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Reconciling On Homosexuality


gaychristian27
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GC,

 

This is my perspective and not neccessarily a Christian one (although I think generally the teachings of Jesus are worth following/practising).

 

As I understand it, the bible contains only a few oblique references to what might be considered the modern understanding of homosexuality, but more than likely these refer to sex that is anything other than man on woman in missionary position. Anything outside of those boundaries could have been 'abominable' and make one 'unclean' for temple purposes.

 

In any event, this was simply how the authors, in their religous/social context, interpreted their understanding of God and God's desires.

 

Jesus never mentions anything about homosexuality. I find that strange considering all the ephasis that some Christians place on it today about it being such an 'abomination'.

 

The story of Sodom & Gomorrah has nothing to do with homosexuality and is a story about people who were simply mean and nasty, being punished.

 

So as you can see, there's not much there for me to reconcile and I wish gay people the same love and happiness in their life as for anybody else.

 

Cheers

Paul

Edited by Paul Smedley
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I certainly agree the Sodom story had to do with lack of hospitality and gang rape of angels and nothing to do with loving gay couples. I think the other verses are referencing temple prostitution and that people of the time period had no concept of loving same-sex couples and only saw cultic sex rituals which the ancient Hebrews wanted nothing to do with it.

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GayChristian, I was pregnant out of wedlock. I wasn't a virgin on my wedding day. I've had divorces and remarriages. A lot of other so-called "sins". You're gay. It's a non-issue. Let's just get over it, ok? :)

Edited by JenellYB
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I think the other verses are referencing temple prostitution and that people of the time period had no concept of loving same-sex couples and only saw cultic sex rituals which the ancient Hebrews wanted nothing to do with it.

 

...and I think that's why Jesus makes no reference to homosexuality - it just wasn't on his radar. It wasn't part of the society he lived in. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there were gay people, but like you say there was no concept of homosexuality consisting of loving relationships.

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GayChristian, I was pregnant out of wedlock. I wasn't a virgin on my wedding day. I've had divorces and remarriages. A lot of other sins. You're gay. It's a non-issue. Let's just get over it, ok? :)

 

Wouldn't it be nice if the majority of Christianity looked at homsexuality that way, instead of trying to preserve it as an abomination. Interestingly single mothers, non-virgins and divorcees simply don't get the same anti-ness from the church as gays do.

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I believe in progressive revelation. So in one sense it doesn't matter what the Bible says. Within the Bible itself there is evidence of progressive revelation. After the Ten Commandments the death penalty became the rule for breaking the sabbath. Jesus doesn't see it that way. It did take me ten years to arrive at this position.

 

Dutch

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Paul wrote: looked at homsexuality that way, instead of trying to preserve it as an abomination. Interestingly single mothers, non-virgins and divorcees simply don't get the same anti-ness from the church as gays do.Wouldn't it be nice if the majority of Christianity

 

I think some people just have so much hate, and so much need to degrade someone else, that they just have to find targets to unload it all onto. Unwed mothers, non-virgins, divorces, USED to have a lot more directed toward them than now, not that long ago, actually. As those became more 'acceptable', they had to find enough enough targets to make up for it, to keep pouring out the hate. Race, ethnics, provides some. Maybe some of that once aimed at those women got shifted onto homosexuals. Not that long ago, if homosexuals were willing to stay in the closet, just not put it out there, society was perhaps 'kinder' in looking the other way? It used to be quite common and acceptable, even expected, for 'spinster' women and life-long "bachelor" men to live quietly, offically "non-sexually", in close relationship with another of the same sex. Now singles, especially men, that hang out with others of the same sex, without demonstrating active dating/sex lives with the oppostive sex are often 'suspect', even assumed and taunted as gay.

 

Jenell

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It is clear to me that male homosexual acts were forbidden in the OT (Lev 18:22), but not female. However, this, IMO, should be understood in the context of the times and society in which it was written and a time at which sexual orientation was not understood. If someone wants to cite this as authority today, then they should also give up shrimp, barbecue pork, linen-wool blends, and on and on.

 

As Paul noted above, Jesus is not reported to have commented on this, so at a minimum, it was not a serious concern of his.

 

George

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Christians are persecuting and doing harm to our gay brothers and sisters and we need to point that out, because doing nothing is accepting this behavior. We Christians as a whole need to self reflect on the harm we are doing to others. We need a time of humbling ourselves, in body and spirit, before God and not try to humiliate other Christians or non-Christians. I feel the gay issue is a surpression of sex issue so we must talk about sex.

 

I feel Spiritual people are a passionate people so we can be intense in our sexual desire, pleasure, passion and fulfillment. I don't think God wants us to feel guilty, but to enjoy His sexual gift to us. To enjoy the sexual play He gave us, I feel we need to awaken from our childishness and be responsible for our love, energy and relationships. We must persist in the spiritual practice of love rather than the drama of fear and rejection. I feel if we go boldly we can transcend our self and our lover to become one with or commune with the Divine. Sexual communion can transform us by maturing, mastering and expanding our love into a transcendental spiritual occasion. I feel if we adapt and grow from sexual intimacy it can expand our tendencies, our attention, and prepare us for communion with the radiance of the Divine. This ecstasy releases our feelings and attention so the soul can be realized. God's absolute intensity and Reality is always present and can be realized without the profound intensity of sex. Sexual communion is just one of the ways to go beyond the confines of the mind bound to its self. I feel guidelines are important because obsessive sex acquires an illusion of ecstasy that only last for seconds. If one makes love to feel pleasure then the sexuality is not about love. It is the hope for love, but if one is already happy, prior to the sexual event and stimulations then sex is not an obsession and one passes beyond the ritual of orgasm. Our bliss in Communion with God is not just in the genitals, but pervades the whole body and the physical world. The spiritual is not separate from the physical; it is the physical that is also spiritual at this point. The problem of sex is not in the pleasure, it is the obsessively use of sex to acquire a substitute for ecstasy. True ecstasy is a whole life experience of love and Divine communion, unity, wholeness and fullness. It is the totality of our existence and being.

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Soma wrote: Christians are persecuting and doing harm to our gay brothers and sisters and we need to point that out, because doing nothing is accepting this behavior.

 

 

I agree. And I think many of us are doing that. but here is something of my reasoning, thoughts about this.

 

However, I think it is also of matter that we consider how we might most effectively do that.

As in my own summation above, I not only express my disagreement with those attitudes and treatments, but dismiss any arguments about it as an issue of real matter.

 

I think we give those expressing such attitudes and behavior more of the attention than they deserve, and by that, may even enhance their own feelings of it being a credible issue. I think we provide them a certain satisfaction in just our giving notice and attention to their arguments. We may be validating their perception of it as a real issue. To argue a position gives ground to stand on. To be simply dismissed takes that ground out from under them.

 

We need not, perhaps best not, respond by getting all upset and running over and defending and soothing and comforting those being targeted (except, of course,where actual acts of violence and material harm are at risk) as if there is some real substance to their arrows they shoot, for it gives them a sense of power. Power to upset them, power to upset us. To just walk over to the target, shrug,and say, 'hey, let's just get out out of here and do our own thing," and just walk away from them like the annoying idiots they are acting like, disempowers them.

 

This is not a position of apathy, convenience, an easy way to avoid conflct. It often takes real courage and conviction to walk away from your peers, dismiss them, lay your hand on their intended targets' shoulder, and say,hey,let's just get outta here," and walk away with them. If often makes YOU their target, as well, often with as much if not more hate and vitriol than they have toward the original intended target. Because you thwarted them. Dismissed their attempt to get/keep you on their side.

 

I make my position on this matter openly and clearly known, in a simple matter-of-fact manner. I refuse to accept their challenge to make it an issue, give it the credibility of a real issue, by dismissing it as even something to argue about, to attempt to "reconcile" it with/to anything else of any matter. By making it clear,I simply see it as a non-issue. There's nothing to be reconciled.

 

 

How would you respond if someone were to come up to you and start arguing that the Earth is really flat and at the center of the universe that revolves around it?

 

jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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Soma wrote: Christians are persecuting and doing harm to our gay brothers and sisters and we need to point that out, because doing nothing is accepting this behavior.

 

 

I agree. And I think many of us are doing that. but here is something of my reasoning, thoughts about this.

 

However, I think it is also of matter that we consider how we might most effectively do that.

As in my own summation above, I not only express my disagreement with those attitudes and treatments, but dismiss any arguments about it as an issue of real matter.

 

I think we give those expressing such attitudes and behavior more of the attention than they deserve, and by that, may even enhance their own feelings of it being a credible issue. I think we provide them a certain satisfaction in just our giving notice and attention to their arguments. We may be validating their perception of it as a real issue. To argue a position gives ground to stand on. To be simply dismissed takes that ground out from under them.

 

We need not, perhaps best not, respond by getting all upset and running over and defending and soothing and comforting those being targeted (except, of course,where actual acts of violence and material harm are at risk) as if there is some real substance to their arrows they shoot, for it gives them a sense of power. Power to upset them, power to upset us. To just walk over to the target, shrug,and say, 'hey, let's just get out out of here and do our own thing," and just walk away from them like the annoying idiots they are acting like, disempowers them.

 

This is not a position of apathy, convenience, an easy way to avoid conflct. It often takes real courage and conviction to walk away from your peers, dismiss them, lay your hand on their intended targets' shoulder, and say,hey,let's just get outta here," and walk away with them. If often makes YOU their target, as well, often with as much if not more hate and vitriol than they have toward the original intended target. Because you thwarted them. Dismissed their attempt to get/keep you on their side.

 

I make my position on this matter openly and clearly known, in a simple matter-of-fact manner. I refuse to accept their challenge to make it an issue, give it the credibility of a real issue, by dismissing it as even something to argue about, to attempt to "reconcile" it with/to anything else of any matter. By making it clear,I simply see it as a non-issue. There's nothing to be reconciled.

 

 

How would you respond if someone were to come up to you and start arguing that the Earth is really flat and at the center of the universe that revolves around it?

 

jenell

 

Jenell,

 

I don't think in Australia we are yet at the point of non-argument, and as America seems to be in connuptions about gay marriage, I'd say the States isn't at that point either.

 

Until gay people are provided the same rights as heteros, I think argument is required. When descrimination ceases against gay people, then maybe it's time to call it a non-issue.

 

Certainly if sombody came up to me and argued the earth was flat, I probably wouldn't give them much time. But if there was a political party that stood a strong chance of being voted in, whom would change our laws and begin persecuting those who believed the earth was round, then I would be hitting the streets and voicing my case.

 

Similarly, whilst we have political parties influenced by homophobes and other people who are somewhat ignorant on the issue of homosexuality, who in turn make laws that discriminate against gays or more to the point, fail to correct discrimatory laws against gays (such as gays not being allowed to marry) then I think it is a matter to be argued and debated. I don't think the passive response will effect change.

Edited by Paul Smedley
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To address these issues at levels of government, on grounds of practical, ethical, moral and legal rights, laws, is a different matter than engaging pointless arguments with other private individuals or bigoted groups at a level of ignorance, bigotry,and/or religion.....I will NOT engage in "reconciling" the matter with the bible or relgious beliefs. There is no "argument" I know of that they haven't already heard and rejected without consideration, a thousand times. And their's none of theirs I haven't heard a thousand times. It's pointless. They aren't going to change my mind, and I am not going to change theirs, through such arguments. Whenand if one of these bigots that hide behind religion can demonstrate they in truth believe and live outin conformitty of every detail of what 'the bible says', maybe I'll give him/her a listen.

 

There are those so positioned to fight these battles at those government and legal levels, as I am not. I can and do support those efforts as in what limited ways I can. I actively voice my opinions in issues such as these and others when I feel that matters, in contacts to offices of policiansand office holders, and regarding pending legislation.

 

The manner in which I describe how i deal with bigots, those wanting to engage in ignorant or religious based arguments in this issue, is the same as I and many others have dealt with past issues of prejudice, such as racial, or social. And I believe it the most effective.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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To address these issues at levels of government, on grounds of practical, ethical, moral and legal rights, laws, is a different matter than engaging pointless arguments with other private individuals or bigoted groups at a level of ignorance, bigotry,and/or religion.....I will NOT engage in "reconciling" the matter with the bible or relgious beliefs. There is no "argument" I know of that they haven't already heard and rejected without consideration, a thousand times. And their's none of theirs I haven't heard a thousand times. It's pointless. They aren't going to change my mind, and I am not going to change theirs, through such arguments. Whenand if one of these bigots that hide behind religion can demonstrate they in truth believe and live outin conformitty of every detail of what 'the bible says', maybe I'll give him/her a listen.

 

There are those so positioned to fight these battles at those government and legal levels, as I am not. I can and do support those efforts as in what limited ways I can. I actively voice my opinions in issues such as these and others when I feel that matters, in contacts to offices of policiansand office holders, and regarding pending legislation.

 

The manner in which I describe how i deal with bigots, those wanting to engage in ignorant or religious based arguments in this issue, is the same as I and many others have dealt with past issues of prejudice, such as racial, or social. And I believe it the most effective.

 

Jenell

 

I don't know, Jennel. I don't think I would give up so easily. I was raised fundy Christian and a homophobe. If it was for people discussing the issue I would never have known half of what I have learnt about what the Bible really does (or doesn't) say about homosexuality. But I know the type of arguments you are referring to and in those cases, yes, it often is pointless. Their mind is set and that is that.

 

However I still believe there are many Christians (and non-Christians) who are yet to have their eyes opened to many facts about homosexuality. They think they know God's position on the matter, but when someone like yourself or GC point out the many problems with the old view, they're left questioning and owndering and sometimes even change their minds!

 

The way I view it, people like you and I are well positioned to fight these battles because we have regular contact with other people who vote in and out the people who can address these issues at governmental levels.

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Paul, this isn't 'giving up.' Giving up would be to go along to get along. I do not do that. I will not sit passively and listen to that kind oft alk. I'll express my discomfort, that I feel it is wrong. But I won't argue their 'reasons' or rather,'self-justifications' for it. If they persist, I leave. I do not keep that company. My stand, my courage doing that, has, I know, helped give others the courage to do the same. I deal the same way with racial and ethnic bigotry.

People doing what I do, are those that back in the turbulent 60's-70's, when others on the bus sat far away on the bus from the colored person, that sat down beside them and exchanged casual pleasantries as if with any other. Those that moved away hated those that did this...if they hated anything more than a "n" it was a white "n-lover." More did that, and more did that, every one that did that helped others have the courage to do that, until those that moved away were the ones that acted 'differently', and looked,and increasingly,felt foolish and embarrassed. It works. I've seen it work. This I can say I feel confident in, perhaps at least in part because I did live through that era of the 60's-70's,as those changes took place on the United States. And I've gone throught that time,and now this, here in SE Texas, the heart of the southern 'biblebelt', the heart of prejudice and bigotry in this country. Other than Mississippi and Alabama, about the worst of it.

It is not a position of giving up, or apathy, or weakness. It is a stand with courage,on solid principle.

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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You're gay. It's a non-issue. Let's just get over it, ok? :)

 

Jenell,

 

I had this post of yours in my mind when I was formulating my posts, but you've made it clear now that you are referring to arguing with those who don't wish to give consideration to somebody else's arguments. To that extent I definitely agree - it's a waste of time and a better use of your time is to simply set an example - be there as a friend and support for the oppressed.

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Just as on the bus when others moved away, perhaps making expressions of disgust, making crude comments....the white "n-lover" sits down right beside the "n" and casually treats that person like anyone else. Polite. Considerate. And they smile at each other. (hey, I'm white, you're black...isn't it a nice day?) Doesn't need to be said. It's shown. (And we don't give a flip what the bible says about Noah's son, Ham!) (and so what are the rest of you looking so unpleasant about?)

 

Jenell

Edited by JenellYB
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I am one of those people that would not of been able to enter the temple of old. I had polio as a child and it affected my legs and yet, in Leviticus 21:19 this would of barred me from the temple. Does this make sense in todays understanding or do we still say well the law is perfect and God given and therefore I should be barred from every church. The answer is no. The faith develops and we gain further understanding as time goes on. My faith is not based on the bible being correct for all time or always being truthful in everything it has to say and I just view it as the understanding of those seeking God but with a 2000+yrs ago's experence. The word about their view of God rather than the word of God. We are not living 2000yrs ago and I believe God still speaks to the heart of people today. The Quakers in the UK was the first church in the UK to stand up and say it believed in Gay marriage and called on the UK Government to change the law and I am proud of that (unfortunately the Government has not changed the laws yet). I am sure in time the churches will eventually come around to things once it starts to think about things and stop refusing to question aged dogma. Jesus is reported to say that the law was based upon loving God and loving ones neighbour and the bible also says we should not judge. I just do not see it as loving to judge people on the basis of their sexuality or as Jenell has pointed out on failed marriages. This makes no sense to me. I regret that many Christians have been slow to acknowledge that the world is just not perfect and never has been. Some are also slow to accept women ministers as well as Gay and lesbian relationships. I can only apologise that some Christians are being so slow and bigoted (IMO) but others such as progressives, liberals, quakers, unitarians, and ministers like Spong have seen the light and are trying to get the message across. There is hope (IMO) and I do base my faith on that.

Edited by Pete
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The Quakers in the UK was the first church in the UK to stand up and say it believed in Gay marriage and called on the UK Government to change the law and I am proud of that (unfortunately the Government has not changed the laws yet). I am sure in time the churches will eventually come around to things once it starts to think about things and stop refusing to question aged dogma.

 

This is another example that refutes the notion that homophobia is motivated by religion. It is, IMO, the underlying worldview that motivates the form that one's religion will take and homophobia is part of that. Churches can play an important role in promoting tolerance (see your example) or encouraging discrimination (too many examples to cite), but it is not the underlying motivation.

 

George

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This is another example that refutes the notion that homophobia is motivated by religion. It is, IMO, the underlying worldview that motivates the form that one's religion will take and homophobia is part of that. Churches can play an important role in promoting tolerance (see your example) or encouraging discrimination (too many examples to cite), but it is not the underlying motivation.

 

George I would agree and disagree with this. I think churches are often a reflection of prevailing attitudes and prejudices. T hey can also very much be the cause at least of continence long after general society has moved on. As they are in this case. For example while I was at lunch a few months ago with several friends one of which is closer to my sons age this topic came up. His response was this is your generations issue not ours. We don't care. He further said the only people his age that did care were people who went to church.

 

I don't think we should let churches off the hook quite so easily. They have a responsibility to not only accept ALL people but also must actively call out their brethren when they fall short. I think the church in general has done a poor job of both.

 

steve

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murmsk wrote: George I would agree and disagree with this. I think churches are often a reflection of prevailing attitudes and prejudices. T hey can also very much be the cause at least of continence long after general society has moved on. As they are in this case. For example while I was at lunch a few months ago with several friends one of which is closer to my sons age this topic came up. His response was this is your generations issue not ours. We don't care. He further said the only people his age that did care were people who went to church.

 

I aggree with the first part here.....I've had to realize and accept that for all the claims of the religious otherwise, the religious commuity has never been the 'leader' in social change and socieal justice issues. It has pretty much always been on the fighting edge of the battle against change, the strongest and usually last bastion of resistance to change. In some ventures into a variety of churches, even each congregation is simply a little enclave of people brought and held together by their holding something of common views, lifestyles, socio-economic class, within their communities or residence and social connection in general. And, that they generally tend to lean heavily toward those comfortable with, that percieve themselves advantaged insome way, by some elements of a status quo.

 

As to you last observation, I'm not at all sure how to consider that....I know from many different situations involving young people from children in early elementary through high school ages, that taunting and cruelty and even obsession with homophobia is horrible and wide-spread, even pervasive. I have little grandkids in even the earliest grades experiencing cruel tauting and bullying and homosexual slurs long before they even had any idea at all what homosexual, or even sexual, even is.

 

Jenell

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. . . the religious commuity has never been the 'leader' in social change and socieal justice issues.

 

Never? How about abolitionists and Civil Rights movement? Martin Luther King was an ordained pastor. And, he was supported by a number of white Christians and Jews.

 

George

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