testament, and claiming they invalidate all Christian moral teaching.

(These champions of tolerance should note that orthodox Jews do try to obey the commandments literally, all 613 of them, including strict observance of the Sabbath and dietary laws that these freethinkers may find silly and arcane. Although there is no longer a theocracy that imposes civil penalties, this minority keeps the commandments central in their lives. So much for being politically correct.)

Why compare laws regarding a broad area of life such as sexual behavior to trifling civil laws? Why not compare one rule about sexual behavior -- homosexuality -- to others, such as premarital sex, bestiality, rape, and incest (all prohibited by the Bible)?

But that is not the main issue. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't that Christians don't know such "ridiculous" laws exist, and therefore can take the Bible seriously. In order to be made righteous by the law, Christians believe, we would have to obey all the commands perfectly. Since we are unable to do so, making the law ineffective for gaining salvation, Jesus died in our place and his righteousness is accepted by God instead of ours. While the law's requirements do apply to us, it is only by taking on Christ's righteousness through his death that we are able to fulfill the law. Thus, the laws of the Old Testament (before Christ) are not directly applicable to us as Christians. (However, the New Testament, whose moral teaching is directly applicable to Christians, does talk about sexual morality; see Romans 1.) While the law is no longer the means for salvation, it remains a guide for what God's will is.

Certainly, some who profess to be Christians are also known to appropriate Bible verses and use them out of context for their own agendas. But however widespread it may be, this behavior is not a reflection of God, the Bible or Christianity, but rather that of the individuals. There will always be people who hide behind faith, profession, circumstance, love, insanity -- whatever means necessary -- to justify actions and lives that are far from admirable. Besides, "Some Christians misuse the Bible too" is hardly an excuse for others make superficial, inaccurate readings.

Not only is it shortsighted to think all who oppose you do so because they lack intelligence, sense or plain sanity, you won't win people over to your side through condescension. You won't convert those who are pro-death penalty by saying, "Guess what, you're ending a life prematurely," just as pro-lifers won't do much by saying, "Look, a fetus is a potential human being." All you gain through making a contemptuous, obvious argument is a minority of sheep and the hearty backing of those who already agree with you. You haven't neared understanding; you've added fury to the debate.

Christians know there are easy-to-ridicule Old Testament laws that they do not follow, and they have their reasons for not following them. Gleefully pointing it out is not only trivial and fruitless, it also makes you look ignorant -- of your opponents' point of view, of the historical context of the Bible, of the entire basis of Christianity, which is the birth and death of Jesus Christ.

The important issues of our day should be debated with less condescension, more research. Less mockery, more arguments. If you're going to criticize (and be scornful while you're at it), at least take the time to be accurate.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: behavior; homosexual; homosexualagenda; homosexuality; samesexmarriage; slipperyslope
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 12/10/2003 12:56:09 PM PST by NorCoGOP
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To: NorCoGOP
>Why not compare one rule about sexual behavior -- >homosexuality -- to others, such as premarital sex, >bestiality, rape, and incest (all prohibited by the >Bible)?

Because homosexuality occurs between two CONSENTING ADULTS, as opposed to the other options above. Major difference and you can't even begin to compare any of them to homosexuality.
2 posted on 12/10/2003 1:01:48 PM PST by sunryse
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To: sunryse
pre-marital sex and incest can occur between two consenting adults too - do you think it's OK to have sex with your brother or sister or mother or father?
3 posted on 12/10/2003 1:22:58 PM PST by trebb
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To: sunryse
Because homosexuality occurs between two CONSENTING ADULTS, as opposed to the other options above. Major difference and you can't even begin to compare any of them to homosexuality.

Premarital sex and incest can occur between two consenting adults. Bestiality can occur between a consenting adult and property - an animal.

So why again can't they be compared ?

4 posted on 12/10/2003 1:25:41 PM PST by jimt
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To: NorCoGOP
Many people argue the issues, especially passionate issues like religion, based on emotions. I despair of ever hearing an emotionally-subdued, fact-laden debate on any issue. Even if one side does argue their position based on facts and begins to steamroll their opposition, the losing side will unfailingly launch into vicious personal attacks against their opponents. This seems to be the script of many Left/Right debates. (Guess which side employs which tactic!) As far as this particular issue is concerned, society may decide that consenting behavior can be made legal out of "tolerance," but that does not make it moral. By the way, it seems to me that not only homosexuality is behavior between two consenting adults, but so is premarital sex and incest. Your original point holds up despite the first challenge.
5 posted on 12/10/2003 1:41:02 PM PST by ahumblefan
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To: jimt
I am spooked by other Christians that take the Bible literally, educated or not. Very disturbing.
6 posted on 12/10/2003 1:42:02 PM PST by easytree
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To: sunryse
Because homosexuality occurs between two CONSENTING ADULTS, as opposed to the other options above. Major difference and you can't even begin to compare any of them to homosexuality.

Thus proving the author's point. The Bible does contain valid prohibitions which we still accept. Does our prohibition of incest unconstitutionally entangle the Church with the State? Does it force religion down someone's throat? NO? Then we can discuss the prohibition of homosexuality without bringing up that stupid nonsense - which was what she was trying to say.

Shalom.

7 posted on 12/10/2003 1:49:59 PM PST by ArGee (Scientific reasoning makes it easier to support gross immorality.)
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To: easytree
The only way to take the bible is literally. It is writing. The literal interpretive method is the same method you learned in English class for deciphering something like "Animal Farm."

First, you take the meaning of a particular sentence. Then you see how it fits into it's paragraph; what the argument it. Then you check to see if it's prose, poetry, letter, etc. Then you compare that piece to others things by the same author. Then you compare to other associates of that author in that same time period. Then you compare to religious writers throughout that entire religious tradition.


I take it literally and am proud of it.


Now, if you mean taking certain things out of context, then I'm with you. Generally, that's what people mean when they say "literally."
8 posted on 12/10/2003 2:06:50 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: sunryse
Because homosexuality occurs between two CONSENTING ADULTS

Why just two? Can't three, four, five, six ad libitum consent? Why don't we institutionalize Roman orgies?

9 posted on 12/10/2003 2:32:01 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: easytree
I am spooked by other Christians that take the Bible literally, educated or not. Very disturbing.

What really scares me are all these right-wing kooks who take the Second Amendment literally. What's the point in walking around with a gun? Or these guys who think that "free exercise" of religion means they've got a right to wish me "Merry Christmas," or expose children---children!---to prayers and Nativity scenes. Or these hate groups that think the literal language of the First Amendment allows them to utter hate speech or display offensive symbols. Scary, scary, scary! BRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!

10 posted on 12/10/2003 2:37:15 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: easytree
I am spooked by other Christians that take the Bible literally, educated or not. Very disturbing.

If you don't take the bible literally, then how can you be a Christian? In other words, if the bible is not true, why claim to follow Christ? Why not follow Plato, Socrates, or Mohammed? HOw about Budda, or Hari-Krishna. They are all equally legitimate, if none of them can be taken literally.

I am spooked by Christians who don't believe the bible.

11 posted on 12/10/2003 2:55:54 PM PST by ibheath (Born-again and grateful to God for it.)
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To: easytree
How else is one supposed to take the Bible? It's not really worth much if you can just pick and choose what parts you will accept for yourself.

I admit there are things that the Bible says are wrong that I wish were acceptable. As a Christian, you don't automatically/magically lose all your desires to do wrong things. There are some bad things that appeal to my human nature, and I have to exercise self-control over these areas of my life. But just because I tend to like certain things that I understand are sinful, doesn't mean I can just say they're right because I really want them to be right.
12 posted on 12/10/2003 2:57:48 PM PST by Secret Agent Man
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To: panther33
ping
13 posted on 12/10/2003 2:58:46 PM PST by NutCrackerBoy
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To: NorCoGOP
Two questions:

While the law's requirements do apply to us, it is only by taking on Christ's righteousness through his death that we are able to fulfill the law. Thus, the laws of the Old Testament (before Christ) are not directly applicable to us as Christians. (However, the New Testament, whose moral teaching is directly applicable to Christians, does talk about sexual morality; see Romans 1.) While the law is no longer the means for salvation, it remains a guide for what God's will is.

What is the Biblical basis for this opinion?

And #2, granted that the above is the case, Jesus made it clear it was nearly impossible for a wealthy man to get into heaven. Surely this disease afflicts more Christians in the US than homosexuality, and yet I never hear US Christians admonishing rich men that camels will be crawling through a needle's eye before they enter the Kingdom. Why is that?
14 posted on 12/10/2003 3:03:02 PM PST by Belial
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To: NorCoGOP
Julie Park? What do you want to bet the young lady that wrote this is Korean-American?

Asian Christian Bump!!!!

15 posted on 12/10/2003 3:03:39 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: NorCoGOP
read later
16 posted on 12/10/2003 3:05:29 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: easytree
I am spooked by other Christians that take the Bible literally, educated or not. Very disturbing.

Why?

17 posted on 12/10/2003 3:06:29 PM PST by LiteKeeper
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To: Belial
What is the Biblical basis for this opinion?

Have you read Romans or the other Pauline epistles? You wouldn't ask such an ignorant question if you had.

And #2, granted that the above is the case, Jesus made it clear it was nearly impossible for a wealthy man to get into heaven. Surely this disease afflicts more Christians in the US than homosexuality, and yet I never hear US Christians admonishing rich men that camels will be crawling through a needle's eye before they enter the Kingdom. Why is that?

More "b'li ya'al" [Hebrew for "worthless," transcribed in the Bible as "Belial"] ignorance. If you and your fellow liberals put the quote from Jesus in context, instead of cherry picking verses you think fit your agenda, you'd realize that Jesus was speaking about the choice between materialism and spirituality---serving Mammon instead of God. When the disciples misunderstood his comment (as you do) as meaning that the rich were condemned to Hell simply by virtue of being rich---Jesus replied quite aptly (and no doubt with an indulgent sigh): "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Do I need to explain that last part to you, "Satan"? [no, I'm not being abusive---"satan" means "adversary" in Hebrew])

18 posted on 12/10/2003 3:13:30 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: Map Kernow
Well, your post containted a lot of emotion, and very little information.

You didn't answer my first question with a specific Biblical verse. I'll wait for you to Google it or something.

For my second question, you insisted I need context. Jesus didn't really mean it was incredibly difficult for a rich man to get into heaven (although that's exactly what he said). I've also heard it all depends on the meaning of "is", right?
19 posted on 12/10/2003 3:48:21 PM PST by Belial
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To: NorCoGOP
This is a truly excellent piece. Kudos to Park.
20 posted on 12/10/2003 3:51:22 PM PST by k2blader (Haruspex, beware.)
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To: xzins
Great post.

I take the Bible literally as well.
21 posted on 12/10/2003 3:52:43 PM PST by k2blader (Haruspex, beware.)
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To: Map Kernow
Here's some "context" for you. This is from Matthew 19, King James Bible:
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?

And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
Now, tell me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like Jesus is saying that forsaking everything for him is what really counts. Even your family.

This passage is a very stern rebuke of material posessions, and yet I never hear modern Christians speaking in these terms.

And yet they want me to condemn homos because of a letter Paul wrote. Jesus never even mentioned queers. Now do you understand why some people accuse fundamentalists of cherry-picking and hypocrisy?
22 posted on 12/10/2003 3:58:05 PM PST by Belial
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To: jimt
Because animals cannot give consent and there are laws protecting animals from abuse.
23 posted on 12/10/2003 4:09:05 PM PST by Tempest
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To: Map Kernow
>Why just two? Can't three, four, five, six ad libitum >consent? Why don't we institutionalize Roman orgies?

Why not? We are talking about freedom here. Why is your concern what someone else does in the privacy of thier home/hotel, whatever? Why does it have to be institionalized? Not bashing someone for whom they choose to sleep with isn't institionalizing it.
24 posted on 12/10/2003 4:18:32 PM PST by sunryse
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To: Belial
You didn't answer my first question with a specific Biblical verse. I'll wait for you to Google it or something.

What good would it do to give you a specific "Biblical verse"? What about the word "context" do you not understand, Belly? Read Romans, all of it---say Chapters 6 and 7 in particular. Or if you want to pick cherries, verses 7:12 & 7:16. Better yet, read the whole New Testament.

And do re-read the article. You just didn't get her point, either.

For my second question, you insisted I need context. Jesus didn't really mean it was incredibly difficult for a rich man to get into heaven (although that's exactly what he said). I've also heard it all depends on the meaning of "is", right?

Please. Don't try to make me think you're really interested in Biblical exegesis. Do you really think Jesus was equating being rich with being evil? Well, please do so. I'm sure the other guy you quote would agree with you.

25 posted on 12/10/2003 4:22:20 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: ArGee
>Thus proving the author's point. The Bible does contain >valid prohibitions which we still accept. Does our >prohibition of incest unconstitutionally entangle the >Church with the State? Does it force religion down >someone's throat? NO? Then we can discuss the prohibition >of homosexuality without bringing up that stupid nonsense -> which was what she was trying to say.

Rape is illegal because it infringes on someone else's rights. Incest is illegal because of the genetic ramifications of it. Beastialility is illegal because there is not way to gain consent from an animal, same for having sex with a minor. These remain illegal not for biblical reasons, but because they are fundamentally wrong. The only reason people want homosexuality to remain not accepted or illegal is for biblical reasons. I do not want any religion dictating law, simply because I may not agree with the next religious trend. So it has no business in the making laws.
26 posted on 12/10/2003 4:23:10 PM PST by sunryse
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To: jimt
>Premarital sex and incest can occur between two consenting >adults. Bestiality can occur between a consenting adult >and property - an animal.

Well, I honestly don't see why premarital sex is anyone's business but the consenting partners, but to be honest I read it as sex among teenagers. Or I assumed that was what it meant. I must have read wrong. In beastiality, no consent can be obtained. And a person can be charged with cruelty to animals, even if the property is owned. So your argument still holds no water.

27 posted on 12/10/2003 4:26:43 PM PST by sunryse
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To: trebb
>pre-marital sex and incest can occur between two >consenting adults too - do you think it's OK to have sex >with your brother or sister or mother or father?

No, but not for moral reasons, for genetic reasons. Not that I agree with it morally. It's heinous. But if the REASON the law is in place is for RELIGIOUS reasons, then I am against it. Not incest perse, but any law.
28 posted on 12/10/2003 4:28:08 PM PST by sunryse
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To: Map Kernow
Do you really think Jesus was equating being rich with being evil? Well, please do so.

I don't know about evil. I merely quoted Jesus as saying it would be real hard for a rich man to enter heaven. Like many modern cherry-picking Christians, you aren't comfortable with that, and all your silly name-calling and Clintonian context parsing doesn't change the obvious, simple meaning of Christ's words.
29 posted on 12/10/2003 4:33:09 PM PST by Belial
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To: Belial
Now, tell me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like Jesus is saying that forsaking everything for him is what really counts. Even your family.

Uh-hunh. Nothing matters more than God. "And you shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart." It's harder to do that if you're focused on material things (like your lover's flesh), but not impossible, right?

This passage is a very stern rebuke of material posessions, and yet I never hear modern Christians speaking in these terms.

Phooey. You don't hang around Christians much, do you? What makes you think Christians don't condemn our materialistic, sybaritic, wealth crazed modern society?

And yet they want me to condemn homos because of a letter Paul wrote. Jesus never even mentioned queers.

Belial, no one on your side ever seems to want to listen to Christians when they say that they "hate the sin but not the sinner." If you really think that Christianity is all about "condemning sinners," or that Jesus would have thought sodomy "no problem," or that Paul had no authority for his doctrinal pronouncements, then, guy, you don't understand Christianity, and you don't want to.

Now do you understand why some people accuse fundamentalists of cherry-picking and hypocrisy?

I will be accommodating and assure you that I have never believed, do not now believe, and will never believe that "fundamentalists" are incapable of "cherry-picking and hypocrisy"---they're sinners too, don't you get that?

If my first response to you was "emotional," I apologize. But if you please, recognize that you have been somewhat emotional too. Matthew 7:3 (and yes, that verse applies with even greater force to me).

30 posted on 12/10/2003 4:37:06 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: sunryse
Why not? We are talking about freedom here. Why is your concern what someone else does in the privacy of thier home/hotel, whatever? Why does it have to be institionalized? Not bashing someone for whom they choose to sleep with isn't institionalizing it.

Because sexual freedom, even being two "consenting adults," cannot be unlimited. Unrestricted sex has adverse societal consequences, aside and apart from what the Bible says, like AIDS, like abortion, like divorce, like unsupported children, like STDs, that can and should be averted.

31 posted on 12/10/2003 4:40:14 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: Belial
I don't know about evil.

Fer shurrr.

I merely quoted Jesus as saying it would be real hard for a rich man to enter heaven.

I see. And we Christians just should "take that on faith," without asking why a rich man shouldn't be able to get into heaven (like the apostles did)?

Like many modern cherry-picking Christians, you aren't comfortable with that, and all your silly name-calling and Clintonian context parsing doesn't change the obvious, simple meaning of Christ's words.

OOOOOO! That hurt!! (:-(

32 posted on 12/10/2003 4:45:24 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: Tempest
Because animals cannot give consent and there are laws protecting animals from abuse.

The whole issue of "consenting adults" is always played as a "trump card" to cut off discussion. But consider:

Granted, the last couple of examples are...utterly revolting. But from a utilitarian viewpoint you have no particular reason to make laws against any of these. If you were going to outlaw dealings with animals based on "lack of consent" and "abuse" you would probably, like PETA, start with nonconsensual confinement, treatment of food animals, ownership, etc. and sexual contact that the animal does not enjoy. But why should we single out only the last of those? And why should we care what a pervert would do with a corpse he had acquired legitimately?

I would suggest that there are acts--such as some of these--that are generally detrimental to society as a whole. And that it is good if there are laws to punish some of them. And finally, that "consenting adults" should not be considered to be a magic bullet for killing all morality arguments.

33 posted on 12/10/2003 4:51:49 PM PST by Kyrie (The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.)
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To: Belial
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

If you don't mind me turning this discussion from the polemical to the scholarly, while I approve of your use of the KJV, are you at all curious what the text was in the ancient languages, like Greek and Latin, that this passage was transmitted in originally?

Well, I was. And I grabbed my Greek Testament and Vulgate to look it up.

The word translated "hardly" in verse 23 is dyskolos in the Greek and difficile according to Jerome. That is, the sense is not "a rich man can hardly get into heaven," but more like "a rich man will get into (Gr. eiseleusetai, Latin intrabit) the kingdom of heaven with difficulty".

Similarly, the term "eye of the needle" (Gr. dia trematos raphidos, Latin per foramen acus) according to the exegeses I've read, does not mean what we think of as the five square millimeter hole in a needle, but the kind of traditional Middle Eastern entranceway into a home or a street that require entrants to stoop before they could pass it, so that, for example, some bad guy couldn't come in like gangbusters.

Again, not to say that Jesus was remarking that it would be easy for a rich man to get into heaven---of course he was saying just the opposite. But he also said "Apud Deum autem omnia possibilia sunt." With God all things are possible, even a rich man getting into heaven.

34 posted on 12/10/2003 5:18:24 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: NutCrackerBoy
Thanks for the ping.
35 posted on 12/10/2003 6:04:49 PM PST by panther33 (Running for California YMCA Youth & Government 57th Youth Governor.... http://www.calymca.org/)
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To: Map Kernow
>Because sexual freedom, even being two "consenting >adults," cannot be unlimited. Unrestricted sex has adverse >societal consequences, aside and apart from what the Bible >says, like AIDS, like abortion, like divorce, like >unsupported children, like STDs, that can and should be >averted.

In a free society, we should be able to make choices. Even unwise ones. And accept responsibility for those choices, including AIDS, STD's, etc... Sexual freedom has not much to do with divorce. People are going to get divorced, even with your social policing of thier behaviors. Unsupported children has not much to do with sexual freedom, but alot to do with the lack of responsibility that is not taught at home. These are social issues, yes. But have nothing to with sexual freedom, but personal irresponibility. If you want to avoid AIDS and STD's, then YOU personally avoid nonmarital sex. But don't police someone else's actions "for thier own good". That is a government we DON'T want.
36 posted on 12/10/2003 6:25:31 PM PST by sunryse
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To: Secret Agent Man
>How else is one supposed to take the Bible? It's not >really worth much if you can just pick and choose what >parts you will accept for yourself.

The problem is that the Bible is full of contradictions, so the question is which part to choose to accept? The example of the "selling your daughter into slavery" and "not associate with a woman menstruating", etc... So if you take every law written, then you are not going to make it very far in this society. I personally follow my heart and let myself be guided by Jesus. I screw up, but still, I cannot reasonably accept every word written and commanded in the Bible.
37 posted on 12/10/2003 6:31:22 PM PST by sunryse
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To: Kyrie
"If someone wants to get their jollies from a melon or a cucumber, no one wonders if the vegetable is capable of "giving consent." Consent isn't an issue. Even if the vegetable dies from the procedure."

Forgive my insensitivity, but I don't really give a flying F%$@ if produce dies because some whacko wants to hump it. Heck I don't even care if someone needs to go the produce aisle to get there jollies. Where as it may be wierd I don't see it as posing a health risk to anyone except for the individual participating in it.

"When I take my cat to the vet, I don't concern myself about whether or not the cat can "give consent." I doubt that the cat would consent to getting his shots. Nobody seems to have a problem with that."

Actually most normal people would find the fact that you care enough to take your cat to the vet as very caring. I'm sure most kids don't want to take cough syrup when their sick but loving parents will make sure their kids do the right thing.

What that has to do with two consenting adults who participate in "deviant" private behaviour that may or may not be harmful to THEMSELVES is beyond me.

So why is it that a freedom loving society ought to regulate the actions of willing participants in private acts that do not infringe upon the rights of others?

"A person can stipulate in their will that their body is to be used for scientific research. Inasmuch as consent is an issue, the will constitutes consent. I believe that parents can give consent in this fashion for the body of their child. What if parents determined to sell the body of their child to a pedo-necrophile? Is anyone getting hurt here? Is any "force or fraud" involved? Is anyone being abused?"

If a dog did this to someone I knew and they started enjoying it. I'd tell them to go get a room or to go get help. But then again I find it rather silly to assume that a dog acting on instincts and hormones to actually be willing to give conscious consent on the same level that humans do. Do you think that homosexuals don't act like humans or are in human and are incapable of courting one another and interacting and giving sexual consent in the same manner as hetero sexual couples. Or do you honestly believe that homosexuals run around humping each others legs to incite mating??? Awwwhhh hell I know a bunch of straight kids that act that way during spring break.

"A person can stipulate in their will that their body is to be used for scientific research. Inasmuch as consent is an issue, the will constitutes consent. I believe that parents can give consent in this fashion for the body of their child. What if parents determined to sell the body of their child to a pedo-necrophile? Is anyone getting hurt here? Is any "force or fraud" involved? Is anyone being abused?"

This is a rather absurd scenario. I must wonder is a dead person actually capable of giving consent? Is a childs consent legally binding? No!

Parents giving consent to sell a dead corpse to private individuals for their own sexual gratification?!?!?

How on earth you managed to extrapolate such a scenario from two active, living, adult members of society who may wish to enagae in sex with each other is beyond me?!?!

Can we try a more reasonable discussion???

38 posted on 12/10/2003 9:28:41 PM PST by Tempest
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To: k2blader
I've often wondered if these people who claim to oppose a "literal" interpretation would say, "I oppose a literal reading of 'Robinson Crusoe?'"

Just what other kind of reading is there? Speculative? Creative? Mathematical?

Thanks for standing up for a common sense approach to interpreting writing.
39 posted on 12/10/2003 9:34:22 PM PST by xzins (Retired Army and Proud of It!)
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To: sunryse
But don't police someone else's actions "for thier own good". That is a government we DON'T want.

Not for "their own good," fellow, for the general societal good. People don't have the "freedom" to transmit deadly STDs, they don't have the right to father children they won't support, they don't have the right to clog up the courts with their failed marriages. See, regardless of what I believe is moral, I'm asked to pay for the consequences of all those "free choices." And I don't want to. I'd rather say you don't have the right to "choose" to saddle me with the social costs of your "choices."

40 posted on 12/10/2003 10:23:16 PM PST by Map Kernow (" 'Hate speech' is just 'speech liberals hate' ")
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To: sunryse
Rape is illegal because it infringes on someone else's rights. Incest is illegal because of the genetic ramifications of it. Beastialility is illegal because there is not way to gain consent from an animal, same for having sex with a minor. These remain illegal not for biblical reasons, but because they are fundamentally wrong.

You give a list of practical ramifications of laws regarding sexual behavior, then you label them as "fundamentally wrong." Historically in law all the things you mentioned have been considered wrong, not for practical reasons (as you list) but since they are "fundamentally wrong...." and as soon as morality...i.e. "wrong" is mentioned religious issues (even if tangental) come up.

Rape for example, is accepted in some societies today (and has been in many in the past)...with a kind of "boys will be boys" mentality. Incest was the way Egyptian Pharoahs were raised...(and a minority of those born to incest have genetic problems...though it is a SIGNIFICANT minority)...so in some cultures incest has been accepted. Beastiality has been accepted, in various times and cultures--as most all societies don't give a rip about animal "consent"(does your dog consent to that fence or leash?) and again it was seen as an outlet for the oversexed.... (gross, definitely.) The point is, in the history of our law, moral, not practical, bases were the reasons why those three deviant behaviors were (and are) outlawed. Homosexual behavior too, has been proscribed due to moral (and yes, religious) reasons.

Our very concept of human rights is based on those "endowed by the Creator" to quote Jefferson in the Declaration. Do you really think America has been a theocracy until the ACLU flexed its muscles???

Back to the specific issue however at the same time, without resorting to the religous, many practical reasons can be found to restrict homosexual behavior. These include, obviously, the spread of disease (since homosexual men by any measure are persistantly VERY promiscuous) (AIDS didn't spread through heterosexual monogamy now, did it?) Homosexual relationships tend to be more violence prone.... Homosexuals have a MUCH higher than average tendancy to molest children. (something like 1/3 to 1/2 of reported child molestations are homosexual....by a group which is less than 3%....you do the math). Finally, homosexuals do nothing to promote healthy interaction between the sexes--including the production of children. These are all practical (and yes arguable...as is your list, to some) reasons why homosexual behavior is not a good thing...but wait, there's that pesky word "good" which relates to values, which, ultimately must relate to religion...and has done so historically in our society and law, as in all others.

The acceptance of homosexual behavior or not, is not about the religous, vs. the practical or non-religous--its about one religious/value system vs. another... Secularism is as much a religion as the most backwoods bible thumper. Since it pretends not to be, to my way of thinking--it has even less tolerance.

41 posted on 12/10/2003 11:10:34 PM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: sunryse
Christians since the 1st Century on have not found contradictions in the Bible. Different laws applying now than those to ancient pre-Christian Israel yes, but its a canard to say you can't really know Christian morality due to strange Old Testament ceremonial laws no Christian has ever known to apply. Since St. Peter was commanded by God to give up Kosher law, therby accepting gentiles into fellowship, dealing with obscure Old Testament picadilos is not a problem---unless one is not looking for truth, but rather a reason to avoid it. Moral laws mentioned in BOTH Old and New Testament--as the sexual laws are--are known to apply. Not an obscure or cloudy method of interpretation. The condemnation of homosexual behavior (note, not simple "orientation") in both Old and New Testaments is one of those clarities folks today especially, try to obscure and avoid.

The Bible is not a simple childrens' book...but neither is it "full of contradictions" to those who actually take the time to know it well--and love its Savior.
42 posted on 12/10/2003 11:31:39 PM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: sunryse; scripter
The only reason people want homosexuality to remain not accepted or illegal is for biblical reasons.

Since you already know that to be true, I will not bother to present you with my own valid, sociological, non-Biblical reasons. I will also not ask scripter to bother showing you where he keeps his huge list of links with non-Biblical psychological and physiological reasons to declare homosexuality as a mental illness.

You already know what you know. Why confuse the issue with facts?

Shalom.

43 posted on 12/11/2003 5:46:44 AM PST by ArGee (Scientific reasoning makes it easier to support gross immorality.)
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To: ArGee
>I will also not ask scripter to bother showing you where >he keeps his huge list of links with non-Biblical >psychological and physiological reasons to declare >homosexuality as a mental illness.

Oh, go ahead. I will bet your non-biblical psychologists to be practicing Christians. I have seen those "studies". And when you are finished, I will send you links to PHYSIOLOGICAL studies that show that homosexuality is genetic, not mental. We could send studies untill we are blue in the face, but it still comes down to the fact that homosexuality being illegal is a law based on biblical reasons.
44 posted on 12/11/2003 6:59:50 AM PST by sunryse
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To: AnalogReigns
>Moral laws mentioned in BOTH Old and New Testament--as >the sexual laws are--are known to apply. Not an obscure >or cloudy method of interpretation. The condemnation of >homosexual behavior (note, not simple "orientation") in >both Old and New Testaments is one of those clarities >folks today especially, try to obscure and avoid.

Jesus never mentioned homosexuality that I know of. Paul did, in his letters. But Paul also commanded that a woman keep her head covered. Does your wife or do you wear a wrap?
45 posted on 12/11/2003 7:01:31 AM PST by sunryse
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To: sunryse
And when you are finished, I will send you links to PHYSIOLOGICAL studies that show that homosexuality is genetic, not mental.

Actually, you go first. I have never seen such a study that was not discredited nearly as soon as it has come out. Currently the homosexual activists admit there is no validity to the "genetic" argument. Predisposition is not disproven, and is even likely, but that will not change the basic fact.

If you find a dead man, you can not tell if he was gay or straight. Until that changes, homosexuality is a behavior, not a trait.

Shalom.

46 posted on 12/11/2003 7:24:49 AM PST by ArGee (Scientific reasoning makes it easier to support gross immorality.)
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To: AnalogReigns
>Rape for example, is accepted in some societies today
>and has been in many in the past)...with a kind of "boys >will be boys" mentality. Incest was the way Egyptian >Pharoahs were raised...(and a minority of those born to >incest have genetic problems...though it is a SIGNIFICANT >minority)...so in some cultures incest has been accepted.

We are talking about TODAY. Not ancient times. Today, IN AMERICA. Not other cultures or societies. Insanity is often what society you choose to live in. But in America today, the only reason to hold homosexuality as illegal is a biblical reason. Please offer me an argument as to otherwise. (The ones listed below are weak)

>Do you really think America has been a theocracy until >the ACLU flexed its muscles???

A theocracy? No. Laws made on a biblical basis, yes. I am not saying that certain laws aren't "fundemental". Stealing is "biblical", but it is also about infringing on someone else's rights. But who someone chooses to sleep with is basically thier business. And harms noone, but possibly the people involved. And even that is thier choice to make.

>These include, obviously, the spread of disease (since >homosexual men by any measure are persistantly VERY >promiscuous)

That is a misconception. Homosexual men are no more promiscous then some of the hip hop culture, or even white trash trailer parks. There are filthy elements to EVERY culture and lifestyle.

>(AIDS didn't spread through heterosexual monogamy now, >did it?)

AIDS didn't spread through homosexual monogamy either. Two virgin men coming together doesn't CREATE AIDS.

>Homosexual relationships tend to be more violence >prone....

That I disagree with. There are battered women shelters all over town, what does that say?

>Homosexuals have a MUCH higher than average tendancy to >molest children. (something like 1/3 to 1/2 of reported >child molestations are homosexual....by a group which is >less than 3%....you do the math).

Excuse me, but you are whole group of people based on MISCONTRUED facts. The fact is that sexual abuse in the home is much more discreet. There are family issues involved, another parent to think of. Whereas homosexual contact is a bit more apt to be reported. If stepdad is molesting, it is a little more difficult to come forward due to familial issues that would result. So I don't believe you can claim that statistic accurately. But even beyond that, we should outlaw all black people having relationships because they sleep around more? Or maybe some Latino's because they might be more statistically apt to molest. This sounds silly, same as your argument above.

>Finally, homosexuals do nothing to promote healthy >interaction between the sexes--including the production >of children.

Well, maybe thier goal isn't to "promote healthy interaction between sexes". Is that a prerequisite to becoming a human member of society?

Michelle
47 posted on 12/11/2003 7:34:07 AM PST by sunryse
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To: sunryse
Jesus is never recorded mentioning wife-beating or suicide either--along with various other sins....however He consistantly upheld the moral law (and actually all laws) found in the Old Testament.

Dietary regulations, those pertaining to the ritual sacrificial worship system, and civil laws made for the theocracy of ancient Israel--from the 1s Century onwards have been never seen to be applicable to Christians--since they served their purpose in the nation bringing forth the Messiah. Other clearly moral commands from the OT are known definitely to apply. It really isn't complex--amazing that the modern mind finds it so.

Classical orthodox (small o) Christians regard all scripture as inspired by God--therefore whether or not Jesus mentions something is irrelevant--the writings of Paul and yes Moses are just as authoritative--as its all God's word.

Paul did not command a head covering for women except during worship--and among scholars its generally understood as culturally relative. The Greek could also have referred to hairstyle--i.e. that men and women should look different from each other--which repeats another Old Testament moral law, by the way.

I think however, I'm wasting my breath...as you sound like you are more interested in obscuring debate then learning truth.
48 posted on 12/11/2003 7:48:55 AM PST by AnalogReigns
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To: Map Kernow
> I'd rather say you don't have the right to "choose" to >saddle me with the social costs of your "choices."

So are you saying you would like to see divorce and sex outside of the marraige illegal?
49 posted on 12/11/2003 7:55:18 AM PST by sunryse
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To: sunryse
Last I checked every homosexual is a human member of society--and under the same laws that govern anyone else.

My point about other societies take on the practical aspects of laws about sexual behavior (and yes, some societies today do wink at things like rape...at least for men) is to point out that our laws about sex are not simply based on practical reasons--they have a moral historical foundation in our cultural experience...which surely includes the bible.

I realize homosexual "normalcy" has been pounded into our collective heads in schools, colleges, the media, ad nauseum. Secularists now say that it’s actually bigoted to say some forms (only certain forms) of sexual "expression" are wrong. Do you believe incest (with birth control) is morally wrong? How about adultery? Most current secularists would still say those are wrong (now, but don't count on them keeping that way...30 years ago those same people regarded homosexual behavior deviant). Those secularists on homosexual behavior (as they did 20 years ago with pre-marital sex) are just establishing their own competing morality, which to people who believe the time-tested ancient moral codes (yes religious) is just libertine immorality. It's amazing to me that since the "sexual revolution" people are soooooo smart--as to abandon practices of behavior civilized people have followed for thousands of years....amazing, even breath-taking, the arrogance.

What do we have to show for it? 1 in 3 kids in America born to single mothers (and the crime--at least with boys--that follows that)....and the deadly affect of AIDS, and other debilitating STDs, not to mention the incredible emotional & yes spiritual toll.

As to the stats on child molesting...talk around it all you want. Yes there are all kinds--and the majority of it is heterosexual, however a lot more than 3% (or even 10%) of the abuse is homosexual.... (try asking a homosexual man when he was introduced to sex...a stunning number will say when they were underage, by an older man.)

Its a human principle, if you throw out one big taboo--others are easier to toss too.

You and others like you may want to establish a Sodomite paradise, but myself and millions like me won't allow you to take America to the place Sodom and Gomorah went.
50 posted on 12/11/2003 8:29:10 AM PST by AnalogReigns
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