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Discouraging Days


Jack Twist
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I have been having a great time this week with the last week of Advent parishoner calls, delivering flowers, etc., a very rewarding experience.

 

And I have come and checked on my usual internet communities, and the gay community to which I usually post has been trashing on Christians all week. I am worn out by the back and forth and the witnessing to the justice actions of the churches for the g/l/b/t community.

 

 

They make some good points along with some sweeping generalizations. The churches have a horrible track record vis a vis gays and lesbians.

 

Some - many - churches have come a long way. That is what those who decry the church have not seen. But it raises for me some questions:

 

have we - speaking of mainline and progressive Christians - fully embraced as a justice issue the equality of all people, within the faith community, within the community of those created in the image of God? Why are some still denying ordination to gays and lesbians as was once done to women or often people of color or with phyisical challenges?

 

Exactly who is voting for these anti-gay state initiatives on marriage - where is the Christian community outside the UCC here? And no matter how you parse it, to vote for these anti-gay marriage proposals (with their accompanying bans on civil unions and the like) is a vote of hate - that is the message offered and certainly received. This is the only time in American history we are voting to deny rights to people - we didn't even do that to the African American community at the height of American racism, and we didn't do this to women at the height of our sujection of women. Why are we - and by this mean a general you all out there - doing this to gays? Do you possibly understand the pain and hate you are inflicting and expressing?

 

I have heard George Bush parse the word torture to justify Gitmo. It offends. I have heard the attempts to parse the term marriage to justify denying basic American rights to gays and lesbians. It also offends. It is destroying witness to the gay community who increasingly are seeing people of faith as their enemy.

 

The progressive movement will never succeed until it fully embraces as equals the gay and lesbian community and the individuals amongst us.

 

That has in fact kept me away from here because I have picked up on some who feel that gay and lesbian issues are not the suburban progressive issues they wish to support. I may be wrong and would love to be see that.

 

I close with a faith statement from a church body that says what I think we need to say at minimum as Christians for th sake of discussion:

 

This church confesses the oneness of all humanity, for each person has been made in the image of God, created by God and breathes with the breath of life given by God. In the Gospel we all are one in Jesus Christ. The Church, for the sake of the Gospel and for its own sake, is called to regard each human being as a person created and loved by God, a person for whom Christ is Incarnate. The Gospel is to be proclaimed to all people. The evangelical mission of the Church is to all people. Each person is called by the Spirit to receive the welcome, comfort, shelter, and redeeming love of the Church; to partake in the gifts of Word and Sacrament as a member of the family of faith in response to and faith in the Gospel; and share in the mission and ministry of the Church. In accordance with the Gospel, this church rejects distinctions amongst people for reasons of race, ethnicity, color, gender, physical challenges, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, or any other false dichotomy when these distinctions result in divisions in the family of God, for the very diversity of humanity reflects the image of God.
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Jack,

 

I find it troubling as well to see the way love is somehow twisted to exclude others, and gays seem to be the

current scapegoat. One guy on tv, said he was looking for what caused the moral decline, so now he was looking at gays and then abortion (he ended up with the UN!). Gays are blamed for marriage on the decline, as if heterosexuals need any help with this.

 

I see cowardice in a literalistic reading the Bible to exclude gays (why don't they take the same seriousness re: wearing clothes of two fibers?).

 

I also feel that there is some "canary in the coalmine" sort of phenomena with gays. If you can't accept gays, you probably aren't going to accept immigrants (another much scapegoated group), who are "taking our jobs" saying nothing about American companies moving jobs to China or India (or Mexico for that matter), and you probably aren't going to accept a lot of other marginalized groups.

 

What is going on in mainline churches is sad. I believe from reading their website and info about them that a group called the IRD is fomenting a lot of this. Though mainline churches are on the decline, some fundamentalists fear them for their "influence" and have decided on a way of undermining them. They take minor disagreements and turn these into major issues (actually the whole population is MORE tolerant of gays than earlier and this pattern has been getting better for years). This organization's blog has more info on this, though you kind of have to look for it: http://www.talk2action.org/

(Actually some of this has gone on in the UCC but since the UCC has always been small, it is hasn't been considered quite as much of a threat as some other mainline churches. I think the Puerto Rican churches have actually pulled out of the UCC. There have also been groups within such as the more or less infamously labeled "Welcoming and ..."? which takes advantage of the similarity of the name to Open and Affirming, which is a real UCC term. You know the real one because "Welcoming" isn't at least if you are gay. This kind of thing very much antagonizes relationships where maybe one member would ordinarily leave if a church became ONA. (We have a gay pastor, which to my understanding didn't really register any complaints at all, even among older members.)

 

My understanding is the MTV generation, even fundamentalists, is more open to gays, so things might change. It is more typical for younger kids to know gays and to like them so they can't maintain their prejudices and fears under the circumstances.

 

And yes, I think it is fear. The way homosexuality (even if it were a sin) would be over and above all others and actually made part of the national agenda is fear mongering. You don't see lying to get us into an immoral war on the same level.

 

 

 

--des

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What a twist Jack and Des...

 

If any topic is going to get me labelled this is the one, and the hate comes from the gay community.

 

I've had many discussions on the subject and find my words constantly twisted to mean something that I didn't write or mean.

 

So why should I bother here, in case you don't know my words or thoughts on the subject you certainly wouldn't understand the truth about what I'm trying to convey.

 

How about this?

 

Gay marriage is wrong - Civil Unions are the correct way to contract the joining of two or more people for the purpose of tax and benefit due through inheritence and other visitation rights afforded to any other couple.

 

I agree that we need to be able to make binding contracts and laws that require specific and clear instructions to everyone on every issue.

 

As for the institution of Churches built upon foundations that are exclusive and consuming of great quantities of our landscape. Well there is a better way to communicate what is true morality and a method to promote virtue over and above all for all of us to know the right way to grow and live together building solid relationships and understanding what true Love is really all about.

 

Now to see the guilt thread....

 

The internet is a great place to bring people of very diverse backgrounds together where we can all be included in growing together and resolving symetic terms, bridging the divisions that we can work together.

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Hi GWB,

 

Actually I don't have a problem with gay unions. The thing is that they would have

to have absolutely equal rights. What we learned from the civil rights movement

is that often times things like this just aren't entirely equal, but if they could be

it would be ok in my book.

 

Actually, what Jim Wallis' writes about in God's Politics is something I would support.

All unions (gay or straight) would be "civil unions". The church would no longer have

authority to "marry anyone" (gay or straight) under the laws of any state. An

individual church would be able to marry who they wanted to under the church (in the

eyes of God) how ever they want to word it. So that some churches would never marry

any gay person (Southern Baptist), some might sometimes (Episcopal or UMC), and

some might usually marry a gay person like UU or UCC. I think it would also help churches

who are torn over this issue.

 

I never accused you of any hatred or fear, because if you really believe in equal rights,

then I don't see a problem. I think there are many people out there, and you know who

they are, that don't. I'm not sure who Jack was answering either, so I can't answer for him.

I am also not gay, so I can't speak for someone who is (though no one can speak for everyone

anyway). So I imagine that the idea of totally equal civil unions would be ok with some people

and not others. I like Jim Wallis' idea, though I don't think it will happen in the forseeable future.

(BTW, it was the way things used to be. I think it is questionably constitutional that churches

can marry anyone with powers of the state. I wonder if this will be tested at some point.)

 

I am very opposed to the constitutional amendment idea.I think it is a wedge issue designed

to get ahold of right leaning voters and get them to vote Republican and then discard them.

I think there is actually little chance of it getting thru as an amendment.

 

--des

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Hi GWB,

 

Actually I don't have a problem with gay unions. The thing is that they would have

to have absolutely equal rights. What we learned from the civil rights movement

is that often times things like this just aren't entirely equal, but if they could be

it would be ok in my book.

 

Actually, what Jim Wallis' writes about in God's Politics is something I would support.

All unions (gay or straight) would be "civil unions". The church would no longer have

authority to "marry anyone" (gay or straight) under the laws of any state. An

individual church would be able to marry who they wanted to under the church (in the

eyes of God) how ever they want to word it. So that some churches would never marry

any gay person (Southern Baptist), some might sometimes (Episcopal or UMC), and

some might usually marry a gay person like UU or UCC. I think it would also help churches

who are torn over this issue.

 

I never accused you of any hatred or fear, because if you really believe in equal rights,

then I don't see a problem. I think there are many people out there, and you know who

they are, that don't. I'm not sure who Jack was answering either, so I can't answer for him.

I am also not gay, so I can't speak for someone who is (though no one can speak for everyone

anyway). So I imagine that the idea of totally equal civil unions would be ok with some people

and not others. I like Jim Wallis' idea, though I don't think it will happen in the forseeable future.

(BTW, it was the way things used to be. I think it is questionably constitutional that churches

can marry anyone with powers of the state. I wonder if this will be tested at some point.)

 

I am very opposed to the constitutional amendment idea.I think it is a wedge issue designed

to get ahold of right leaning voters and get them to vote Republican and then discard them.

I think there is actually little chance of it getting thru as an amendment.

 

--des

 

 

Hello Des,

 

I certainly agree with you to a point, I like participation on B'net and I've had my rounds about the homosexual issue as I can't understand the issue being married to a woman and Loving the beauty and wonder of women, I can't get my mind around the idea of same sex couples. I certainly remember how strong the sex drive is and I certainly understand having needs to be met. So I can see how relationships to people of the same sex if legal can get started and develope. So I see the choice that people make to get involved into these relationships. I don't understand that people actually think this is a natural selection. All of the psychology of homosexuality aside. I don't see the problem going away until we have a fundemental change in our religious development and culture where we can get people of the opposite genders to actually have long term loving relationships that are healthy for both partners and their children.

 

Back to Equality;

 

When we talk about equality given rights to couples or just exercising the execution of a contract, we have to go much further than honoring the legal rights written as law or joint agreements; because, your social class determines the legitimacy of written words. In other words the poor have few or little rights in America while the rich set and determine who the rules will apply to and how the rules will be executed.

 

The problem will exist even if a Constitutional amendment was created because all courts would have to be bound to the law and in America the judges are not bound to any set interpretation of any law.

 

We need a change in the system!

 

So yes, I agree that homosexual unions should have the same equal rights as given to married couples, marriage penalty and all... So the tax laws would also have to change to apply a union penalty to those joined as partners for life, be they two or three in a communal setting.

 

The question now becomes, what should be taught in our school systems when it comes to sex education? I want to teach my children my way and they are forcing their ideas into my childrens minds... How is that fair?

 

In Jim Wallis's quest to define the term marriage as only a right of the Church then he also is out of step with the real definition of marriage and is also playing the guilt and jealousy card with semantics. The definition of marriage - "when two people of opposite genders are brought together as a couple to build a life together." - GOD

 

I'm sure there are other definitions, but in the one above can you deny the simple truth of that definition? This precludes all other contracts and unions, you need no special cerimonies, you are free to do as you please and to Love, you then become accountable for your love and the future consequences.

 

The whole issue now becomes moot!

 

We are wasting a lot of time and effort stopping peoples thoughts and talents that could be used for more peaceful purposes.

 

It would take a genius to stop the wars in the Middle East, if only I knew where to find a person with the talent and ability to come up with a solution to our problem.

 

I wish I knew someone who could put their finger in the damn and stop the flood.

 

Alas,

 

Maybe one day light will dawn on an other wise dull discussion and people will wake up and truly understand.

 

Suppression and Oppression,

 

Slavery... Possession

 

And Moses said, Let my people go! The powers in control didn't listen... Eventually the slaves walked free... They were no longer depressed, forced to do the will of others.

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I would be the first to agree perhaps that equality is not distributed equally, so isn't exactly equally. This definitely applies to the poor. I'm not sure how to respond to this otherwise. But I agree on that single point,

as well as the one about solving the War in Iraq.

 

Perhaps I can appreciate the situation of gays, because I feel that there is some level of that feeling in myself. I don't know that any of us is in entirely straight or entirely gay. But I think there is a range.

 

I don't think that Jim Wallis is using the issue. I think he is trying to create one where there could be some

degree of agreement. Obviously that might not be the case. But the church acting as an agent of the state

isn't entirely natural either. We live in a country (US citizens) which has a wall fo separation, as Jefferson

called it. This wall is breached every time this is done. I think it is dubious in constitutionality, if nothing else.

 

 

Yes, in terms of issues, I think it is not a major one. That's why I feel the Republican party has scuriously

used this issue to divide people and create scare tactics.

 

--des

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a few comments.

 

but since the UCC has always been small,
The UCC having over 2,000,000 members is hardly small.

 

 

And far more importantly: as for the following:

 

The definition of marriage - "when two people of opposite genders are brought together as a couple to build a life together." - GOD

 

And when did God ever say that?

 

It is difficult to accept that anyone claiming the name of progressive would make that claim. And we have already been set up for the "oh I will be attacked" thing so it becomes a self-validating comment. No, you are not being attacked, it is in fact very human to take one's biases and attribute them to God.

 

I am reminded of the clergy to whom MLK addressed the Letter from a Birmingham jail.

 

I get very frustrated with friends in the gay community who have so much dislike for the Church - and my intense anger comes from knowing that they are right: the Church has been horrific in its attitudes and comments for gays and lesbians.

 

As a pastor who will celebrate the 30th anniversay of ordination this year, it has never bothered me to perform a legal marriage on behalf of the state. It has intensely bothered me that I cannot do a legal marriage for all those who seek a life long commitment of faithfulness to the one they love. But beyond that I see the people of the church failing desparately but intentionally in being love to all of God's people. I can cite many teachings of Jesus on love - and not one thing Jesus ever said that allows anyone to make distinctions due to the natural orientations that are present in the diversity of humanity, all of which reflects the image of God.

 

And the Church's obstinacy on this point is not only symbol but reality of the growing irrelevance of the Church outside whatever entertainment value it may have.

Edited by Jack Twist
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  • 2 weeks later...
And no matter how you parse it, to vote for these anti-gay marriage proposals (with their accompanying bans on civil unions and the like) is a vote of hate - that is the message offered and certainly received.

 

I humbly suggest that it is not a vote of hate, but a vote of fear. "What will be our fate if we allow this change?" This is the thought that keeps a conservative up at night. "Is there no tradition sacred enough that it should be preserved?" they cry out to the night. These are reasonable (nay, important!) questions to ask, and that is why we need conservatives in our midst. Certainly hate grows out of fear, but labelling something simply as an act of hate does not help us understand its true nature. During a paradigm shift, there are always people desperately trying to preserve the old paradigm as well as those trying to usher it in.

 

Me we let our compassion flow freely to all as we struggle together on this issue.

 

Fatherman <<who's thinking that the use of the word 'nay' in the 21st century is generally hilarious>>

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From a polity point of view this is a very important comment because organizations need traditions in order to survive. Perhaps without intention the comment tends to support the view that Liberals do not have traditions that are sacred enough to preserve and that traditions are associated with Conservatives. Furthermore this tends to support that Conservatives are better at creating and sustaining organizations because they are more concerned with traditions. My point is that although there is much evidence to support this it is not a necessary condition for Liberals. To the extent that Liberals can not find traditions that are sacred enough to preserve then I do not want to be a Liberal. I want to be a part of a group/organization which has discovered traditions that are sacred enough to preserve even though I know that those traditions have the potential to become idols and the process can lead to idolatry. The major difference that I can see between Liberal/Conservative positions is that Conservatives may tend to equate God with tradition whereas Liberals may tend to support that tradition “points towards” God. Neither of these positions however argues for the absence of tradition. Such a position would directly lead to the absence of organizations that are necessary for traditions to survive. Liberals need to rediscover those traditions that support Jack Twist and confirm that they are sacred enough to preserve. I reject the argument that the battle shown here by Jack Twist and the GreatWhiteBuffalo is a battle between tradition and no tradition. Liberals need to rediscover those traditions that will lead to the conclusion that we do not need conservatives in our midst so that “tradition” can be saved. Without traditions Liberals organizationally slide into a big UU discussion group which organizationally leads nowhere.

Edited by David
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I humbly suggest that it is not a vote of hate, but a vote of fear. "What will be our fate if we allow this change?" This is the thought that keeps a conservative up at night. "Is there no tradition sacred enough that it should be preserved?" they cry out to the night. These are reasonable (nay, important!) questions to ask, and that is why we need conservatives in our midst. Certainly hate grows out of fear, but labelling something simply as an act of hate does not help us understand its true nature. During a paradigm shift, there are always people desperately trying to preserve the old paradigm as well as those trying to usher it in.

 

A really crisp and clear and insightful comment. Thanks for offering it. It helps me understand how conservatives think and even why (occasionally) I become conservative! Did I really say that?

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I close with a faith statement from a church body that says what I think we need to say at minimum as Christians for th sake of discussion:

 

 

QUOTE

This church confesses the oneness of all humanity, for each person has been made in the image of God, created by God and breathes with the breath of life given by God. In the Gospel we all are one in Jesus Christ. The Church, for the sake of the Gospel and for its own sake, is called to regard each human being as a person created and loved by God, a person for whom Christ is Incarnate. The Gospel is to be proclaimed to all people. The evangelical mission of the Church is to all people. Each person is called by the Spirit to receive the welcome, comfort, shelter, and redeeming love of the Church; to partake in the gifts of Word and Sacrament as a member of the family of faith in response to and faith in the Gospel; and share in the mission and ministry of the Church. In accordance with the Gospel, this church rejects distinctions amongst people for reasons of race, ethnicity, color, gender, physical challenges, sexual orientation, cultural heritage, or any other false dichotomy when these distinctions result in divisions in the family of God, for the very diversity of humanity reflects the image of God.

 

+++

 

What a beautiful statement. I totally agree with you that the Progressive Christian movement needs to embrace the rights and privileges of the GLBT community including marriage and ordination. We need to do this even as we respect and love and try to persuade those who are resisting even those resisting who are progressive on most other concerns.

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A really crisp and clear and insightful comment. Thanks for offering it. It helps me understand how conservatives think and even why (occasionally) I become conservative! Did I really say that?

:) Thanks. It's on the record now...mystictrek is an occasional conservative. Truth be told, I'm shocked at some of the conservativish things that pop out of my mouth from time to time. Anyone who says there a total liberal or a total conservative is probably fooling themselves. We all have issues where we want to hold our traditional ground and we all have issues where we are open to new idea ideas. And we all have a moderate inside weighing the two!

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Anyone who says there a total liberal or a total conservative is probably fooling themselves.

 

I would rather say, fatherman, that whoever finds themself with set of opinions that is in line with a single ideological faction in every single way needs to examine whether they are thinking for themselves!

 

 

The issue of "gay marriage" vs "civil union" issue has always interested me because it seems like it is we progressive Christians who should be the ones most concerned with gay marriage.

 

At least most of us who try and follow Jesus do not subscribe to the cynical belief that "marriage is just about tax benefits." I have friends that spout that view, and certainly making a marriage LEGAL is "just about tax benefits." But the actual ceremony and practice of making a lifelong committment, and doing so before friends, is also a sacrament! It's a spiritual ceremony and we should care about it as people who care about spirituality.

 

Civil unions would rectify a legal injustice, certainly. Couples could visit each other in the hospital, share the legal custody of the children, the care of whom is already shared, make end-of-life decisions, etc. There are secular rights that need to be settled. Everyone, religious or not, traditional or radical, who accepts gays and lesbians can agree with that.

 

But shouldn't we be the first to also promote gay marriage? No pastor today is required to perform ANY wedding, and they wouldn't be required to perform a gay or lesbian wedding either. But progressive Christian churches could.

 

Marriage is about making a commitment of love and respect between two people, to move a relationship into a "till death do us part" level. We should both offer and celebrate the same type of committment from gays and lesbians.

 

I'm not saying that all relationships have to end in marriage (god no!) or that everyone has to get married sometime - some people don't want that. I'm not talking about individual relationships, where everyone makes the decisions that are right for them.

 

But if we look relationships as a whole, we should not denigrate gays and lesbians by refusing them the opportunity to make that committment, nor denigrate them by assuming that their relationships are more shallow and that they should not strive for an equally loving type of committment - again, not that everyone should want to get married, but everyone should want to be in healthy loving relationships rather than shallow manipulative ones. Marriage is one way people express true loyalty, so taking away that option (in churches, not in the law) is like saying "Have legal documents, but don't presume to see your relationship as potentially deep as a heterosexual one."

 

I feel like I'm explaining myself badly - does anyone get what I'm saying?

 

~ Lib

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The definition of marriage - "when two people of opposite genders are brought together as a couple to build a life together." - GOD

 

I'm sure there are other definitions, but in the one above can you deny the simple truth of that definition?

 

Um, yes!

 

If you claim that definition is a historical one, that is patently false. Marriage has been one man and one woman, one man and many woman, one woman and many man, two oppositely-gendered people of the same race only, of the same tribe only, of the same generation only, of different generations only, of the same

 

If you claim that definition is the traditional one in our religious history one, that is also obviously false. Earlier it was one man and many woman, later it was two people who were both Jewish.

 

If you claim that definition is the modern one...well that is still being built, and an increasing number of people believe that it is "when two people are brought together as a couple to build a life together."

 

I'm confused about what you meant by that statement. Can you elaborate one please?

 

~ Lib

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If you claim that definition is a historical one, that is patently false. Marriage has been one man and one woman, one man and many woman, one woman and many man, two oppositely-gendered people of the same race only, of the same tribe only, of the same generation only, of different generations only, of the same

Lib,

I see a variation on a consistent theme in the examples of marriage you gave: it's always been between men and women. Why is that? It seems to me that marriage is about children. A male/female union is the only way possible to produce children, and in the context of a commited relationship, is the best way for raising children, since the mother and father bring something unique to the childrearing experience. Married couples may choose not to have children, but that is the exception to the rule.

 

The state recognizes that marriage is about children, because this type of marriage is the only one the state has an interest in protecting. Why? Because children form the next generation. It's not an overstatement to say that the state is interested in preserving the future of civilization: Europe's birthrate is so deplorable that Germany is paying women to have children. And the best way to raise these children is in a stable home with a loving mother and father.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I must respecfully disagree with the idea that opposition to gay marriage is based on fear rather than hate. It is hate. The talk of paradigm shifts sounds good to the rational mind so we can then dismiss the issue, but it fails.

 

If the changing of the institution is said to evoke fear then why have we not seen this in regards to the huge change in society in the last 35-40 years regarding straight people not "living in sin" to (almost) every couple having sexual relations and living together prior to mariage? It has been many decades since I have believed any prospective bride and groom who give me different addresses.

 

One of my favorite moments is when someone who is/was in a couple who has lived together and conceived a child prior to marriage tells me that gay marriage must be opposed because it is a threat to traditional marriage.

 

(Personally, I don't have a problem with straight people doing their thing; why must they oppose gay people wanting to do the same thing?)

 

No, there is no outcry and no ballot initiatives to prohibit cohabitation of straights prior to marriage or anything else to uphold "traditional" marriage other than anti-gay measures.

 

Biblically, marriage has nothing to do with children, and I get tired of that old chestnut being pulled out. The only marriage in the Bible that I can bring to mind is David marrying Bathsheba to cover the poregnancy (adultery, murder, multiple wives- traditional marriage?). The traditional Genesis passage speaks of two people leaving ther parents and cleaving to each other as one flesh - nothing to do with children. And every other Biblical mariage I can think of is based on the love or lust of the parties involved. What is Biblical marriage - letting your wife sleep with Pharoah, giving your maid to your husband for sex, accumulating wives... or Peter, who we know had a mother in alw but what did he ever have to do with his spouse other than neglect her from the record that we have.

 

What I do pick up is that some people think gay or lesbian sex is icky. Can't get their minds around it. Gay and lesbian love has been around since the beginning of humanity. If Paul's admonition - stay single but of lust compels, marry - is valid for just people who have sex with the approved partners in the right (read "my") way?

 

What do we ask of a couple that wants marriage in the church - that they make a commitment of life long faithfulness. If that commitment is there, what else matters, including the genders of the couple?

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I get tired of that old chestnut being pulled out.
Yes the old "marriage is strictly for procreation" line. I think God has a more far-reaching thing in mind for human marriage. After all, any creature can procreate. It doesn't even require love. How many can enter into a sacred life-long bond of love that reveals the fullness of God's love in the world? And why would anyone want to put a limit on love in the world? (Seems like a very Un-Christian thing to do, doesn't it?) And isn't marriage a cornerstone of human society? Something that strengthens the fabric of our world? Bedrock, etc.? Why wouldn't we want to encourage the growth of this institution by opening it up to gay folks?

 

Jesus came to bring love into the world. Yes he cared about the law, he was an observant Jew. But when given the choice between Love and the Law he always chose LOVE! Jesus came to throw down the pettiness of the purity codes that were seperating his people and revive the true spirit of the commandments. Choose love, friends. CHOOSE LOVE!

 

JackTwist, aside from the lingering troll or two, I think your desire to marry will find little resistance here.

 

 

p.s. - To our beloved TCPC trolls. Know that I love you and will always welcome your presence here as does most of this forum (most forum communities would not). We value diversity and free speech. And we value you. But at least have the wisdom to know when your behavior is trollish. Consider this definition posted on wikipedia.org

 

a troll is a person who enters an established community such as an online discussion forum and intentionally tries to cause disruption, often in the form of posting messages that are inflammatory, insulting, incorrect, inaccurate, or off-topic, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others
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Along those lines, one of the funniest scenes in the OT is the incident between Jacob ,Rachel, and Leah . Jacob falls in love with Rachel at first sight . Her father says he must work for him for 7 years before he'll give Rachel to him as his wife. Upon completing the term, Jacob demands that Rachel's father give her to him. But Rachel's father sends the older daughter Leah, to Jacob's bed instead. After making love to a woman all night that he thinks is Rachel , he wakes up the next morning to discover that it's her older sister.

 

 

MOW

Edited by MOW
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Those who claim marriage is about reproduction are certainly inconsistent. They still allow the infertile and post-menopausal to marry.

And the citation of "be fruitful and multiply" is soooooo badly out of context. This may have been a valid concern to Israel when they were few and far between but with the world now so badly overcrowded it seems absurd to demand unbridled reproduction.

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  • 2 months later...

Domestic partners should be an issue of the state: You sign some papers, the state (ie govenrment) recongizes your commitment to one another and you get all the rights and responsibilities that comes in this country with that commitment. This is something that happens between two consenting adults. And from statistical analysis if we really want to protect this insitution all people should have to be 25 before being able to participate in this union as for some reason that is the magic age in which the number of divorces drops.

 

Marriage should be an issue for religious institutions. If the particular religious institution you belong to doesn't want to marry people of the same gender or one of whom has had gender reassignment they don't have to. But if the institution you belong to chooses to marry two consenting adults who are of the same gender or one of whom has had gender reassignment then they can.

 

Problem solved

 

The irony of course is the religious institutions are recognizing the marriage of same sex couples and gender reassigned people before the state. Well, for a change Judaism and Christianity are being the headlights and not the tail lights, at least in some cases!

 

Oh, I also think civil unions should extend to non-sexual relationships. When I say this I tell the story of two single sisters who purchased a house together. I think they should be able to register as domestic partners. This way they have legal protections if one of them should become disabled and need the other one to care for her. It also offers other protections. I also tell of the widowed daughter and her widower father who were raising the son/grandson together who should be given the same protection and rights, should they so choose.

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No, there is no outcry and no ballot initiatives to prohibit cohabitation of straights prior to marriage or anything else to uphold "traditional" marriage other than anti-gay measures.

 

You have correctly seen the truth. If people were really interested in protecting "traditional" marriage people wouldn't be allowed to get married until they are 25, wouldn't be allowed to live together until after marriage, pre-marital sex would be outlawed, wouldn't be able to have children until they had been married for x amount of years. All these things serve as protections against divorce. Of course, there is a misnomer that divorce is bad. Yes, it is painful and difficult. However, it is a sign of a healthy society. In the 50's and previous when we saw such a low divorce rate we saw people in abusive relationships, staying with alcohol addicted partners, etc. etc.

 

What I do pick up is that some people think gay or lesbian sex is icky.
LOL. That is true. But if people think about they will realize that in description all things sex related (except maybe holding hands) is icky. Sticking your tongue in someone else's mouth?!?!? YUCK! And I won't even get into descriptions of heterosexual sex. EWWW! Okay, so I love having sex with my husband but in a verbal description of it -- GROSS! So the reality is straight sex is icky, too. It is just the nature of private things, I guess. Wasn't meant for words ;)

 

What do we ask of a couple that wants marriage in the church - that they make a commitment of life long faithfulness. If that commitment is there, what else matters, including the genders of the couple?

 

Exactly.

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