I got a response to the comment in the first blog and this is my in-line reply for your consideration:
“I would agree that my opposition to gay marriage is due to a sense of duty. I call myself a Christian and say I believe the Bible is the inerrant and true word of God, so I’d best avoid picking and choosing what I want to say is right and wrong about its content especially to avoid the hypocrisy you’re talking about (I’ll get back to that in a bit).”
You do pick and choose though. Everybody does.
“I also agree that as a democracy, we really shouldn’t be proposing any legislation solely based on religious beliefs – however it is because we are a democracy that I get to use my vote whichever way I’d like to. You’re also right that gay marriage doesn’t affect me or my personal life in the least, but the fact that someone proposed a law about it gave me the ability to have a say in what direction that law went.”
So we shouldn’t base the laws of our land purely on religious beliefs… but if we have the opportunity to do so we should totally do it.
How in the world could I have thought your position was hypocritical?
“More on laws. With respect to the Bible, learning how to interpret and apply it will take me a lifetime to study and understand it, but here’s what I’ve gathered so far… There are two parts, the Old Testament, and the New. In the OT – we’re introduced to God, and He creates stuff, gives His creation purpose and reasons for being and He sets one boundary-which man disobeys/sins, now man is separate from God. Throughout the OT, man struggles with the difficulty that sin brings into life – war, immorality, lots of bad stuff. And finally around the time of Abraham, God decides to bring the people back to Himself, to make a nation for Himself – tadah, the Israelites. The laws that follow in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy are all set to carve out the Israelites as separate people from God”
This was the exact ideology of hitler. That god favored one race over the others and they had to remain racially and culturally “pure” and could, because the old covenant was “fulfilled” and christians were now god’s favored people, mistreat everyone else brutally just as the old testament allowed the isrealites to do.
“– whatever laws that seem kooky to us now were probably just as strange back then to those who weren’t part of the Israelite camp.”
I would use stronger words than “kooky” to describe things like the slaughter of children, setting people on fire, slavery etc.
“Some of the laws were simply for hygienic purposes, laws on what to do if someone got infected with leprosy, don’t eat pork because its more likely to have bacteria, stuff like that. You can go through every single law ever written and many would not make sense to us, but the point was to show that the God of the Israelites was creating a unique identity for those who followed Him.”
Or from a secular perspective they just had a unique culture (including inaccurate superstitious folk remedies for things like leprosy) and common sense rules about hygene and they thought they were superior to every other culture out of ethnocentrism and xenophobia the same way every culture tends to think that about every other culture. Muslims had their own separate culture and thought their way was the best way too – did god set it up that way or is that just a common result of human nature?
“He was doing something to radically separate the Israelites from all of the other hundreds of tribes and clans of pagan gods during that time – your reference to the beard trimming command is part of this whole unique identity thing.”
Show me one culture on earth that doesn’t have their own customs which seem radically different to people outside of that culture.
“Well, despite all the laws, the Israelites would go right on doing whatever they pleased and dishonored God. The laws were broken, and God sent judgment in the form of Babylonians and now we fast forward to the New Testament.
In the NT, all of the OT commandments get summed up into two commandments. Super convenient for us. In Matthew 22:34-39, Jesus gets asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law (OT) and Jesus responds, Love God with every bit of your being, and then love your neighbor as yourself. Verse 40, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
He forgot to add “keep queers from being able to visit their loved ones on their death bed, and inheriting their spouse’s possessions or collecting insurance or getting survivor’s benefits or bereavement leave or being able to be buried next to them when you die… out of love.”
“Skipping some other explanations…the summary is this: two broad things are commanded of Christians: first to love and glorify God, second to love your neighbor as yourself.”
Actually many different things are attributed to jesus in the bible, including this bit which I’m sure you will ignore entirely:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
Have heaven and earth disappeared?
“Loving and glorifying God is in fact the reasoning behind the position against gay marriage because God intended for marriage to be between a woman and a man, and as Christians, we want to honor and obey God’s intentions. At the bare bones, that’s really all there is to this.”
Yes, making people second class citizens… out of love. You know every slave owner thought they were helping their slaves because clearly they would be lost without them. Hitler thought he was helping the world by tearing it apart. Communist dictators thought they were building a better tomorrow with mass-graves. Isn’t it nice that everybody thinks they’re doing the right thing while they’re hurting other people. You are persecuting minorities and keeping them from having the same rights as you. Sell it to yourself however you like but that’s what you’re doing.
“When it comes to loving your neighbor as yourself, there are two big issues. The one that most people see is the 1000+ rights that are being denied gay couples. Sure it makes absolute perfect sense: if I want those rights for myself, I should let other people have them too.”
Yeah that’s kind of the definition of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
“But the other issue is that I believe homosexuality is a sin, and if I just say to my fellow gay friends that I support their relationships and all that they do, I am ignoring the consequences of sin which is eternal death – therefore I am not loving my neighbor by allowing them an exception to the rule, this would be blissful ignorance on my part.”
Yes. If you do nothing people will go to hell, and you can’t let that happen. Here’s a quote from not long ago:
“The death sentence is a necessary and efficacious means for the Church to attain its ends when rebels against it disturb the ecclesiastical unity, especially obstinate heretics who cannot be restrained by any other penalty from continuing to disturb ecclesiastical order.”
– Pope Leo XIII (whose papacy ended in 1903)
Should I be executed? I’m a heretic who goes around arguing against the church and christian beliefs? Aren’t I a danger to society? Aren’t I more dangerous than a terrorist or a mass-murderer? Because as you said the harm I could inflict is eternal. So wouldn’t you be doing the right thing to kill me?
Weren’t the inquisitors of old right to torture heretics? Weren’t they saving them from themselves? Wasn’t what they were doing a fulfillment of god’s commandment to love their neighbor? This was their logic. The only difference between them and you is they followed it to it’s logical conclusion and applied it consistently, whereas you just use it to justify weaker (but still harmful) positions arbitrarily.
“The question becomes this: Can I use my vote to allow gays the right to marry while saying I do not support gay marriage? It seems mutually exclusive to me.”
It doesn’t to me. I don’t agree with christianity, so by your logic I shouldn’t support your right to be christian. You know what, I think you’re right, lets ban christianity and burn some bibles. Thank you for showing me how to love my neighbor as I love myself. By persecuting him.
“Instead loving my neighbor becomes this: continuing to have friendly relationships with LGBT folk, and sharing my views when the topic comes up that I don’t agree with the lifestyle, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be someone’s friend because of it. Admittedly, opposing views make such friendships hard to make last because I get branded as an oppressor, hindering progress, when I see myself as trying to hold to my own convictions which I have explained above, and not be hypocritical or contradict my faith.”
You know what, I’m pretty sure your gay “friends”, ie objects of evangelism that allow you to feel morally superior and righteous and important, would much rather you didn’t invite them to your party and let them have equal rights under the law instead.
“Just a couple more things I’m going to throw in here to address a few other points you brought up in various places:”
In other words “I’m going to ignore most of your points but talk about some of the topics briefly without really dealing directly with your objection”.
“- Adultery is outlawed in the Bible (10 commandments), Jesus talks about divorce in Matthew 19, pretty much says marriages should stay intact – when pressed, he then goes on to say, if you divorce and marry someone else on any ground except for sexual immorality, you commit adultery. The wording is very specific here, divorce is not ok.”
So then how could you as a christian, in good conscience not ban divorce when the consequence for getting divorced is eternal death? Do you just love gays that much more than divorcees? Roughly ten percent of americans are gay, but roughly 60% of americans are divorced. You must really, really, really “love” gays to “care” so much more about them.
“Divorce that ends in a remarriage when sexual immorality from the previous marriage was not involved is adultery. As Christians, we don’t need the state to make this a law for us because this is how we ought to live regardless of whatever state laws are in place. Can Christian, heterosexual marriages fail? Yes they can and do because no one can follow the law perfectly.”
So what makes this different from homosexuality? Why should we ban one but not the other? You just talk about it without addressing the actual point – the rank hypocrisy and double standard of how christians treat gay and straight people.
“- Short hair on women – 1 Corinthians 11. Quickly, the rest of the NT after the gospels is about the growth of the church. Most of the books of the NT are written in letter format from Paul to various churches throughout the civilized world. Paul is like a pastor speaking to the church in Corinth. He’s not mandating that women not wear their hair short, if you read the excerpt from the chapter he is really commenting on how God created men and women to be separate and distinct and that hairstyles are one way to maintain that image. There is nothing spiritual or whatever about hair, or head coverings, but it is important to follow the roles that God designated for men and women.”
If you can substitute whatever you think the author meant for what he explicitly says when it comes to this passage, how is what you are promoting “god’s will” and not your own opinion? You are not following the bible, the bible says that women wearing their hair short is shameful. You are following your own opinion and calling it god. I am following my own opinion too, the difference is if I’m wrong I admit it and I don’t pretend that my opinion is somehow infallible.
“- Women not speaking in the church – In general, leadership in the church is reserved for men.”
No, in absolute terms. Again, you’re softening what the text actually says. It doesn’t say “generally”.
“1 Timothy, Titus all address that. So whoever is speaking, teaching in the church would be a man. For a woman to speak would be messing with the roles again. Now this instance was found in 1 Corinthians 14, back to Paul addressing the church in Corinth specifically, so something must have been happening in that church specifically. The context is about orderly worship, talks about if one person is talking, let that person finish before you start saying something else. Ok so already, for a woman to be talking when she should be listening to whoever is in church leadership, that’s not good, but Paul calls it disgraceful, probably because the women in the church in Corinth are conducting disorderly worship-this is not explicitly said but something I derived from the context of the passage. Does this singular passage diminish the importance of women in the church? No. There are roles for men and women that are different in nature but of equal importance.”
Yes, now do you want to deal with the actual objection I raised, which is why don’t you legislate this and countless other passages and only go after gay people?
“- Immigration – I don’t have much to say except that when I think of immigration I think of Exodus 22:21-23, “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt”.”
The sentence before that one requires you to slaughter people who worship other gods:
“Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.”
Or leviticus 25 which says you may take slaves from foreigners who live among you and the people in the countries around you and they and their descendants will be your and your descendants’ property forever until the end of time.
“I don’t think I’ve had to vote on anything pertaining to immigration yet so I have nothing to really go off of, and I don’t use any of the terminology you mentioned.”
It’s beside the point, which you haven’t really addressed.