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Homosexuality And The Progressive Christian

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Steve,

 

As far as I am concerned, absolutely nothing wrong with it if all three parties feel it works for them. Maybe I do have a bias, but I suspect that emotions such as jealousy may creep in and destroy the relationship, but then again jealousy can play a destroying role in couples too. If such a relationship genuinely works for such a group, then good for them.

 

Technically I don't know if this would be polygamy though. Polygamy is where a man is married to two or more wives (and there is no marriage connection between the women), and polyandry is where a woman is married to two or more men (and there is no marriage connection between the men). I think what you are referring to is probably called Group Marriage in that you're suggesting the bisexual person is 'married' to more than one of the group (and obviously I'm not restricting the term marriage to the bit of paper but what the group may consider marriage for all intents and purposes).

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There are several concepts at work here. One is of "enabling" and the other is of "constraints". We are not perfect. As Jung noted, the pursuit of perfection (a male principle) can be fatal. Love enables, yet it constrains. The same can be said for compassion. Both love and compassion, without periods of renewal, can leave us "overloaded".

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In my journey as a gay male, I have experienced the tensions of principles. I often speak to psychotherapists in training about my long term relationship. The most frequent question I am asked is "who plays the wife and who plays the father." My response is always "why do you ask that question?.

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The most frequent question I am asked is "who plays the wife and who plays the father." My response is always "why do you ask that question?.

 

Not a question that's ever come into my mind personally, Myron. How do most of these people respond? I'm presuming it's because perhaps that's how they've always understood a marriage to be a male and female and thus typically a dominat and a submissive role, subsequently two males might pose a quandry for them.

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Not a question that's ever come into my mind personally, Myron. How do most of these people respond? I'm presuming it's because perhaps that's how they've always understood a marriage to be a male and female and thus typically a dominat and a submissive role, subsequently two males might pose a quandry for them.

 

Paul,

 

You are correct when you note the factor of dominant and submissive gender roles. The American Psychological Association defines gender role and sexual orientation differently. Sexual orientation, by APA definition, is matter of romantic attraction. The poet Robert Bly talks about "the young mans gaze turning" as he enters the world of sexual maturation. His words on the subject are quite moving, and that is what these students are expected to learn. Gay and straight couples exhibit significant variation in how they take on responsibilty for the day to day family functioning. There are cultual differences many are not aware of, etc. Placing these students in the quandry is deliberate. To their credit, they usually get the point rather quickly. As therapists, they cannot afford to let biases influence their work with clients. The APA etthical guidelines are very, very clear on this.

 

Some of the discussions concerning dominant-submissive roles do get very interesting. In the end, students learn that the issue is between the two parties involved, and if there is no conflict involved they do not bring up the subject.

 

Myron

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I'm new here. Please forgive me if I intrude incorrectly.

 

If indeed we are viewing ourselves as Christians, progressive of course, it seems to me that the pivotal point is to be found in the central message of Yeshua, not before (OT) and certainly not afterward in the baggage of Paul (or those writing using his name.

 

My neighbor is everyone, including the LGBT community. If I cannot find my love for God (Allaha) to include my neighbor than I have turned my back on the central issue.

 

The OT can justify about any form of hateful behavior but we are not held to it. Paul and the writer of John can do the same and we are not held to it. The message is so simple it is always easy to miss.

 

Loving wastefully has no categories. It just is or it isn't.

 

Thanks for bearing with me.

 

Donald

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I'm new here. Please forgive me if I intrude incorrectly.

 

If indeed we are viewing ourselves as Christians, progressive of course, it seems to me that the pivotal point is to be found in the central message of Yeshua, not before (OT) and certainly not afterward in the baggage of Paul (or those writing using his name.

 

My neighbor is everyone, including the LGBT community. If I cannot find my love for God (Allaha) to include my neighbor than I have turned my back on the central issue.

 

The OT can justify about any form of hateful behavior but we are not held to it. Paul and the writer of John can do the same and we are not held to it. The message is so simple it is always easy to miss.

 

Loving wastefully has no categories. It just is or it isn't.

 

Thanks for bearing with me.

 

Donald

 

Welcome Donald,

 

I share your view that "loving wastefully has no categories". I was taught that in Sunday School oh so many years ago, and it has stuck with me for 50+ years. Good to hear it again.

 

Myron

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Thank you Myron-

 

It seems to me that Yeshua gave us one commandment when the Pharisees tried to trip him up.

 

Everything else is just a dog chasing its tail. No offense to anyone.

 

My very best to you, Myron, in all things.

 

Donald

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The concept of polygamy is interesting to me, from an outside perspective. As far as I know, I've never met anyone in a polygamous marriage/relationship, so all I know is what I've seen on tv and read in books. Warren Jeffs and his people have been in the news on and off for the last couple of years, and I have a few books written by those who survived his dictatorship and other similar dictatorships.

 

If people actually willingly enter into polygamous marriage, I see no problem with that. If three (four? five?) competent adults decide to do that, that's their business.

 

From what I have read though, forced marriage seems to be a common trend. Young girls (teens, even pre-teens) being married off to men they don't love, men old enough to be their fathers or grandfathers - that turns my stomach, and in my mind, is child abuse. The polygamous structure within FLDS (for example) is quite misogynistic, with girls and women being forced to marry, and in some cases, then taken from those husbands and given to someone else, and so on and so on. It is, essentially, rape and sexual slavery.

 

Therefore, as far as I can figure from what I know, polygamy doesn't really belong in the same category as what we're talking about, because it seems to be (quite often) harmful and based on power, rather than on love.

 

Again, what I've read is by no means exhaustive, and there may be FLDS (and so on) polygamist women who are quite happy with their situations, and perhaps their situations are not cohersive and abusive. However, the system does not seem to have been designed for women to be equal partners, but rather sex workers (essentially) and baby factories.

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Nothing changes how one interprets the Bible on this subject than when their child comes to them at age 11 and says "I think I am gay".

I had 2 choices:

1. Go back to my 45 years of religious experiences on the subject with all of the teachings explained to me that homosexuality was a sin, or worse.

2. Tell my son that I love him, accept him, to be proud of who he is, that there is nothing wrong with who he chooses to fall in love with and not to listen to people that tell him he was a bad person for being who he was.

 

I thank God every day I chose #2 immediately. Has not been an easy road but most of that was in the first few years going through what most parents do such as blaming ourselves for something that we never did and worrying about our loved one being persecuted.

And the many friends that really were not friends that all of a sudden never around anymore.

I thank God that they are gone also!

Thank all of you for this forum. This is my first post. I aim to learn from all of you.

 

Count me in as someone that is 100% gay rights. Amazing how hard working, smart and educated my son and his many gay friends are. I have learned even more from all of his straight friends that ARE STILL his friends after he came out his senior year in high school. Boys he played sports with and never knew he was gay and when he came out they stood beside him and accepted him. That was beyond awesome!

Edited by seenthelight
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Seeingthelight,

 

It makes me happy to read that you chose option 2. I am certain your son, your family, and the world, are better off for it.

 

Cheers

Paul

Edited by PaulS
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I have been thinking a lot about the concept of the pharisaic mindset, something Yeshua really really heats up about in the NT writings. The Pharisaic minset is not really one of religion but, rather, of exclusivity. The overwhelming need for a narrow US and a broad THEM. It certainly isn't a Jewish thing and the equivalent to a Pharisee can be found at all levels of gathered humans.

 

I propose that the real problem with acceptance of the LGBT community AND of same-sex marriage is found in the desperation that THEM will surge into US and become indistinguishable. This loss of power and arrogance over others, different from ourselves, is flimsily masked behind a well worn religious banner that has been unfurled in support of so many Pharisaic issues, Slavery, Women's Rights, Civil Rights and now LGBT rights. All of these have been found on the 'wrong side' of history and yet the same Pharisaic patterns re-emerge.

 

My parents have been married 63 years now. My father is angered by the idea of same-sex marriage because, as he says, "It would cheapen his marriage". Even marriage is used here as a way to show superiority over others. US and THEM. The 'in' crowd. God's chosen.

 

Yeshua stayed in the face of the Pharisees. He would not allow them their superiority. They killed him for that.

 

Donald

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DrDon,

 

Very good thoughts. I think you have identified at least part of the problem that gays, and we as a society, need to overcome. I think there are several underlying issues that motivate homophobia and the exclusivity that you discuss, is likely one of them.

 

This idea that gay marriage "cheapens" heterosexual marriage is so illogical on the surface that it can only have some deeper psychological motivation.

 

George

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I propose that the real problem with acceptance of the LGBT community AND of same-sex marriage is found in the desperation that THEM will surge into US and become indistinguishable. This loss of power and arrogance over others, different from ourselves, is flimsily masked behind a well worn religious banner that has been unfurled in support of so many Pharisaic issues, Slavery, Women's Rights, Civil Rights and now LGBT rights. All of these have been found on the 'wrong side' of history and yet the same Pharisaic patterns re-emerge.

 

My parents have been married 63 years now. My father is angered by the idea of same-sex marriage because, as he says, "It would cheapen his marriage". Even marriage is used here as a way to show superiority over others. US and THEM. The 'in' crowd. God's chosen.

 

Donald

 

Donald,

 

I would certainly agree with you that "acceptance of the LGBT" may be "found in the desperation (by some) that THEM will surge into US and become indistinguishable." And while i don't see how as your father says same sex marriage "It would cheapen his marriage". I think that same sex marriage, while it may be opposed for the reasons you state by some is not applicable to all. (bold inserted by me in quote)

 

In my view, we are a diverse society with many wishing to identify using words or labels differently as a means to define themselves or institutions to give meaning to such words rather than to separate. In short we want to distinguish between things , not to make our self separate from the other but to communicate and celebrate effectively our differences and diversity . One identifies as a Buddhist and one as a Christian and one as a Muslim but it need not be to make one superior over the other. One as Italian, one as Irish, one as Black and one as White, etc., and it need not be for "loss of power and arrogance over others" as you might be inferring.

 

Gay rights is in my view a worthy cause for progressives to work toward so that there is not favoritism or prejudice of one over the other and there is mutual respect for any differences. This can be done in my view without a forced change in definitions. If marriage speaks to society in general as an institution between a man and a women than perhaps we can have another word that speaks to one between a man and a man or a woman and a woman that defines the difference without the prejudices. I do not feel inferior nor superior for being married to a woman, nor being of Italian decent, nor being called a Christian rather than using the same term for every religion in the name of making us indistinguishable from each other.

 

Just one view to consider,

 

Joseph

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George-

 

I think the deeper issue might be found in the black or white concept that 'Good' people act and look a certain way while "Bad" people do not. The hard line is blurred when "Bad" people start to take on the trappings of "Good" people. This goes into the need to demonize gay men, in particular, as predators of our young males, flamboyant and in-your-face 'poofs' who think only of gay sex and drown straight men in come ons and double entendre. The phrase I remember regarding Rock Hudson being gay was, "but he's so masculin and manly! He couldn't be gay!". He was too 'normal' to be 'abnormal'.

 

All of that is nothing more than the US and THEM humming along.

 

It has been shocking to many older friends of mine, and peers, to find out that persons they've long known and admired to be genuinely good people have been, all along, gay or lesbian. The root of the shock is generally in the phrase, "but they've always seemed so normal! I hadn't a clue!".

 

Just another version of US and THEM.

 

Regardless of how innocent and seemingly light the issue it still engages negation of others into OUT while we maintain our IN. Such negation can be in the extreme of the torture of Matthew Shepherd, left to die hanging on a fence in wintery Wyoming or the marginalization of co-workers and family members.

 

The best definition I have ever heard for sin is in the millions of possibilities to demonstrate "I COUNT AND YOU DON'T!".

 

Exclusivity. I count and YOU don't.

 

Best to you all.

 

Donald

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In my view, we are a diverse society with many wishing to identify using words or labels differently as a means to define themselves or institutions to give meaning to such words rather than to separate.

 

Identity is a human universal and we couldn't eliminate even if we wanted to. It also can, but not necessarily, be a basis for discrimination. When the Other is denied rights because of identity, then it becomes, in my opinion, pernicious. Whites, 50 years ago, could claim "identity" and diversity as a basis of denying African-Americans civil rights. Today, some heterosexuals claim marriage as an exclusive right because of their identity.

 

George

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In my view, we are a diverse society with many wishing to identify using words or labels differently as a means to define themselves or institutions to give meaning to such words rather than to separate.

 

Identity is a human universal and we couldn't eliminate even if we wanted to. It also can, but not necessarily, be a basis for discrimination. When the Other is denied rights because of identity, then it becomes, in my opinion, pernicious. Whites, 50 years ago, could claim "identity" and diversity as a basis of denying African-Americans civil rights. Today, some heterosexuals claim marriage as an exclusive right because of their identity.

 

George

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Joseph-

 

I couldn't agree more. The beauty of diversity is in it's innate encouragement to truly 'be'. The constraints of sameness cannot help but suffocate.

 

La diversità è una cosa perfetta per tutto il mondo. Sotto il cièlo, tutto è uguale!!

 

Viva Italia!

 

In the end, the ultimate celebration may well be found in the much deeper understanding that we are all truly one, all truly of the vastness of the universe, all truly 'of' God. No 'outside', only IN.

 

Best.

 

Donald

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Marriage in this 21st century is very different from even one hundred years ago. A recent statistic stated that, in 2011, more than 40% of babies were born to unwed women. Another statistic: 57% of marriages end in divorce or separation.

 

If a large number of couples are living together without a wedding ceremony and half of those who do go through the ritual do not see it as a commitment, what does "marriage" mean?

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Marriage in this 21st century is very different from even one hundred years ago. A recent statistic stated that, in 2011, more than 40% of babies were born to unwed women. Another statistic: 57% of marriages end in divorce or separation.

 

If a large number of couples are living together without a wedding ceremony and half of those who do go through the ritual do not see it as a commitment, what does "marriage" mean?

 

Exactly Halinsalem. What does it mean?

 

As a married hetero male, I feel marriage is an institution that demonstrates my committment to my partner. I don't need it to have committment, but there is 'something' about being married that perhaps helps couples through thick and thin.

 

As far as I can tell, many gay people simply want that same right so they can feel just as much a part of society as I do.

 

Whilst 'forcing' a change in definition might be uncomfortable for many, I don't think that is a valid reason.

 

As Joseph says "If marriage speaks to society in general as an institution between a man and a women than perhaps we can have another word that speaks to one between a man and a man or a woman and a woman that defines the difference without the prejudices." I think it is only a matter of time before the definition of marriage comes to be the norm to include gay people. I believe the tide is against those that want 'marriage' to remain exclusively a heterosexual domain.

Edited by PaulS
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Here is the question that I have been 'dealing' with for quite some time: If we are to accept homosexuality because they are also Gods children and sexuality is not a choice we are born homosexual or straight, then couldn't pedophiles use this same argument?

 

If you were to ask me, a gay progressive male, about this subject then this is what I would say. I have been in an intimate relationship with another self responsible male for many years. We are of mixed backgrounds, progressive Christian and progressive Buddhist. Over the years we have come to understand each other because we share a common perspective. Our use of language is different, but the concepts are identical. Research has shown that pedophilia is not about love and care, it is about control and domination. As mature adults, my partner and I make a clear distinction between mutuality in a relationhip that is positive, and other attributes that are destructive. In that sense, we are no different than so-called heterosexuals with whom we share the same set of values.

 

The God I know and understand values love, caring, and compassion.

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I am always stunned to hear the 'pedophile' card. It is as utterly inapplicable as would the suggestion that one whose propensity to rape adult men and women ought to be considered as such. That, to my knowledge, has not been offered (yet).

 

The enormous gulf between the activities of fully aware, mutually consenting adults and predators who inflict their own need to control and dominate non-consenting adults (rape) or children (rape) is so large as to be a 'non-issue'.

 

I suspect that this 'card' is not unlike unfurling the religious banner to hide behind.

 

Arrogance, fearfulness, ignorance, self-righteousness all act out in such methods. In the end, such negative positions despise anything that is different from themselves.

 

The Pharisee among us.

 

D

Edited by DrDon
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Here is the question that I have been 'dealing' with for quite some time: If we are to accept homosexuality because they are also Gods children and sexuality is not a choice we are born homosexual or straight, then couldn't pedophiles use this same argument?

 

NO not at all! The issue has has to do with is the relationship one where both are fulfilled and enriched by the union. There is never a situation where the child is not harmed. And I might add that this has nothing to do with gay or straight.

 

A better question might be that of polygamy. I can see potential situations where 3 people could have loving, mutually fulfilling relationships.

 

steve

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I think homosexuals are people who have different sexual needs than heterosexuals. And I think pedophils are people who have different sexual needs than homosexuals and heterosexuals, but unfortunately for them the satisfaction of these needs would involve hurting children, and so they must go for a lifetime denying those desires. We ask that they deny their sexual desires because satisfying those desires hurts children, and we celebrate homosexual love because it doesn't hurt others, and because love between people is a right and may be these best part of life. I think pedophils have a heavy burdern to bear, and I think the rest of us need to help them understand that we love them, that God loves them, that they are a child of God, and that we want to do everything in our power to help ease their burden.

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As for the definition of the word "marriage", isn't it the right of everyone in a free country to define for themselves what that word means, as long as they aren't hurting anyone else? It seems to me that arguing about the definition of the word "marriage" misses this point. In other words, it really doesn't matter what the definition is. What matters is people's right to define the word according to what THEY think is right. This is no different than everyone's right to define "God" according to what they believe is right.

 

Now for a different point. The Bible says homosexuality is wrong, but the Bible is wrong about a lot of things, such as the age of the earth. Most people here don't need to find justification for homosexual freedom in the Bible, because we just accept that the Bible was wrong to condemn it in the first place. But what about fundamentalists who need to believe that every word of the Bible is true? If you talk to these people long enough you realize that they don't have the capability to find their way in life, so they depend on the Bible to tell them what to think and what to do. A part of me wonders what would happen if you were to convince such a person that it is okay to find your own way on some issues. A part of me wonders if this wouldn't be a disaster, because they are simply not capable of doing it. Maybe the fundamentalists would make laws against chewing gum or something like that. I am exaggerating to make a point, of course, but I think that when the fundamentalists say that if we don't follow the Bible to the letter then we won't be able to make good decisions, I think maybe they are telling us the truth. I think maybe they are telling us what they know about themselves and about their community - that it couldn't function without the Bible. So my question is this... do we know something that they don't know? And if so, what is that thing that we know? How would we help them make reliable and just decisions about issues in cases where the Bible is wrong, or is it better just to leave them be and not encourage them to question the Bible?

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