Why are some christians, in the US at least, so obsessed with homosexuality

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This is not trolling, this is a legitimate plea. I want to understand this mode of thinking because it baffles me. And yes, I know this topic has been gone over a lot but in all my reading of these topics I haven't heard the answer to why it is this issue that gets so much time and energy as opposed to, say, helping the poor and feeding the hungry. (If someone has answered this question in one of the many other topics that I skimmed, mea culpa.)

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2012/05/audio-sean-harris-still-explaining-deep-other-meanin-of-punching-cracking-wrists.html

This is a link to to a blog post containing two audio bits from one Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church. One is a clip of a statement in which Mr. Harris says punch your young boys if they act effeminate and the other is a longer retraction, In other interviews, referenced in his retraction, he says it is a joke.

Yes, because jokes about child abuse, like rape, are always so very funny. (This is my only sarcastic remark.)

He says he didn't choose his words wisely, but he seemed able to do that earlier in his sermon. (Around 33:10. Yes I watched the whole thing. If you want the whole sermon here is the link http://www.sermonaudio.com/playpopupvideo.asp?SID=42912940300.) This makes me believe he knew what he was saying or at least had the capacity to and just didn't expect it to go viral.

His retraction spends about half apologizing for insinuating that child abuse is a cure of homosexuality by violence but then spends the other half continuing to preach about how evil homosexuality is and how he has been misrepresented.

It could be because I'm particularly sensitive to the issue of child abuse but this is the straw that breaks the camels back for me. I have had it. I know this is one guy in one church, but this is the sort of stuff getting preached in a lot of places. I have been to the churches were this crap was preached. I see the resistance to anti-bullying legislation aimed to prevent kids from killing themselves based on the idea that bullying a LGBT youth should be protected because that bible says its okay.

We are killing kids with the bible. Why?

In the modern world even the most devote Christians have jettison portions of the bible that promote slavery and stoning wives and children, or those portions of the bible that prohibit divorce, shrimp, pork, and poly-cotton blends.

How are the passages on homosexuality different? What am I missing? Is there a special way to read the bible that tells you what parts of the bible are fixed points unable to be changed and which points are able to be ignored? If all sin is equal according the bible than why aren't there people out their protesting all the other sins with the same tenacity?

For this I go to the Buddha. "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

The obsession of the church with homosexuality right now does not agree with reason. It has gotten to the point that the Vatican is now upset with U.S. nuns because they have spent too much time working with the poor and promoting social justice and not enough time speaking out against homosexuality, as well as abortion. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/19/us/vatican-reprimands-us-nuns-group.html)

So please, someone, anyone, explain this to me. What am I not seeing?

I know a lot of people will come in and say it is because people are stupid or bigoted. I'm really not looking for those answers. I'd much prefer someone who holds these beliefs, or maybe used to, to explain how that thinking works.

TL;DR: I really want to know what is up with the modern christians focus on this particular "sin."

EDIT: TItle edit. Added "some".
Looking back I can see why someone might think I was meaning all christians. No, I mean the very vocal group that seems to be steering a lot of legislation. I didn't mean it as a blank statement. That is my bad.

I think it's a counter to all this "gay rights" thing that in recent years popped up. When it goes away I think the pope and all these other religious figures will move on to the next big thing.

Eh, at least Christians admit homosexuals exist, for all some of them hate the idea.

Well, I think it's due to particular "values" being transmitted from parents to children. A lot of people are brought up to think homosexuality is particularly sinful (worse than eating shrimp). Add to that a general problematic view of sexuality/puritanism and you've got a bad combination.
Justifications for the particularized problem with homosexuality are then found in the holy texts, but that is secondary and specific reading of those texts that supports their pre-existing notions.
I think that is how cherry-picking works: People already have their views and then look for a basis in the Bible; they don't read the Bible and therefore think homosexuality is bad or worse than many of the other sins (which we are more than happy to ignore these days). On the other hand, moderate Christians will go to the Bible with their notion already in place that homosexuality is not that bad, so they scrap the condemnation like the fundamentalist scraps the condemnation of wearing two types of fabric.
So while homosexuality is certainly condemned in the Bible along with countless other things, the much more highly specific condemnation of homosexuality by modern fundamentalists is due to their learnt views and their secondarily specific reading of their texts to the exclusion of many other condemned things in it.

I think a lot of it's due to just how deeply engrained and influential "traditional romance" has been in American culture for such a long time. It's reinforced and impressed more traditional, (and often more commercialized) views on what a romantic relationship "is supposed to be", leaving many Americans resistant or outright close-minded to relationships or families that might not fall in-line with those fantasies.

And these fantasies are easily reinforced by a number of other social factors (socio-cultural isolation, lack of cultural diversity, poor education/poverty, etc etc). Technology and the Internet's what started changing things in the late 90's and 21st century however. People, especially younger people today have a better chance than ever to interact with and understand people from all walk's of life.

And that's why so many churches and Christian nuts are freaking out. That's why radical Republicans are constantly trying to pass these crazy bills. They're losing ground and they can't win this fight through popular support. They'll desperately put up any and every obstacle they can and campaign every lie they can think of. They're still going to lose, though they'll take as many down with them as they can.

Well, they're in minority and they're usually easy to identify. So when your old book have utterly failed to in combating pretty much everything else it talks about, since it'd take extreme and illegal measures to do anything about pre-marital sex or adultery, and you'd be viewed as the insane religious fanatic you are if you condemned eating shrimp, what's really left but the gays?

Still a big improvement over the times when abortion was illegal and pre-marital sex reason for enough to be ostracised, but they gays will have to deal with them a while longer. Although on the positive side, the more Christianity equates itself to be puritanism and homophobia, the more Christianity will die along with those. That worthless filth will lose ever more influence, as more and more decent people turn from it, and the rest are themselves increasingly ostracised as they would've had the gays.

Also, nothing wrong with jokes about child abuse or rape and such. That's called black humour, and hyperbolically and puritanical people are always in need of a good dose of it.

Imperator_DK:
you'd be viewed as the insane religious fanatic you are if you condemned eating shrimp

Okay, this is just really bugging me, but what is with the whole "eating certain stuff is banned in Christianity" thing? Because it kind of wasn't. Or, to be more technical, it was "unbanned" by Jesus in Acts 10. It just really annoys me when people don't get their facts straight. :/

OT: I got no idea. Well, I have some ideas, but I do not know how valid they are. They mainly relate back to McCarthyism, the Cold War, desegregation, and idea of the "nuclear family" that was heavily pushed in the 50s. But, I am feeling too lazy to explain. So, I won't. :P

BreakfastMan:

Imperator_DK:
you'd be viewed as the insane religious fanatic you are if you condemned eating shrimp

Okay, this is just really bugging me, but what is with the whole "eating certain stuff is banned in Christianity" thing? Because it kind of wasn't. Or, to be more technical, it was "unbanned" by Jesus in Acts 10. It just really annoys me when people don't get their facts straight. :/
...

That's probably disputable:

Matthew 5:18:
"Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished"

John 10:35:
"The Scripture cannot be broken"

Those New Testament statements attributed to Jesus certainly suggest otherwise.

it confuses me to be honest. the fundamentalist religious types are more obsessed with the sex lives of gay people than well gay people. if you want to boink a consenting adult of the same or opposite gender its none of my business. its none of my business if you want to turn boinking into in to a life long marriage, go for it.

the closest i can get to an answer as to why it happens is that its easy to get people to hate, and a great way to get recruits if you blame a group of people for corrupting youth, being part of a sinful conspiracy, etc

its a tactic thats been used over the years with everyone from the nazi's to the protestants and catholics during the reformation

Imperator_DK:

BreakfastMan:

Imperator_DK:
you'd be viewed as the insane religious fanatic you are if you condemned eating shrimp

Okay, this is just really bugging me, but what is with the whole "eating certain stuff is banned in Christianity" thing? Because it kind of wasn't. Or, to be more technical, it was "unbanned" by Jesus in Acts 10. It just really annoys me when people don't get their facts straight. :/
...

That's probably disputable:

Matthew 5:18:
"Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished"

John 10:35:
"The Scripture cannot be broken"

Those New Testament statements attributed to Jesus certainly suggest otherwise.

Other New Testament statements from Jesus (or rather God, but in most Christian cannon, pretty much the same) rather clearly say otherwise:

He saw heaven open up and some-thing like a large sheet being let down to the earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him "Get up, Peter, Kill and eat." "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken to heaven.

Acts 10:11-16

Rather black and white. :/

ravenshrike:
Eh, at least Christians admit homosexuals exist, for all some of them hate the idea.

There are homosexuals that think Christians don't exist? Or are you making a comparison to Ahmadinejad's statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran?

/pretending to be baffled

Eh, fucked if I know.

Ok, yeah, the Bible is a convenient excuse for homophobic attitudes and all, but that still doesn't explain where homophobia comes from.

As the sniper once said:
"As long as there's two people left on earth, someone is going to want someone else dead."

Morons tend to take their religion as a justification for persecuting, discriminating and in extreme cases murdering others, and then the reasonable religous people suffer for. Goes the same way for us atheists too.

Seanchaidh:

ravenshrike:
Eh, at least Christians admit homosexuals exist, for all some of them hate the idea.

There are homosexuals that think Christians don't exist? Or are you making a comparison to Ahmadinejad's statement that there are no homosexuals in Iran?

/pretending to be baffled

Dinnerjacket's line of course. I mean, it wasn't surprising that he would say something like that since outright denial of unwanted reality is such an integral part of Islamic culture, but still.

There was a great video posted from a meeting in Nebraska that was being held over some local regulations that would protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation in regards to housing, employment, and public accommodations.

I just want to say, before you watch the video, this is the sort of things they are fighting against in the US. It is simple, the people have been brainwashed by extremist sects of Christianity. I can't even understand most of the stuff she is talking about because it just makes no sense, it is beyond conspiracy theory stuff.

Virgin birth, chastity, sexual positions, sodomy, foreskins, masturbation, incest, sex with animals, sex before marriage, etc, etc, etc. The religion is obsessed with sex and anything associated with sex, especially the catholic church. All of this certainty doesn't get any better when we have a bunch of priest many of them virgins telling people what is sexual moral behavior and not. So it's just business as usual, controlling people and standing in the way of human progress.

"You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principle enemy of moral progress in the world."
- Bertrand Russell,

pyrate:

BWAHAHAHAH!!! XD

That was the most insanely funny video I have scene in a long, long time. Oh God, I am crying over here. *laughs* She was just... And the guy in the background was just... And then she said... Seriously, that was just too much. XD

I could say a perverted obsession with other peoples personal life. But mostly because religious intolerance have been the standard for so long. Only it wasn't intolerance since it was the standard.

"My mom and dad was against it, and since I have no will of my own on the matter, I'm going to be a good sheep and follow the mindset".

With the internet and free flow of information, it all changed. The net is a better recourse that your local priest spewing fire and brimstone. What Christians should do is feed the poor as Jesus said they should around 2000 times in the NT. Not hate on the gays which Jesus mentioned around... ZERO times.

I "personally believe" (see what I did there) that a good number of the anti gay advocates are repressed gays them selves who tend to cry them selves to sleep when no one is watching.

It's all about fostering hate.
The Republican party, ever since the 50s had been looking for people to hate and use that for their advantage.
The party failed in its economic policies and couldn't fix the economic crash of '29.
It failed in its foreign politics as it was the advocate of isolationism - They allowed the German Nazi power to increase, along with the Empire of Japan to kill, subjugate and conquer its neighbors.
Even when Nazi Germany had declared war on Poland, The Republican party was against going to war with them, claiming that they have no business there.
For fuck's sake, the party had been all about hate. When the Polio vaccine was first introduced and made available, the government wanted to have a program to give free vaccinations to the children of the nation. The Republican party refused and said that it was communism.
.
At first they fought against Communism and Socialism. The Soviet Union was the great big bad and they constantly tried to remind them of it. Not only did they tried to widen the gap between the two super-powers by their ideology, but they engineered other reasons to widen the gap, religion included. The USSR was not atheist. The nationalist and religious surge of the 50s was due to the push by the Republican party against the Soviets. They tried to win the elections by fear.
The whole idea of Communist spies in the USA higher offices was brought up by the Republicans - they wanted to undermine certain politicians and to instill fear in the voter's hearts. The committees that allowed the persecution of certain individuals based on their political preference may seem ludicrous now, but it was commonplace back then. If you were a socialist, you were a traitor!
We forward the time. What happened now? There is no USSR. There is no big bad to be afraid of. What will the Republican Party fight against now? From what will it protect you? From the Liberals, of course.

The first stage was mending the fractures between the different churches (And using the foundation laid by John F. Kennedy)and creating this new entity called "Christians". They have completely ignored the now mostly dead BURNING hatred for Catholics which was also one of the scapegoats used by the Republican party to instill fear in the people and sympathy for their cause. Having stories not unlike the blood tales about Jews making bread out of little Christian boys' blood concentrate about Catholics and their disloyalty as they have a different monarch to bow down to (They claimed that they were both citizens of the USA and underlings of the Pope). It's fear mongering all over again.

Then the Liberals came. Oh no, what will we do now. Now they have new people to hate - The non-religious and the Gays. Now that their precious a;ready-dead family values had been supposedly demolished, they cry out to the heavens and their voters for support. Rally up against the gays and the liberals, rally up against the atheists and the liberals. RESIST CHANGE AT ALL COSTS. VOTE REPUBLICAN SO THEY WILL SAVE YOU FROM CHANGE.

I think the importance of homosexuality to Christians and to Christianity is vastly over-stated. The issue comes up alot though so its easy to understand why its overstated. However I can't recall in my life ever going to a church service and hearing the Pastor or Priest (I have been to different Churches of different denominations) give a lecture about how we need to stop gay people from marrying. The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain. Sexual relations between members of the same sex ARE listed as one of many acts of sin related to sexual immorality but not much time is spent on it and this says nothing of whether or not a person is sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex.

TheIronRuler:
It's all about fostering hate.
The Republican party, ever since the 50s had been looking for people to hate and use that for their advantage.

God our education system SUCKS!

Seekster:
I think the importance of homosexuality to Christians and to Christianity is vastly over-stated. The issue comes up alot though so its easy to understand why its overstated. However I can't recall in my life ever going to a church service and hearing the Pastor or Priest (I have been to different Churches of different denominations) give a lecture about how we need to stop gay people from marrying. The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain. Sexual relations between members of the same sex ARE listed as one of many acts of sin related to sexual immorality but not much time is spent on it and this says nothing of whether or not a person is sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex.

TheIronRuler:
It's all about fostering hate.
The Republican party, ever since the 50s had been looking for people to hate and use that for their advantage.

God our education system SUCKS!

.
*Stares*
Are you stupid? What does this have to do with anything I've said?

BreakfastMan:
...
Other New Testament statements from Jesus (or rather God, but in most Christian cannon, pretty much the same) rather clearly say otherwise:

He saw heaven open up and some-thing like a large sheet being let down to the earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him "Get up, Peter, Kill and eat." "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean." The voice spoke to him a second time, "Do not call anything impure that God has made clean." This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken to heaven.

Acts 10:11-16

The passage doesn't really mention shrimp or shellfish. Though it does apply to pigs.

Rather black and white. :/

So were my quotes.

Guess it not strange that Jesus is schizophrenic with the whole trinity thing and all.

pyrate:
...

...awesome stand up comedy routine. Oh wait, she's serious?

This is why Freedom of Speech is awesome! Somebody give that woman a TV-show, she'll do more to expose conservative Christianity for the steaming pile of vile crazy it is than anyone else could.

pyrate:
There was a great video posted from a meeting in Nebraska that was being held over some local regulations that would protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation in regards to housing, employment, and public accommodations.

I just want to say, before you watch the video, this is the sort of things they are fighting against in the US. It is simple, the people have been brainwashed by extremist sects of Christianity. I can't even understand most of the stuff she is talking about because it just makes no sense, it is beyond conspiracy theory stuff.

Wow, that was awful and incoherent. Not sure whether I should laugh or not.

Imperator_DK:
So were my quotes.

Yes, quite. That's the thing, isn't it? There are very clear things in the Bible, including things that clearly contradict one another. Some people then go with the one thing, others with the other one. There is no right answer to be found there.

Seekster:
The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain.

That's something which is often overlooked, the concept of homosexuality as we understand it is relatively new. Generalising, but previously people weren't pigeonholed by sexuality the way they are now.

Seekster:
Sexual relations between members of the same sex ARE listed as one of many acts of sin related to sexual immorality but not much time is spent on it and this says nothing of whether or not a person is sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex.

That's a distinction that's often brought up, but not one that impresses many people. Agreeing not to oppose homosexuals as long as they play nice and pretend not to be...nah, splitting hairs there.

TheIronRuler:

Seekster:
I think the importance of homosexuality to Christians and to Christianity is vastly over-stated. The issue comes up alot though so its easy to understand why its overstated. However I can't recall in my life ever going to a church service and hearing the Pastor or Priest (I have been to different Churches of different denominations) give a lecture about how we need to stop gay people from marrying. The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain. Sexual relations between members of the same sex ARE listed as one of many acts of sin related to sexual immorality but not much time is spent on it and this says nothing of whether or not a person is sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex.

TheIronRuler:
It's all about fostering hate.
The Republican party, ever since the 50s had been looking for people to hate and use that for their advantage.

God our education system SUCKS!

.
*Stares*
Are you stupid? What does this have to do with anything I've said?

As a historian I die a little inside whenever I see such a blatant disregard for historical fact.

thaluikhain:

Seekster:
The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain.

That's something which is often overlooked, the concept of homosexuality as we understand it is relatively new. Generalising, but previously people weren't pigeonholed by sexuality the way they are now.

Seekster:
Sexual relations between members of the same sex ARE listed as one of many acts of sin related to sexual immorality but not much time is spent on it and this says nothing of whether or not a person is sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex.

That's a distinction that's often brought up, but not one that impresses many people. Agreeing not to oppose homosexuals as long as they play nice and pretend not to be...nah, splitting hairs there.

Yes that is correct and as such its impossible to call the writers of the Bible homophobic. To them homosexuality was a type of behavior, not something you were born as.

I am not here to impress anybody, I am just here to tell it how it is. Facts are stubborn things.

Seekster:
The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain.

Like how the earth is round and not flat?

And it does! Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Seekster:

TheIronRuler:

Seekster:
I think the importance of homosexuality to Christians and to Christianity is vastly over-stated. The issue comes up alot though so its easy to understand why its overstated. However I can't recall in my life ever going to a church service and hearing the Pastor or Priest (I have been to different Churches of different denominations) give a lecture about how we need to stop gay people from marrying. The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain. Sexual relations between members of the same sex ARE listed as one of many acts of sin related to sexual immorality but not much time is spent on it and this says nothing of whether or not a person is sexually attracted to someone of the same-sex.

God our education system SUCKS!

.
*Stares*
Are you stupid? What does this have to do with anything I've said?

As a historian I die a little inside whenever I see such a blatant disregard for historical fact.

.
Well, I must say that as a hypocrite....
You back up your words by your degree - but what words did you back up?
You don' see Republicans scaring the public? From the Angry Muslims that hate your freedom, from the gays that destroy your family values and go against Jesus, from those evil communists that want to take over America?

Rastelin:

Seekster:
The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain.

Like how the earth is round and not flat?

And it does! Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Actually no. Homosexuality as a pigeonhole you stuck people in is a new concept, which goes beyond the sexual act.

thaluikhain:
Actually no. Homosexuality as a pigeonhole you stuck people in is a new concept, which goes beyond the sexual act.

20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

So for two men to love each-other like they would love their wife is fine, just no screwing. Is that what you are getting at? I am fairly certain the book mean both the emotional and the physical. The bible is written by primitive ignorant people after all. Don't expect it to be that deep.

Rastelin:

thaluikhain:
Actually no. Homosexuality as a pigeonhole you stuck people in is a new concept, which goes beyond the sexual act.

20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

So for two men to love each-other like they would love their wife is fine, just no screwing. Is that what you are getting at? I am fairly certain the book mean both the emotional and the physical. The bible is written by primitive ignorant people after all. Don't expect it to be that deep.

No, I mean that the way we think of sexual orientation is a fairly new thing, our worldview isn't the same.

They could still hate things we'd lump into homosexuality.

In any case, the relevance depends on what and how it is interpreted nowdays, not what it was intended to mean.

Imperator_DK:
-snip-

I think this guy has pretty a good grasp on the situation:

I've been very fascinated with him lately, ever since that one thread about him. In fact I've already ordered one of his books. He has some very radical views as far as Bible continuity and the particulars of the Christian faith, which have earned him many death threats and pickets at the places he's gone to speak and lecture. He has an extremely scholarly approach to the Bible, yet he was raised fundamentalist. But then he left that because as a teenager, he realized he wasn't growing in his faith anymore.

Anyway, I don't think it's in this one, but in another interview (this one, I'm petty sure) he points out that all the issues the Christian church are known for are all sexual. Abortion, same-sex marriage, sexual abuse against children, birth control, the role of women and sexism. All sexual issues, but the funny thing is they don't like to talk about sex in a way that points out it exists. Sex is always a negative thing, so they have a warped perspective of it, and as we all know people always lash out at what they don't understand. Or, the way he puts it, "No wonder the Catholic Church doesn't get women, they've never had daughters before."

Bishop Spong doesn't run away from the issues of the Bible. He accepts them for what they are and finds the truth of God within. He says it's not God that changed from the beginning to the end of the Bible, the way he starts out as this murderous, war-mongering God serving only his "chosen people," but then becomes the loving father of all by the time Jesus comes around. That change occurs because the people who were writing these things about God changed in the way they understood him. God is eternal, he doesn't need to grow up. But his people did.

And now, we're coming across a time where we need to grow up once more. To stop hiding behind our traditions and the safe-haven of conservatism in a last-ditch effort to make the world stop changing. Or, as he put it at around 20:18 of this interview, "Faith in the Jewish world do not mean believing a set of propositional statements. Faith means having the courage to step into the unknown with the confidence that God will always be out there in front of you." I quoted you Imperator because I wanted you to see that. That is what I've been trying to tell you this whole time. If your definition of religion is still whatever comes out of a book and anything else not directly from that book is illegitimate, then fine. But just know that definition is inaccurate as far as Christianity, both in the sense of that is not how the book was intended to be used, and in the sense of that's not how the Christian people function. Keep on with that definition, but remember there is almost nobody within the Christian faith it applies to, unless you are going to continue to ignore what they really are. Yes there are some Bible literalists, but even they aren't arguing for EVERYTHING out of Leviticus, such as selling your daughter or tending to your slaves (or at least they aren't anymore).

Seekster:
I think the importance of homosexuality to Christians and to Christianity is vastly over-stated. The issue comes up alot though so its easy to understand why its overstated. However I can't recall in my life ever going to a church service and hearing the Pastor or Priest (I have been to different Churches of different denominations) give a lecture about how we need to stop gay people from marrying.

Overstated by who? Christians or the portrayal of Christians cause I think I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one. Like a lot. Have you been to southern baptist churches. It is rather wide spread. Have you seen Jerry Farwell "9-11 was caused by the gays" mouth dump. Hell, the POPE got all made at US nuns because they weren't speaking out against homosexuality.

Seekster:
Facts are stubborn things.

Lilani:
...

Well, the whole "the followers evolve"-thing is cute and all, but since the people who've thrown out the bible entirely are generally more fine with gay rights, what is the book doing but holding people back?

Seems the process have lead to more and more of the bible being kicked to the curb anyway, so why not throw out this bible/god business entirely? All it's doing is presenting an obstacle towards embracing modern norms and civility. What's the point in having to evolve ever more away from a sick and twisted scripture, when you could just throw the thing out and be done with it?

Rastelin:

Seekster:
The Bible doesnt even mention homosexuality by name and its doubtful that the ancients would have understood the concept of sexual orientation had God deemed it important enough to explain.

Like how the earth is round and not flat?

And it does! Leviticus 18:22
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

I don't think it was relevant for God to go "Oh by the way the Earth is round."

Yes I know, it is an abomination for a man to lay with a man as he would with a woman (and presumably the same is true with women and women). It doesnt say anything about being attracted to members of the same-sex.

Imperator_DK:

Lilani:
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Well, the whole "the followers evolve"-thing is cute and all, but since the people who've thrown out the bible entirely are generally more fine with gay rights, what is the book doing but holding people back?

Seems the process have lead to more and more of the bible being kicked to the curb anyway, so why not throw out this bible/god business entirely? All it's doing is presenting an obstacle towards embracing modern norms and civility. What's the point in having to evolve ever more away from a sick and twisted scripture, when you could just throw the thing out and be done with it?

If these people are accepting modern norms and civility, what's the problem if they do continue to embrace their sky-daddy? Heck, what if that sky-daddy IS their primary motivator for being civil and loving people most say they shouldn't?

The way I see it, people who cling to fundamentalism aren't clinging to God. They're clinging to security, to a system they've got rigged (through misinterpretation and ignorance) to allow them to continue to hate who they want without having to explain it in rational terms. They aren't looking for a better way of life to challenge them to live fully, rather they are looking for an easy way to suppress anything they interpret as a threat to their status quo. We don't blame Christianity for the Holocaust, even though Hitler cited it often in order to make the German people accept antisemitism. We blame Hitler for using the Bible to manipulate an entire nation. If you want to claim you are any better than the people who have misused the Bible and the authority of God over the years, you're going to have to separate the people from the problem, and get over this "tribal mentality" that Bishop Spong illustrates that the people who aren't for you must be against you.

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