Saturday, September 15, 2007

'Groundbreaking' study shows 'gays' can change

In an article published on WorldNetDaily.com:
In the first longitudinal, peer-reviewed, scientific study of its kind, researchers have concluded some homosexuals can change their "orientation" through religiously mediated guidance.
Researchers Stanton L. Jones and Mark A. Yarhouse released the results Thursday of a three-year study during an address at the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference.
Their conclusions contradict the claims of the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, which contend such change in sexual orientation is impossible and attempting to pursue it likely will cause depression, anxiety or self-destructive behavior.
Read Full Story HERE.
Interesting conclusions. When the study comes out in "Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation" I will fill you in on the results.
What is your take on this?

130 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m not sure I’d trust any study performed and backed by a religious organization that believes humans interacted with dinosaurs. I liked what it said in another article about this “Maybe Stanton can do a study for Pat Robertson and prove gays cause meteors and hurricanes.”

Ken Weaver

2:05 PM, September 16, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

I'm with you, Ken. Not to mention the fact that according to the article, 15% of the people they followed reported "significant enough change that they really felt like they had left one sexual orientation to shift into another.", however for that same 15%, "life is still complicated for these people, and some still have some residuals of their homosexual attractions.". In my opinion, that's not changed. Then the article goes on to say that an additional 25% of these people were "people who left the homosexual lifestyle and experienced very substantial reductions in homosexual attraction by embracing the Christian discipline of chastity, not acting on their sexual impulses." Again, in my opinion, those people are not straight now, either. This study certainly does NOT prove that one's sexual orientation can change, in fact, to me, it proves just the opposite.

6:46 AM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...

I smell an agenda

Rufus

7:24 AM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Yeah, big agenda. /sarcasm
Do you want to know what my agenda is? Here goes: I want to marry my fiancee. I want to buy a house with her, and raise our daughter together. I would like to have coffee with her every morning, and dinner with her every night. I want to sit in the evenings with my (soon-to-be) wife, and listen to our daughter's account of her day at school. I want to grow old with her, and I want the legal right to make decisions for her if needed, and to be her automatic next-of-kin in an emergency. I want her to be able to raise our daughter alone if (goddess forbid) something were to happen to me.
There. That's my agenda. Big and scary, isn't it?

8:52 AM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sas being sarcastic as well, sometimes it's hard to tell in print.

Sounds like a good agenda Katie. I still can't fathom why there are so many who don't want you to have such a wonderful happy life.

All the best,

Rufus

9:22 AM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Why couldn't humans have interacted with dinosaurs?

I thought that humans and dinosaurs existed during some of the same periods, whether you trust the Bible (the book of Job tells of dinosaur-like creatures) or evolutionary theory.

Cavemen drew pictures of dinosaurs on their cave walls. In fact, just this weekend I caught a special on human-dinosaur interaction that reveals that dinosaurs may not have died off as long ago as we think...they may have been around during the middle ages to the late 1700's, even!

I had no idea about this until this weekend. Is it accurate? I don't know...but it was interesting evidence, and it referenced artifacts currently on display in museums in America.

9:29 AM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

"Our" daughter?

Just curious...did you adopt, or is she one of yours from a previous relationship?

9:31 AM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyler, what was the special, and what channel? I'd be interested in seeing it.

Rufus

9:39 AM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Well, Rufus, if I tell you that, you'll never watch it!

I stumbled upon it, actually, and it was on the Angel Channel (Angel one?). Even as a Christian I had all kinds of doubts about whether or not the reports were accurate, but at least they were very intriguing.

The Creation Network is the unit that put it out, but their site seems to be down right now so I can't find the exact show.

Before you dismiss it, try to look it up and check it out, the facts were...well, you'll have to see for yourself, I guess.

10:14 AM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Thanks, Rufus. :) Sorry, I get just a wee bit defensive these days. *sigh* I just wish I didn't need to be.
Tyler, to answer your question, my partner and I are both our daughter's parents. And that is all anyone, ever, needs to know. She is being raised by two loving parents who want the best for her, period. BTW, if you were just curious, why the "'Our' daughter?" comment?

10:20 AM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyler,

I may lend less credence to a scientific show because it is on a religious network, but it doesn't mean I won't watch it. I've learned to look at all points of view.

Is Angel One on Comcast? I'll check tonight, but they have hundreds of channels (and there never seems to be much to watch)

Rufus

11:27 AM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Angel One is on Dish Network. I don't think it's on Comcast at all, but I only have the "basic" 100 and something channels.

Katie, I asked because you talk about you and your female partner, and your daughter as "our daughter". Biologically, she could only be one of yours, so your statement had me wondering if she was conceived in a previous relationship that either of you had prior to your current relationship.

Since you are so defensive of the "once gay, always gay" thinking, what if I were to say, "once hetero, always hetero", meaning if a "gay" person ever has intercourse or sexual relations or attraction to someone of the opposite sex, chances are they are just pretending to be...hetero?

Before you shoot back sharply, remember, this is the exact same argument you are using from the other perspective.

How do you handle that one?

11:32 AM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Why couldn't humans have interacted with dinosaurs?”

I’m going to follow Scia’s lead here; there are no scientific empirical evidentiary studies that can show dinosaurs and humans coexisted. The “dinosaurs” that cavemen did draw on walls were dragons. Dragons may have existed but no dragon like fossils have ever been located. And the dragons that the cavemen did draw looked nothing like brontosaurus, triceratops or stegosaurus. In fact by looking at what cavemen did draw it would seem logical to assume that the scariest of the dinosaurs would have been most prominent on cave drawn walls; but they weren’t. Nothing on those walls looked anything like a t-rex or a velociraptor or a Dilophosaurus. Also the evidence shows that there were many flying reptiles, though none of them could breathe fire like the dragons depicted in ancient folklore.

Ken Weaver

11:40 AM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Ken,

You seem pretty knowledgable about dinosaurs. Were do you get your facts from?

12:02 PM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"meaning if a "gay" person ever has intercourse or sexual relations or attraction to someone of the opposite sex, chances are they are just pretending to be...hetero?"
Yup, you got it, at least in my personal case. I spent quite a bit of time in my youth "pretending to be... hetero". Turns out, I'm not, even when I tried as hard as I could.
Now, you are right in saying that our daughter can only biologically belong to one of us. However, the three of us are a family unit, and we do not differentiate between who she 'biologically' belongs to, and who is her 'step-parent'. Bedcause in the end, it just doesn't matter. She's just... ours. And that's it.

12:16 PM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Katie,

I wish you well with your agenda, but I must ask you: How is your partner going to make up for the roll of a fatherly figure for your daughter? By getting "married" to your partner you both are saying that men are not necessary for the family. You both are also saying that kids do not need mothers or fathers. Don't you think your daughter will be confused by this? And how will you answer her?

It is not just marriage between any two adults that benefits children, but the marriage of their own mothers and fathers.

Stepfamilies - where a biological parent who has left the family is replaced by a nonbiological parent - are not as likely to provide the same rich benefits for children that married biological parents do, this including a proper emotional, psychological, intellectual, and physical upbringing. Consider again the words of sociologist David Popenoe:

"Stepfamilies typically have an economic advantage, but some recent studies indicate that the children of stepfamilies have as many behavioral and emotional problems as the children of single-parent families, and possibly more... Stepfamily problems, in short, may be so intractable that the best strategy for dealing with them is to do everything possible to minimize their occurence. (David Popenoe, "The Evolution of Marriage and the Problems of Stepfamilies: A Biosocial Perspective," in Stepfamilies: Who Benefits" Who Does Not? ed. Alan Booth and Judy Dunn (Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1994), pp. 5, 19.)

And these more problematic family forms more closely represent the living situations of children in same-sex homes. This is because most children living in same-sex homes were conceived in a heterosexual relationship that ended and then another, secondary relationship was formed with a nonbiological partner of the same-sex. We should take Dr. Popenoe's sage advice and "do everything possible to minimize (the) occurrence" of such "families" because they put children at increased risk for serious problems. This data gives us great reason to show caution about entering the same-sex "family" experiment.

12:42 PM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"How is your partner going to make up for the roll of a fatherly figure for your daughter?"
Well, she's never actually had one, so there's really no 'making up for' to be done. Our daughter has several wonderful male role models in her life, not the least of which are my father and his husband.

"By getting "married" to your partner you both are saying that men are not necessary for the family."
Correct. Because they aren't. Does that insult your masculinity, or something?

"Don't you think your daughter will be confused by this?"
Nope. She's 10 now, and if she were going to be 'confused' it would have happened long before now. She is a healthy, well-adjusted kid, and, believe it or not, she has absolutely no behavioral problems whatsoever.

"It is not just marriage between any two adults that benefits children, but the marriage of their own mothers and fathers."
I would have to respectfully disagree on this one. Our daughter's sperm donor was not exactly a pillar of society, and never had any desire to be in her life. The two of us provide her with a supportive, loving environment that she thrives in.

The quotes that you cite from that psychologist seem to assume that there was a point when both biological parents were together. In my situation, there was not.

"This data gives us great reason to show caution about entering the same-sex "family" experiment."
First of all, I would appreciate it if you did not refer to my family as an 'experiment'. Further, I would also appreciate you not marginalizing my family by putting quotes around it as if it were not real. We are as real as any other family. We unconditionally love one another, support each other, and at the end of the day, we are there for one another. We have a budget, we make play dates, we go out with other couples on dates, we go to church, etc. We ARE a family, and to say otherwise implies that we are somehow 'less than', and not deserving of the same rights and respect, and it's wrong.

1:09 PM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Katie, I have a lot of respect for you trying to raise your daughter the best you can. I have a daughter whose story you may remember. John Hosty exploited my situation for his own personal reasons, but nonetheless, I am blessed to have this young child and to have her lovingly call me daddy every time we are together...which is about half the time, as she goes back and forth between her mother's house and my house now.

But on to what I was trying to get at, and maybe my brush is too big...

You said that you were pretending to be hetero. Fair enough...but all too often I hear those who are homosexual, and pro homosexual marriage, etc., saying that a person who is once "gay" is always gay, even if it wasn't a long term relationship, i.e. - Senator Larry Craig. Whether or not he was really soliciting sex, and I have my doubts, he's already being portrayed as a closeted homosexual by the militant homosexual community because he "may have" had a sexual encounter.

Oh, the shame! /sarcasm

But I digress...

If a person who is reportedly homosexual, or actually homosexual, whatever the case may be...let's say, someone just like you, has a history of heterosexual relations, then why is it that anyone who ever "touches" homosexuality is forever homosexual, but flip the tables, and the same standard doesn't hold true?

Do you get what I'm saying? I don't believe that sexuality is fixed in a person's psyche. I believe that people can - and do - change.

What I'm trying to get you to open your eyes to is the possibility that in your language, and in your culture, you believe that a person who is once a homosexual is forever a homosexual, however a person who is once a heterosexual isn't forever a heterosexual.

I can't see that the argument only works in one direction. I'm not sure that the therapy used to bring a person away from homosexuality is always good, or that it always works, but the evidence says that it can be effective if (and only if) the person really wants it to be effective, just like any other therapy that exists out there.

1:53 PM, September 17, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Katie,

What does your church say about homosexuality?

3:16 PM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Ken,

You seem pretty knowledgable about dinosaurs. Were do you get your facts from?”

A mixture of the History channel, the Discovery channel and countless books, that I read like crazy when I was younger.

Ken Weaver

6:59 PM, September 17, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"Do you get what I'm saying? I don't believe that sexuality is fixed in a person's psyche. I believe that people can - and do - change."
Tyler, I totally get what you are saying. Sometimes, I really do think that in certain individuals, sexuality is a very fluid thing. But, I also believe that for some, including myself, it's not. I tried, unsuccessfully, to be straight. I don't regret that period in my life, as it brought my daughter into this world. However, I am not, and I don't think I ever really have been, straight.

"Katie,

What does your church say about homosexuality?"
Hi there, Scia. First of all, I am a devout pagan, and most, if not all, pagan religions have no problem with homosexuality. Second, I belong to a Unitarian-Universalist church, and they also have no issues with homosexuality. Since my religion has very little, if anything, to do with biblical laws, there really isn't anything that I believe, or that my church teaches, that says being homosexual is wrong/a sin. Does that answer your question?

6:13 AM, September 18, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Katie,

I pray for you and your deceiving religion.

God Bless,
Scia

9:48 AM, September 20, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Calling my religion "deceiving" doesn't lead to respectful discourse. You could have left it at 'I pray for you' and left out the part about my deceiving religion. How do you know for sure that it's my religion that is deceiving, anyway? How do you know that it's not yours? You don't, and therefore have no right to say that I belong to a false religion/belief. Since I believe that homosexuality/queerness is an innate quality, and that God made me that way, I could say that your religion is the deceiving one for saying that one's innate qualities are something to repress.

12:26 PM, September 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SCIA said...
Katie,

I pray for you and your deceiving religion.


Wow, And Omd calls me an antagonist!!

Ken Weaver

9:19 PM, September 20, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Katie,

You are right. I should not of so blatently expressed the truth to you in the manner in which I did.

I will continue to pray for you and my sometimes quick, knee-jerky responses, that although speak the truth, but sometimes are too harshs when expressed.

Pagenism has always been known to be a deceiving religion. There is nowhere in history where the gods/goddesses of Pagenism have been proven to be real or any shaving of truth in the beleif.

Share with me your thoughts on the authenticity of your beliefs and I will work on my sharp, and unwanted, responses.

10:43 AM, September 21, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Hi again.
Why don't we start with the fact that I call myself pagan for lack of a better term. I am not Christian, and generally those who are not christian are referred to as pagan. I do not accept that Jesus of Nazareth is/was the son of God. I belive that God is neither male nor female, but, if I had to say one or the other I would probably say that God is a she. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a great prophet, as were many before and after him. I believe that the Bible was written by men, who may have very well believed they were channeling the words of God, but I do not believe that it is, in fact, the Word of God. I believe that God made me queer. I did not choose to be, and, since I cannot just wake up one day and be straight, God must have made me this way for a reason. I do actually believe that homosexuality is more prevalent in present times than it has in the past because as the world becomes more over-populated, there needs to be a way for Nature to control that. Since homosexuality occurs in more than 450 species worldwide (or more, but that's how many have been observed), I have to believe that there is some sort of natural reason for it, and controlling the population seems to be the most logical one.
That's a lot to start with.
*tag*
Your turn. :)

11:26 AM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Jane Know said...

"Katie,

I pray for you and your deceiving religion.

God Bless,
Scia"

ha ha ha *snort*

You do realize that judging, intolerance, and holding others accountable to your own religion isn't very Christian of you, right?

Oh. Obviously not.

2:06 PM, September 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Pagenism has always been known to be a deceiving religion.”

Actually you’re wrong Scia. Prior to Christianity’s acceptance into Rome it was the most prevalent religion in all of Europe. And here are some great points to Paganism.

1: Pagans never had an Inquisition.

2: Pagans never wanted control of Israel.

3: Pagans never killed Christians to turn them into Pagans.

4: Pagans never killed witches.

5: Pagans were the original environmentalists.

6: Pagans never sent out missionaries to convert other people to Paganism.

7: Pagan churches didn’t ask for a tithe.

8: The leader of the Pagan church never held themselves up as anything but a counselor, never the community leader.

9: Pagans believed that the only way for men to know god was by having an orgasm.

10: Women were never treated as less than equal just for being a woman.

11: Pagans never had to lie to possible converts or change religious symbols for the sake of converting others.

12: Pagans never had to suppress free thought.

13: Pagans never suppressed truth.

14: Paganism isn’t spotted with violence, oppression and injustice.

15: Pagans never flew planes into buildings.

16: Pagans don’t strap bombs to their bodies for 72 virgins.

17: Pagans can eat anything they want including pork.

18: Pagans wouldn’t elevate a man’s status for nearly killing his son because of voices in his head.

19: Pagans invented Halloween (my favorite holiday.)

20: No Pagan ever said that one of the best parts of going to heaven would be to see the sufferings of evildoers.

21: Pagans never believed in genital mutilation. They believe god made them perfect to begin with.

It seems odd that the most prevalent religion in America is so diametrically opposed to Paganism. Pagan is the original religion; the art of worshipping nature as god. Paganism is older than any prominent religion today, including Jewish (unless the Earth is really 6000 years old.)

So there you go Scia. Your religion is spotted with violence and injustice while Pagans have a clear record; they never hurt anyone in the name of religion/god, unless it was they that were being attacked. And if they won the battle, they never ever demanded that the survivors of the opposition convert. They were true believers in the freedom of religion. Heck Pagans sound pretty good to me but I’m not sure god exists at all so no Paganism for me.


Ken Weaver


Why did Christianity feel the need to suppress free thought and truth? How can any Christian claim superiority over another religion especially one as free from evil as Paganism?

9:46 PM, September 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“There is nowhere in history where the gods/goddesses of Pagenism have been proven to be real or any shaving of truth in the beleif.”

You don’t know much about Paganism do you Scia? The same statement could be and has been said for Christianity and all other religions. I ask for proof of your Christian god and you can’t give me any, and then you claim that since Pagans can’t prove their god to you it must be false? Arrogance defined.

Ken Weaver

10:05 PM, September 21, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Ken, I don't believe in Jesus.

I know that Jesus is real because of the change He has made in my life.

If you want proof...seek Him out. He's as real as the air you breathe and the water you drink.

Scia...scia, scia, scia.

1 Peter 3:15-16

Katie Kat, 1 Timothy 2:5-6

Ken, John 6:29.

I'll let the one wiser than me do the talking...

11:26 AM, September 23, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“If you want proof...seek Him out.”

I did seek him out Tyler, a long time ago. Since then any faith I had is long since gone. I have little wish to go looking for him again. Telling me to look for Christ or god or whatever as proof that he exists just isn’t any proof at all. That’s the same kind of circular logic found in the bible. And circular logic isn’t logical. That’s like saying you know Noah built an ark and then it rained for 40 days and 40 nights because it says so in the bible. The New Testament writers wrote that the proof that Christ was the messiah is in the same bible that we find their writings, just a different part. That’s like me telling you that the proof that homosexuality is unchangeable is in the same document you don’t trust anyway. So what’s the point?

If your faith works for you in making you happy and keeping you out of trouble that’s great. If Katiekat’s religion does the same for her is it any less valid? Does it deserve any less respect than the religion you hold dear? Does being a Christian make you or Scia better people than Katiekat or I? The bible passage you sent to Scia suggests that you and Scia should be prepared to answer my queries with respect, but telling people that their religion is false is not showing respect, respect would be in showing them why their beliefs are wrong.

The questions I asked in my previous posts as well as this one are not rhetorical questions. I have hope that someone here can answer them in a way that makes sense to me.

Ken Weaver

6:54 PM, September 23, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Ken, I understand your argument about the Bible being circular logic. It would certainly appear to be that way if it were written, say, like the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon offers itself and its writers up as "proof positive" that it is real, but when you go looking for the people and places that are described in it - you are left searching for something that has been proven to never have existed.

It is not that way with the Bible, as I have told you. You can find out for yourself, if you want, whether or not the record of the Bible is true and accurate. The reason we can trust the Biblical writers about the material we can't verify is because we can trust them about the material that we can - and not only that, if the material that they wrote about concerning their testimony about Jesus were false, hundreds or even thousands of their "present day" witnesses, in the AD 30 to AD 100 time era, would have said that they were writing lies about the things taking place in Jerusalem. We just don't find that in the historical record, not until much later when people CHOSE to doubt their validity, people who never could have verified their validity personally or through a second-hand witnesss.

If a religion only makes one happy, but it is false, it's not great - it's just SOMA for the masses! It may satisfy for a time, but it cannot truly fill and fulfill a person in their quest to know the almighty God.

A false religion gives one a feeling a false security. For instance, if I've got a painful infection from a nasty bacteria, and this infection can take my life, who do I go to? A doctor that is known to hand out prescriptions that do nothing, someone other than a skilled doctor, or a doctor that I know and trust, whose prescriptions have been known to bring healing and relief to the patients?

Simply believing may be enough for some people, Ken, but it's not enough for me. As I said, I know that Jesus is real. I've seen what He's done in my life, and I'm not talking about simple things like, he made the sun shine on my wedding day, or he let my dog live a little longer, or he caused that horrible slow driver to finally turn off the road so I could get on with my day.

No, I'm talking about huge, unbelievable, incredible things. I have turned over some pretty serious issues to the care of God, putting my faith in Jesus Christ, and I've seen Him do wonderful, unbelievable, incredible things.

I can't make you have faith, Ken. Even you can't make you have faith. It takes a willingness to let down your barriers to God's prompting on your heart, and give Him the opportunity to come in and show Himself to be true. Your faith in Jesus Christ can only come about as the Holy Spirit leads you to understanding.

My comment to SCIA was a form of a rebuke. I winced when I saw what he wrote to KatieKat. I know this man, and it wasn't like him. I'm hoping that he will answer me about why he chose to be so direct with her in insulting her religion. Do I believe that it is a true religion? No, I don't. I have a cousin who is pagan, or actually wiccan, and I have had many discussions with her about faith. She seems to hide behind this notion that God allowed certain things to happen to her, and so she can't believe in that God. I tried to get her to see that whether God is the God of Christianity, or He's the God of Wiccanism, He's still God! If God be God, then God just is, it matters not what lens you see Him through.

I cannot believe that God is a female, not because I don't value females, but because I see God as a father figure.

3:07 AM, September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect the importance that you place of Jesus in your life. God is very important in my life too. But you might want to ask yourself if your perception of God could be expanded. Although it's convenient to say "He" when referring to God, I personally don't think that God is either a he or a she. It doesn't even make logical sense to me that the "force" that created this entire Universe (not just this world, of course) is a gender-based. My belief is that God is Love. I feel that if you personify God too much, it could limit what you think God is capable of.

Personifying God to be a father figure could possibly allow for the misinterpretion of God as a literal parent (and unfortunately parents can be loving and accepting but they can also be critical and judgmental). I believe that God is much bigger than this and is not a critical parent, but instead is ALWAYS a loving, accepting being (regardless if one is gay or not)

Just food for thought.

10:15 AM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

I don't want to make the issue of God as a father figure into a blessing or cursing of one's own sexuality.

Limiting God to only being love, if love is only a feeling, means that God is powerless. God's love is shown in action, the outpouring of His character as a perfect and loving Father of all of His creation. God is not like any of our imperfect parents, and I believe that God's capabilities are limitless.

Personifying God as a Father isn't minimizing God's existence as a supreme being, it's only putting His immense power and love into easily understandable terms.

I suppose that if a person were at one point in their life severely hurt - emotionally or physically - by their own father, or mother, then it may be hard to see God as the Father to all of creation, but whether He's God the way you see Him, or He's God the way I see Him, He's certainly not bound by the frailties of our own humanity.

You can't put God in a box that is defined by your own limits, if that is what you are meaning to do when you say that you see Him the way you see Him.

God is limitless, and He chose to show us His character through His creation, which was perfected in humanity - Adam and Eve.

A really, really, really good father should reflect God's character, as should a really, really, really good mother.

By the way, is this anonymous Katie Kat, or someone else?

11:32 AM, September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You can't put God in a box that is defined by your own limits, if that is what you are meaning to do when you say that you see Him the way you see Him." Aren't you doing the same thing Tyler? Don't you see God as "Him" because that's just the way you see him? Isn't God so much more than a gender? Couldn't God be so much more than we can ever imagine in our little mortal brains? I'm not knocking your view of God, since I've always seen God this way as well. I realize this, and I know why. It's what I was taught. It was hammered into my head from an early age that God was the "heavenly father". It is what Christianity teaches.

As far as the bible is concerned, your agrument that the whole must be true because SOME of it can be verified is just wrong. Have you seen "Forrest Gump"? The character was placed in actual events, and met actual people, but it doesn't mean he existed. Also,
the writers of the bible wrote how they SAW things in their time, and could have embellished, or left things out. We just don't know. Since the bible is a book of faith and morality, the writers could have fashioned a story centering on actual people and events, but changed it to make a point. Fact is, we just don't know.

Rufus

11:49 AM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Are you comparing the Gospel and other biblical writers to the movie magic of Hollywood in superimposing Forrest Gump into footage with JFK?

I'm sorry, I don't know how to proceed from here...

What I know is that the account of all of the people and places in the Bible is accurate, and if the account of Jesus were NOT accurate, it would have been revealed by other historians of the time. But rather than seeing historians discount the testimonies about Jesus, we see them confirming the accounts about Jesus.

The works of Josephus, and others, testify that Jesus is real.

But assuming that at least the shorter reference is authentic, what can we conclude from this? It shows that Josephus accepted the historicity of Jesus. Simply by the standard practice of conducting history, a comment from Josephus about a fact of the first century constitutes prima facie evidence for that fact. It ought to be accepted as history unless there is good reason for disputing the fact. Moreover, it is reasonable to think that Josephus heard about the deposition of Ananus as soon as it happened. Ed Tyler points out in correspondence, "The passage is not really about James, but about Ananus. It's the tale of how Ananus lost his job as High Priest. So why would Christians in Rome be the source for the tale of how a High Priest lost his job? Josephus was close at hand when it happened, and was a man of some standing in the Jewish community. I can't imagine that he missed it when it was news, and didn't find out about it until he talked to some Christians about 30 years later." Thus, Josephus' information about the identity of James brings us back to the period prior to the First Jewish Revolt. If Josephus referred to James as the brother of Jesus in the Antiquities, in all likelihood the historical James identified himself as the brother of Jesus, and this identification would secure the place of Jesus as a figure in history.

If you want to read some in-depth evidence, check out this link.

12:27 PM, September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Tyler, can you never see things from an alternate point of view? I only used Forrest Gump as an example of how fiction can use actual events and people to frame a story. It is a literary devise that has been used in all sorts of media (from ancient oral tradition to present day Hollywood). It lends creadence to a story which is otherwise made up.

You said "The reason we can trust the Biblical writers about the material we can't verify is because we can trust them about the material that we can -" Now you say "What I know is that the account of all of the people and places in the Bible is accurate," So which is it? Can you verify all material, or just some? Oh, and I never denied the existence of Jesus. I do think there is enough evidence to say that the man Jesus was real enough. Whether he was/is the son of God is what is open for debate.

Rufus

1:18 PM, September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been reading up on the study, and you (anyone here) may want to check out the link below for an analysis. It also has entries after the article from those on both sides of the debate, including one of the doctors from the study.

I find it interesting that even the resusts of the study show there wasn't one person "cured" of their "homosexuality". I guess if you're going to split hairs, yes gays can change, but only their behaviors. They just can't change who untimately turns them on.

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2007/09/17/785

Rufus

1:26 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Did you read the evidence for the resurrection?

1:26 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Rufus, if I spent five years of my life getting "serviced" by a vacuum cleaner, I think that I might get turned on every time I see a vacuum cleaner.

If I spent 5 years of my life getting serviced by a man, I think that I would be more turned on by a man than by a woman.

If I spent 5 years with a blonde-haired, blue-eyed Swede, I think I may bear some reason to remain attracted to Swedes.

Or, maybe I would just take it however I could get it...

The point I'm trying to make is, does attraction really prove sexuality, or is sexual arousal something completely different, driven by an even more basic desire to have an erotic experience?

I am just trying to make you think about this a bit.

About the comparison to Forrest Gump, I was being ridiculous in turn to (what I thought was) your ridiculous comment comparing the story of Jesus to a Hollywood film.

1:33 PM, September 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“The reason we can trust the Biblical writers about the material we can't verify is because we can trust them about the material that we can - and not only that, if the material that they wrote about concerning their testimony about Jesus were false, hundreds or even thousands of their "present day" witnesses, in the AD 30 to AD 100 time era, would have said that they were writing lies about the things taking place in Jerusalem. We just don't find that in the historical record, not until much later when people CHOSE to doubt their validity, people who never could have verified their validity personally or through a second-hand witnesss.”

The koran has just as much realistic factual evidence to back it up as the bible does; are we to take it with just as much factual history as you take the bible? No, because it’s filled with the same kind of circular logic as the bible. Do we hear of any historical figures refuting the claims of Mohammad as we do of Jesus? No, because both religions did the exact same thing to documents and people that denied their particular accounts of history; they burned them. The Early Catholic church is famous for taking any and all documentation that refuted Christianity from the people’s hands and burning them to ash. That’s why we’ll never find evidence refuting the resurrection of Christ by people that were actually there. The early Christian religion did an excellent job of destroying any evidence contrary to the beliefs they wished to impose upon the populace.

“If a religion only makes one happy, but it is false, it's not great - it's just SOMA for the masses! It may satisfy for a time, but it cannot truly fill and fulfill a person in their quest to know the almighty God.”

Soma for the masses; I love it; explains religion to a tee.

“A false religion gives one a feeling a false security. For instance, if I've got a painful infection from a nasty bacteria, and this infection can take my life, who do I go to? A doctor that is known to hand out prescriptions that do nothing, someone other than a skilled doctor, or a doctor that I know and trust, whose prescriptions have been known to bring healing and relief to the patients?”

If you go to a doctor known to give out bad prescriptions it’s not a false sense of security, it’s stupidity! Because you already know you’re not going to get what you need. Does Paganism give someone a false sense of security? Maybe, but it’s no more proved a false religion than Christianity.

“Simply believing may be enough for some people, Ken, but it's not enough for me. As I said, I know that Jesus is real. I've seen what He's done in my life, and I'm not talking about simple things like, he made the sun shine on my wedding day, or he let my dog live a little longer, or he caused that horrible slow driver to finally turn off the road so I could get on with my day.

No, I'm talking about huge, unbelievable, incredible things. I have turned over some pretty serious issues to the care of God, putting my faith in Jesus Christ, and I've seen Him do wonderful, unbelievable, incredible things.”

Okay, you’ve actually seen Christ/god? What does he look like? And what incredible things can you put up as proof?

“It takes a willingness to let down your barriers to God's prompting on your heart, and give Him the opportunity to come in and show Himself to be true.”

I did once Tyler, am I to try over and over until the sheer repetitiveness of it causes me to be a believer?

“I cannot believe that God is a female, not because I don't value females, but because I see God as a father figure.”

I thought you were into the family values? Your belief seems to put out that mothers aren’t necessary.

“God's love is shown in action, the outpouring of His character as a perfect and loving Father of all of His creation.”

Where? With so many people coming out Atheist or Agnostic it would seem that god is an absentee father.

“A really, really, really good father should reflect God's character, as should a really, really, really good mother.”

Yes by killing those that he created. Isn’t that child abuse?

“But rather than seeing historians discount the testimonies about Jesus, we see them confirming the accounts about Jesus.”

You’re right, because the church threatened them with death.

If you spent 5 years eating dog crap would you still eat it once you were able to have other things on the menu?

Ken Weaver

8:57 PM, September 24, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

You have more questions than I have answers, Ken.

“I cannot believe that God is a female, not because I don't value females, but because I see God as a father figure.”

I thought you were into the family values? Your belief seems to put out that mothers aren’t necessary.


I don't think that I intimated any such thing in my statement that I see God as a father figure, did I?

“God's love is shown in action, the outpouring of His character as a perfect and loving Father of all of His creation.”

Where? With so many people coming out Atheist or Agnostic it would seem that god is an absentee father.


God gave each of us free will...and I consider that to be one more proof of his love, that He doesn't force us to love Him, He allows us to choose to love Him.

The early Christian religion did an excellent job of destroying any evidence contrary to the beliefs they wished to impose upon the populace.

Do you have proof of this, Ken, or are you just throwing it out there as a theory? Do you really mean to say that the reason why the story of Jesus is so true is because it was a fabricated lie, and that all alternative views were destroyed so that this lie would live?

I think there's a big difference between eating dog crap, and having sex with a vacuum cleaner, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to experiment with either to prove my point ;-).

But in continuing with your analogy...if a man had only been exposed to homosexual intercourse for five years, and then finds out that there's this "Whoa! Man!" (woman) out there, do you think he might consider what else is "on the menu"?

7:02 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Thanks for the points on paganism, Ken. Pretty much sums up my response to Scia. Who, I've noticed, hasn't come back in to respond to my post yet.
Tyler, while I respect the fact that you believe in the words of the Bible, I do not, therefore using biblical verses to further your case doesn't hold water with me.
Wow, this conversation went from whether or not gays can be converted, to major theological theories and beliefs. Crazy stuff. :)
Okay, I've got quite a bit of reading to do before I draft another response.

8:17 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

The early Christian religion did an excellent job of destroying any evidence contrary to the beliefs they wished to impose upon the populace.

"Do you have proof of this, Ken, or are you just throwing it out there as a theory?"

I know I'm not Ken, but I wanted to respond to this. Tyler, I'm curious to know what you think of the Gnostic gospels, and why they were not included in the Bible. What of the Gospel of Mary, 1/3 of which was destroyed before it could be archived? The early church did whatever it could to ensure that the "morals" they wished to teach remained intact. Including the opinion that women could not preach. The Gospel of mary insinuates that Jesus of Nazareth felt that women were just as capable of teaching/preaching as men were. However, the early Church taught that women should be 'seen and not heard'. I would love to hear your thoughts.

8:27 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rufus, if I spent five years of my life getting "serviced" by a vacuum cleaner, I think that I might get turned on every time I see a vacuum cleaner." Would that depend on whether it was a male or female vaccum cleaner?

Your analogies really don't mean much, since sexual orientation and sexual arousal are different things. For instance, it has been shown male inmates will have homosexual sex, but it doesn't mean they are gay. It means they have no other outlet in their surroundings. Once they get out of prison, they go back to sleeping with women.

People who are gay have both sexes available to them in society, but gravitate toward the same sex because that is who they are ultimately attracted to, not because they have no other option. And it's not just the sex, it's also the emotional connection people have. Did you meet and marry your wife just to have sex? My guess is no, but there is no denying sex is part of relationships. Why do you think it is different for gays and lesbians.

Rufus

8:29 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"And it's not just the sex, it's also the emotional connection people have."
Rufus, thank you SO much for saying this. A lot of the anti-ssm arguments reduce my loving, committed relationship to sex. Frankly, I am just a little tired of it. If we tried to reduce the relationships of straight people to just sex, I'm sure that they would protest, but it seems to be perfectly okay for them to do the same to us. :/

9:36 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

KatieKat, the gnostic gospels came 100-200 years after the death of Christ. They were written by people who had never seen Christ, and in most cases, had no contact with any of his 12 disciples. It is solely for that reason that they have been tossed out because they bear no accuracy in the retelling of the story.

The Gospel of Thomas makes the claim that a woman will be perfected in death by becoming like a man.

The original four gospels, however, give women a place among the followers of Jesus, and even have the women finding the empty tomb and (GASP!) their story BELIEVED by His followers!

The concepts in the gnostic gospels are often far removed from the teachings of Christ. They simply cannot be trusted as historically accurate texts.

9:57 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Rufus, according to some homosexuals that I have had conversations with, the evidence of one homosexual sex act is enough to convince them that the person engaging in that act was born gay.

Do you think that argument holds any water?

9:59 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I think it can. It depends on the person and the situation. I know many gay people, and their realizations on their orientation differ. Most have said they knew long before they ever actual had any kind of sexual contact that they were gay. A couple have told me they were in such denial they actually could function heterosexually, but when they actually engaged in sex with someone of the same sex they realized they truely were gay. It just felt so right to them after trying to pretend they were something they were not. Is this what you were trying to get at?

Rufus

10:32 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've read some comments here and had this to add:

This isn't directly related to the end of the posts here, but I thought that this was worth posting:

This is a fairly short clip of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders discussing his lesbian daughter and his change of heart re: marriage equality (he says that he had previously only supported civil unions):

http://cbs5.com/video/?id=26888@kpix.dayport.com

It's a very powerful and emotional piece and I feel that the mayor's heart was full of love for his daughter and also in support of gays and lesbians. I believe that the mayor's journey is a type of miracle (yes, a miracle that God is a part of). I feel that a miracle can be a change of the heart and of the mind that results in a more loving response--and I believe that God was intrinsically part of this miracle.

The mayor's heart was softened and he knew that the most loving response was to support his lesbian daughter, some gay staffers, and LGBT people in general. And I personally believe, whether anyone else does or not, that the loving response in any situation is "of God." I feel that if you have fear, condemnation, etc in your heart, that is not "of God."

-Gary

10:40 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And it's not just the sex, it's also the emotional connection people have."
Rufus, thank you SO much for saying this. A lot of the anti-ssm arguments reduce my loving, committed relationship to sex. Frankly, I am just a little tired of it."

You are welcome Katie. I don't blame you for being tired of it, I am tired of it too. I am convinced it is part of their "agenda" to make gays and lesbians look less human, and more like sex fiends. It's hard to sympathize with a sex fiend, right?
Funny how it used to be the "gay agenda", and now it's the "homosexual agenda". Note how Tyler usually uses the term "homosexual", and never "gay. Was this a concious choice on "their" part? Is calling someone "homosexual" reducing them to mearly the sexual act, and not the loving, caring gay/lesbian they are? Makes one think.

See, I can find conspiracies too. I'm not a big fan of them actually. Most of them are just smoke and mirrors, inuendo made to look more than they are. This is what "they" did with the "homosexual agenda". Made it more than it ever was, and was ever meant to be.

Sorry for the rant,

Rufus

10:53 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"It's hard to sympathize with a sex fiend, right?"
You got it. It's a lot easier to demonize someone when, as far as you're concerned, that person is a pervert. I simply refuse to have my loving marriage-to-be reduced to 'just sex'. So, every chance I get I make sure that I make it known that my family is just like your family - With bills to pay, homework to do, a mortgage to deal with, lawn to mow, car to wash, dinner to make, and family time to be had. If I can even change the view of one person toward GLBT people as a whole, then I've made a difference, no matter how small.

11:40 AM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Gary,

Thanks for stopping by.

You said:

"I believe that the mayor's journey is a type of miracle (yes, a miracle that God is a part of). I feel that a miracle can be a change of the heart and of the mind that results in a more loving response--and I believe that God was intrinsically part of this"

I also believe God presented the mayor's emotional response so that people will in turn treat homosexuals better and with a more passionate heart.

I do not believe that God presented the major's emotional speech such that we accept homosexuals for thier dangerous behaviors. God is asking us to open up our arms to them and then to help them overcome their sexual immorality.

1 Corinthians 6:9

Great job Gary.

Scia

11:48 AM, September 25, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scia,

It is good to hear that you believe that God was a part of the mayor's compassion and change of heart. Although I have to wonder if this whole blog is all that "compassionate" toward gays and lesbians. Anybody who is gay who stops by here I'm sure doesn't feel that this blog is a "compassionate" response toward gays. But it is your blog and you have a right to express your opinion.

FYI: I don't believe in an interpretation of the Bible that says that God condemns gays and lesbians (or however you want to word it). My belief is obviously different than yours, but it is no less valid.

Here's an excerpt from a speech that Rev. Gayle Harris, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of the Massachusetts gave that was about her signing on as officially supporting marriage equality for gays and lesbians. It says my point of view pretty clearly:

“But as a bishop, I also signed this because I understand that it is my responsibility, it is my mission and my ministry to promote justice; to seek to work for, as our baptismal covenant says, to strive for justice as well as to protect the dignity of every human being. Justice is not about where the political spectrum is as of this moment. Justice comes from God. Justice upholds love. God is love. As one of our hymns say, ‘God is love and where love is, God is there, too.’ So I’m here out of love, out of my call of ministry to love all of God’s people, to uphold that love wherever it is found. Where ever it is found. Where ever love is found."

Gary

1:12 PM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Gary,

You don't believe in the interpretation of the Bible that says God condemns homosexual behaviors AKA 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Do you and the Episcopal church just therefor emit that passage or do you double talk it to death until it justifies your stance that God does not condemn homosexuality?????

1:55 PM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Katie,

Sorry for taking so long to respond to your comments. Busy with family and work,ect.

You said:

"I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a great prophet, as were many before and after him."

A great prophet that performed many major miracles. A miraculous prophet that was brought to earth by God to perform these miracles to save you, Katie, from your sin and my sin.

Do you hear of any other prophet that performed miracles to save you from sin?...No

Do you even know what miracles Jesus performed that no other prophet has?

You said:

"God must have made me this way (homosexual) for a reason"

Why do you think He made you this way Katie? Interesting statement.

Good job. Talk with you soon.

Scia

3:47 PM, September 25, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Rufus, I use the term homosexual because I see the word gay as a word that means happy.

I have a gay marriage.

I do not have a homosexual marriage.

The hijacking of the term gay to describe a person with same-sex attractions belies the fact that they are often (not always) more depressed and angry than others.

I was in Boston one time for one of the votes at the state house, and there was a man with sores on his face and arms, wearing sunglasses, standing behind a group of Christians screaming over and over again, "HERE IS YOUR BIBLICAL HAAAAAATE!". When I tried to talk to him, he got very angry, upset, and threatened to call the police over to arrest me if I even dared to touch him in any way. I wasn't being forceful, mean, anything like that, I was being gentle, trying to calm him down. He wanted nothing to do with that, he just wanted to scream at the top of his lungs about something that he saw, which didn't exist.

Now I know we have the loonies from the Phelps church that show up, and I hate the message that they give, so both sides are guilty of hatred flung across the aisles.

But for the most part, when I am there in the midst of people, I see very angry, distraught, emotionally down homosexuals screaming at those of us who wish to respect and abide by the laws of the Massachusetts constitution.

That is why I tend not to use the word "gay" to describe someone who generally isn't.

2:36 AM, September 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rufus, I use the term homosexual because I see the word gay as a word that means happy."

Gay can mean either, but in today's culture it seems to predominently mean someone who is attracted to the same sex. I did read something a while back about how the word "gay" came to mean what it does today, and it was not "hyjacked" as you assert. I'll see if I can find it again, it was interesting, and went back further than I thought.

Personally I think it's a little rude to call a gay person "homosexual" because, in my eyes, it reduces people to just the sexual act. It's better than some words I've heard, but it's still rude. I'm sure you don't see it that way. It's all semantic I suppose. I read on your blog the entry on the word "homophobic". Again you seem to be splitting hairs and playing semantic games. It just seems a little immature to me. Language changes and evolves. Some defintions change, some words are added. (I can't believe "bling" and "gynormous" are now in the dictionary)

"But for the most part, when I am there in the midst of people, I see very angry, distraught, emotionally down homosexuals screaming at those of us who wish to respect and abide by the laws of the Massachusetts constitution."
You are expressing your point of view, and I'm sure the gay people you are seeing don't look at the situation the way you do. Try to look at from the point of view of a gay person. No matter how it happened, gay marriage is now taking place in Massachusettes. Your side is trying to take that away. Of course they are angry, and your side is angry for the "injustice" you think happened giving gays and lesbian equal marriage.

My point is you cannot judge people by what you see at public events. I've seen just as many angry, emotionally distraught people on your side of the fence. Everyone gets angry, and everyone gets depressed. Try looking at things from other points of view sometime.

Saying gays are more depressed and angry is just another sterotype, one you seem to wholeheartedly embrace. Yes there are depressed gay people, and you may see more of them than I do, just because of the different circles we run in. Most of the gays and lesbians I know have come to terms with their situation, and are happy, gay, well adjusted people. They are no more angy and depressed than my straight friends.

So maybe you can answer a question. When and why did the "gay agenda" become the "homosexual agenda"? Is it for the same reasons you claim, the "hyjacking" of the word "gay", or is it more insideous. Was is a thought out ploy to make gay people less human, and just the sum of their sex acts?

Rufus

6:41 AM, September 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Rufus, I use the term homosexual because I see the word gay as a word that means happy."

Gay can mean either, but in today's culture it seems to predominently mean someone who is attracted to the same sex. I did read something a while back about how the word "gay" came to mean what it does today, and it was not "hyjacked" as you assert. I'll see if I can find it again, it was interesting, and went back further than I thought.

Personally I think it's a little rude to call a gay person "homosexual" because, in my eyes, it reduces people to just the sexual act. It's better than some words I've heard, but it's still rude. I'm sure you don't see it that way. It's all semantic I suppose. I read on your blog the entry on the word "homophobic". Again you seem to be splitting hairs and playing semantic games. It just seems a little immature to me. Language changes and evolves. Some defintions change, some words are added. (I can't believe "bling" and "gynormous" are now in the dictionary)

"But for the most part, when I am there in the midst of people, I see very angry, distraught, emotionally down homosexuals screaming at those of us who wish to respect and abide by the laws of the Massachusetts constitution."
You are expressing your point of view, and I'm sure the gay people you are seeing don't look at the situation the way you do. Try to look at from the point of view of a gay person. No matter how it happened, gay marriage is now taking place in Massachusettes. Your side is trying to take that away. Of course they are angry, and your side is angry for the "injustice" you think happened giving gays and lesbian equal marriage.

My point is you cannot judge people by what you see at public events. I've seen just as many angry, emotionally distraught people on your side of the fence. Everyone gets angry, and everyone gets depressed. Try looking at things from other points of view sometime.

Saying gays are more depressed and angry is just another sterotype, one you seem to wholeheartedly embrace. Yes there are depressed gay people, and you may see more of them than I do, just because of the different circles we run in. Most of the gays and lesbians I know have come to terms with their situation, and are happy, gay, well adjusted people. They are no more angy and depressed than my straight friends.

So maybe you can answer a question. When and why did the "gay agenda" become the "homosexual agenda"? Is it for the same reasons you claim, the "hyjacking" of the word "gay", or is it more insideous. Was is a thought out ploy to make gay people less human, and just the sum of their sex acts?

Rufus

6:41 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Rufus, didn't you say that you are straight?

Anyhow...moving along...

I don't think it's an insult to say that someone who is attracted to a member of the same sex is a homosexual. I am not offended to be a heterosexual.

See if you can find that piece on the meaning of "gay" and the history of it. Queer and faggot definitely have negative connotations, but some homosexuals actually like the word queer - which really just means strange or odd. Faggot is offensive because it means a stick of wood, usually for burning, but back in the 50's that's what a cigarette was called, or just "fag" for short.

I understand the problem with that word, because the implication is that homosexuals should be burned, which I certainly don't agree with.

Homosexuals aren't any less human than the rest of us sinners, Rufus. Did you think that I believed that, just because of my stance on marriage?

By the way, the movement to amend the constitution wasn't intended to take away anything that was properly granted, it was meant to put an improperly granted exclusion to the constitution (yes, I got that right) up to a vote by the people, which is the way it should have been done. It's the way it's been done in some 25 other states so far.

I just recently read an interesting commentary that homosexual marriages are on the decline in Massachusetts, which would seem to indicate that marriage isn't really that important to homosexual couples. As one homosexual man told me, "Why would I want to do something that heterosexual couples do?", referring to getting married.

Hmmmm...

7:01 AM, September 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Tyler I am straight. Why did you think otherwise? Because I have so many gay friends?

"Homosexuals aren't any less human than the rest of us sinners, Rufus. Did you think that I believed that, just because of my stance on marriage?" No I personally don't think you believe it, but I think many do.

"By the way, the movement to amend the constitution wasn't intended to take away anything..." That is your perception of it. I was trying to point out the persception many gays and lesbians have on it. Why it makes them angry.

"I just recently read an interesting commentary that homosexual marriages are on the decline in Massachusetts" I've heard that too, but there could be many different reasons for this, none of which seem satisfactory taken individually. You are right, there are some gays who don't want to marry. There are some who do, but haven't found a partner yet and still want the option. As is pointed out frequetly, the population of those identifying themselves as gay and lesbian is small (usually anywhere from 1% to 6%, depending on where the statistic is coming from). There were many marriages to begin with because it was unavaialble before, so now there are a lot less since most of those who had to wait have had their weddings.

Beside, just because some gays don't want marriage doesn't mean there shouldn't be gay marriage. There are some straight people who never want to marry, but you wouldn't want to take away marriage because some don't want it.

Hard to make blanket statements, isn't it.

Rufus

7:51 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

The point I was making is that the institution wasn't available for homosexuals, they demanded it, and now they don't seem to care about it anymore. It isn't just that it wasn't available for a long time, then it was, it's that the number of homosexuals marriages has virtually dropped off the face of the earth it's so low...but maybe I have inaccurate information?

8:08 AM, September 26, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyler, you can go to this link to read more on the origin of "gay". It wasn't what I originally read, but it conveys most of what I remember reading.

http://plateaupress.com.au/wfw/gay-gone.htm

5:40 AM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"they demanded it, and now they don't seem to care about it anymore."

Demanded, maybe, but, in my opinion, rightly so. Wouldn't you demand what you consider equal rights? Not care, unproven. Like I pointed out, the slide in marriages can be explained. "Practically nil", well what is your proof of that? Where did you get this information?

Rufus

5:49 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

I checked that link...and it doesn't paint a very good picture of homosexuals, referring to definitions that mean "of immoral life" and references to prostitution and brothels as "gay house(s)".

But if you say so ;-) !

I was searching for the statistics on homosexual marriages in Massachusetts, but I couldn't find anything current. The latest data ended in 2005.

6:16 AM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it doesn't paint a nice picture does it. Some of the terms had nothing to do specifically with homosexuality though, just how the word could have evolved into it's current usage.

It just suggests the word wasn't hyjacked as you say. It also shows how words can change meaning over time.

Rufus

6:49 AM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Scia said:

"You said:

"God must have made me this way (homosexual) for a reason"

Why do you think He made you this way Katie? Interesting statement."
I addressed this in my earlier post. I believe that there is a natural (meaning 'from nature') reason for EVERYTHING, and that includes homosexuality. As I said earlier, I don't think it's coincidence that the number of gay people has risen in the last century, all while we are approaching critical mass on this planet. The world is grossly over-populated, and it is possible, even likely, that honosexuality is nature's way of controlling that. Since homosexuality has been observed in over 450 species worldwide, it only stands to reason that there must be a darwinian/evolutionary/natural reason for it.

10:23 AM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Getting married to one person and staying married to that one person and only engaging in sexual activities with that one person is one of the most unnatural things that the human animal can do (and why so many people fail at it). So why do people even get married, when our natural sex drive tells us to go out and mate with as many other persons as we can?

11:06 AM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Tyler said:
"Getting married to one person and staying married to that one person and only engaging in sexual activities with that one person is one of the most unnatural things that the human animal can do (and why so many people fail at it). So why do people even get married, when our natural sex drive tells us to go out and mate with as many other persons as we can?"
Maybe it's unnatural for you, but not for everyone. I have absolutely NO desire to go out and "mate with as many persons as [I] can". I do, however, have a desire to spend the rest of my life with just one person - In particular, my fiance. Maybe I have an 'unnatural' sex drive, but I have never been driven to polysexual behavior. In fact, my whole life I've been a serial monogamist. Are you saying that you could never be faithful and love just one person for the rest of your life? Because I am absolutely certain that I can, and will.

12:53 PM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scia,
I don’t belong to the Episcopal Church. I just liked what that Bishop had to say on the topic.

People interpret God (and the Bible) differently. I have never been a Biblical scholar and I have chosen to forge my own path to God (more of a spiritual path, as opposed to a more strict religious path).

I just did a few searches and found two very different interpretations of the Bible re: being gay. Here they are:

http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

http://www.cultureandfamily.org/articledisplay.asp?id=3456&department=CFI&categoryid=cfreport

Here’s one excerpt from the first online article that I thought was important:
"Most people who are certain they know what the Bible says about homosexuality don’t know where the verses that reference same-sex behavior can be found. They haven’t read them, let alone studied them carefully. They don’t know the original meaning of the words in Hebrew or Greek. And they haven’t tried to understand the historical context in which those words were written. Yet the assumption that the Bible condemns homosexuality is passed down from generation to generation with very little personal study or research. The consequences of this misinformation are disastrous, not only for God’s gay and lesbian children, but for the entire church.”

I read both and obviously agree more with the first one. God has given us (well, most of us) critical thinking skills and the ability to be open to new information. Some people choose to use these skills and some don’t unfortunately.

Misinformation, stubborness, and ignorance have caused so much violence in this world. And the Bible has sadly been used to erroneously justify everything from slavery to not giving women equal rights, etc.

I’m assuming you feel that the way you interpret the Bible is the “right” way and everyone else who offers a differing opinion has it wrong. If only everyone else would adopt your views of God and his condemnation, we’d all be okay, right? Just because that you feel that this is the correct interpretation doesn’t automatically mean that it’s so.

You asked if I just omit that Corinthians verse. I choose to omit that verse and many others that don’t feel right to me or that I feel have been misinterpreted (think of how you played that telephone game when you were young and how a message can be messed up over time). I choose to have a personal connection with God that works just fine for me.

Many people choose to be more logic-minded when it comes to other verses in the Bible. In that online article it gives examples of various practices that are contained within the Bible that we thankfully ignore. Such as:

DEUTERONOMY 22:22
If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.

MARK 12:18-27
If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.

It is sad and beyond me why some people feel that they must stubbornly hold onto these few verses that supposedly condemn homosexuality (which again, is not fact--it is one interpretation of the Bible). It is especially disappointing to me considering how much negativity and violence has resulted in holding onto to these verses. Think of all the good work that could be done by people who apparently have nothing better to do than to make it their mission to condemn everything gay because they were told that they were doing God’s work.

I’ll end on this note. This is another quote from the online article that I feel is pretty accurate:
Even when we believe that the Scriptures are “without error,” it’s a risk to think our understanding is without error.

-Gary

3:26 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Gary,

Your interpretation of scripture is based on the "tossed-salad" theory of: what sounds good to me must be right for me. Not the way God intended the Bible to be interpreted or used in ones life.

Revelation 22:18

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book (the Bible): If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book."

God harshly disciplines His children, such as you and me Gary, because He loves us; however He does not love our sin, but is willing to forgive us of our sins if we ask for His forgiveness.

God is straight forward with His rules and regulations, but He is not unreasonable for why He wants us all to follow them....so, you and I can enter His kingdom. Now, that's love, evenly handed out by Him regardless of all the sinful behavior we engage in on a daily basis.

God Bless Gary,

Scia

5:05 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger SCIA said...

Katie,

God did not make you a homosexual. Why would he make you something He considers sinful and wrong? It would go against His every purpose.

The king of this world, Satan, made you this way and he is someone you need to fight off with the grace of Christ.

5:09 PM, September 27, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scia,

You say that I use the "tossed salad theory" and pick what I want to believe.

Since I'm assuming that you don't do a tossed salad/pick and choose method as far as following the Bible, does that mean that you believe that the Bible verses that I quoted should be followed in today's world?

-Gary

5:44 PM, September 27, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

In fact, my whole life I've been a serial monogamist. Are you saying that you could never be faithful and love just one person for the rest of your life? Because I am absolutely certain that I can, and will.

You DO get it, then.

NO, I will not stray from my wife. I will listen to God and I will be obedient to His word, regardless of my natural tendencies as a human being.

3:26 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Gary, the Bible wasn't written so that man could make God to be more like him.

The Bible was written for man to be able to become more like God.

It wasn't our place - ever - to change God, it's our place to allow God to change us.

A church that allows the culture to shape it's beliefs is playing with fire, as is the Episcopal Church, or the Unitarian Church, to name a few. A church should be a place where people come to be shaped so that the body of the church changes the culture, not so that the culture changes the church.

I fear that many liberal theologians have this arrogant concept that they can change God - and His Word - to make their own sins, and those of the congregation - more palatable.

Jesus said in Revelation that He will spit the lukewarm church out of his mouth. I think I hear Him starting to cough up a lougie...

3:34 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Ugh...the old laws of Moses...you need to do your research, Gary. There are TWO different sets of laws.

Happy Hunting!

3:35 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Tyler said:
"A church that allows the culture to shape it's beliefs is playing with fire"

Okay, so are you saying that the Church should still be condoning slavery? That women should have no rights? Before the abolition of slavery, Christians used the bible to rationalize it. Are you saying we should still have slaves? Later the Church decided that the Bible does not, in fact, condone slavery. Culture always has, and always will, shape the beliefs of the Church. Church officials realized that using the bible to keep black people from their civil rights was wrong. Eventually, they will realize that using the Bible to condemn gays and lesbians is wrong, too.

Scia said:
"God did not make you a homosexual."
Yes, She did.

The only part of the Bible that is specific enough about homosexuality being wrong is in Leviticus. But, we don't follow any of the other Levitican laws, why just that one? Jesus struck down all of those laws in the New Testament, and replaced them all with just one: Love each other as I have loved you. That's it. Nothing about "love each other, unless they're gay", nothing like "love the sinner, hate the sin"... It's just not there. Find me one Bible verse in the New Testament that UNEQUIVOCALLY condemns homosexuality, and I'll concede. However, as someone who has read the Bible, I can tell you that even the verses that 'supposedly' condemn homosexuality, can be traslated to read something completely different. And while I can accept that you believe that the Bible is the Word of God, it was written by men, who are fallible, and it was trasnlated by more men, who are also fallible. You cannot be a biblical literalist, it just doesn't work.

6:35 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

Scia,
You quote Revelations 22:18 and aim it at us, saying that we interpret the bible to our advantage, but the fact remains that the bible is NOTHING like it was when it was first written. It has been changed, things have been omitted, things have been added, and whole books have been left out. It is not an infallible text. There were times during the last 2000 years when the only people who knew how to read and write were priests and monks. The general populace just had to trust that the priests were telling the truth, but it is very likely that they changed, omitted, or added things to suit their needs. And there's really no proof either way. Again, you cannot be a biblical literalist, it's just ludicrous.

7:45 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Okay, so are you saying that the Church should still be condoning slavery? That women should have no rights? Before the abolition of slavery, Christians used the bible to rationalize it. Are you saying we should still have slaves? Later the Church decided that the Bible does not, in fact, condone slavery. Culture always has, and always will, shape the beliefs of the Church. Church officials realized that using the bible to keep black people from their civil rights was wrong. Eventually, they will realize that using the Bible to condemn gays and lesbians is wrong, too.

Katie, you are mistakenly saying that all churches condoned slavery, and that culture recognized that slavery was wrong, thus causing the church to change it's stance on this issue.

Some churches condoned slavery, but a good number (perhaps a majority?) did not. In fact, it was faithful Christians that pointed out to their brothers and sisters in Christ that they were misinterpreting the Bible for their own purposes.

Do a little research on William Wilberforce or John Newton to see what I'm talking about.

I don't see that the church is wrong on homosexuality, for a few reasons:

1) God created man and woman, and saw that it was good. It was not good for man to be alone, and that's why woman was created to help man to be more like God made him to be. That's not chauvanistic, because the woman has a very important role in the man's life, more important than in many other cultures and religions.

2) The Bible does condemn sexual acts between men, but may be silent on sexual acts between woman, although we can assume that sexual acts between women would be forbidden as well.

3) In nature, most animals couple with the opposite sex. A minority of examples can be found, but it is not the majority. That little penguin in NYC that "coupled" with a male penguin ditched him when a female penguin was introduced.

4) Homosexual coupling doesn't promote society, it's a union without fruit.

5) The Bible speaks volumes about how men and women are to get along together in marriage. This isn't a mistake, God wants men and women to have wonderful relationships that reflect His relationship with us through Jesus Christ.

Now, having said all that, I think it is the responsibility of God-fearing Christians to reach out in love to homosexuals - to anyone - that isn't responding correctly to God's plan for them, and in fact is using their own personal agenda to try to drive the culture.

It's not hateful, it's to the betterment of society that homosexuality and homosexuals be understood and loved, but certainly not blessed and condoned.

8:27 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

What parts of the Bible were changed, omitted, or added?

8:28 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"What parts of the Bible were changed, omitted, or added?"
Well, let's see...
"The first part of the Christian Bible is called the Old Testament, and is largely the Hebrew Bible. However, knowledge of Hebrew was rare among the early Gentile Christians. Rather than attempt to create their own version of the Hebrew canon, they seem to have adopted what is called the Septuagint translation--a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible plus some other books, dating from around 250 BC."
Source:http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mbible5.html
That one quote alone tells me that there was no way the translation of the Bible is the way it is meant to be. The early Christians didn't even know the original language! Not to mention the fact that there are dozens of 'versions' of the Bible, none of which are exactly the same as the others. The 'King James version' was put together by King James and his minions, and they sat around in a room voting on which books would stay, and which would go! That doesn't seem very 'God-inspired' to me. The fact is, being a biblical literalist is ludicrous, at best, if only because the 'literal' meaning changes from version to version.

8:46 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"God created man and woman, and saw that it was good. It was not good for man to be alone, and that's why woman was created to help man to be more like God made him to be."
Okay, that's all great and everything, but this was also back when the population of the world was in the hundreds, as opposed to being in the billions.
"In nature, most animals couple with the opposite sex."
Yup, and if they didn't, their population would cease to exist. However, in over 450 observed species, there are homosexual animals. Just because it's not common, doesn't mean it's not natural.
"Homosexual coupling doesn't promote society, it's a union without fruit."
Um, so what? There are plenty of straight people on this planet to continue our species. The less than 10% of the population that is gay is not threatening our survival.
"it's to the betterment of society that homosexuality and homosexuals be understood and loved, but certainly not blessed and condoned."
Why and how? Loving, committed homosexual relationships/marriages certainly don't do any harm to society. Maybe the promiscuous and drug using gays and lesbians do, but keep in mind that there are plenty of straight people that are like that, too, and straight people FAR outnumber gays and lesbians.
"The Bible speaks volumes about how men and women are to get along together in marriage."
Yes, but nowhere does it say that homosexuals shouldn't be married, or commit to each other in a loving relationship.

8:54 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

The early Christians didn't even know the original language! Not to mention the fact that there are dozens of 'versions' of the Bible, none of which are exactly the same as the others. The 'King James version' was put together by King James and his minions, and they sat around in a room voting on which books would stay, and which would go!

If your history were correct, you might be right, but you have your history wrong. King James and his "minions" didn't decide what happened to certain texts, that happened at the Council of Nicea, I believe, back in the early 3rd century, when the Bible was canonized. That is to say, the texts that were being used were investigated, and only those that were inspired were chosen to remain. I don't know the exact criteria that were used to determine if a text was inspired, but basically it had to be traceable back to the first century AD (for the epistles), it had to agree with other texts (no Gospel of Thomas, etc.), and so on. It wasn't based on which texts affirmed what the Romans wanted, as some people mistakenly assumed. In fact, the texts that remained were VERY harsh towards Rome, in most cases! Just take a look at how Rome is portrayed in the NT and you'll see what I mean.

Your comment about Christians not even knowing the original language isn't correct. Most early converts were Jewish, so they would have known Hebrew inside and out as they were taught in the synagogues. Some of Christ's early followers were Jewish Scholars! Paul was VERY educated in hebrew, so I don't think the texts would have gotten by him.

The septuagint didn't come until years after the NT was written, although I'm not sure when, and it was in Latin - therefore written for Rome - and Rome didn't even "become Christian" until Paul made his journeys there. This would have been after Christ, of course, and after the early Christian church had already been formed.

9:57 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Okay, that's all great and everything, but this was also back when the population of the world was in the hundreds, as opposed to being in the billions.

And this is supposed to mean...since there are more people, now we can prove that homosexuality is natural? I don't see what you're getting at?!?!

Yes, but nowhere does it say that homosexuals shouldn't be married, or commit to each other in a loving relationship.

...and for this reason a _____ shall leave ___ family and be united to his ____, and the two shall become one flesh.

Are you saying that we can fill in the blanks with whatever we choose?

What did Jesus teach about homosexuality? (Hint: He said ^ that.)

10:02 AM, September 28, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

You say that homosexuality is natural. I say, promiscuity is natural. You say that promiscuity isn't right, just because it's natural. I say...

What is it that I say, again?

10:04 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"You say that promiscuity isn't right, just because it's natural."
I never said promiscuity wasn't right. I simply said that it isn't for me. Which, as far as I'm concerned, should be the approach of anyone who doesn't 'agree' with gay/lesbian rights. You don't have to 'agree' with it, but don't go on some crusade and tell me that my love is wrong. Love is love, and, there is nothing 'evil' or 'sinful' about it. Just because I don't love the way you do, doesn't mean you have to go on a quest to find biblical quotes to back your position that my love is 'wrong', or 'sinful'. All the quotes you can provide me with, I can counter with ones of my own.
One of my favorites: Ecc. 7:13
"Consider the work of God: For who can make that straight, which He has made crooked?"

10:57 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"What did Jesus teach about homosexuality? (Hint: He said ^ that.)"

The quote to which you are referring has absolutely NOTHING to do with homosexuality. All it says is that a man should leave his family and cleave to his wife, blah, blah, blah. That's all great. But it still does NOT condemn homosexuality. Further, it doesn't condemn my loving committed relationship.

11:00 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"And this is supposed to mean...since there are more people, now we can prove that homosexuality is natural? I don't see what you're getting at?!?!"
First, there is no need to 'prove that homosexuality is normal', because it is. The word 'natural' means 'from nature', and since homosexuality clearly exists in the natural world, it is, therefore, natural. To say otherwise is just being blind.
Second, in biblical times, it was necessary for the churches, temples, etc., to encourage their congregations to 'go forth and be fruitful' for survival of our species. With the population of the world what it is, there is no reason to 'go forth and multiply' anymore.

11:05 AM, September 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“You have more questions than I have answers, Ken.”

And people wonder why some of us are Agnostic.

I said: I thought you were into the family values? Your belief seems to put out that mothers aren’t necessary.

Tyler responded with: I don't think that I intimated any such thing in my statement that I see God as a father figure, did I?

We have a heavenly father mentioned all over the place, where’s the heavenly mother? Is she not necessary?

“God gave each of us free will...and I consider that to be one more proof of his love, that He doesn't force us to love Him, He allows us to choose to love Him.”

It could also be proof that he doesn’t care or doesn’t exist at all.

I said: The early Christian religion did an excellent job of destroying any evidence contrary to the beliefs they wished to impose upon the populace.

Tyler responded with: Do you have proof of this, Ken, or are you just throwing it out there as a theory? Do you really mean to say that the reason why the story of Jesus is so true is because it was a fabricated lie, and that all alternative views were destroyed so that this lie would live?

If I had proof of what they destroyed I would be a very wealthy man. But look at the free exercise of thought and speech that the early Christians oppressed; any people with an opposing view of life or the universe was swiftly treated as a heretic, even Galileo. That’s not promoting truth; it’s promoting ignorance. If religion is so true all opposing viewpoints should have been treated with respect and the church should have easily been able to refute opposing views, but they couldn’t, so they did the next best thing; trials for heresy. How can truth be heresy? Heretic truth is the fish eating the Darwinian lung fish with feet on the backs of cars. Religion once again trying to hide the facts from the people it wishes to keep in the pews and ignorant. As well as their contributions.

“if a man had only been exposed to homosexual intercourse for five years, and then finds out that there's this "Whoa! Man!" (woman) out there, do you think he might consider what else is "on the menu"?”

Show me a man that has only been exposed to homosexuality for five years and I’ll show you a man kept locked in a cage.

“Thanks for the points on paganism, Ken.”

You’re welcome Katiekat, but it doesn’t really make any difference, Christians will continue to see only what they want to see.

“The original four gospels, however, give women a place among the followers of Jesus, and even have the women finding the empty tomb and (GASP!) their story BELIEVED by His followers!”

Why not? It only furthered their ability to propagandize.

“The concepts in the gnostic gospels are often far removed from the teachings of Christ. They simply cannot be trusted as historically accurate texts.”

Oh of course! We can’t have anything around that could possibly discount the belief in Christ as the messiah.

“God is asking us to open up our arms to them and then to help them overcome their sexual immorality.”

PERCEIVED immorality.

“It is good to hear that you believe that God was a part of the mayor's compassion and change of heart.”

I don’t believe it was god, it was his ability to think.

“Although I have to wonder if this whole blog is all that "compassionate" toward gays and lesbians.”

Never ask for compassion, demand equality. Compassion is overrated.

Scia said: Do you and the Episcopal church just therefor emit that passage or do you double talk it to death until it justifies your stance that God does not condemn homosexuality?????

They’re only doing what the early Christians taught by their acts; get rid of what you don’t like, and that which does not promote your agenda.

“A great prophet that performed many major miracles. A miraculous prophet that was brought to earth by God to perform these miracles to save you, Katie, from your sin and my sin.

Do you hear of any other prophet that performed miracles to save you from sin?...No

Do you even know what miracles Jesus performed that no other prophet has?”

All those “supposed” miracles, any possible way they never happened? Oh no, the bible says it so it must be true.

“I don't think it's an insult to say that someone who is attracted to a member of the same sex is a homosexual. I am not offended to be a heterosexual.”

Yes, but how would you feel if your child came home saying another kid called them a hetero. If the word hetero started being used in a derogatory dense you would start to become incensed by it.

“By the way, the movement to amend the constitution wasn't intended to take away anything that was properly granted, it was meant to put an improperly granted exclusion to the constitution (yes, I got that right) up to a vote by the people, which is the way it should have been done. It's the way it's been done in some 25 other states so far.”

Where was homosexual marriage explicitly denied in the Massachusetts constitution? The rights of individuals should never be put up to a popular vote; not yours, not mine, not anyone else’s. And while it has been done like that in many other states that doesn’t make it right. I hear there may soon be lawsuits on many of those amendments to question their legality. A guy on the radio was saying that all rights are given by god directly to the individuals, not from god to government to individuals or even from god to majority to individuals.

“I just recently read an interesting commentary that homosexual marriages are on the decline in Massachusetts, which would seem to indicate that marriage isn't really that important to homosexual couples.”

I remember as a teen I couldn’t wait to turn 21 so I could legally drink alcohol, not long after I turned 21, drinking alcohol became less attractive.

“So why do people even get married, when our natural sex drive tells us to go out and mate with as many other persons as we can?”

In males our sex drive tells us to mate with as many females as possible. For women it is generally the opposite. Females have a natural compulsion to keep their mate nearby for protection of themselves and their offspring. Marriage strengthens women’s nature while forcing men to deny their own. If you look at homosexual statistics regarding monogamy you’ll find homosexual men are far more likely to have multiple relationships at one time compared to their female counterparts.

“God did not make you a homosexual. Why would he make you something He considers sinful and wrong? It would go against His every purpose.”

Once again the arrogance of Christianity.

“A church should be a place where people come to be shaped so that the body of the church changes the culture, not so that the culture changes the church.”

If the church refused to change it would start to die. The Catholic Church tried to never change its stance on anything, so people started to break off from that church and create their own which is where all protestant religions come from.

“In fact, it was faithful Christians that pointed out to their brothers and sisters in Christ that they were misinterpreting the Bible for their own purposes.”

Now how the heck did they do that when slavery is condoned not just by Peter but by god as well.

“3) In nature, most animals couple with the opposite sex. A minority of examples can be found, but it is not the majority. That little penguin in NYC that "coupled" with a male penguin ditched him when a female penguin was introduced.”

If you concentrate on animals that have sex simply for the enjoyment of it you will find that homosexuality is much more prevalent than in penguins. Monkeys and dolphins both have sex for enjoyment rather than the female being in heat to attract males. Dolphins are even known to have “bestial” desires rather than just sticking with dolphins. No I’m not condoning bestiality.

“4) Homosexual coupling doesn't promote society, it's a union without fruit.”

Unless overpopulation is a real concern fore nature like Katiekat said.

“The Bible speaks volumes about how men and women are to get along together in marriage.”

I’m not sure I’d idolize the relationships in the bible.

“It's not hateful, it's to the betterment of society that homosexuality and homosexuals be understood and loved, but certainly not blessed and condoned.”

I doubt homosexuals want your blessing or permission, they just want you to leave them be.


“If your history were correct, you might be right, but you have your history wrong. King James and his "minions" didn't decide what happened to certain texts, that happened at the Council of Nicea, I believe, back in the early 3rd century, when the Bible was canonized.”

The King James Version wasn’t put out at the council at Nicaea. It was published in the 1600’s. The council at Nicaea created the Catholic bible which is way different than the King James Version. Look it up Tyler before you scold anyone else for their false history.

“What did Jesus teach about homosexuality? (Hint: He said ^ that.)”

Jesus didn’t say to enforce that belief did he? Maybe it was his suggestion for what he perceived would make the most people happy. If he wanted that moral forced upon the populace I’m sure he would have been at least a bit more definitive.

“Second, in biblical times, it was necessary for the churches, temples, etc., to encourage their congregations to 'go forth and be fruitful' for survival of our species.”

Okay, that’s funny. The church felt the need to tell people to have sex? They didn’t think people would do it on their own? It wasn’t for the survival of the species; it was to bring more people to the religion.

Ken Weaver

4:30 PM, September 30, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Ken, what I said about KJ and what you said about KJ agree. I know that Nicea happened years before the KJV Bible.

As for the rest of your post...do you hate Christianity, Christians, God, Jesus, or just...what?

I don't get it. You say that things happened that you can't prove, and you expect me to have the faith to believe you. But when the same is asked of you, you get defensive.

So, is Jesus someone worth looking into, or was he just another great storyteller (who lied like crazy just so people would kill him for it?)

What do you think, Ken?

7:44 AM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

"Consider the work of God: For who can make that straight, which He has made crooked?"

Katie, with all due respect, this looks like an all out personal assault on yourself.

As for the rest of your posts, it is difficult to address the way you have come to your conclusions, so I don't even know where to start. I don't think you care what the Bible says about homosexuality, or anything else for that matter, unless it happens to agree with what you personally believe. If it contradicts your belief, it must be wrong...which means that you have made the Bible subject to your thinking, and have therefore removed all wisdom and authority from the Word of God, supplanting yourself into the place of God as the one who holds the knowledge.

But I AM willing to be wrong about this...

9:45 AM, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"Katie, with all due respect, this looks like an all out personal assault on yourself."
The point I was making with that particular verse was twofold: One, that God/dess made me the way I was, and that there's no way to change what S/He made. Two, that one can find a verse in the Bible to back up pretty much any argument.
"I don't think you care what the Bible says about homosexuality, or anything else for that matter, unless it happens to agree with what you personally believe."
Well, since I'm not Christian, and I don't use the Bible as an end-all, be-all script for my life, I don't believe that it should dictate what I do and don't do in my life. That's not the same as not caring. Also, I don't believe that the bible condemns homosexuality, regardless of what verses you can quote that you believe say otherwise. The Bible is a book of stories, proverbs, and metaphors that, for the most part, can be a good guideline for living your life as a moral person. However, even if at one time it was meant to be taken literally, that time was over 2000 years ago, and most of it no longer applies in the literal sense.
"If it contradicts your belief, it must be wrong..."
Ah, but isn't that the same thing you are doing? According to you, anything that contradicts your beliefs is also wrong.
"which means that you have made the Bible subject to your thinking"
This is something that Christians have been doing all along, why is it wrong when I do it?

10:18 AM, October 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“As for the rest of your post...do you hate Christianity, Christians, God, Jesus, or just...what?”

Sorry Tyler, a lot of hate did come out in what I wrote didn’t it. I don’t so much hate Christianity as I hate Christian history. I would be more inclined to listen to a Christian point of view if its history wasn’t so muddled in a complete denial of what we learn as factual through scientific methodology. I don’t so much hate Christians as I hate Christian organizations that attempt to control lives through public policy. I don’t so much hate god/Jesus as I hate the idea of him/her. An all powerful being that threatens us with death if we don’t show our gratitude for our life every day. Then since he has to punish us for not being perfect (odd since he created us, that he would punish us for the weaknesses he put in us) he comes to Earth in human form so he can punish himself for sins that we commit. I’m sorry but any being that needs us to worship him daily so he knows we love him is just a bit too egotistical. Most people don’t love their parents because they granted them life and gave them a place to sleep and food to eat; they love their parents for other reasons, like when your dad shows you how to ride a bike or mom shows you how to bake cookies and lets you eat some of the raw dough. And it’s not just those things, it’s a complete addition of things done that will cause a child to love their parents. But if your parents gave you just life, food and shelter would you still love them? I think not. You believe god has helped you in your life, you show your gratitude in a manner you believe pleases him; when I looked for god I didn’t get anything that made me believe he was there. So for me he doesn’t exist or doesn’t care. Either way it’s the same end. So I guess I do hate god if he does exist for not being there for me when I needed him, when so many people say he helped them. I guess you could say I’m jealous.

“I don't get it. You say that things happened that you can't prove, and you expect me to have the faith to believe you. But when the same is asked of you, you get defensive.”

I’m asking you to use your mind; you’re asking me to make a leap pf faith, quite different. If the early Christians were so willing to execute non-believers and lie to get people to become Christian, is it so “out there” to think they would have been happy to destroy anything that contradicted what they wanted people to believe? You’re asking me to believe a man died and then came back to life. There’s a huge difference.

“So, is Jesus someone worth looking into, or was he just another great storyteller (who lied like crazy just so people would kill him for it?)”

I think it most likely that Jesus had some great ideas but those same ideas threatened other people’s power. Jesus gained power from the people loving him and devoting themselves to him; when others with power saw this they felt threatened and did what power hungry people do. I believe Jesus was a man who could see that the eye for an eye ideology was going to destroy his people, so he suggested forgiveness and to love your enemies. I don’t agree with Jesus on everything but his ideals gave the people what they needed then; hope. But I do believe he was just a man.

Ken Weaver

8:21 PM, October 01, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Ken, you seem to be exactly where I was just about 8 years ago...then all of a sudden, my views changed.

I started reading the Bible more then, and studying it with a controversial group called the International Church of Christ (or Boston church or Los Angeles church or whatever).

They believed that baptized=saved=disciple, meaning that one had to be fully submerged AND be willing to be a disciple of one other person in the church to be a saved Christian, and the discipler had authority over the discipler. While I disagreed with them on some of their teachings, it did lead me down the path of study, research, and self-interrogation of my life in light of the Bible.

What I learned at the time is that the claims of Jesus were irrefutable. He didn't just come to tell good stories, He said He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6) and that no one gets to the Father except through Him, and then He showed His disciples the way by laying down His life for them - washing their feet, serving them, and ultimately being nailed to the cross, killed, and resurrecting Himself to life again.

I studied, and I was amazed at how good God is. I had the same questions about His church, but Jesus did say that He came for the sick, because they need a doctor. Paul does say that we are all sinners, and that we ALL fall short of God's glory (Romans 3:23). I wondered why God let things happen, but then I learned that this is a fallen world and that it will not be fixed up again until Christ's return (Romans 8:20-24, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1).

I had to investigate my own life, and see where I had gone wrong, how much I needed Christ in my life (we all do...) to help me get on the right path, the path that leads to salvation (Matthew 7:13). I could no longer blame God for all the things that had gone wrong in my life, because He spared me a lot of grief when I deserved an even greater punishment - when I had flirted with death as if I was indestructible, thumbing my nose at Him as if someday I would argue my case in front of Him that I was "A GOOD MAN!". Foolishness! (Isaiah 64:6)

So there I was...trusting myself, denying God, and realizing that my life was in a downward spiral without Him...and He proved Himself faithful to me.

So, Ken, where do you want to go today?

2:36 AM, October 02, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

"If it contradicts your belief, it must be wrong..."
Ah, but isn't that the same thing you are doing? According to you, anything that contradicts your beliefs is also wrong.


No, it's not. I use the Bible to guide me, so if it contradicts the Bible, it must be wrong. I am still learning scripture, but in understanding I have something that you don't. It's something Jesus gave us when He left this earth. Do you know what you need to fully understand scripture? Have you ever read those verses about Who (or what?) it is that guides us to understanding His word?

2:38 AM, October 02, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scia,
I was still wondering what your answer was to this post.
-Gary

You say that I use the "tossed salad theory" and pick what I want to believe.

Since I'm assuming that you don't do a tossed salad/pick and choose method as far as following the Bible, does that mean that you believe that the Bible verses that I quoted should be followed in today's world?

-Gary

8:13 AM, October 02, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

" use the Bible to guide me, so if it contradicts the Bible, it must be wrong."
Tyler, the Bible contradicts itself. Between the Old & New Testaments, and within the Testaments themselves. Like I said earlier, you can find a Bible scripture to back up almost any argument.
I would also like to mention that I was raised in the Boston Church of Christ, and using them to back up any argument is a bad idea with me. They are a corrupt organization who doesn't know the first thing about being Christian. They did a LOT of damage to a lot of good people. They might be different now, without Kip McKean, but I still don't trust them as far as I can throw them - And I have fibromyalgia and can barely lift my hand most days.
"but in understanding I have something that you don't."
And what is that? (I'm not being snarky, I really want to know)

8:38 AM, October 02, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

I wasn't using the Boston Church of Christ to support any of my claims, I was referencing the fact that even though I set off to studying with a cult, I learned the truth of the Bible by reading it...and the Holy Spirit opened my eyes.

I'm sorry to hear that the Boston Church got you and hurt you, Katie, and I'm also sorry to hear about your fibromyalgia. A friend of mine that I used to work with has that, and she says that it is extremely painful when it acts up.

So tell me where you find the contradictions in the Bible, because as I understand it, all of those supposed "contradictions" make sense when you look at the Old Covenant (Old Testament) compared to the New Covenant (New Testament). God's Old Covenant was through animal sacrifice, and looking forward to the messiah. God's New Covenant is through Christ's sacrifice, and looking back to the messiah - and forward to His return.

Are you talking about the same thing that Gary is talking about, the Mosaic Law and the ritual purity laws?

When I googled "holiness code" I find about 80% of the documents relate to homosexuality, from the perspective that it is OK now. If you read the link I put up above, from RBC ministries, I think it's clear that Paul continued in the spirit of condemning homosexuality, because Leviticus calls it (and nothing else in the holiness code) toebah.

11:47 AM, October 02, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"I wasn't using the Boston Church of Christ to support any of my claims"
Sorry, I caught that after I replied. The mere mention of the ICoC triggers some really bad memories. :(
Again, I didn't mean to jump to conclusions.
"I'm sorry to hear that the Boston Church got you and hurt you, Katie, and I'm also sorry to hear about your fibromyalgia."
Thank you for saying both of these things. The Boston Church made me afraid of organized religion for a VERY long time. The fibro things sucks, but my good days still outnumber my bad days, so I get along okay. :)
"So tell me where you find the contradictions in the Bible"
I guess for the most part, the contradictions are between the Old and New Testaments. But the point I've been trying to make is that the Bible was written by men, and men are flawed ('men' meaning humans, of course). Further, the Bible was translated by men, and men are flawed. Even further than that, you interpret the Bible to mean what it means to you - However, you are human, and humans are imperfect. Which means that the Bible, the translations, and your interpretation are all (most probably) flawed, as well. No one can definitively say what God/dess's Word really is, and it really is pretentious to think otherwise. Can't you accept the possibility that maybe my love is not as immoral as you think?

11:11 AM, October 04, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Katie, did you catch my comment that it is the Holy Spirit that leads and guides one to truth?

Katie, the reality is that I have sins that are just as sinful as your sins. I know it. I have read God's word over and over and over again, and I have studied it, and I have learned that I'm never, ever going to be as righteous as Jesus Christ. Maybe it's wrong for me to argue with you about how you live your life, when I know that I am not living a perfect life. Nobody can live a perfect life, Katie, that is the reality of being a member of humanity.

Your statements about the Bible being written by men, translated by men, interpreted by men (or women...) are in some sense correct, but if there is no recorded truth, then what is truth? If truth is merely subjective, then there is no truth at all, correct?

The way I see it, there either IS a truth or there is NOT a truth. I do not believe that the Bible contains ALL truth, because there are things that cannot be contained in it's pages. I do believe that everything in the Bible is true, and accurately recorded by the writers who were inspired by God's Holy Spirit as they recorded it down.

What do you think is wrong with the Bible, if anyhing? You have made some generalizations, without giving specifics. Is it just a feeling that you have?

5:09 AM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"What do you think is wrong with the Bible, if anyhing? You have made some generalizations, without giving specifics. Is it just a feeling that you have?"
I don't think there's anything wrong with the Bible per se, it can be a very good guidebook for one's life. However, I really don't think that anyone should take the words literally. Figuratively speaking, the parables and stories in the Bible can be good guidleines on how to live your life. But, when taken literally, I think that they can be hurtful to other human beings. For example, you say that my sins aren't any better or worse than yours. Personally, I wish all Christians thought that way. However, most belive that my SIN (my homosexuality) is WAY worse than ANYTHING they could have possibley committed, and that's where I get angry, and hurt. If all Christians felt the way you did about sin, there would be a lot less anger against them from the GLBT community. Sadly, they do not. They go on crusades about how homosexuality is wrong, immoral, abhorrent, and an abomination, acting as if they have no sin, and therefore are justified in demonizing those who love people of the same gender. Do you see what I'm saying?

6:52 AM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Katie, I see exactly what you are saying, and it's why I hate it - absolutely HATE IT - when I am branded as a homophobe and a hateful person for my stance on same-sex marriage. I have had friends who were/are living as homosexuals, and I don't hate them. I understand that God loves ALL His children, and He wants ALL of us to be more like Him, and for all of us this means different things. My action against same-sex marriage has foundations in the Bible, but it does not mean that I hate homosexuals, or that I want them to be hurt in some way (physically). This is certainly a complex topic, and I really appreciate our dialog. I think it's helping each of us to understand one another better, and if we succeed in that, it's a good thing!

Back to the Bible...

It's true that there are parables and stories, but to dismiss the entire book as just parables and stories is to ignore all of the history contained within it. The people, places, and things in the Bible are verifiable, and many archaeologists have actually used the Bible to help them locate cultures and cities that no longer exist.

If I don't take any of the Bible literally, I am committing the error of saying that nothing in the Bible is true. So we must each agree that some of the Bible is true, correct? Now it's a matter of which parts are true...

Was Jesus real? Was there really a man - a prophet - named Jesus that was born in Bethelehem, lived in Nazareth, travelled to Samaria, Jerusalem, and all over, and had twelve disciples? Was He really crucified on the cross? Did they really bury Him in a tomb, and the body disappeared? Did Paul really travel to all these cities around the Mediterannean telling people about Jesus? Was there really a King Agrippa, a King Herod, and a Pontius Pilate? What about Caesar, and Rome, and Phillipi, and Crete? Are these real places?

Which parts of the Bible are true, then, and which parts are just stories? Do we simply dismiss the whole thing because we don't agree with some of it, or do we look into the history of the book to find out what value is contained in its pages?

If the Bible is just a story about Israel, and the Jews, then why do they record all of their failures, and the times that God was very angry with them for going against His will? If I were to make up a book about my family, we would be the greatest, richest, most wonderful, loving family in the United States. If I were to write an autobiography of my life and my family's life, I would have to tell the truth. The story would be a lie, but the autobiography would contain truth.

I find that the Bible contains truth - and I find that Jesus tells the story about Jonah when He says, "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
" (Matthew 12:40), confirming - for me - that this isn't just a fable.

Do you see where I'm coming from?

7:39 AM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

First, I just want to say that I really respect and appreciate the respectful discourse happening here. :) I don't feel like I'm being attacked for my beliefs, and I hope you don't, either.
"Do you see where I'm coming from?"
Yes, I do. I never said I didn't. :) I grew up in a Christian family, so I know where you're coming from when you say that you believe the Bible condemns homosexuality. However, I find that there are no verses in the Bible that unequivocally condemn committed, loving homosexual relationships. There is a lot of condemnation of lust, adultery, and selfish sexual deisres, but none for loving, committed relationships, homosexual or otherwise. In fact, in his letter to the Corinthians (Cor. 13:4-8), Paul says, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails."
This is exactly the type of love that I share with my fiance. How can this type of love be wrong? If 'God is Love', then he blesses ALL love, not just that between a man and a woman. Here, Paul does not say that this kind of love is limited to that between a man and woman. He gives no gender restrictions whatsoever. Since Christians no longer follow Levitican laws, and the Bible clearly says that 'God is Love', how can you say that my loving relationship is no good, evil, sinful, or wrong?

8:21 AM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

If 'God is Love', then he blesses ALL love, not just that between a man and a woman.

The problem with the english language is that we only have one word for love, whereas greek had three (phileo, eros, and agape).

God is agape love. I phileo love my family. I agape love my wife and daughter. Eros was the type of love that I had before I knew what true love was in a relationship.

I don't know what your love for your partner is. What I know is that saying that God is love does not meant that everything we call love is pleasing to God.

I love chocolate. I used to love beer. I used to love all kinds of things that God wouldn't want me to love.

Katiekat, I'm not the one saying that your relationship with your partner/fiancee is wrong. I'm telling you what God's word has to say about love, marriage, and relationships. This is a tough one to cover, and I'm not sure I have the skills to cover it from the perspective it should be covered.

Do me a favor, if you can. There's a guy named Rob Bell that does INCREDIBLE videos that give great messages. If you can, check out "Flame". I have an extra copy of it, actually, if I could find it - could I send it to you (PO box or work address so you can maintainn anonymity)?

9:09 AM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

I would be happy to give you my work address to send me that video. However, I really don't want to post it on this public blog. Would you mind giving me your email address, and I will send it to you in an email?
"God is agape love. I phileo love my family. I agape love my wife and daughter. Eros was the type of love that I had before I knew what true love was in a relationship."
I am aware of the differences. I, also, experienced eros love quite a bit before I met my fiance. Be assured, though, that the kind of love my fiance and I are in is agape love, the same love that I share with my daughter. It is unconditional, pure, and real.
I just cannot believe, in my heart of hearts, that the kind of love I feel toward my spouse-to-be is wrong, because it is so pure and unconditional. I cannot believe that this kind of happiness is one that God abhors. I cannot believe that because our love is just as pure (and definitely purer than some I've seen) as any love I have seen between straight couples. This isn't about sex, it's about love. If I never had sex again, I would still be deeply in love with my fiance. It is not lust, it is deep, amazing LOVE. I just don't understand why that would be wrong.

10:06 AM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a few comments here.

I agree that this is a productive discussion.

Tyler, you said to Katie:
I don’t know what your love for your partner is. What I know is that saying that God is love does not meant that everything we call love is pleasing to God.

I’ll assume that you didn’t mean for it to come acros this way, but I think that it was rather insulting and demeaning to Katie. Her love with her fiancee is the exact same love as you have with your wife. Period. I imagine that you and your wife have a loving and supportive relationship and that is exactly what Katie and her fiancee have. Period. The emotions are the same, just the partner is different. To imply anything else is simply inaccurate. This kind of thinking is what sadly seems to allow people to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Katie’s relationship deserves the same amount of respect (and legal recognition, in my opinion) as any straight relatioship.

And when you say that you “love chocolate and love beer” I think that it’s safe to say that this is a word that you use, but it obviously does not carry with it the weight that it would have if you used it to refer to your feelings to your wife. You ENJOY eating chocolate and drinking beer, but I’m guessing that you didn’t have a mutually-satisfying supportive relationship with a bag of M&M’s or Bud Lite.

Re: the Bible
agree strongly with Katie that it doesn’t make sense to take the Bible literally.

You asked:
“Which parts of the Bible are true, then, and which parts are just stories? Do we simply dismiss the whole thing because we don’t agree with some of it, or do we look into the history of the book to find out what value is contained in its pages?”

You just ended it with:
“I find that the Bible contains truth - and I find that Jesus tells the story about Jonah when He says, ...”
I don’t feel that this fully addresses your initial question.

I certainly don’t think that one has to dismiss the whole Bible, since there are many great parts of it. But God gave us all critical thinking skills, logic, and our intuition (usually a very accurate connection to God, I might add) to evaluate our entire lives. And if one doesn’t use these skills, then they’re doing a disservice to themselves and others. I think Katie’s comment that the Bible was written and INTERPRETED by men is very important. And you even brought up a point that there are different words for different types of love in Greek. And one of the main passages that supposedly condemns homosexuality is hinged on a Greek word of which the interpretation is not universally agreed upon. And of course, you have to take into account the cultural context that the Bible was written within. Back then there obviously wasn’t any awareness about loving, committed same-sex relationships. They didn’t write anything about many topics, because they just weren’t known at the time.

My point is that I’m not disagreeing about the importance of the Bible, in general, and in many people’s lives. But when the Bible is held up as the primary reason to condemn gays and lesbians in public and society, then I feel that the Bible is being greatly misused. I feel that it is up to all of us to use our God-given critical thinking skills and our intuition to know what is “truth.”

When you said:
“My action against same-sex marriage has foundations in the Bible, but it does not mean that I hate homosexuals, or that I want them to be hurt in some way (physically).”

I think that it’s important to clarify that your action against same-sex marriage, etc has foundations in your INTERPRETATION of the Bible, since many don’t agree with this interpretation. And while you say that you don’t hate homosexuals, what you actively do to make their lives more difficult is unfortunately not a loving gesture.

When people blindly use the Bible as the excuse for being against same-sex marriage and gays and lesbians in general, it reminds of when a private in the army just follows his commanding officers orders, even if his intuition tells him that it’s the wrong the thing to do. Ever see “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise. This concept is explored in there.

Scia said:
“God harshly disciplines His children, such as you and me Gary, because He loves us; however He does not love our sin, but is willing to forgive us of our sins if we ask for His forgiveness.

God is straight forward with His rules and regulations, but He is not unreasonable for why He wants us all to follow them....so, you and I can enter His kingdom. Now, that’s love, evenly handed out by Him regardless of all the sinful behavior we engage in on a daily basis.”

Scia has every right to interpret God this way, but to me this sounds like God is a tough-talking 4-star general, not the loving force/being who created the Universe and loves ALL of his children.

And sadly, if people believe that God is so harsh, it gives them the internal permission to be equally harsh. That’s the saddest part of this whole thing.

-Gary

10:56 AM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

tgdawbin@comcast.net

I'll have to hunt around for that second copy, but I'm sure that it's somewhere in the house.

12:22 PM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Wow, Gary, you made some great points! And a good commentary/discussion, to boot.

Where do I start?

I didn't mean to be harsh towards Katie, and I don't think she took it that way. I see what you're saying when you note that it could be taken in the wrong way. My point that I was trying to make is that I see people draw the conclusion that God is Love means that Love is God. I don't know if this is where Katie was coming from, or where you are coming from, but there are many reasons to rapidly dismiss that way of thinking as pure rubbish, as I have pointed out.

I'd like to focus on Biblical interpretation for a moment. I know I have brought this up a few times, but I need to mention it again. The Bible says that it is the Holy Spirit that opens one's eyes to the proper interpretation of scripture. Forgive me if this comes across as arrogance, and I am certainly no Biblical scholar (my degree and my career are in engineering), but my understanding of the Bible comports with what many other Christians believe. That is not to mean that I fully understand everything 100% and that my thinking cannot be corrected, but agreement in interpretation among a large group of Christians must signify that this interpretation is correct. I know how stupid that can sound to a person that believed that Christians believed the earth was flat (most didn't) and that Christians believed that having slaves was biblical (not in the sense that Africans were made slaves to the south), and so on...but it is certainly true that most churches agree about the interpretation of the Bible when it comes to homosexuality.

Let's forget about the Bible, for a second, and talk about nature. If you believe that man evolved, then you must believe that each species came about for a reason, and that each gender came about for a reason. This makes the transgender situation tough to explain, I know, but I do want to continue with this train of thought. The genders were necessary for reproduction, and each has it's purpose. Now, the argument that homosexuality is a form of population control would seem to indicate - if it's genetic - that the population that will be controlled is the homosexual population, as they would be the ones to die out given this theory. It's not my theory, but those that support this theory must wrestle with this conclusion. That's almost as challenging about me wrestling with the trans-gender.

So in order for a species to survive, in the evolutionary view, there must be some natural method of procreation. Right?

Moving away from evolutionary theory to more of a natural theory, people form relationships and fall in love for a multitude of reasons besides procreation. I have people I love, people I like, and people I (yes it's true) dislike. I, and others, form relationships for a reason, usually for the mutual benefit of those involved. Naturally...

When we move away from an evolutionary theory to a natural theory, and on to a more spiritual theory, then we talk about connections that are made between people - higher connections - other than need, necessity, or pure sex drive. We can talk about how they interact, think, feel, reason, etc.

I can see how two same sex persons can fall deeply in love with one another. I see it! I can see how they can each form great and loving connections with each other, and find purpose in being together. While I can see how it happens, I simply do not believe that this is the way that it was ever intended to believe.

Look at the Bible - for instance - and the relationship between Naomi and Ruth. It was a woman and her daughter-in-law. They LOVED one another, and in her love for Ruth, Naomi "taught" her how to go about getting a husband. What about Jonathan and David? They loved one another. Jesus and His disciples? Paul and Silas? Timothy?

I know, I know - I'm always using the Bible. Unfortunately it's the history book I am most acquainted with.

It is not wrong to love someone who is the same sex. I take issue with the re-interpretation of scripture to say that there is nothing wrong with same-sex (intimate) relationships.

Gary, I wanted to address something else with you even though you brought it up with SCIA. It is true that some people see God as harsh. It is also true that some see God as loving. It is unequivocally true that God is both truth and love - because love that does not bear witness to the truth is not loving.

Let's say, for instance, that you lose a leg in a car accident, but you've been unconscious ever since the accident. You wake up and tell the doctor, and your family, and the nurses that you have an extreme pain in your foot (which is now gone) and that you think something really bad has happened. They smile at you lovingly and say, "Everything is OK, you are going to be just fine, your foot is just fine!" Are they loving you, even though they aren't telling you the truth? Wouldn't you want to know the truth that your leg is missing? Better yet, if you were going to die, wouldn't you want the doctor to tell you the truth if it gave you the chance to live, or at least live longer?

If love isn't tempered with truth, it's not real love. God's love is sometimes harsh - it penetrates our souls in ways we aren't always prepared to handle. When God loves us in this way, it's for a reason - it's because He wants us to be greater within ourselves, and for His purposes.

God loved Jesus, but He knew that mankind couldn't be redeemed apart from His sacrifice. Would it have been better if God had let Jesus stay in the comfort of heaven, because of His love for His son?

12:54 PM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"Now, the argument that homosexuality is a form of population control would seem to indicate - if it's genetic - that the population that will be controlled is the homosexual population, as they would be the ones to die out given this theory."
Respectfully, you are wrong here. Remember that most homosexuals are born from straight people. Therefore, the gay population would probably not die out. What is probably in this situation, however, is that most gay/lesbian people do not procreate on their own, and therefore are not contributing to the growing population. That's why some people (including myself, to a degree) believe that homosexuality has a purpose in nature: to cull the population a bit. Not a lot, as most statistics say that gay people comprise about 3%-10%, depending on who you ask, but even if only 3% of the population isn't breeding, there will be an impact on population growth.
"I can see how two same sex persons can fall deeply in love with one another. I see it! I can see how they can each form great and loving connections with each other, and find purpose in being together."
Then, and I ask this with the utmost respect, why is it not okay for the government (not your church, but purely secular/civil) to recognize my family? Why is it not okay for my love to validated as yours has been? I have never asked for any church/denomination/organized religion to recognize/bless my union. All I have ever asked for is for my relationship, my marriage, be legally recognized for what it is: A committed, loving, supportive environment in which to raise my child. That's all, nothing more. From what you've said, I glean that you don't believe that it should be. So, I'm asking you: Why?

1:27 PM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Are you asking for a civil union?

1:49 PM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous KatieKat said...

"Are you asking for a civil union?"
Only if that's what you'll call your union. If all 'marriages' were civil unions in the eyes of the law, and 'marriage' were something you did in a church, then all would be equal. However, what most of the anti-ssm side wants is for us to have something different. I don't like 'separate but equal', because if it's separate, it is NOT equal. I need to rush off now, but I'll probably check in over the weekend. :) Have a great evening.

1:52 PM, October 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went into a doctor’s office the other day, and while I’m waiting to be addressed by one of the staff I notice a middle aged woman looking at me. I nod and ask “how are you doing today?” She responded with “still alive praise the lord.” So I smile at her and then look away hoping the staff was ready for me. She then asks “do you believe in the lord?” I say “excuse me?” and she says again if I believe in the lord. I smile and say no maam, she looks at me with her head cocked and then asks why. At this point I’m hoping one of the staff is around to save me from an uncomfortable discussion; but no luck. So I just say that I haven’t been able to find anything to make me believe. Someone comes around the corner and stands behind her but still no luck; it’s her friend or something. The 2 of them start to tell me that there is no way to find Jesus but to read the bible and pray. I tell them I do read the bible but praying is off the table. So they go on and after a little while of debating points with them I’m told by the gentleman that he used to struggle like I do and that the only way he was able to start believing in the gospel was to pray.

It’s really funny how Scia, Tyler, Omd and this couple in a doctor’s office all tell me to pray after it comes down that their logic can’t answer my questions. I’ve asked priests, Mormon bishops, and every church leader that I happen to meet the simple questions that a simple man asks. I never went to college; my only post high school education was a trade school for automotive repair. How is it that an uneducated mechanic can ask questions that can’t be answered? Why can’t I simply believe like the rest of you?

Ken Weaver

10:03 PM, October 05, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Ken, lots of people go through life simply never believing. I don't think that you'll end up being one of those people, because you are interested, and you are sincere.

Sometimes the prayer that needs to be prayed over and over again is simply to ask for faith. Without faith, there is no hope.

I will pray that God will give you faith, Ken. Does that sound foolish?

8:12 AM, October 06, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Sometimes the prayer that needs to be prayed over and over again is simply to ask for faith.”

But if I pray over and over again it would become habitual and mean very little. I can not be a blind sheep. If I am to follow a faith based on religion of any kind it must be sincere. I was the blind sheep once, and it brought me to where I am now. I can’t blindly love god. For me to love a supreme being I would have to see it as reciprocal, and for that to be I would have to see some sign that he loves me; that he exists. Maybe I’m asking too much for that “sign” but that’s what I need. Did you get some sign Tyler? How about you Scia? Or anyone who believes in god; did you get a sign?

“I will pray that God will give you faith, Ken. Does that sound foolish?”

It’s only foolish if you are not a believer.

Ken Weaver

9:24 AM, October 07, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Why is everyone always looking for a sign, when there's a big giant billboard in front of us every moment of every day?

5:47 AM, October 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Why is everyone always looking for a sign, when there's a big giant billboard in front of us every moment of every day?”

If this billboard was so confirming to the existence of god there would be no Atheists.

Ken Weaver

8:49 AM, October 08, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Ken, there are atheists because they simply refuse to believe that the wonderful creation surrounding them was formed by the hand of an awesome creator. That's free will - the choice to believe, or not to believe.

If God really hated us, He would force us to worship Him, like a cruel dictator would do.

Satan's tactic is to lure you in, and make the wrong thing look very appealing, even harmless.

Why do you think there are more shows on TV touching on sex than there are touching on religion?

Satan's got a stronghold in this world, and he knows that one of our greatest vices is sexual sin...but I digress.

Ken, do you find ANYTHING about your life to be utterly amazing, and possibly attributable to a wonderful and loving God? What about your children? You did say you have children, didn't you?

10:08 AM, October 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“If God really hated us, He would force us to worship Him, like a cruel dictator would do.”

True, but if god didn’t care he would be absent. I know you believe god is active in your life, but in mine he seems absent.

“Why do you think there are more shows on TV touching on sex than there are touching on religion?”

Because people have been freed of the shackles religion once placed on them. And sex is a lot more fun than thinking god is watching every move you make and thought you think.

“Ken, do you find ANYTHING about your life to be utterly amazing, and possibly attributable to a wonderful and loving God? What about your children? You did say you have children, didn't you?”

My family is incredible, and yes it could be attributable to god, but in my mind it could just be coincidence. My son is not my biological son. I am unable to produce children. Is that god’s handiwork? I think not. I don’t blame god for that any more than I blame him for the family I was born into. That said; if I don’t blame god for the bad why should I thank him for the good things in my life? Is it not possible that god had nothing to do with either? Is it possible the Deists were correct in their belief that god set up the universe to create life and then went on his way? Maybe. Is it possible that the god you believe in is the one true god? Yes. Is it possible that the universe just happened by a cosmic accident? Once again, yes. Each scenario has some validity to it. We can’t prove or disprove any of them. Each one has its attractions.

Ken Weaver

12:51 PM, October 08, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

My son is not my biological son....

So you know all about adoption, then?

God is willing to adopt you into His family, Ken. The scriptures say that we are adopted into His kingdom as sons and daughters, because of Jesus Christ.

I agree that sex is fun, but sex outside of the proper boundaries is, or at least can be, quite dangerous, for a variety of reasons. Religion didn't put shackles on people's feet when it comes to sex, so much as people put shackles on their feet. I mean, when God said that He created man for woman, and woman for man, and then told them to HAVE SEX, isn't that the coolest thing? Then, there's the whole book called the Song of Solomon, which is all about sex, within the boundaries of a marriage relationship.

Sex is very, very good - and it's a gift from God.

You say that God is absent in your life, but you acknowledge that maybe He had something to do with your family. So, shouldn't that make Him present in your life?

If you are worried that God is watching every move you make and thought you think, don't you wonder why you're still around after all these years? I sure do...because I know what I deserve for the deeds I've done, but God has spared me and has brought me to Him through Christ.

Have I told you what kind of life I was living just ten to fifteen years ago? It wasn't pretty - I was farther from God then than you are right now, I would imagine, but somehow I got on the right path and He's totally changed my life.

I wish you could experience this, too, Ken, because what God can do is amazing!

2:31 PM, October 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“So you know all about adoption, then?”

Actually no, we never went through the courts to complete an adoption. But I’m the father he knows. I was there on the day he was born, in the delivery room.

“God is willing to adopt you into His family, Ken.”

Then shouldn’t he be inviting me? He hasn’t contacted me in any manner I can fathom.

“Religion didn't put shackles on people's feet when it comes to sex, so much as people put shackles on their feet.”

Do you mean the people that were running the church put shackles on the feet of those under their dominion, or people put shackles on their own feet? I think it’s pretty clear who is/was holding the keys to those shackles.

“Then, there's the whole book called the Song of Solomon, which is all about sex, within the boundaries of a marriage relationship.”

If I remember correctly Solomon had about a thousand wives and concubines. It seems fairly obvious that his morals were much different than ours. I think it very likely he was sharing his bed with more than one partner at any one time. Now we can’t even have 2 marriage partners which I think is completely ludicrous.

“You say that God is absent in your life, but you acknowledge that maybe He had something to do with your family. So, shouldn't that make Him present in your life?”

Well Tyler if he did indeed give me the good parts in my life, than he would also be responsible for the bad. The biggest problem is when people thank god for everything good, but place blame elsewhere when it’s not. Isn’t that silly? We’ll thank god for our food and for our homes and say it’s a miracle when a child is born, but if you have no food, your house burns down and your child is taken to the grave we don’t get to blame god. Seems like a double standard.

“If you are worried that God is watching every move you make and thought you think, don't you wonder why you're still around after all these years?”

Could it be that my organs are getting signals from my brain?

“Have I told you what kind of life I was living just ten to fifteen years ago?”

No, what was wrong with your life? You weren’t happy with that life? If you weren’t, why did you live it?

“I wish you could experience this, too, Ken, because what God can do is amazing!”

If god exists he created the universe, that’s amazing. Our lives our insignificant compared to the grandness of the universe. We’re barely here when comparing time, not even a speck of dust for a comparison of space and what we do has no affect outside our solar system.

Ken Weaver

7:35 AM, October 10, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

If god exists he created the universe, that’s amazing. Our lives our insignificant compared to the grandness of the universe. We’re barely here when comparing time, not even a speck of dust for a comparison of space and what we do has no affect outside our solar system.

Yeah, true...and to think that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus just blows me away.

God IS reaching out to you, Ken. You just have to give Him a chance.

9:37 AM, October 10, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Yeah, true...and to think that God loves us so much that He sent Jesus just blows me away.”

Okay Tyler you have to make up your mind. If Jesus is god, than he didn’t send himself; he just came. That was 2000 years ago and the general populace hasn’t heard a peep out of him since. If he really loved us wouldn’t he communicate with us once in a while? My grandfather used to call me up if I got too busy with work and hadn’t visited him within a couple of weeks. He used to say he was forgetting what I looked like. Ahhhhh, fond memories. I don’t get that from god. If you want to believe that god is everywhere including the air we breathe that’s cool, but I prefer to see it as my diaphragm contracts to create a vacuum in my lungs and what comes in is the exhaust from plant life.

Ken Weaver

8:53 PM, October 11, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

I don’t get that from god.

You don't get what you refuse to credit Him for, Ken.

I get phone calls, hugs, and pep talks every day...just in a different way.

I cannot explain faith, Ken, I can only tell you that faith is what it takes - and faith isn't the absence of reason, it's the end of it...

7:29 PM, October 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“and faith isn't the absence of reason, it's the end of it...”

Then why has faith always been at the forefront to deny reason? To deny scientific discovery?

Ken Weaver

2:12 PM, October 14, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Really? At the forefront?

I think if you look at history, some of our greatest scientists believed in God - i.e. Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, to name just two.

Am I wrong about this?

The real history of science is that the church - and Christians - had a lot to do with major scientific advances.

6:25 PM, October 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“I think if you look at history, some of our greatest scientists believed in God - i.e. Albert Einstein and Marie Curie, to name just two.

Am I wrong about this?”

No you’re not. Some of our greatest scientists were believers. Even Galileo believed in god, but look at what the church did to him when his discoveries did not coincide with their beliefs; he was sent to prison as a heretic; why? Why did religion feel so threatened by science? Is faith so weak that a simple scientist can send a religion to ruin?

Ken Weaver

7:40 PM, October 14, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People don't change their sexuality. People are not inherently bi-curious. Gays cannot change, that's why their lives have so much pain. Christians cast gays aside because of something they can't control.

7:03 AM, October 15, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

The faith of those who are seeking - like yourself - may be weak, but for true believers in Christ, that faith should not be so weak as to be destroyed by science.

I don't know why Galileo was jailed. Was it the Catholic Church that jailed him?

Sometimes people can do wrong things in the name of religion, Ken. It's a fallen world full of sinners, that's why Jesus came. If we were perfect, we wouldn't need Him.

7:45 AM, October 16, 2007  
Blogger Tyler Dawbin said...

Anonymous, are you in pain?

7:46 AM, October 16, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“I don't know why Galileo was jailed. Was it the Catholic Church that jailed him?”

Yes, for heresy.

“Sometimes people can do wrong things in the name of religion, Ken. It's a fallen world full of sinners, that's why Jesus came. If we were perfect, we wouldn't need Him.”

If people can do wrong things in the name of religion and have the kind of crimes committed in the name of that religion that Christianity has been known to commit, shouldn’t everyone be wary when the people that follow that religion try to enforce their views of morality on the rest of us? Shouldn’t Christians understand why they are so often attacked for their views? Shouldn’t we all as citizens of the U.S. fight against any religious system embedding itself into our laws?

Ken Weaver

9:08 PM, October 16, 2007  

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