Interesting to me that the whole conversation branched off from the article I posted by the ex-Christian who listed the things Christians do and say and the teachings of the church that have alienated so many people ....
....and the conversation went on to illustrate the point perfectly, didn't it?
I have nothing against her at all, she's a nice person and I believe she is just saying what she believes is true. But no matter what information I provide, no matter what personal experiences I relate, her answer will always be, "Well, I know you're wrong because of what it says in Romans, chapter 1." And she will not answer my questions - which are not intended to offend or to change her mind, but just to make her think about why someone might have a different view. But if she just ignores the question, I guess that approach is pointless.
So many people are fine with glossing over the Old Testment laws, eating pork and shellfish, wearing clothes of blended fabric, okay with haircuts, divorces, "unclean" women, mouthy teenagers, working on the Sabbath...but homosexuals, oh no, gotta draw a line somewhere.
I find it impossible to believe, with all of the horrible sins human beings commit against one another - violence, theft, hatred, cruelty, rape, murder - that God considers loving someone of the same gender to be a sin.
It looks to me like people use the Bible and God to validate their biases and prejudices.
That's because they are self righteous hypocrites.
Some inspiring verses
1 John 3:19-20
By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
Imagine if everyone lived by these words of wisdom? What a wonderful world it would be, but I believe that's how it will be after Jesus returns as King of kings of earth.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger is a radio personality who dispenses advice to people who call in to her radio show. Recently, she said that, as an observant Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus 18:22 and cannot be condoned under any circumstance. The following is an open letter to Dr. Laura penned by a east coast resident, which was posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:
Dear Dr. Laura:
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other specific laws and how to follow them:
When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15:19- 24. The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?
I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination - Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?
Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?
I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? - Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
I've read this before, forgot how funny it was. Thanks for reminding me. And it perfectly illustrates my point of how we pick and choose what OT laws and rules are the "important" ones that still apply today.
People are offended by homosexuality because it makes them uncomfortable. I find it hilarious that some men (not necessarily Christians) who are the loudest and rudest about gay-bashing and how "unnatural" it is for two men to be in love, are the same guys who think watching two girls make out is really hot. No surprise that the biggest consumers of lesbian pornography are - you guessed it - straight men.
It's none of anyone else's business.
It's a natural occurring thing that is an explainable part of nature.
God created everything, including same-sex attraction.
And I have yet to see a shred of evidence from anyone that argues against it that they've been hurt, harmed, or damaged.
This message has been edited by ever-a-newbie on Jun 5, 2012 10:20 PM
The RCC figured out how to keep people from talking about it
June 5 2012, 11:04 PM
Shocking reports have surfaced that reveal at least ten teenage boys were castrated in the 1950s by the Dutch Roman Catholic Church as a "treatment" for homosexuality, the Telegraph reports.
Dutch journalist Joep Dohmen, reporting for the NRC Handelsblad uncovered ten cases of the castrations, one of which was suffered by Henk Heithuis, who was castrated as a minor for reporting to police sexual abuse by a priest that he endured while in the boarding home.
Although the priests were convicted of the abuses, Heithuis was still transported to a Catholic hospital, and underwent a surgical castration as a treatment for homosexuality and, according to the report, a punishment for tattling on the clergy.
"Other researchers have taken different approaches, but have similarly failed to find a connection between homosexuality and child molestation. Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic of a Denver children's hospital during a one-year period (from July 1, 1991 to June 30, 1992). The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in fewer than 1% in which an adult molester could be identified only 2 of the 269 cases" (Jenny et al., 1994).
Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote:
"Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual" (Groth & Gary, 1982, p. 147).
Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy (1998) similarly cautioned against confusing homosexuality with pedophilia. He noted, "The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or in women" (p. 259).
The site also discusses research that has attempted to draw a link between homosexuality and child molestation, and clearly explains how the studies were flawed. It's not comfortable to read (some of the descriptions of research methods are a bit graphic), but scholarly presented.
Homosexuality is a gender orientation; the vast majority of homosexuals, just like heterosexuals, experience age-appropriate attractions (i.e. adults are attracted to adults). It is not a mental illness, and it is not a crime.
Pedophilia is a mental illness, a clinical diagnosis listed in the DSM -- but pedophilic actions are a crime. Pedophilia is a paraphilia, the sexual arousal by objects, situations, or persons that are not part of normative stimulation that may cause distress/problems for the paraphilic individual or persons associated with him/her.
...antiquated sodomy laws apply to heterosexual couples as well, basically covering any sexual practice that isn't "procreative". Fortunately, these are being reviewed by courts more often now and being tossed out as unconstitutional. And really, unenforceable. I mean...how would the police know what a married couple does in the privacy of their own bedroom? Who would tell? And if I woman called the cops on her husband for oral sex...wow...he must be really, really bad at it. =)
The question I responded to actually came from a different angle -- I was asked why do I, as a heterosexual woman, feel it's important to stand up for gay rights, and to say that I don't believe that homosexuality is a sin -- or a choice.
I know a lot of gay people -- at my work, but even more at my church because our congregation is part of the "Reconciling Ministries Network" and welcomes and accepts all, so we have a high percentage of LGBT members in our congregation. From talking to my gay friends and from reading a lot of research on the subject, I firmly believe that people do not choose to be homosexual, no more than people choose to be heterosexual. I strongly suspect it is a genetic trait like hair color or eye color, or possibly a genetic pre-disposition, and that science will eventually prove that.
When asked why I care about it, I talked about how gays have been horribly discriminated against, victims of violence, and have been killed for their orientation. Right now there is an epidemic of gang rapes ("corrective rapes") of lesbians in South Africa to supposedly "cure" them of being gay. Some of these women have been tortured and even killed by their rapists.
We need to stand up for others, even if they aren't one of "us". I discussed whites who opposed slavery, and whites who marched for civil rights. I could also include men who support women's rights, or the Gentile Dutch family that hid Anne Frank. Or Irena Sendler, the Polish Catholic social worker who smuggled Jewish babies out of a Warsaw ghetto in WWII.
And you may be familiar with this quotation, attributed to pastor Martin Niemöller, who once supported Hitler and the Nazi party, but changed his mind (he may have written several versions, this is just one of them):
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I care about people, and stand up against oppression and mistreatment. Which, for me, translates into choosing to not join political agendas, but rather resist the political part of it. So while I support lots of various ideals of civil rights (gay rights, women's rights, racial rights, white-dude rights, religious rights, et. al.), I don't join into the political agendas of any of the demographics. And that's because of my believe that any demographic with an agenda of advancing their political cause has that "passion of a self-righteous fascist" that seeks to dominate others. Hard to explain in an on-line post, and might even sound contradictory.
I don't consider myself ultra political on the issue of gay rights or marriage equality - no more so than I am on other issues that are politically, morally, or ethically important to me. A candidate's views on those issues do affect my overall opinion of the candidate, though.
Because I participate in political and religious discussions online, I do talk about it on boards, especially if a Christian starts a discussion about the evils of homosexuality, all gays are going to hell, etc. There are a few reasons I will speak ip on the issue:
To let people know that not all Christians feel that way - I especially want any gays or lesbians reading to know that.
To possibly open a dialogue, or at least give some points to ponder, to any Christian who may be on the fence about their beliefs, as I was. The way the Church treats gays was one of several reasons I left the Church, and came close to abandoning my faith altogether.
Even if well-meaning Christians "hate the sin but not the sinner", they need to hear the truth about the evils of homophobia - and yes, it is a phobia, a fear - and the truth about the violent crimes, the rapes, torture, and murders that happen just because the victim is gay. I can't just turn my head and look the other way because it doesn't affect me. How long would it have taken to emancipate the slaves, where would the Civil Rights Movement be today, if all white people kept looking the other way and accepting the status quo because it wasn't their personal battle? And I'm not suggesting at all that is your stance, noob; just explaining why I, personally, feel compelled to speak up on these issues.
Helping the Limited being able to control the masses.
When are we going to realise this en masse?
What really is threatening above one person loving another or indeed having some physical intimacy with another, whatever sex, when both are agreeable?
Who or what is really behind this sexist / racist / ageist crap?
Certainly not a Loving Source.
But those that are our Puppet Masters.
They have been found out and we at the foot of the Pyramid need to unite and, in love and compassion, unite and make a Heaven on this Earth.
And in reply to Noob, a lot think as you do. We do not need to retaliate against injustices in anger and hatred,there is already enough of that. This will be a WAY of love and compassion and convincing.