The New Christians

The New Christians


Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue: Press Pause

posted by Tony Jones

blogalogue_bar.jpgSeveral of you have been dropping comments under other posts, asking why this much-pimped series petered out so quickly.  Well, here’s the deal: Rod chose to stop the blogalogue very shortly after it started. Both of us were inundated by comments that were, well, less than kind.  Rod has a more stringent comment policy on his blog, and he found himself constantly monitoring and deleting comments that didn’t meet his standards. 

Although it is possible for Rod to rejoin the blogalogue, I’m doubtful.  My Bnet editor and I are thinking about asking another conservative blogger to join the conversation, so I’ll let you know when we relaunch it.



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 8:39 am


“My Bnet editor and I are thinking about asking another conservative blogger to join the conversation”
I’ll do it. Please contact me.



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Danny

posted January 28, 2009 at 8:58 am


Get Scot McKnight. Thoughtful and conservative on this issue.



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panthera

posted January 28, 2009 at 9:21 am


I wish you the best with this Tony, really I do.
A part of me thinks there is absolutely nothing to be gained by even trying, the people who oppose human status for gays and transgendered are beyond help.
Another part of me acknowledges that this is the exact same ‘Christian’ mentality which insisted the earth was flat, the geocentric view was the only possible, the earth is not yet 10,000 years old, women are not quite human, blacks aren’t human and evolution is stuff and nonsense.
Look how far we have come on those issues…
Drat, back to the other side of me.
Regardless of whom you choose, for us, the oppressed, this is not an intellectual exercise in explaining why we are not entitled to human status, it is very much a matter of stopping the beatings, rapes, murders and torture…all in the name of Christ.
You are doing good in tackling this.
I wonder if part of Rod’s withdrawal has to do with the ‘support’ his side has received. I am universes away from him on many issues, but have noticed that he sticks out like a sore thumb among the majority of people who gladly oppress us -



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Jen

posted January 28, 2009 at 10:07 am


What are the possibilities of disabling comments? Personally I enjoy the ability to comment but if that is being abused why not disable it and let the conversation continue?



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 10:08 am


Panthera: the people who oppose human status for gays and transgendered are beyond help.
A Walker: If you could stop exaggerating for a moment, it might help the dialogue.
Panthera: this is the exact same ‘Christian’ mentality which insisted the earth was flat
A Walker: Few to zero Christians believed the earth was flat, as historian Jeffrey Burton Russell has shown. In fact, the leading lights of Christianity–Clement, Origen, Ambrose, Augustine, Isodore, Albertus Magnus and Aquinas–all said the Earth was a globe. The flat Earth myth can be laid at the feet of author Washington Irving, who included it in his fictional novel on Columbus. (And look, you fell for it.)
Please don’t recite that old “blacks were only 3/5 human” canard. The 3/5 count was a political strategy by the abolitionist North, and it was designed to stop the South from swelling its population counts in a manner that would have forever tipped the balance of power in its favor.
Next, I grant you that the age of the earth is a bugger, but then again, I don’t think secularists prior to the 20th century posited that it was millions of years old. So, there wasn’t much controversy until recently.
Panthera: Regardless of whom you choose, for us, the oppressed, this is not an intellectual exercise in explaining why we are not entitled to human status, it is very much a matter of stopping the beatings, rapes, murders and torture…all in the name of Christ.
A Walker: Stop exaggerating. Are you really going to continue to play the victim card? Two can play that game. Panthera, as I have noted to you many times, most people don’t care what gays do in their bedrooms. But when they start tinkering with heterosexual marriage laws/protections, and when they begin aggressively proselytizing and propagandizing public school kids, they are going to get some push back. Do you really think it would be otherwise?



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kevin

posted January 28, 2009 at 10:42 am


Please, pick any conservative blogger EXCEPT “A Walker.” Please, for the love of humanity.



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Rob the Rev

posted January 28, 2009 at 11:06 am


Hey A. Walker – It wasn’t “zero Christians” who thought the earth was the center of the solar system and opposed the science of Galileo and Copernicus with their “biblical” view of the solar system. Oh, yes, the sun stood still so it just had to go around the earth, didn’t it?
And we GLBT people and allies are pushing back on you far-right reactionaries too with the youth on our side. Scares the bajeebers out of you, doesn’t it?
http://community.beliefnet.com/northernimager



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Larry

posted January 28, 2009 at 11:19 am


Hey A. Walker – It wasn’t “zero Christians” who thought the earth was the center of the solar system and opposed the science of Galileo and Copernicus with their “biblical” view of the solar system.
This is a separate issue from whether or not the Earth is flat, which is what A Walker was responding to.



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Rob the Rev

posted January 28, 2009 at 11:29 am


However, Larry, it is the same mindset of those who believed the earth was flat, isn’t it?
Tony wrote:
“My Bnet editor and I are thinking about asking another conservative blogger to join the conversation”
A Walker on January 28, 2009 8:39 AM responded “I’ll do it. Please contact me.”
What I want to know is, Who is “A Walker”? Why should he be chosen? He’s much to anxious for the job.



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Larry

posted January 28, 2009 at 11:43 am


However, Larry, it is the same mindset of those who believed the earth was flat, isn’t it?
Not even close. To start with nobody since at least the time of Pythagoras believed the Earth to be flat, and no Christian thinker ever has. You are viewing the situation concerning geocentrism with the benefit of hindsight, at the time of Galileo the church was arguing the accepted scientific position as articulated by scientists like Tycho Brahe, whose modified geocentric model accounted for the empirical data as well as Copernicus’. This doesn’t excuse the church’s treatment of Galileo, although his behaving like a jacka$$ had a lot to do with it, too.



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Tony Jones

posted January 28, 2009 at 11:46 am


I suggested that. He didn’t bite.



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 12:03 pm


Hey Rob the Rev:
The Catholic Church, in keeping with its unparalleled leadership in scientific development and subsidization in the West, was Galileo’s patron, and it fully encouraged his research and theories ***so long as he didn’t make conclusions without scientific proof.***
But Galileo didn’t care that he couldn’t get scientific proof of his position during his lifetime, and he went on to argue from scripture to convince the Church about science, which was stupid, for the Catholic Church doesn’t believe the bible is a science book anyway.
Most of the great pioneers of science in the West were catholics or other christians. Even the Big Bang theory was formulated by a priest.
And, again, no one thought the earth the flat, except for the fictional characters in Washington Irving’s novel.
Who is “A Walker”? A damn good writer on the topic of marriage and its role in society and civilization.



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herb

posted January 28, 2009 at 12:10 pm


That’s sad to hear. But “iron sharpening iron” means that there must be friction. I don’t think it can really be avoided.



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panthera

posted January 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm


Panthera is a man.
A Walker is a woman.
Funny, how we make associations in our minds.
Actually, the flat earth argument is a problem for those who demand that the Bible be taken literally. I won’t return to the absurd thread we all had going on poor Rod’s site a few weeks back, but I did notice that all the nasty protests about how no Christians ever believed that quieted down when I started citing from the Bible…
That is the trouble with all this revisionist nonsense so many of you conservative/literalistic/fundamentalist/believers in ancient creeds/biblical inerrancy…(and whatever flavor of the month somebody will now no doubt demand is their position) take on regarding Christianity and the Bible. I have actually had people lecture me here on how wonderful the inquisition was and how they never tortured anyone, etc.
Personally, I would hope that Tony chose a partner who is actually capable of rational thought and Christian charity. It was not easy for Rod, I suspect – the more he confronted his beliefs, the more difficult I felt it was for him to make common cause with the hateful, spiteful group of people who oppress us in God’s name.
A Walker, slightly more than once a week, a gay or transgendered person is raped, murdered, tortured or so badly beaten that even the police have to take account of it, right here in the good ol’ USA. That is not me being hysterical, that is me citing the facts. Something you are tremendously concerned with when they suit your needs.
As for the position that conservative/literalistic/fundamentalist/believers in ancient creeds/biblical inerrancy…(and whatever flavor of the month somebody will now no doubt demand is their position) never considered blacks sub-human, so sorry, but I am old enough and the people in my family live long enough that I actually had the opportunity of speaking with American relations who were born before the civil war. You can pretend all you like, you can even put on a piece of theater like the Church of Later Day Saints with their ‘revelation’ that blacks were now human a few decades back…but this is historical fact and you can’t revise it away.
I certainly am glad that Tony is not giving up on this. Eventually, of course, science and medicine will be reflected in law. How many people will be driven away from Christ’s love by the hatred and spite of all of you (see the categories, above) by then?
I answer to God and to God alone. Not to any man, not to any mega-church pastor – cynically preaching hatred of gays while boffing the cute guys in his church. Not to any group of people who claim they and they alone are God’s representative ‘Christian’ community.



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Noah S

posted January 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm


To be really honest, the comment section makes me sad. It is sad to me that people become so ugly when discussions arise over A vs B. I lean more conservatively on the issue but it doesn’t mean that I advocate for hate crimes. I am somewhat in quandary why a conservative on this issue is given the same status as those who are grossly ignorant. If we are going to be civil with our tongue perhaps we need to learn to be more generous with each other and recognize that these are not just issues but people. I hurt for the GLBT community and I hurt for the church. It really makes me sad over the amount of hell both parties get because civility is lost for being right. To be really honest though, it makes sense why there would be such animosity from the GLBT community to the church in the same way that it makes sense for an African American preacher to be making statements about the white devil from the pulpit. It doesn’t make it right, but it does make sense. Perhaps what the church needs to do is to apologize first and become accepting and loving and allow God to sort it out. Shouldn’t the church be the very place that welcomes GLBT instead of ostracizing them? I hurt and this will probably be the last time I comment on this blog post. Tony, much love to ya for tackling all this and keeping your head about you.
Noah S.



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panthera

posted January 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm


Noah,
Thank you. I can work with someone like you – conservative but aware that it is God’s will and not ours which matters.
I do think I can address one topic you raised, the mixture of conservatives such as yourself and the really hateful people.
The US is the last major country in Western Civilization to accept what science and medicine have taught us. Not only on the topic of gay and transgendered humans, but on such topics as the age of the earth, evolution and so forth. There are various reasons as to why we in Europe are so far ahead of you in the natural sciences, but the education system here in the US has a lot to do with it.
And yet – as time goes by, the number of Christians who have met gay and transgendered has increased. They have come to see that we are not at all the disordered, sick, perverted, etc. people ‘acting out against God’ as so many here portray us – but normal, healthy people who love others of our own sex. Actually, that is the turning moment for so many Christians – when they see that we actually do love. That is the most perfidious of the many hateful, spiteful lies perpetrated against us.
Once these Christians confront reality, they either stop oppressing us or actually begin to agitate for granting us human status. Those who are open to science and medicine have long since stopped attacking us…so all that is left is a small core of very vocal people. And it is this hard core which shows up on these blogs. They know that they haven’t got anything to stand on except their hatred, they see that the tide is against them – and it just makes them ever more fervent.
I am a very vocal opponent of oppression. Whether against blacks, women or gays/transgendered – it is offensive to God. Perpetrating it in God’s name is a horrible sin.
Please don’t stop posting. There are some here with whom I no longer am willing to engage in discourse – others with whom I argue, yet can respect (A Walker, for instance or Erin Manning). Perhaps you could chose such a path…
Side note. Although we have been together for decades, our marriage was only possible a few years ago. Anniversary coming up this next month!



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Noah S

posted January 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm


Panthera,
It is really funny being defined as a conservative. I guess it is a matter of perspective. Here is my main concern. Love. There are many here who need to be loved. I think the pastor in the mega-church who rails against GLBT needs love. I think that the man, who beats up an African American guy because his skin is different, needs love. This is the revolution that Christ calls us to. A revolution where love is our campaign slogan. My concern is that we forget that and allow winning to be the revolution. That’s what was wrong with the Moral Majority (Along with a host of other problems) and that is what is wrong with those who rail against the Moral Majority. They are not turning the other cheek. What do you think?



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 2:25 pm


To Noah,
Even common sense tells us that there are sins (wrongs/injury), and that we all must turn away from doing them for the good of society and the individual. This teaching is the essence of love, and is based on love and the common good. In contrast, permitting people to pursue acts that are self-destructive or destructive to society is hate.
In light of this, Christians are true lovers of humankind, whereas libertines and anarchists are the true haters of humankind.



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Joel

posted January 28, 2009 at 2:30 pm


I’m conservative, so i’d do it…but then again, no one knows who I am so it’s be an exercise in futility. So if you don’t mind futility, shoot me an email (or get in touch with me through my site, http://www.thechristianwatershed.com).
Regardless, a side question:
How do most people feel about bi-sexuality? I know we speak of dispositions to homosexuality, but what about those that like both men and women? Should they pick one and stick to a monogamous relationship?



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Noah S

posted January 28, 2009 at 2:59 pm


A Walker,
I try to stay away from common sense as much as possible. Lol. I don’t know if you read me right or maybe I didn’t explain myself that well. I apologize for not being clear. I guess what I am trying to say is that love doesn’t mean not standing for anything. I get what you are saying though that love means that you tell others when they are doing harm to themselves or each other and BTW libertarians do believe that crossing that line is wrong. I just wonder if I met a rich businessman how I should respond to him. Then I wonder how I should encounter a transgender person. Also, what about the guy in poverty and the pastor of the local congregation of elderly people. By now you are wondering where this is going. I am not sure that any of us are ready to take on the duty of God which is to sort all of this out. I guess it boils down to how we define love then doesn’t it? I define love by this guy who died for people that were pretty much the most horrible in all the world. Maybe we should all be ready for the same.



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Jen

posted January 28, 2009 at 3:30 pm


My feelings ……to quote and change the Rev. MLK, Jr.
“[Genders] don’t fall in love, people fall in love.”
His quote started with “Races” but I think the same applies.
Whenever you let labels define who you are, you forget God. I am a follower of God first (because that is what I chose) and everything else second.
God brought a wonderful woman into my life and let me fall in love with her, and her with me. He could of allowed me to fall in love with a man, but that was not his plan for me.
A Walker – you brand of “love” will not win many homosexuals to Christ. However, Jesus’ brand will and does and wants to. Jesus said come as you are, not change then come. On another note, who cares? If it is a sin, it will be forgiven, and has been. Don’t judge, lest it should come back to you.
Jesus told us simply to love all people and share that share so that other people can love to.
I am a Christian, I happen to be white, middle-class, young and gay. The first is WHO I am, the second is what I am. A Walker I love you as you are my sister. I forgive you.
I live in St. Pete, Fl near beautiful beaches. It is a wonderful vacation spot! If you ever visit I would like to invite you into my home for dinner. I would like to meet the person behind the keyboard. Not to debate or argue to to commune and worship as Christians together.



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panthera

posted January 28, 2009 at 3:45 pm


Noah,
This horrible interface – can’t bring myself to love it – just ate quite a long post.
I agree with you, love is key.
quote:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking.
It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
I Corinthians 13:4-8
When dealing with people who practice the exact same methods as the Nazis – dissolving marriages they don’t approve of – it is only a matter of time before they start torturing you as in the inquisition – for your own good of course.
I must confess, I am angry. There is very little chance that people like you can carry the day with our Christian brethren. Many of whom frequently deny that I am a Christian here…who needs God or that long haired Jewish Rabi, good old whats-his-name when you have A Walker and Joel to decide who is saved and who isn’t? What is their motto: My God is defined through my hatred of gays, his only prophet is Paul.



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Your Name

posted January 28, 2009 at 3:52 pm


Jen had a good idea to disable the comments. What I am really looking for is an intelligent and respectful dialog from both sides of the issue. I think the two of you had that and I pray you find someone that can dialog with you.



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 4:08 pm


Jen: God brought a wonderful woman into my life and let me fall in love with her, and her with me.
A Walker: You are confusing what happens with what ought to happen. If nature tells us anything, it’s that some things ought to happen while other things ought not to happen. For women, wombs and breasts tell us something about what ought to happen with our sexuality: namely, we ought to partner with a male to produce and raise kids. For men, same deal in reverse. Now, while our bodily nature tells us what ought to happen by God’s design, we have a choice: comply with or reject God’s design.
Jen: your brand of “love” will not win many homosexuals to Christ.
A Walker: All people–starting with me–have a decision to make. If there is a God, then humans must comply with that God’s wishes and commands or face the consequences of offending that God. Some people, recognizing that they are mortals with short lives, choose to reject certain of their wayward desires so as to gain a better and lasting life on God’s terms. Others will mock the Creator’s designs and intentions and face the consequences. This life is short, the next life is long. We must all choose wisely.
Jesus said “come and obey,” and I will grant you life everlasting. But those who love their sinful ways more than God will die forever. We are mortals, Jen, and our lives are short. But God has offered an eternal life to those who will lovingly respect his designs and intentions for humanity. We can’t grant ourselves eternal life, and the Designer has the decision over what his design ought to be. Mere mortals can’t overrule God’s intentions, though we can certainly can love God by loving His design for humanity; or we can hate God by defacing his creation.
What do you mean “you forgive me”? I didn’t wrong you. Someone has to be wronged first, then you can address the forgiveness part.
Finally, Florida is a nice place. My uncle lived on Lake Wales for some time, and it was always fun to visit.
Cheers to you, Jen. Do the right thing.



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Larry

posted January 28, 2009 at 4:16 pm


Actually, the flat earth argument is a problem for those who demand that the Bible be taken literally. I won’t return to the absurd thread we all had going on poor Rod’s site a few weeks back, but I did notice that all the nasty protests about how no Christians ever believed that quieted down when I started citing from the Bible…
It is not an issue for anybody who know how to read ancient documents, if people quieted down it is because they were astonished that anybody would try to prove what Christians have believed in the past by quoting documents not written by Christians and which predated the church by centuries. The church has never promulgated a flat earth cosmology, never, nor has any notable Christian believed in a flat earth.
BTW, the as far as blacks and women being “sub-human”, the church has never been in the habit of granting the Eucharist to sub-humans and has also never withheld the Eucharist from blacks or women.



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Rob the Rev

posted January 28, 2009 at 4:32 pm


How, A Walker, do you support your statement that “Galileo didn’t care that he couldn’t get scientific proof of his position during his lifetime.”
According to Wikepedia: “In 1610 Galileo published an account of his telescopic observations of the moons of Jupiter, using this observation to argue in favor of the sun-centered, Copernican theory of the universe against the dominant earth-centered Ptolemaic and Aristotelian theories. The next year Galileo visited Rome in order to demonstrate his telescope to the influential philosophers and mathematicians of the Jesuit Collegio Romano, and to let them see with their own eyes the reality of the four moons of Jupiter.[13] While in Rome he was also made a member of the Accademia dei Lincei.” [14] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei
Galileo proved, by his astronomical observations, that the theory of Copernicus was correct.



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panthera

posted January 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm


Larry,
I shall assume when you speak of ‘the church’ that you mean the Catholic Church.
Since blacks were legally defined as only 3/5 human, I fail to see how you can maintain that they were not treated as sub-human.
Of course not all Christians believed or believe that the earth is flat. The problem is, those who demand that the Bible be taken literally trip over a few passages which reference an earth that can only be flat.
But hey – you are capable of arguing that the Inquisition didn’t really torture people and will bend every word or sentence to fit your need, so no point even trying.
By denying us – homosexuals and transgenders – the right to marry, you are treating us as sub-human. No other group is discriminated against thusly, not even Brittany Speers…



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Larry

posted January 28, 2009 at 4:55 pm


“Legally” is not the domain of the church, at least not in America. Trying to use the 3/5′s compromise as a basis for stating that the church held that blacks and women were viewed as sub-human is simply too bizarre for words.
The church has also never denied that the a more ancient cosmology than the Greek one is in parts of the Old Testament, but this does not mean that the church understood these passages to be teaching a flat earth. There is difference between what is assumed and what is taught. The Bible is not a science book. BTW, “literal” is a very nearly meaningless term when it comes to interpreting the Bible.
I never argued that the Inquisition, Spanish or otherwise, didn’t practice torture. They did, however, strictly limit the use of torture and the types of torture that could be used. They were far more restrained in their usage than any other institution of the time.
Is there anything that you don’t see in terms of gay marriage? Incidentally, the church gives you the same right or privilege to marry that it gives everybody else. I can’t marry another man, either. By your standard the Catholic Church views the Pope as sub-human, he is not allowed to marry anybody, regardless of sex.



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Susan

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm


Regarding the question of how we “feel” about bisexuality and what we think bisexuals should do:
I’m not especially interested in “shoulds” when it comes to other people’s sexuality. God gave some people the capacity to love either sex fully. What one does with that gift is between the individual and God, as far as I’m concerned. I prefer monogamy myself, and may not completely understand people who chose not to be monogamous, but that’s my issue. I also tend not to think in terms of what “I feel” about someone’s sexuality in the same way I don’t really place a great deal of importance or value on the question of how I might feel about other people’s skin color, height, size, looks, disability or ability. Of course I have reactions to such things, and those are only human, but in creative and constructive discourse, I tend to want to hold my “feelings” about someone else’s essential being or basic characteristics in check (not unexamined, of course) while discussing social, political, and theological issues that ultimately have to do with whether we, as Christians, have learned how to love people who are “different.” To the extent that we haven’t learned this, the world is a much poorer and more dangerous place.



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Susan

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:15 pm


One more quick note for now: I understand how male and female bodies have certain reproductive endowments that complement each other, but that is not the whole story of love, nor of the human being or human spirit. I have always thought that homophobia and virulent anti-gay Christian commentary focused so narrowly on genitalia…as if one’s plumbing were intended to define everything about a person’s destiny. People have glands and genitalia, of course, but they also have minds, souls, and spirits. There is much more to each of us than our genitalia. Sexuality is much more than just who does what to, or with, whose plumbing. We are talking about embodied, human love of varying kinds But embodiment, in my particular Christian view of things, is a coalescence of body, mind, and spirit. That kind of wholeness is a gift from God, and to condemn another’s love (and life and very being) on the basis of some bodily landscape, to me, does not make the Holy Spirit very happy. Think, for a moment, about the many people who are born with two different sets of genitals, or without any clearly definable genitals. Does God make mistakes? Whose love does God condemn?



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Your Name

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:15 pm


A Walker on January 28, 2009 4:08 PM posted: “For women, wombs and breasts tell us something about what ought to happen with our sexuality: namely, we ought to partner with a male to produce and raise kids. For men, same deal in reverse. Now, while our bodily nature tells us what ought to happen by God’s design, we have a choice: comply with or reject God’s design.”
So, A Walker, all those celebate popes, bishops, priests, and nuns down through the centuries have been rejecting God’s design for men and women and are sinning against God’s will by not using their genitals and reproductive organs with persons of the opposite sex to make babies. Thanks for clearing that up for me.



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panthera

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:20 pm


Larry,
I could care less what your Church says, the Catholic Church has committed so much evil through the centuries that there is no point even assuming any aspect of that church you care to defend is worth the defense.
I do not see everything through the light of my sexuality, this is, however, a discussion on – guess what! – oppression of gays and transgendered by people such as yourself.
Bisexuality. Hmm. I have severe doubts as to the existence of such a state, but am prepared to acknowledge my ignorance. I am monogamous, can’t imagine any other state of marriage. I do not see why a bi-sexual person, should such truly exist – and not just be gays pretending to be straight for convenience sake – should be incapable of settling with just one person and being true to them. But, again – I have no standing, being gay and not bi-sexual.



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Rob the Rev

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:26 pm


I made the post dated January 28, 5:15 PM FYI



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Jen

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:31 pm


A Walker, I forgive you.
You have judged me. I forgive you. You attack my ministy, I forgive that. You pushed me further from God rather than closer to Him, I forgive you.
Perhaps I shouldn’t say you personally but your views do. I am beloved by my Savior. There is nothing I can do to lose His favor or love. Long before I was born, God knew that I would do great things for Him.
My God is powerful enough that he can take some lower-middle class dyke and make her larger than life.



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Jen

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:33 pm


Sorry if you take offense to the wording there, I’m talking about me at the end!



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Rob the Rev

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:40 pm


Larry posted on January 28, 2009 4:55 PM “I never argued that the Inquisition, Spanish or otherwise, didn’t practice torture. They did, however, strictly limit the use of torture and the types of torture that could be used. They were far more restrained in their usage than any other institution of the time.”
That must have been a great comfort to the torture victims of the Roman Catholic Church that their torturers were more restrained in its use than other practicioners of the day.



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Larry

posted January 28, 2009 at 5:44 pm


I could care less what your Church says, the Catholic Church has committed so much evil through the centuries that there is no point even assuming any aspect of that church you care to defend is worth the defense.
Wow, and you accuse those who have a different opinion on the validity of gay marriage as being hateful?
BTW, I’m not a Catholic, although Catholics are part of my church.



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Susan

posted January 28, 2009 at 6:09 pm


I will attest to the fact that there are some very Godly, anointed and even ordained bisexual Christians out there. They DO exist. Just as homosexual people, created that way by God, exist. They are not promiscuous or indiscriminate. They are simply doubly blessed. I’m sure bisexual people make choices about partnerships on the basis of many factors, and I believe that more often than not–as is the case for all of us–love prevails over other considerations or factors.
Same-sex love does exist. It is a gift from God, and therefore deserving of the highest blessings; certainly no less deserving of blessing than heterosexual love.
Jen, I pray for the day when throngs of “straight” people rise up to affirm in you what you affirm about yourself. That, to me, would be the Spirit of Jesus in action.
I do believe that the heart of Jesus is closest to those who are poor, misunderstood, and oppressed. If you can see Jesus in gay, lesbian, bi, queer, and transgender people, you are seeing through the eyes of God.



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Larry

posted January 28, 2009 at 6:16 pm


That must have been a great comfort to the torture victims of the Roman Catholic Church that their torturers were more restrained in its use than other practicioners of the day.
Perhaps you would like them to stand in judgment over us for our promiscuity, dishonesty and cowardice? No age is perfect and each age tends to value most highly those virtues that it excels in and deprecates those where it is weak. Our age is good at kindness, tolerance and the like, not so good when it comes to honesty, courage and (especially) chastity. Like the man said, judge not …



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Joel

posted January 28, 2009 at 9:30 pm


Panthera,
I have to say, your comment comparing me to a Nazi somewhat pissed me off. Now why would it do that? Maybe because I happen to be a Jew.
As for bi-sexuality, if such a state exists, is the person justified in engaging in a sexual relationship with at least one girl and one guy at the same time? After all, the person is attracted to both genders, who are we to tell them no?



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Joel

posted January 28, 2009 at 9:34 pm


I should also add this – what is wrong with promiscuity? How do we know it is wrong? Is it because it’s social stigma? If a person is safe and uses protection, gets checks on a regular basis, who are we to judge that person?
What if God made the person to enjoy multiple partners?



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 10:15 pm


RobRev,
The justification Galileo used to arrive at heliocentrism was scientifically incorrect. To provide empirical physical demonstration of heliocentrism, he said that the tides were caused by the sloshing back and forth of water in the seas as a point on the Earth’s surface speeded up and slowed down because of the Earth’s rotation on its axis and revolution around the Sun. Oops. His proof was entirely false.
Moreover, Galileo mocked his contemporary Johannes Kepler, who argued that the moon caused the tides. And of course Kepler turned out to be right.
The Catholic Church always permitted Galileo to maintain his *theory,* so long as he did not get ahead of himself with false justifications. (For the Church was looking to real science for answers, not mere opinion.) Galileo then tried to argue scripture, which was even more stupid, for the Church doesn’t accept the bible as a science manual. (Different disciplines of knowledge.)
The Church was right in its restraints upon Galileo, and Galileo should never have tried to become a hack theologian to prove science.



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panthera

posted January 28, 2009 at 10:28 pm


Joel,
Good – you got the simile. There is no difference between you desire to dissolve my marriage and what the Nazis did to Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies, handicapped, devout Christians…none what so ever.
Except, of course, they had the power to carry out their hateful schemes, you, don’t.
And that is the real problem with people like you deciding who may and who may not marry. It is none of your business who I love, by whom I am loved.
Absolutely none of your business whatsoever. In other countries, we have advanced far enough to prevent people from you from exercising your hatred against us. Soon, the US will join the rest of the Western World in taking your hatred out of the laws of the land.
Glad you are pissed off. How dare you claim God’s power to decide who may love whom in this world?



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 10:32 pm


Panthera,
Blacks were never legally defined as only 3/5 human. Only three out of five were counted so as to prevent the South from gaining more elected officials than the North (elected representatives are based on population counts). All blacks should thank the North for trying to limit the South’s power base with the 3/5 count. Otherwise, who knows how things might have turned out concerning slavery.
And Panthera, lots of people are denied eligibility for marriage—and you yourself would deny certain couples eligibility for marriage—but this does not mean they are “sub-human.” Stop exaggerating the matter.
Can someone pick a different thread for the Inquisition? That’s way too much history for the average person to really grasp on a message board. It’s a state issue, by and large anyway.
Finally, could you knock off the “Catholic Church has committed so much evil” nonsense. Are you some historian who is really prepared to back up the accusations you are making? I didn’t think so.



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A Walker

posted January 28, 2009 at 10:50 pm


To Susan,
Our complimentary reproductive organs tells us everything about the intent of sexuality. Design and function/purpose are always related. In nature, biology equals destiny to a great degree.
As human beings, we ought to listen actively to the designs of our bodies to discover who we human beings are and what we’re designed to accomplish. Men and women have a partnership to fulfill in their bodies, and Nature calls us to that complementarity and partnership. It’s a message literally written into our bodies.
Finally, you are making assumptions that all forms of sex are “gifts from God,” so long as the emotion of love is involved.
—-
To Jen,
I’ve done no wrong to you, so I don’t need to be forgiven. Please stop pre-emptively “forgiving me.” When a real occasion arises for which forgiveness is required, then I’ll ask forgiveness, and you will have the option to forgive me. Until that time, we’re cool.



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Joel

posted January 28, 2009 at 11:42 pm


Panthera,
I had to laugh. You accuse me of being like the Nazis (I don’t want to kill you or make you suffer – I just think your marriage is illegitimate before God. ), but turn around and want to take away my right to free speech. Oh the irony.



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Noah S

posted January 29, 2009 at 8:50 am


Like a dog returns to its own vomit, so I keep coming back to this blog. I only have one question. Can a person be complete without having sexual intercourse? I read recently a couple of books by Shane Claiborne and his writings have changed my life. He is single and as far as I know remains such. He says that the church should fulfill the persons need for deep connection. After all, isn’t that what sex is all about? What do y’all think?



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A Walker

posted January 29, 2009 at 9:29 am


Noah S.,
People can be complete without sexual intercourse. In Christianity, there is a long esteemed tradition of purposeful celibates who use their freedom to accomplish “special ops” for the Church’s wide-ranging purposes, needs, and agendas. Jesus and Paul were two such celibates. Such people forego marriage to marry some special other mission. They are relatively few in number, but their contribution and leadership is often indispensable to the well-being of the Church and society.



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Noah S

posted January 29, 2009 at 9:45 am


Where do we get that sex outside of marriage is wrong? Is it wrong? I am sorry I am asking because I legitimately don’t know where we get this stuff.



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panthera

posted January 29, 2009 at 10:19 am


Personally, I see no difference between a gay pedophile and a straight pedophile.
This monster should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
I don’t care whether the young man involved was ‘nearly’ 18. This is inexcusable.
Oh, and Br’er Patch, the leading gay newspaper in Oregon is at the spear front of the movement to have him removed from office.
You are mistaken when you believe homosexuality is a sin. You are mistaken when you believe that homosexuals countenance sin.



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panthera

posted January 29, 2009 at 10:21 am


Oh, dear. I am sorry about that. This dratted interface. No, text will not be lost…texts from other postings may be inserted and your text may show up in a completely different thread. Can’t someone please do something about this horrible software?
A Walker, one need not be a historian to find documented evidence of the manifold atrocities committed by the Catholic Church.
Here is a brief list, you just pick the ones you want me to document for you.
Antisemitism
Covering up pedophile priests/priests siring children
Persecution of ‘witches’
Inquisition
Crusades
Lots and lots more, I just listed a few which are so well documented it should be easy for you to verify.
Joel, you enjoy free speech. So do I. After saying my marriage is the same as adultery and you would dissolve it if you could you can not then complain when I point out that the last group of people to dissolve legal marriages were Nazis. I should think someone who is Jewish would be more aware of the atrocities committed against people like homosexuals – the mentality which attracts those who persecute us is exactly the same mentality as attracts those who persecute Jews.
The only difference I see between you and the Nazis is that they were able to achieve their nefarious goals, I am protected against people like you in my home country. No other difference – you have publicly admitted that you would take the same steps they did.
Jesus was not celibate, he was married. Don’t fundamentalist/literalistic/conservative/followers of ancient creeds/Biblical inerrants/ultra-right-wing-Catholic…”Christians” even bother to learn anything about Judaism? Considering Jesus was a Jew, and a Rabi, the only conceivable reason he might not have been married would have been the death of his wife and the tolerance for grieving extended to widows and widowers in the Jewish faith.
Paul, who knows, who cares. I might paste and copy all the postings from many fundamentalist/literalistic/conservative/followers of ancient creeds/Biblical inerrants/ultra-right-wing-Catholic…”Christians” here over the last months on how marriage between man and woman is “God’s plan” and a requirement for all adults. But when it comes to your side of the debate, inconsistency is permitted, no?
Noah, I am not qualified to answer your question, but I will happily give you my opinion.
Yes, it is possible for some people to be happy and complete without any intimate sexual relations. I do not think this is true for the vast majority of people.
Science and medicine have established that there is nothing wrong with being gay. Nor is there any danger inherent to ‘gay sex’ (whatever ‘that; is, considering the statistics on heterosexual practices, I don’t think we do much of anything in our bedrooms straights don’t do, too). There is no reason for gays to abstain from sex within monogamous, committed relationships. Just as there is no reason for straights to abstain from sex within monogamous, committed relationships.
I do not understand the passion with which the fundamentalist/literalistic/conservative/followers of ancient creeds/Biblical inerrants/ultra-right-wing-Catholic…”Christians” attack our desire to live in committed, monogamous marriage.



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Joel

posted January 29, 2009 at 10:52 am


Panthera,
The Nazi’s also used words and wrote books. Does this make you a Nazi, or any author of a book a Nazi? They also believed in the distribution of wealth (granted, it was among those deemed racially pure), does this mean Obama is like a Nazi? Again, you’re committing a logical fallacy (do you see a pattern here?).
You keep speaking in legal terms. I have not spoken in legal terms. I’m saying that in the eyes of God, your marriage is not legitimate. The law means little when it doesn’t coincide in the eyes of God. Assume, for example, that we live in ancient Sparta and you kill a slave as part of your passage into manhood. The law allows this so long as you are not caught. Does this mean what you did is right? Of course not – it’s still ethically wrong in the eyes of God.
As for your comment on Jesus – WOW. You’re essentially denying that He was God in the flesh, the second person of the Trinity, and that He is the Groom to the Church. Why even claim to be a Christian when you don’t even believe in Christ? You believe in a man named Jesus who did good things, not a Messiah. I believe Muhammad existed and had many good things to say. I am a big fan of Islamic philosophers, such as al-Farabi and others – but I don’t call myself a Muslim because I’m not a follower of it. I deny its most basic tenets. I deny that its holy book is inspired. Likewise, if you’re going to deny the basic tenets of Christianity and its holy book, why give yourself the title?



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Jen

posted January 29, 2009 at 11:03 am


A Walker:
I pointed out the various ways you have wronged me. I will not get into an immature “no I didn’t, yes you did” though. I have forgiven you though and even if you don’t choose to accept it, I offered it. Jesus offers forgivness to everybody whether they want it or not. I’m not quite as cool as him but I’m offering mine the same way.
If you choose to accept it wonderful! If not, ok, Jesus gets it thrown back into his face too. I will count it as a sacrifice for Him. I opened myself up to you and you choose to attack still. That is ok. I will continue to grow in Christ and will continue to love and forgive those who persecute me.



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Herb

posted January 29, 2009 at 11:31 am


Panthera,
On your last couple of posts, I’ve agreed with a couple of things you’ve said. Many bad things have happened in different religious and non-religious “names”. Plus, this interface sucks. We probably don’t agree with much else, but when you said that Jesus was married, that just made me stop. Really? Where’s the proof? I don’t want to hijack the thread but that’s a massive statement, you have to admit.



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A Walker

posted January 29, 2009 at 12:14 pm


Panthera: Personally, I see no difference between a gay pedophile and a straight pedophile. This monster should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
A Walker: I love watching gays get all in a huff about other people’s unusual sexual preferences. It’s so damn hypocritical, bigoted, and transparently self-contradictory. After all, it’s only sex, isn’t it? Why won’t you grant that people who are attracted to teens are fully human???
Next, making accusations is easy, and anyone can do that. Proving accusations is much more difficult, and I doubt you are in any position as a historian to gather and evaluate the facts of the Crusades, the Inquisition, or even the Crossing of the Delaware. So, lay off the historical slanders and let’s keep to the topic at hand.



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A Walker

posted January 29, 2009 at 12:28 pm


Jen: I pointed out the various ways you have wronged me.
A Walker: None of the items you listed were real legitimate wrongs, either from a biblical perspective or a legal-civil perspective. You simply got your feelings hurt because my words didn’t agree with your perspectives on these topics.
But the question you should ask yourself is this: which statement of A Walker was false? For example, is it not true that you are a mere mortal with a limited life and a need to acquire eternal life from the Creator? And is it not true that the Creator has the final say over how he designs his creatures and how he desires them to function? And is it not true that Jesus said, “come *and obey*, and I will give you life”?
Jesus does not offer forgiveness to people who don’t want it or who don’t believe they’ve done any wrong requiring forgiveness. I’m actually starting to think you may not properly understand how the process works. Forgiveness is for people who (1) legitimately committed a violation of another and God and (2) admit they did this and want to correct their wrong act.
Those who have not met qualification No. 1 do not need forgiveness. You can’t be forgiven for something you didn’t do. Do you understand this?



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Noah S

posted January 29, 2009 at 1:25 pm


A Walker,
I really don’t want to get in the middle of this but I am confused why it matters so much to you that you tell Jen that she doesn’t forgive you. This is almost laughable if you think about it.
Jesus: I forgive your original sin that you were born with.
Me: Oh that’s okay I don’t believe in original sin and frankly neither do you.
Jesus: I forgive you though
Me: I didn’t do anything wrong
Jesus: I still forgive you
Me: Stop saying that! I didn’t do anything wrong. There is no original sin! You are really pissing me off with your forgiveness! God!



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Joel

posted January 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm


I would like to back Walker up on what he’s saying about the Inquisition and Crusades. Granted, both are horrible events regardless (neither too favorable to my people), but both are misunderstood. The Crusades, as horrible as this might sound, is something the West should be thankful for in some ways. It was the first time the West had made an incursion into Islamic territory since Islam began it’s conquest of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Western Europe (finally stopped at Tours, 732AD [I think, may be a bit off on the date]). It also put a stop to the Islamic invasion of Eastern Europe for about 400 years, which allowed Europe to recover militarily so it could hold off any further invasions (granted, the Turks did continue a conquest of Eastern Europe – all the way to modern day Italy – up until about the 18th century).
All that to say, some of what we look on with disgust now we should also be partially thankful for. I know that’s hard to do (especially for me), but it’s one of those oddities about history. This also shows the guiding hand of God that, in our sinfulness, He still directs it towards His goal and purpose (apologies to Caputo and Rollins for mentioning a strong God).



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A Walker

posted January 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm


Heya Noah. Follow this hypothetical scenario.
[Noah S. doing nothing wrong, talking with A Walker.]
A Walker to Noah: I forgive you, Noah.
Noah: Forgive me? For what?
A Walker: You spoke to me and said things I disagree with. But know that I forgive you and Jesus forgives you.
Noah. But wait, I didn’t wrong you and thus don’t need your forgiveness. Saying things another person disagrees with isn’t wrong. So, it’s not an occasion for forgiveness. You have to actually do something wrong to another person before you need forgiveness.
A Walker: I forgive you anyway.
Noah: I don’t need your forgiveness in this situation, for I haven’t done anything wrong. Tell you what…if I ever DO wrong you, then perhaps we’ll have this discussion and you can forgive me then. Okay? Okay.



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Larry

posted January 29, 2009 at 5:34 pm


A Walker: I forgive you anyway.
As Miroslav Vulf puts it, “to forgive is to blame”, this is why people are resistant to being forgiven when thy don’t think they have done anything to forgive. Blame is implicit in forgiveness.



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Rob the Rev

posted January 29, 2009 at 8:51 pm


Re: A Walker’s post of January 28, 2009 10:15 PM
A Walker. Regarding Galileo’s error from: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/galileo/mistake.html
“Even Galileo’s greatest blunder reveals his greatest strength as a scientist. Referring to the tidal theory, Stillman Drake, a leading Galileo scholar, once wrote, ‘The prime source of Galileo’s effectiveness was his bringing together of mathematics, astronomy, and physics in an inseparable relationship. Hence even a questionable example of such a relationship given by him was still capable of revealing to others what sort of thing should be sought after in constructing a scientific explanation.’ For another view of Galileo’s contribution, see His Place in Science.)
That is, even though Galileo was wrong in this instance, he was right about the direction of science (and showed it by example): away from a more speculative, deductive approach and towards a more empirical, experimental method. Galileo didn’t make it into Lord Kelvin’s seminal paper on the tides. But for all his work, including his tidal theory, he secured a place in history as the first modern scientist.”
However the church in its Inquisition Documents against Galileo rejected heliocentrism as contrary to the Holy Scriptures yet you say “the Church doesn’t accept the bible as a science manual.”
Here is the wording on the Inquisition Documents against Galileo, “The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scriptures”. That seems like a fairly straight forward case of using the bible as a book of science to me.
On 31st October 1992, (only 350 years after Galileo had died), Pope John Paul II “…expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, and officially conceded that the Earth was not stationary, as the result of a study conducted by the Pontifical Council for Culture”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo_Galilei#Church_controversy So 462 years after Nicolaus Copernicus finished writing, “De Revolutionibus”, the Pope says it’s right.
The Roman Catholic Church sect or any Christian or religious sect has no inherent right or authority in putting under house arrest, or torturing, or murdering by various means anyone, be they a scientist or lay person because they believe or say or publish anything that is contrary to Roman Catholic dogma. I am so glad that that religion for the most part in our modern world no longer has such power to physically abuse and murder people they disagree with.
And finally the Roman Catholic Church sect’s pope has admitted and apologized for its evils down through the centuries. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2000/mar/13/catholicism.religion



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Panthera

posted January 29, 2009 at 9:47 pm


I realized something today which may be important. It is a good thing for people to see just how determined people like Joel and A Walker are in their views. Sorry, A Walker for lumping you in with a man whose hatred is like inflamed pus dripping from an open sore. I know we don’t agree on much, but I respect your willingness to ask questions.
One reason we lost on Prop. 8 was that too many of us thought such people were no longer that common. Seeing these words poor forth from people like Joel is a strong warning – we are not safe.
Joel, I believe in Christ as the son of God and my savior. Obviously that is not enough for you. Tough.



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A Walker

posted January 29, 2009 at 10:31 pm


Larry writes: “As Miroslav Vulf puts it, ‘to forgive is to blame’”
A Walker: Ahhhh yessss. Thank you, Larry.



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A Walker

posted January 29, 2009 at 10:48 pm


Panthera said: “Sorry, A Walker for…”
A Walker replies: Finally, an opportunity to walk step-by-step through a valid forgiveness cycle. Here’s how it works:
First, Panthera misjudges me, thinking and often saying that I’m more evil than I really am. (Not a “sin” per se, but let’s have fun here—imagine Panthera has slandered me to the point of my losing my job or something. See commandment about false witnesses against another.)
Second, Panthera, after much reflection and comparison, comes to the self-realization that maybe he has slandered me without cause, and caused material harm to me.
Third, Panthera, after much inner remorse and “how-would-I-feel-if-it-were-done-to-me” reflexivity, approaches A Walker to say, “I’m sorry.”
Fourth, A Walker, after judging that Panthera was being sincere enough in his apology (almost sincere?), concludes that he needs to forgive him, for that’s good for people, and God has thus commanded it for our benefit and peace.
Fifth, Panthera and A Walker are restored to good standing with one another. All is well. Our consciences and souls are once again squeaky clean and at peace with the world.
What a wonderful world we can have when we fess up to our wrongs; seek genuine forgiveness, with a pledge to try to not harm again; and move forward in peace with a clean slate. See, the sacrament of Reconciliation/Penance really does work for everyone.



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Jen

posted January 30, 2009 at 8:22 am


A Walker, I’m sorry I didn’t realize that only your interpretation of the scripture is correct. Only your version of love is the right kind.
What kind of love excludes people? How in the world do you unite people and witness to people with so much hate?
Perhaps you just translate poorly over a message board. I know plenty of people that disagree with me but there isn’t the animosity and walls built up that you have. Your legal reasoning for being anti-gay is ludicrous and elementary.
Your version of Christianity is just like the Judaism that Jesus preached against. It excludes people and tells them that they are not good enough. Jesus said Come. The only people that were genuinely chastized by Jesus were people that were excluding other people from the fellowship.



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Joel

posted January 30, 2009 at 9:51 am


Panthera,
Stop playing the victim. It’s getting old. As I stated, I think your marriage isn’t legitimate before God and haven’t said anything about the legal status of it. I’m pro-civil unions (of all types – the government shouldn’t be involved in marriage).
As for what you believe – when you deny the deity of Jesus, you’re not talking about the real Jesus who came down and died for our sins. You’re speaking of a mythical, made-up Jesus that never existed. When you speak of someone who was just a human, you might as well put your trust in the Easter Bunny as well, because a purely human, non-divine Jesus is just as mythical as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny.
Why claim the title “Christian” when you deny 90% of what Christianity teaches? Why not be bold enough to call yourself an agnostic or just a “spiritual person”?
Jen,
Love is, by its very nature, exclusive. With love – true love that is – must come justice when there is a lack of repentance. If you had a child whom you loved and this child was brutally raped, would you include this rapist in your family if he saw nothing wrong with what he did and sought no means to change how he was? No, you wouldn’t. Why is this? Because you love your child. Likewise, is it the call of Christians to say “So-and-so is a part of our church family” if that person is in rampant rebellion against God, unwilling to repent? Rebellion against God only causes strife amongst the children.
As for Jesus preaching against the Pharisees – don’t you realize that’s all postmodernism is? Pomo Christianity IS EXACTLY what the Pharisees taught (to an extent). The fact is, none of us are good enough to come to Christ (read Romans). That’s why God came down, in human flesh, in the person of Jesus Christ (sorry Panthera, when you deny this that means you’re not a Christian) – He came down to reconcile us to God so that us unworthy sinners could meet with God. None of this, of course, on our own merits either. The Pharisees taught that we had to perform certain works in order to please God. That’s exactly what “The New Christians” have been doing as well. “It’s no what you believe, it’s how you live.” Well crap then, because I know I don’t please God with my actions most of the time. For instance, I’m sitting here typing out this response instead of helping the poor and oppressed. Tony Jones (and everyone else here) must be in the same boat, because he spends quite a bit of time writing up his thoughts rather than putting stuff into action. So I guess if it comes down to how we live, we’re all screwed because none of us does hardly enough.
That’s the importance of grace and right belief. That’s why orthodox Christianity is still far from being as legalistic as modernistic Christianity or even postmodern Christianity (the EC is EXTREMELY legalistic, but not in the typical way we understand legalism).



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A Walker

posted January 30, 2009 at 10:09 am


Jen,
Love doesn’t exclude people: It reaches out to thieves, child-molesters, rapists, liars, adulterers, divorcees, and countless other human beings. But it calls them to change their ways, too, which is real love.
Next, we don’t unite people by sanctioning everything they do. We unite them through a love that accepts all and calls all to reject evil and cling to goodness, justice, holiness and purity.
Jesus didn’t say “come” — he said “come and obey,” “come and stop sinning,” come and reject your former unjust way of life,” “come and confess your wrongs and do right.” The reward Jesus offers to those who are dedicated and persistent in obeying Him is eternal life. This is the gospel.
People who understand that they are mere mortal creatures with limited life will seek God’s eternal life and designs for humankind and reject anything that opposes God’s will. Jesus wants to save us from our sinfulness, but we have to comply with his calling and grace and must not refuse.



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panthera

posted January 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm


Joel,
My Christianity is not to be defined by you.
Or did God resign and pass the baton to you?
You certainly do pretend as tho’ He did.
No sensible person would question that the whole point of God becomming incarnate as man is pointless if he was not a man. Jesus could only die for our sins as a man.
I suspect (your irrational screed is not easy to follow) you find offense at my stating Jesus was either married or a widower. Please, find the goodness in that pump you call a heart to tell us just exactly how you ‘know’ that, a: A Jewish rabi of that time could remain unmarried well into his thirties and, b: How his having married a woman subtracts from his being God’s son?
It is just and good that people like you post on these blogs. You serve as a warning to us that we must never, ever let our guard down against you.
I am a Christian. I am gay. God made me, God forgave me. Your attempt to usurp His power is evil beyond my command of the English language to describe.



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Jen

posted January 30, 2009 at 2:27 pm


The love of God is inclusive for all people, human love is very exclusive. Jesus loved those that religeon chose not too.
Faith without works is dead!!!
They will know we are christians by our love!!
Re-read the good samaritian. If you are saved, then your life will show, not by what you do, but who you do it for.
Remember the least of these?



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Jen

posted January 30, 2009 at 2:28 pm


Wow, comparing a homosexual with a rapist…..Are you Rick Warren?



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Joel

posted January 30, 2009 at 5:01 pm


I do find it quite interesting that the majority of what I say goes unanswered by those who oppose it. It must be easier to argue from emotion and shoot from the hip than to calm down and respond rationally to what has been said.
Panthera,
Where do you come up with this idea that Jesus was considered a rabbi by those in authority? Though His disciples called Him rabbi, there are instances where He is asked by what authority He says certain things, specifically dealing with the temple (look at the exchange He has after He drives people from the temple in Mark – if He were a Temple rabbi and subject to their laws, no one would have asked Him what authority He did this under).
When you deny that Christ is God incarnate, you deny that He is a perfect sacrifice for our sins. Your religion (it’s not Christianity) isn’t defined by me, but by years and years of the community of believers along with a foundation on the Bible have decided is orthodoxy. All of this has been guided by the Holy Spirit (do you believe He exists).
Furthermore, as I stated (and it went ignored), Christ is already in the courtship with the Church. Paul and the author of Revelation makes it extremely clear that Christ is married to the Church. If He married a woman on this earth, then He is married to her, not to us.
Beyond all that, you’re denying that Jesus is God. He was both God and man, fully divine and fully human. To deny either aspect is to deny the power of His sacrifice and make Him out to be a liar (he received worship as God and even claimed to be God.
Look, you’re denying the central beliefs of Christianity at this point. Why not just call yourself something else (like an Arian – which is far closer to what you believe than Christianity)?
Jen,
You didn’t answer the question. Would you allow a rapist into your family knowing full well that he had raped one of your children, wasn’t repentant about it, and saw nothing wrong with it?
I wasn’t comparing homosexuals to rapists perse, I was dealing with your view of love. I’m saying that if someone is unrepentant in ANY sin, they have rejected the love that has been offered. Homosexuality IS a sin and if unrepentant then it is a rejection of love.



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panthera

posted January 30, 2009 at 6:05 pm


Joel, it is pointless – you are immune to any aspect of reality except that which you create for yourself. None-the-less:
From a brief search on the Internet, we find several references to Jesus as “Master” or “Teacher” or “Rabi”. I have compiled them for you:
Jesus is called a rabbi thirteen times in the New Testament (Matthew 26:25,49; Mark 9:5; 11:21; 14:45; John 1:38,49; 3:2,26; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8)
41 times He is called a teacher.
Now, just why are you so set against what the Bible teaches? What is the horrid aspect of Jesus having been a rabi? Because that would have meant he was Jewish? Surely, you do know that Jesus was a Jew, don’t you? Christianity grew from Jewish roots. Well, considering the lack of justice amongst many Christians, perhaps “grew” is not quite the right word.



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Your Name

posted February 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm


Joel, your question does not deserve an answer in the context of this discussion. If we are just talking about what forgiveness looks like…then I would understand it as useful to the conversation.
Example for you…Would you stone your son as commanded by the Bible if he were to be homosexual?
My question and yours are constantly thrown out by our respective sides as red herrings. If you are comparing unrepentant homosexuality with unrepentant rape then your views of humanity are flawed.
As a homosexual having consenual relation, I do not harm the emotional, physical, or mental health and well being of another person. I hope that you can understand rape greatly does that to all three different aspects of a person.



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jen

posted February 2, 2009 at 3:55 pm


that was me by the way



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