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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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I found a series of essays online about Judeo-Christian beliefs about homosexuality, quoting the text, and offering both conservative and liberal interpretations.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm
Because it does more than simply quote text, but offer interpretations, then it becomes more interesting. Because that's the kicker, isn't it? Old religious texts may be interpreted in different ways. There is no one right or wrong answer, it's all shades of grey.

The website is from the Ontario Consultants for Religious Tolerance. So it's a good source; it should strike the balance between not-offending-the-religious and not-offending-the-gays.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:07 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I understand that it's your interpretation, but I thought we could go beyond "this is what I believe, this is what you believe". If you don't want to that's fine.

Taral-DLOS wrote:
Furthermore, the Old Testament got a lot wrong (I have very specific examples, so please do not be offended). You can easily find language in the Old Testament that supports slavery, that supports selling your daughters to become sex slaves, that supports the power of man and the subservience of women, etc. etc etc. To bring my argument to absurdist conclusion, your argument of "It's in the Old Testament" means you should support all of those things too.


Just to be clear, I'm not what you would call a fundamentalist. For example I don't think the earth was created 5,000 years ago. I do believe that the Bible is God's Word, but not that God dictated it word for word to the authors and, therefore, might not condone every word written. I think Ecclesiastes is a good example. It's basically a work of nihlism. There doesn't seem to be any conclusion other than "life is pointless". So why is it in the Bible? I would say because it shows what life is like without God (i.e. pointless). He uses a variety of books for a variety of reasons.

The issues you have mentioned are indeed stumbling blocks for many (myself included). However, I would examine the context of each controversial verse, before making judgment. I have been surprised numerous times at what a difference it makes. Is there any specific verse(s) you have in mind. If they're off topic, reply in the Faith thread. And, of course, if you want to keep going. I like talking about religion, but I know many do not (like I don't like talking politics), so I'd understand if you don't want to continue.

I'll listen to the essays when I have time. Sounds interesting.

Taral-DLOS wrote:
As a decent human being, it is your duty not to impose your values on them, but to be kind. This does not in any obligate you to join them in homosexual fun times, and therefore should not pose any issues.

Did I ever contradict this?
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:09 pm Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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Reepicheep wrote:
I would say because it shows what life is like without God (i.e. pointless).


Sorry, but if you're saying life without God is pointless, I am offended. I am not religious, and do not believe I have God (or any interpretation thereof) in my life, and my life is not pointless. I do nice things because I can, even if I don't want to, not because I'm being told to.

Obviously there's the "God isn't a man (ethereal or not), God is a mindset, a way of thinking". Which I could believe.

And may I ask; is the Bible against homosexuality as a whole or just the marriage?
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I do think life is pointless without God, yes. If I didn't believe in God, I don't know how I could live with myself. However, that wasn't really what I was trying to say in my post. I was just showing how Ecclesiastes is a fundamentalist's nightmare. This is starting to get really off topic, so if you really want to discuss life having meaning without God, we should probably move to the Faith thread.

DannikJerriko wrote:
And may I ask; is the Bible against homosexuality as a whole or just the marriage?


What exactly do you mean by marriage? Sexual union or the ceremony? The Bible is against sexual union with people of the same sex.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:37 pm Reply with quote  
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  Salaris Vorn
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Reepicheep wrote:
I do believe that the Bible is God's Word, but not that God dictated it word for word to the authors and, therefore, might not condone every word written.


I've always been curious about this and since it seems pertinent to this discussion I thought I'd ask for clarification.

First off define exactly what you mean by "God's Word." I hear this a lot but it seems to mean different things. Sometimes it seems to be used to mean a direct word for word quote, other times it seems to be used in the context of a near perfect or perfect paraphrase written down by the human God was talking to. Either way I get the sense that one way or another God was there when it was written and these aren't just thoughts inspired by memories of a dream that is attributed to God (namely the humans aren't writing down stuff hours or days after a conversation or dream and relying on memory).

Now this brings me to my main quirrey: if these aren't direct quotes or perfect paraphrases doesn't that mean these are the words of mortal humans who are writing in the spirit of and/or inspiration of their beliefs but these reflect the author's personal opinion/interpretation as much as they reflect God's personal position? (please read next paragraph before jumping on this)

I'm mainly curious because it seems that when it is a positon people agree with text in the Bible as cited as the authoritative Word of God implying this free of flaws and that God would agree that it accurately reflects His opinion. Maybe God would've chosen slightly different words but the idea behind the words remains unchanged and is perfectly accurate (sort of like how there are multiple ways you could express the color of the sky but the ultimate point that "the sky is blue" would be the same regardless of how you decided to go about saying it). But when it is something inconvient (slavery, inferiority of women etc.) it becomes subject to human error. At least it seems to me that God would have no reason to disagree with the choice of words on controversial issues (as you suggest Reep) unless they didn't accurately express God's opinion.

Tieing it back into this thread: if we assume all cases of slavery, inferiority of women etc can't be explained by quoting out of context and do mean exactly what has been implied then we have an interesting issue. If they are then explained away as "God would not agree with the words choosen, and by implication the idea expressed by those words" or "God doesn't agree with those words but wanted them included to express the opposite position" (Reep's bit about Ecclesiastes and nihlism) then why should it be assumed that God would agree with the words choosen regarding homosexuality and/or did not intend those words to be used like the bit about nihlism?

I just don't follow the logic of saying "this is God's opinion because it is in the Bible" but when it is something that we don't agree with as an individual or society the statement becomes "this is not God's opinion even though it is in the Bible."
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:13 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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I see what you're saying. This isn't something that I can give any definitive answer on, because when you don't take a fundamentalist stance on the Bible, the question of what is "God speaking" and what isn't is raised. How can you tell what is literal and what is figurative? I'll do my best.

Salaris Vorn wrote:
First off define exactly what you mean by "God's Word."

Well, what I mean by "God's Word" is that the Bible is a bunch of books selected by God to serve various functions. That said I don't think God was whispering in the ears of the authors (perhaps some). Like I said earlier, I think it's fairly obvious that Ecclesiastes isn't "God speaking" - at least not in the sense you would immediately think of. If God dictated Eclesiastes word for word, does that mean God think life is pointless? Does not compute. Confused

I think each book needs to be looked at individually.

One thing that might be helpful in deciding what is "God's opinion" would be to look for the parts where God is actually speaking. I've actually heard the argument that because Abraham slept with his slave instead of his wife to try and have his promised son, God must promote polygamy and/or unfaithfulness. Or as my pastor would say, "Some things are described in the Bible, but not everything is prescribed" or "Now Abraham was a righteous, pious man, but righteous, pious men can say some really stupid things".

If you're interested in the literal/figurative thing, I'd really recommend Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis. Lewis, like me, believed that the Bible was "God's Word", but not every book in the same way. In this book, he looks at some of the more controversial Psalms (including one about beating a Babylonian baby's head against a rock) and has some really interesting things to say about them. It's also just good reading, very enjoyable and at times humorous.
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:17 pm Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Reepicheep wrote:


DannikJerriko wrote:
And may I ask; is the Bible against homosexuality as a whole or just the marriage?


What exactly do you mean by marriage? Sexual union or the ceremony? The Bible is against sexual union with people of the same sex.


I refer you to my previous post (and the article I listed). One interpretation of the bible's word is a condemnation of same-sex...sex. It is not the only interpretation available. It's important to note that these books were written in other languages millennia ago. Things get translated, meanings change and get lost over time. This is why interpretations are important.

Regarding definitions, can we please agree to use the common/modern definition of words like marriage? I don't like the idea that, when I refer to marriage, I'm talking about "the blessed union of two becoming one flesh, in the eyes of God, etc.", when all I mean in context is "the legal and/or religious ceremony people undergo when they're in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together".

Reepicheep wrote:


Taral-DLOS wrote:
As a decent human being, it is your duty not to impose your values on them, but to be kind. This does not in any obligate you to join them in homosexual fun times, and therefore should not pose any issues.


Did I ever contradict this?


I don't think you did, but it is a common viewpoint. Many fear gay recruitment, or are uncomfortable with being hit on. I just think that "if it doesn't affect you, then does it really matter?"
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-Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:15 pm Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Taral, I browsed on the site you linked and a lot of red flags were coming up.

First of all, the look of the site. It looks very thrown together and unprofessional. Of course, this doesn't mean the information is bad, but it immediately sets my Spidey sense off. My Media Arts teacher taught me as much.

Secondly, the lack of links is really concerning. There will be an interesting bit of information, but it was apparently pulled out of thin air.

I decided to test one bit of information on mystudybible.com (a website that, among other things, translates verses into the original Greek and Hebrew and definitley a site I trust) and the information turned out to be false. I still remember the verse if you want to know it.

I'm having trouble trusting it.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:24 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Well, this talk about the word of God in the bible is part of the reason why I stopped being Christian. Anyhoo:

There was a point I wanted to bring up earlier, but the thread seemed to have ended, so I didn't. Now it's alive, I can! Concerning the etymology of homophobia and homosexuality. Homosexuality actually means 'same sex', not 'man sex' (as the homo in this word is derivative of the Greek, not the Latin word). So homophobia doesn't actually literally mean 'fear of man', but 'fear of same sex relations'.

However, homophobia was first used in reference to a man's fear of being thought of as gay by his peers, rather than being fearful of gay people, themselves. Though, of course, over time, its meaning has evolved.

Now, where do I stand on same sex? Well, in the words of the comedian Frankie Boyle:

Quote:
A man who lays with another man should be stoned. It helps, that's all I'm saying.


Laughing
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:10 am Reply with quote  
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  Life Is The Path
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Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to keep this issue separate.

Regarding being gay 'being born that way vs. choosing to be so'. After doing some research, I've determined that it is not a choice, consciously or unconsciously. Also, it is not genetic (as is often thought of when one says 'people are born that way'), but rather a matter of hormonal development. This development, I theorise, starts during the phoetal stage of development and continues up until the age of 5, give or take.
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I am a Star Wars fan. That doesn't mean that I hate or love Jar Jar. That doesn't mean I hate or love Lucas, or agree or disagree 100% with him. That doesn't mean I prefer the PT over the OT, or vice versa. That doesn't mean I hate the EU, or even love all of it. These are not prerequisites. Being a man is not a prerequisite. Being a geek is not a prerequisite. The only prerequisite is that I love something about Star Wars. I am a Star Wars fan.


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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:48 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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Life Is The Path wrote:
Sorry for the double post, but I wanted to keep this issue separate.

Regarding being gay 'being born that way vs. choosing to be so'. After doing some research, I've determined that it is not a choice, consciously or unconsciously. Also, it is not genetic (as is often thought of when one says 'people are born that way'), but rather a matter of hormonal development. This development, I theorise, starts during the phoetal stage of development and continues up until the age of 5, give or take.


Hear, hear.
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-Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear


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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:04 am Reply with quote  
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  DannikJerriko
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As I said before, I can't imagine it being a choice (apart from people who want other people to think they're gay, for attention (Little Britain, anyone?)). If anything, there are probably more gay people pretending to be straight, because of bullying, fear of prejudice etc.

One of my friends had a ridiculous argument, saying that "if gay marriage was allowed, and a gay man/woman put married on a CV or whatever, how would the employer know whether they're gay or not?". They wouldn't, and it doesn't matter, employers shouldn't make decisions like that depending on orientation.

I wasn't even aware people put marriage status on CV's.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:19 am Reply with quote  
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  Reepicheep
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Oh, I don't believe it's a choice either. I've gotten to know two gay people over the course of my short life and my experience with them has me convinced of that. I don't doubt there are some people who have chosen it though, but I imagine they would be the exception to the rule.

Basically, here's how I feel about it:

I believe that same sex marriage is wrong. My reasons for thinking so are religious and philosophical, therefore I don't expect others to share my view (as I would, say, for murder) nor do I expect the law to reflect this. The law should be concerned with maintaining a free and safe society, not making our choices for us. There are many things that are legal (and should stay legal) that I, and sometimes the vast majority of humanity, think are wrong.

As for being "born with it", I don't see how this changes anything. I was "born" with the tendancy to be arrogant. It's just what I have to deal with. Again this is a religious and philosophical thing, so I don't expect everyone to agree with it. I beleive that the world has fallen (I think I would believe this even if I had never heard of Christianity) from what it was meant to be and that would explain why we're born with these things.

And, of course, I should act around homosexuals the way I would act around anyone else. Judging them is not my place.

It's important to stress that homosexuality isn't (so far as we can tell) genetic for a fuller understanding of it. I've heard an interesting theory on why people become homosexual (I can't remember where). The scientist who was writing theorized that children go through stages in which they are "attracted" to males and females. Eventually (at the end of puberty, I think) they are attracted to the opposite sex. However, if the child suffers a certain type of psychological stress or trauma, they can exit the "back and forth" stage before they're ready and become attracted to the same sex. I'm not sure I completely buy into it yet, but it seems to make sense when I recall my childhood. One of the gay people I have known (the other never told me of his childhood), had a rough childhood, especially with her father.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:52 am Reply with quote  
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  Taral-DLOS
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I object to the idea that gay people are the result of something breaking during development. I don't think that's ever been conclusively shown, and it adds to the problem of people thinking homosexuality is a disease to be cured.

To quote Magneto, "I say WE are the cure!" A great quote (which can either apply to homosexuals directly, or to people like me who support positive integration thereof), especially since it was uttered by a gay actor, in a movie/comic franchise that is, among other things, an allegory for homophobia.
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 PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:53 am Reply with quote  
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  Caedus_16
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Taral-DLOS wrote:
I object to the idea that gay people are the result of something breaking during development. I don't think that's ever been conclusively shown, and it adds to the problem of people thinking homosexuality is a disease to be cured.

To quote Magneto, "I say WE are the cure!" A great quote (which can either apply to homosexuals directly, or to people like me who support positive integration thereof), especially since it was uttered by a gay actor, in a movie/comic franchise that is, among other things, an allegory for homophobia.


Its also nowhere near conclusively proven that its genetic, despite it being proclaimed as fact a lot of times. I don't care either way as long as they leave me out of the bedroom (much like I would want a straight man to) but none of the theories are proven by ANY means.
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