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Aprile

Gay Rights

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I was visiting a church on Sunday where the sermon was on Thinking Biblically about Homosexuality. Under most circumstances, I would have left because to be perfectly honest... the message doesn't hold water with me. But due to other factors, I decided to stay. I have never sat so still in my life, I couldn't move a muscle and just held my hands in my lap and cried on the inside.

I have to say, it was the first time I've heard (or paid much attention to) a logically outlined argument against gay marriage. It was based on the seven passages in the bible that even remotely refer to hetero- or homosexuality. And the pastor argued that even if it is genetic, there are a lot of things to which humans are genetically predisposed that are bad for us, and used hereditary links to cancer, depression and addiction as his examples. Cursorily, he reminded the congregation that Christians were still called to love everyone, and everyone had their own sin, etc. He also explained that in the bible, whenever something becomes complete, it is because it is joined with something complementary to it, not something similar to it.

Of course, the sermon was based on the premise that we live in a fallen and sinful world where the bible is the sole guide for individual behavior and social interaction, and in that sense, the argument has internal logic.

If that pastor doesn't want to perform gay weddings, that is his right. Frankly, he's not obliged to perform any weddings, and many pastors don't perform ceremonies with which they do not agree. (A friend of mine is considering not performing a wedding for a couple who's been living together before they got married... it's sad to me, but it's his prerogative.)

BUT, I have to say that I think it's unfortunate that the sacrament of marriage as seen by the church is constantly conflated with the legal, economic, and social institution of marriage. I think that when people are anti-same sex marriage, they're so focused on America-As-Christian-Nation or Marriage-As-God's-Institution, that they forget to look at the big picture. Families have been structured in LOTS of different ways throughout history to provide social stability for children, the elderly, and everyone in between. Whether or not we agree with how families have been structured in other times and places, I think it's incredibly arrogant to think that we have a monopoly on how families should look, especially at a time when families are under stress and fractured. (Conservative Christians, much as they promote the stability of the nuclear family, have the same divorce rate as the rest of the country.)

All of that is to say that for whatever internal logic to the sermon I heard on Sunday, I think it missed completely on the external circumstances. We are supposed to live in a country where everyone has the same rights, regardless of what they look like, what they believe, or who they love. And we are supposed to live in a place where "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," which could be interpreted to mean that no matter how logical the biblical argument against same-sex marriage is, it is an argument based on religious law, not the law of the land.

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Dana Flatspot, I want to hug you right now. You always say what you want to say so wonderfully. I can never put my thoughts to words well, and you are always spot on.

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I absolutely think they should be able to, and they should have to go through the same screening and application process as everyone else. If they are deemed fit then absolutely yes.

!

oh great and the next thing they will want is to get married and move on my block

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I was visiting a church on Sunday where the sermon was on Thinking Biblically about Homosexuality. Under most circumstances, I would have left because to be perfectly honest... the message doesn't hold water with me. But due to other factors, I decided to stay. I have never sat so still in my life, I couldn't move a muscle and just held my hands in my lap and cried on the inside.

I have to say, it was the first time I've heard (or paid much attention to) a logically outlined argument against gay marriage. It was based on the seven passages in the bible that even remotely refer to hetero- or homosexuality. And the pastor argued that even if it is genetic, there are a lot of things to which humans are genetically predisposed that are bad for us, and used hereditary links to cancer, depression and addiction as his examples. Cursorily, he reminded the congregation that Christians were still called to love everyone, and everyone had their own sin, etc. He also explained that in the bible, whenever something becomes complete, it is because it is joined with something complementary to it, not something similar to it.

Of course, the sermon was based on the premise that we live in a fallen and sinful world where the bible is the sole guide for individual behavior and social interaction, and in that sense, the argument has internal logic.

If that pastor doesn't want to perform gay weddings, that is his right. Frankly, he's not obliged to perform any weddings, and many pastors don't perform ceremonies with which they do not agree. (A friend of mine is considering not performing a wedding for a couple who's been living together before they got married... it's sad to me, but it's his prerogative.)

BUT, I have to say that I think it's unfortunate that the sacrament of marriage as seen by the church is constantly conflated with the legal, economic, and social institution of marriage. I think that when people are anti-same sex marriage, they're so focused on America-As-Christian-Nation or Marriage-As-God's-Institution, that they forget to look at the big picture. Families have been structured in LOTS of different ways throughout history to provide social stability for children, the elderly, and everyone in between. Whether or not we agree with how families have been structured in other times and places, I think it's incredibly arrogant to think that we have a monopoly on how families should look, especially at a time when families are under stress and fractured. (Conservative Christians, much as they promote the stability of the nuclear family, have the same divorce rate as the rest of the country.)

All of that is to say that for whatever internal logic to the sermon I heard on Sunday, I think it missed completely on the external circumstances. We are supposed to live in a country where everyone has the same rights, regardless of what they look like, what they believe, or who they love. And we are supposed to live in a place where "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," which could be interpreted to mean that no matter how logical the biblical argument against same-sex marriage is, it is an argument based on religious law, not the law of the land.

Well said.....I wonder how many "christians" would have followed you out of the church if you had walked out in protest of his bigotry? Gosh I would think the priest/pastor would be upset that his cash...er I mean flock where leaving.

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Dana I think one of the hardest part of being a Christian for me has been dealing with other Christians. It actually led to several years of me not wanting to even want to step foot in a church. It's so demoralizing that those of us that are supposed to be the most loving/most accepting/etc are often the most bigoted/most hateful. My dad is a pastor and I wouldn't even dream of bringing the subject up with him...I'm afraid I would just be disapointed in him. :cry:

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Dana I think one of the hardest part of being a Christian for me has been dealing with other Christians. It actually led to several years of me not wanting to even want to step foot in a church. It's so demoralizing that those of us that are supposed to be the most loving/most accepting/etc are often the most bigoted/most hateful. My dad is a pastor and I wouldn't even dream of bringing the subject up with him...I'm afraid I would just be disapointed in him. :cry:

My dad is against gays too. it's that old school mentality. I don't ever bring it up because I don't want to have an argument.

I also have a friend who is against gays. He's 72 years old. The way he talks about gays makes me so mad. Last time we spoke I had to set him straight.

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Dana I think one of the hardest part of being a Christian for me has been dealing with other Christians. It actually led to several years of me not wanting to even want to step foot in a church. It's so demoralizing that those of us that are supposed to be the most loving/most accepting/etc are often the most bigoted/most hateful. My dad is a pastor and I wouldn't even dream of bringing the subject up with him...I'm afraid I would just be disapointed in him. :cry:

That would be a difficult spot to be in. I admire you admiting that tho. I think an older generation, mixed with religion and fear are often the things that make people bigoted toward other genders, races and religion.

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I absolutely think they should be able to, and they should have to go through the same screening and application process as everyone else. If they are deemed fit then absolutely yes.

!

oh great and the next thing they will want is to get married and move on my block

Rauncy, if they move into Ferndale, I'm so out of here!!!

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Dana I think one of the hardest part of being a Christian for me has been dealing with other Christians. It actually led to several years of me not wanting to even want to step foot in a church. It's so demoralizing that those of us that are supposed to be the most loving/most accepting/etc are often the most bigoted/most hateful. My dad is a pastor and I wouldn't even dream of bringing the subject up with him...I'm afraid I would just be disapointed in him. :cry:

My dad is against gays too. it's that old school mentality. I don't ever bring it up because I don't want to have an argument.

I also have a friend who is against gays. He's 72 years old. The way he talks about gays makes me so mad. Last time we spoke I had to set him straight.

The other day I was with my family, and I was talking to my niece and my mom. I started talking about Ellen getting married, and my niece (9) asked what the big deal was. I told her that Ellen was a lesbian and that they finally made it legal to get married. She looked at me with this look on her face and said "gross!". I was totall shocked - I never thought that she might feel that way, so I had to gather myself for a second, then I sat her down and talked to her about it. I don't now if I made a difference, but she really looks up to me (I'm the favorite aunt - yay!), and I hope it did.

I know she got it from her dad - her dad's an idiot when it comes to things like this. So, next time I'm around her, I'm going to bring it up again and see what she says.

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Dana I think one of the hardest part of being a Christian for me has been dealing with other Christians. It actually led to several years of me not wanting to even want to step foot in a church. It's so demoralizing that those of us that are supposed to be the most loving/most accepting/etc are often the most bigoted/most hateful. My dad is a pastor and I wouldn't even dream of bringing the subject up with him...I'm afraid I would just be disapointed in him. :cry:

That would be a difficult spot to be in. I admire you admiting that tho. I think an older generation, mixed with religion and fear are often the things that make people bigoted toward other genders, races and religion.

Not just older. A lot of young people hold these opinions, too.

Jobear - I've struggled a lot with that, too. A number of people who I love deeply hold this opinion, and it's a real source of contention. (Especially since I'm a degenerate gambler and a Catholic with a St. Mary nightlight in my bathroom, so my judgment is questionable at best.) In the sermon I was talking about, the pastor directly confronted arguments that he says Christians use to get around this... "aren't we supposed to love everyone," etc. And without going into it too deeply, even his arguments had the same kind of logic I was talking about earlier... which convinced me that nothing I could say in a discussion about this would change the minds of the regular congregants.

Rauncy - There was a woman in front of me who was dying to get out of there, she started gathering her things almost the minute the sermon started, and was visibly shaken by the whole thing. I'm sure she would have been relieved to have someone to follow out... she left as soon as everyone stood up at the end of the sermon. The pastor had to have known that there are people who would be leaving his congregation once he started this sermon series - several other congregations in our town have fractured after same-sex marriage became an openly discussed issue. I'm sure that he considers it a brave thing to do, especially in Massachusetts... and I think he really believed that he was as loving and he was straightforward. Maybe that's why it was so deeply disappointing to me... because he spoke from a position of absolute truth, cries for justice and acceptance were muted before they could be made.

Allie - :kiss:

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I absolutely think they should be able to, and they should have to go through the same screening and application process as everyone else. If they are deemed fit then absolutely yes.

!

oh great and the next thing they will want is to get married and move on my block

Rauncy, if they move into Ferndale, I'm so out of here!!!

Ferndale first then into hazel park! RUN!!!

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And we are supposed to live in a place where "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," which could be interpreted to mean that no matter how logical the biblical argument against same-sex marriage is, it is an argument based on religious law, not the law of the land.

exactly. it doesn't matter what your religious text says. you're against gay marriage or gay people adopting, fine. but the second you bring your religion into law you're a total hypocrite. because these are so often the same people with the Pro-war bumper stickers and american flags all over their cars who call themselves "patriotic". really? well, if you want a religious state, you're actually more like Osama bin Laden than George Washington.

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Isn't it funny how people can be against Gay Marriage but fight so hard to protect their second ammendmet rights?

1_the_right_to_bear_arms.jpg

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because these are so often the same people with the Pro-war bumper stickers and american flags all over their cars who call themselves "patriotic".
These people scare me. I see a lot of them around these parts, and I steer clear.

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Yet another reason I hate politicians. This is from the link Allie posted. :rolleyes:

First McCain says...

I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don't believe in gay adoption,"

The he gets flack and his "handlers" say...

Sen. McCain's expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible," the statement added. "However, as an adoptive father himself, McCain believes children deserve loving and caring home environments, and he recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative."

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Yet another reason I hate politicians. This is from the link Allie posted. :rolleyes:

First McCain says...

I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no, I don't believe in gay adoption,"

The he gets flack and his "handlers" say...

Sen. McCain's expressed his personal preference for children to be raised by a mother and a father wherever possible," the statement added. "However, as an adoptive father himself, McCain believes children deserve loving and caring home environments, and he recognizes that there are many abandoned children who have yet to find homes. John McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative."

I am wondering where it was proven that "Both" parents have to be of the opposite sex?

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You know we are going to look back on this one day and think about how archaic this ideal is. Women have only been able to vote since 1920 that is still astounding to me.

I hope this happens sooner than later.

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I can't see any good reason why gay couples shouldn't be able to adopt. The argument about them not being able to have kids on their own (same gender) is retarded.. if that was such a consideration, then I guess infertile couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt either.

Actually.. or marry, for that matter. I mean, if the whole basis for marriage is the ability to spawn..

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I was talking to a couple over the weekend at a bbq who are going to Toronto to get married this year. He was talking about wanting to adopt after a while. It was so sad to me because he kept bringing up the fact that if something were to happen to one of them (the one on the papers as the actual father), it would be a legal mess for the other. Unfortunately, I don't know the law and how that works (I want to find out), but I just can't imagine not having a legal say in what happens to my partner or my adopted child just because I was gay.

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I was talking to a couple over the weekend at a bbq who are going to Toronto to get married this year. He was talking about wanting to adopt after a while. It was so sad to me because he kept bringing up the fact that if something were to happen to one of them (the one on the papers as the actual father), it would be a legal mess for the other. Unfortunately, I don't know the law and how that works (I want to find out), but I just can't imagine not having a legal say in what happens to my partner or my adopted child just because I was gay.

A friend of mine is writing her dissertation on something similar - custody battles involving one or more gay parents. It's sad to hear how sexuality overshadows all of the other important aspects of custody decisions.

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And seven years later.........Gay marriage is finally legal.

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