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Homosexual rights downfall of churches?
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Teric
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aslaug wrote:
And it angers me even more that they single out homosexuals for mistreatment, when Christian theology in no uncertain terms ... ever since Thomas Aquinas spoke about how women were inferior to men and how they were so stupid they were basically nothing more than animals to be trained ... has taught that the soul is genderless.

Please ... think about that one more time. The body ... the physical body ... has a gender. But that which, according to most Christians at least, makes us touched by God (see: Cistine Chapel ceiling for marvelous illutration) is our soul, and that soul has no gender.

When we die and, allegedly, go to meet God for judgment, we leave our physical bodies behind. Only that which has real relevance and importance goes to God, namely the soul.

Which, I repeat yet again, has no gender.


As a point of interest in differing beliefs:

Quite honestly, the above is news to me. Probably because my Church teaches the opposite--that the souls (or spirits, if you will) of mankind do indeed have gender. Moreover, according to the beliefs of my Church, a resurrection (i.e. the re-uniting of the spirit with the body and the conversion into an immortal being) will take place before we stand before God for final judgement.

I was not aware that other Christian faiths taught that the soul has no gender.

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Howellfan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not going to state any suggestions or comments in this post - but I want to try to cut to the quick of one of the topics of debate in this thread.

I think using the term 'civil rights' is a bit confusing here. Marriage license or no, a gay or lesbian couple is free to live together, have a sexual relationship, raise one or both partner's child/children, go to the same stores as hetero, buy the same food, receive equal pay at their jobs and, er, drink at the same water fountains. Confused Yes, there are some tax and benefits advantages that come with a license, but certainly the difference isn't severe enough to dissuade millions of unmarried couples of any preference from sharing the same roof. I have no idea about how that's affected by a civil union, but let's be honest - would even identical benefits without a marriage license be satisfactory to the g&l community? I'm going to guess 'no'. Because the fight really isn't at it's core for 'civil rights' in quite that sense! Supporters aren't fighting for a tax break any more than opponents are really fighting to 'preserve the sanctity of marriage'. (From becoming WHAT? The divorce rate alone tops 50% ! Sad ).

What we're really talking about here, instead, is the normalization and formal legal recognition by the government, recognition of the parity of homosexual to heterosexual union, no less. Supporters in the G&L community greatly wish to go about their business knowing that the state explicitly recognizes and condones that their relationship is of the 'same value' as 'traditional' marriage, not inferior. And of course, it is exactly this explicit, formal recognition and condoning that it's opponents wish to stop.

So. Real questions:

Is the formal recognition(or also, the formal rejection) of the parity of homosexual and heterosexual union a civil rights issue?

Are opponents of formal recognition opposing the civil rights of a minority? Do they all(necessarily)do so with the heart or intent the last statement might imply in referencing the historical hardships and struggles of other minorities? In what way/s, if any, is this issue 'different'?

Law of unintended consequences department: Would a Constitutional amendment banning gay marriage be 'only that'? Or would it be the first step(whether it's supporters may wish it to be or not)down a road that (if somebody can suggest a truly neutral way of stating this part of the question, I'll rephrase it) leads to 'real'(universally recognizable and recognized)discrimination and abuse.

Law of unintended consequences department, part duex: What could the fallout be of recognition at a national/federal level? What price, if any, might society have to pay?(repeat: IF. ANY.) What benefits in exchange for them(if any)? Could the G&L community lose anything?(No, i can't imagine - that's why I'm putting it on the table!). And finally, any/all of the above in response to a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to hetero couples.

Like I said, no statements other than that...but let's try to debate what we really mean, 'ey? Smile (At least, I hope I'm on target here.... Confused )
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Sigurd Volsung
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Howellfan for bringing that point up. Here is why homosexual marriage is a must. Can gay couples live together legally? Yes. Can they have sexual freedom, all to often no, as sodomy is illegal in somewhere around twenty states in the USA. Here's the real kick in the teeth. Can they have a say in the medical treatment of their spouse, or be able to stay with them as they die in a hospital? NO!!! at least not in most of the USA.

Patty and I got married when we did because at one point I was brought to the hospital for mental health reasons. Since she was not my wife she was not allowed to see me until my parents came and brought her with them.

Now imagine a situation in which a lesbian was in a severe car accident and is terminal. Her parents have disowned her since they are religious bastards who think she has gone against God, which sadly, is all to common. This woman's partner would not be allowed to stay with her as she died leaving her to die alone.

Imagine that you couldn't be there for your husband or wife as they shuffle off their mortal coil. How would you feel if it was the will of a church or churches that prevented you from saying your last goodbyes. Wouldn't you be angry? Teric I know that you love your wife. How would you feel if another church helped pass a law that said only people who aren't Mormon can stay with their spouses when they are in the hospital? You voted and campaigned for just such a law with Prop8. I hope for your sake you can deal with having that on your conscience, condemning all too many people to die alone. Could you look into to the eyes of a gay coworker who couldn't be there for their dying partner, without an ounce of guilt, because of that law you helped pass? If you can then I feel ashamed for ever having once called you friend.

Now onto the marriage itself. This is now a matter of the rights of other churches. Let's take for example the most socially liberal minded church I can think of, the Unitarians. They would like to marry a gay couple, this couple wants to have a religious ceremony for the benefit of their friends and families. By laws prohibiting these marriages it says that churches cannot provide the same services to the GLBT community as it can to the rest of society, hence a form of discrimination. Now the government is interfering with church business not on criminal grounds like the child molestation of young boys as was seen with the Catholics, but on civil grounds. We have separation of church and state then why must the state interfere with noncriminal church business.

As I have stated before, in some countries you have to have a civil union through the government for any marriage to be legal. If you were to have a religious ceremony without one the marriage isn't legal. If the GLBT community is forced to get a civil union then straight couples should be forced to get them as well for their marriages to be legal, fair is fair. If any couple wishing to get married had to have that license then it would be up to individual churches if they would preform the ceremony or not, not up to a bunch of people who have never met the couples making a blanket policy.

Now here's another thing to think about, what about a transsexual? I know of a transsexual who met a women right before she went into surgery and she would have given just about anything to have the chance to marry her. Since under the law, at least here, no matter what my friend did she would still be considered male by law she could marry the women, but what if instead of meeting a women she had met a man she wanted to marry. She's a women right? Well not according to the law, she still male as far as the law is concerned so she could not marry the man of her dreams.

Now do you understand why this is a civil rights matter?

I think people may have gotten confused when I over zealously said that I'd like to see churches fall based on their followers views on gay rights. A more refined way to put it is like this. Every organism evolves, and since they are organisms in a sense this applies to churches as well. As people begin to feel that parts of the doctrine of their church is outdated yet want to remain faithful to the rest they will split off and reinvent the out moded pieces to something more to their liking and distance themselves from the rest of the church. This can be seen over and over and over again, new churches arise from the divisions of older ones. If Mormons who feel that their church acted poorly when it gave money to help pass Prop8 decided that it was a big enough reason to separate from the rest of the church you would now have a new, more socially liberal Mormon church. Now if this new church was to flourish taking followers from the old one, or if the older one was mostly made up of older followers whose children are more socially liberal the old church would fall by the wayside.

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Teric
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sigurd wrote:
Teric I know that you love your wife. How would you feel if another church helped pass a law that said only people who aren't Mormon can stay with their spouses when they are in the hospital? You voted and campaigned for just such a law with Prop8. I hope for your sake you can deal with having that on your conscience, condemning all too many people to die alone. Could you look into to the eyes of a gay coworker who couldn't be there for their dying partner, without an ounce of guilt, because of that law you helped pass? If you can then I feel ashamed for ever having once called you friend.


Please, Sigurd, stop this. Please get your facts right. Domestic partnerships in California get identical rights under state law that hetero married couples get. Proposition 8 did nothing to decrease these rights, which already existed and continue to exist unchanged after it passed.

I would also appreciate it if you would please refrain from the emotionally charged barbs that you keep aiming at me.

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Sigurd Volsung
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prop 8 denied the rights of churches to perform marriage services for the GLBT community if they wanted to, how is that equal?

As for the emotionally barbed comments I have directed at you Teric. I have found that when people claim those attacks it is out of a sense of guilt or shame since for my part that attack was completely without emotion, I merely sang you a situation that you didn't want to hear. I just used you since I have met you before and have heard you talk about your gay friends whom you would treat as second class.

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Teric
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am now going to withdraw from this thread. Again, I am deeply sorry for the divide of misunderstanding and misjudgement that you have created between us. It is now clear to me that you have placed labels on me that I cannot convince you to remove, regardless of whether they are appropriate or not.

I am happy to discuss issues, even difficult and divisive issues, if it remains a discussion. However, this has now become a debate, where your intent is not to share ideas nor gain understanding but to simply discredit and disprove your opposition.

I wish you well, Sigurd. I truly do.

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Howellfan
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please Teric, Sigurd - *holds up hand*

Charged topics prompt charged feelings, which sooner or later invariably lead to charged responses. You know, I've read articles claiming there's evidence that we always reason emotionally, even when we think we're using cold logic. About anything.

In other words, let's remember in a very real sense, when discussing emotionally charged subjects 'every man's an island.' Inevitably, some of what's said won't be the same as what's heard. Alright? Smile
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Aslaug
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is taking a turn towards something nasty as well, whether that is intentional or not.

I've said my piece, and while I don't deny that this is an emotionally ladden topic for me as well, seeing as I'm part of the LGBT community, I think it's best if I pull out at this point too.

There's nothing I can add to what I've already said that would clarify things further anyway.
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Concolor
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2009 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. What Aslaug said. Farewell Mr. Topic.
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Alexi
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we've all said about all that there is to say on this one.

I would like to commend both Teric and Aslaug for showing the level of maturaty that it takes to step away from something when it's getting out of hand. It is all too rare that I see anyone Online or off that understand when it's time to back down and cool off.

Again, the community astounds me.
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Syrius
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2009 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's water under the bridge, there is no point crying about spilled milk...

Unless you're a goblin under that bridge and the milk had been spilled on you. Razz

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Aslaug
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a thought about this ...

I know I said I'd back out of this but as Mike said, it's all had time to cool off and I think I have to share this with someone else.

Today, Marriage is more than simply a religious union. We should, as a bare minimum, be able to agree ... one and all ... that marriage is also a legal union. That there are certain legal ramifications involved in being married, such as custody issues over children in case of divorce and, in some countries, tax-rules.

These are hard facts at least and I'm sure that while to some marriage is a religious thing, we can all agree that it is ALSO a legal matter.

So here's my thought:

As a heathen, I would really dislike that my marriage would have to conform to rules set down by Christians, just as I'm sure the opposite is true. But voting against the right of homosexuals to marry, based on one's religious conviction, means that you are, in effect, forcing your religious views onto others. It means that you are actively telling people that because YOUR faith tells you it shouldn't be allowed, it doesn't matter if THEIR faith accepts it.

In a nation with freedom of religion, be that the United States, Denmark or anywhere else, that is clearly unacceptable since it grants one religion supremacy over others in moral and ethical matters. That is not freedom of religion, because it prohibits those in the minority from actively following a peaceful and absolutely private part of their faith to the fullest measure possible. While I understand that society must prohibit faiths that actively preach violence against others or other destructive behavior, marriage is a private matter and is, by definition, an act of love, not of destruction.

However, a working compromise IS possible as I see it.

If marriage became a secularized institution by law, it would be a matter of ALL couples getting married at city hall. It could be a civil ceremony if people want that, or something as simple as going down there and putting two signatures on a piece of paper saying "yep, we're now married" and going home.

Then once that marriage is completed, everyone would have equality under the law. HOWEVER, when dealing with people of faith (be that Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Heathens, Wiccans or whateverists) they would probably not consider that marriage to be "complete". In the case of two practicing Christians, they would almost certainly want to take their vows in front of their God in order to feel their marriage was actually valid.

They would then be free to simply do the "signing of a document"-part at city hall and then taking their full vows in a church of their choosing. That would leave every religious community free to say "We don't want to marry homosexuals" OR as is the case of my own religious community, they could say the opposite and perform such weddings if they felt like it.

It would leave each religious community and faith completely free to choose whether they would want to perform such weddings or not, while still granting the same protection of the law to ALL members of society.

No vows would be taken before any deity without the consent of the relevant religious community, and but no citizen would be second-class in a very important legal issue either.

To me, it would work. I wouldn't personally care either way if Christian churches would marry homosexuals or not. Just as I couldn't care less if rabbis, imams or any other kind of priest would, even including my own because this, to me, is a civil rights issue FAR AND ABOVE a religious one. Religion is a completely personal matter in my world anyway.

That would be equality. Some might still think that is "separate but not equal" but the point here is, homosexuals can't force Christians or other religious groups to believe differently than they do.

As my father always put it: "A good argument never changed anyone's opinion about anything. A good example just might!"

I think Massachussets made the best possible example. Since legalizing marriage for homosexuals, the average divorce-rate in that state has dropped to pre-WWII standards, specifically because homosexual couples tend to stay together.

As a certain newscaster (MSNBC's Rachel Maddow) put it: homosexual marriage turns out to be a defense of marriage act.

Look it up people. The data is available on the interwebs. The divorce rate is down from 2.2 to 2.0 out of every 1000.

2.2 is already an absurdly low number. 2.0 is almost impossible to grasp.

Honestly ... give it some thought. I don't want anyone's religion to come under attack, but I do want everyone to have equal rights.

Everyone.

Regardless of what consenting adult they sleep next to at night.
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Wulfie_Vulphyre
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marriage between gay couples in the eyes of religion, is a choice of the church or whatever holy house decides to either do, or pass up doing a ceremony. Marriage in the eyes of the law, should not consist of OMG Noez you and you have the same googly parts and can't be together. Law is law, and law should be fair. Man, woman, trans, look i've got both parts, and whatever the hell else there is around. If you wanna marry another human of legal age then it should be legal. If we're here to keep church and state separate, then it needs to be done in ALL manners. Not just the convenient ones as chosen by certain groups of people.

I support All human rights. Leave the damn law to be the law, and the religion to be something you personally carry out. If law says Billy and Sue can marry, but not Ben and John or Sally and Sue, then the law is clearly bias and needs correcting to show no discrimination.

Just this Folf's 2 cents worth of opinion. Please insert coins to continue O.o
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The Silver Coyote
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Filly said:
Quote:
If marriage became a secularized institution by law, it would be a matter of ALL couples getting married at city hall. It could be a civil ceremony if people want that, or something as simple as going down there and putting two signatures on a piece of paper saying "yep, we're now married" and going home.

This is exactly what my Fox and I did about two decades ago, went down to city hall, filled out the forms, stood before a judge, and he said "yer married." I think this paperwork and pronouncement had and has absolutely no effect on how my wife and I feel for each other, nor does it act in some mysterious way to keep us together. Our mutual love and respect for one another takes care of that nicely, we don't need anything else to do that for us. The paperwork and pronouncement are merely a legal formality that allows us to avail ourselves of certain rights (tax advantages, for example) extended to us as a legally married couple. Life might be slightly more complex without the documentation and pronouncement of a legal authority, but our love would be no less strong for one another.

Marriage is a matter of the heart. A marriage will exist between a couple regardless of what any deity or government concerned may want to think. If love and commitment exists, then the rest is simply cooperating with others to keep things civil and socially acceptable. I believe this is why many countries have a "common law" marriage doctrine, which more or less says that if a couple have been living together, sharing the responsibilities of a home and family, then after a certain amount of time they are considered married in the eyes of the law.

I have no quarrel with any faith that decries homosexuality. It is fine for them to say, in essence, "you can't be a member of our club / organization / institution unless you believe certain things and behave certain ways." I've got no problem with that, because I can and do choose not to belong, and everybody wins. I have a big problem with any organization, be it a church, political action committee, club, branch of the military, or whatever, that tries to impose their beliefs about how things should be on society as a whole.

And this is, in fact, why I struggle with my own identity regards any faith I might have had. In spite of what the Bible says (and I quote that because it is the only acknowledged book of faith I am familiar with, other than a distant familiarization with the Quran), it is my opinion that God probably has no opinion on homosexuality. He designed and created us all, after all, so there must be some purpose for their existence, no? I can't imagine a God such as the Christians would have us believe in that would design a being simply to persecute it, to watch it suffer, and to watch it die in misery or agony. What is the point in that, other than some perverse self-indulgence?

So, being a believer in God and Jesus, but having a damned healthy mistrust of any supporting documentation about them and especially for those who wave said documentation under my nose and claim I have to heed it's authority, I must therefore question the documentation that presents my God as a being who designs beings simply to be persecuted by the "righteous." That doesn't sound like the doctrine that Jesus promoted, and wasn't He supposed to be on the mission at the behest and under the direction of His Father? So what are we to think?

I'll tell you how I solve that small riddle. I question the reference material ... the Bible. I'm not suspicious of it's origin, but highly suspicious of how man has warped it's content in the past couple thousand years, bent the teachings and messages to political ends. I firmly believe this has happend in the past, and believe this is what's happening now. One of the few things in the Bible that I still absolutely believe in, that I try my damnedest to adhere to, is found in Matthew 22:38:Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself. It doesn't say I have to agree with them, just love them. I also put a lot of stock in Matthew 7:1: Judge not, that ye be not judged. That seems simple enough to understand. It's not my place to tell others that they're right or wrong in how they choose to live, and it's certainly not my place to persecute anyone just because they aren't just like me or don't fully agree with my perception of things.

According to some of my more devout Christian acquaintances I'm going to be judged and sentenced to eternity in a very bad place for believing the things I do, and thinking the way I do. Be that as it may. If that day comes, I will look that judge in the eye and say "Fair enough. Do what you believe is right, what you believe is fair, what you believe is just. I did!"

And before anyone jumps under my tail, I consider myself to be more of a Christian than I am anything else. I have good friends in varying communities: agnostics, heathens, muslims, buddhists, and the many different flavors of Christianity including Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses. I love and respect them all. I do not mean to offend any here by expressing my opinion or my take on things, and apologize for any unintended slight herein.

This is more than two cents worth, but this subject continues to focus a bright light on my own internal struggles. Sorry for rambling.

SC

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Kellan Meig'h
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Silver Coyote wrote:
According to some of my more devout Christian acquaintances I'm going to be judged and sentenced to eternity in a very bad place for believing the things I do, and thinking the way I do. Be that as it may. If that day comes, I will look that judge in the eye and say "Fair enough. Do what you believe is right, what you believe is fair, what you believe is just. I did!"


If that is the case, I suppose I'll be meeting you there. I have to admit that I agree with the way you and Aslaug think about his.

Love thy neighbor and judge not. Seems to work for me.

Kellan, the old warhorse

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