Thursday, May 10, 2012

Invoking Christ and conservatism in the cause of gay marriage

His Grace has noticed something: when right-wingers quote Jesus or other verses of Scripture in defence of the traditional view of marriage as a union of one man and one woman for the purpose of procreation , they are increasingly cast as religious wing-nuts and homophobic bigots. But when left-wingers invoke Scripture or Christ to the cause of same-sex union, there is a veritable frenzy of enlightened jubilation that they have grasped profound truth and seen the light. Those believers who once walked exclusively in the heterosexual valley of the shadow of death have found true comfort in the gay staff of righteousness; those who once insisted on blind gender complementarity can now see; those who were lame in arguing for mothers and fathers can run a marathon of rainbow joy that one may have two fathers (or mothers). When the antediluvian heterosexual-marriage bigots repent of their medieval myopia, the angels weep for joy and all the heavenly host rejoices.

Yesterday, President Obama declared himself a supporter of same-sex marriage. He announced:
“This is something that, you know, [Michelle and I have] talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated…”
Back in 2004, as a candidate for the US Senate, he said: “I’m a Christian. I do believe that tradition and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” And this is the view he reiterated throughout his 2008 presidential campaign. Fair enough: he’s changed his mind. Unless you’re born with infallible theological insight, a reconsideration of some immature beliefs is inevitable as one matures: the milk is exchanged for meat. That is clearly the President’s latest view.

Yet it is to be observed that he invoked Christ and the Bible to his electoral cause in 2008, and he is doing so again in 2012. And it is the name of Jesus which is dragged through the mud.

And when Daniel Finkelstein and Tim Montgomerie compose their apologies for ‘gay marriage’ being a fundamentally conservative pursuit, it is evident that they are not merely content to set aside the traditions of their own Jewish and Judaeo-Christian worldviews; they elevate their subjective feelings on the matter to a place above nature and reason. They appear not to be familiar with the philosophical writings of Scruton, let alone Burke, who observed that while society is organic, change must be evolutionary, not revolutionary; consonant with social mores and sensitive to national traditions.

David Cameron is effecting a revolution in the state by imposing a new definition. Marriage does not belong to the Church, we are told by Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone. But she appears oblivious to the indisputable fact that neither does it belong to the State: the institution precedes both the Judeao-Christian religion and the advent of the nation state. It appears to exist in nature, as Aristotle observed: complementary union is necessary for procreation, which is necessary for the continuance of society and civilisation. The fact that some heterosexual couples opt for contraception or are unable to have children is utterly irrelevant: marriage is the term we use for the union with procreative potential. That is the definition.

But the Conservative Party in sterile union with the Liberal Democrats is revolutionising this understanding, and that is a fundamentally un-conservative pursuit. Burke observed:
When great multitudes act together, under that discipline of Nature, I recognize the PEOPLE. I acknowledge something that perhaps equals, and ought always to guide, the sovereignty of convention. In all things the voice of this grand chorus of national harmony ought to have a mighty and decisive influence. But when you disturb this harmony, when you break up this beautiful order, this array of truth and Nature, as well as of habit and prejudice, when you separate the common sort of men from their proper chieftains, so as to form them into an adverse army, I no longer know that venerable object called the people in such a disbanded race of deserters and vagabonds.
The conservative is concerned with ‘national harmony’ and the ‘beautiful order’. But the Tory ‘beautiful order’ which exists under the benign paternalism of the ‘proper chieftains’ is directly challenged by the instincts of revolutionary ‘deserters and vagabonds’. The conservative order manifests itself in patriotism, custom, respect for the law, loyalty to a leader or monarch, and in the willing acceptance of the privileges of those to whom privilege is granted. For Burke, to revolt against these is to pursue empty promises since they can be understood only by presupposing the social arrangement that revolution is intended to destroy. Echoing this, Disraeli later observed:
In a progressive country change is constant; and the question is not whether you should resist change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws, and the traditions of a people, or whether it should be carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines.
Gay marriage rides roughshod over manners, customs and traditions. To redefine it in accordance with the Rights of Man is to flirt with the abstract and cohere with the arbitrary: if marriage ceases to be a union of one man and one woman, why should it not adapt again and again, as the state wills and redefines?

There is, however, a reasoning from conservatism that can be made in favour of same-sex marriage, but the Conservative Party is not pursuing it, and neither Daniel Finkelstein nor Tim Montgomerie are making it. The reasoning is simply this: if, years and decades or generations after the introduction of civil partnership it were observed that the people are routinely referring to such couples as being married; and if, years and decades or generations later, it were observed that society has shifted and custom adapted, then the conservative would, in pursuit of ‘national harmony’, acknowledging a new ‘beautiful order’, simply recognise this fact. There would be no engineered social change, no revolution in the state, and no imposition of a new definition. The change would have been incremental, barely perceptible, and the conservative would accept the new social arrangement.

But we seem to have a Conservative Party which is seeking to impose a relativist orthodoxy and secular 'equality' upon us all. In such a state, tolerance of difference is diminished, and liberties are lost. No longer will parents and schools be free to educate children in accordance with their worldview - placing God at the centre of the formative process, teaching morals and spiritual values, with purity outside of marriage (which is male and female) and fidelity within. For that framework is otiose; those definitions anachronistic; it has become a form of abuse.

187 Comments:

Blogger Jon said...

"they elevate their subjective feelings on the matter to a place above nature and reason."

No, the Church has elevated the Bible to an inscrutable place beyond reason, beyond question. This book, which has been redacted and supplemented. Which is internally contradictory. Which you choose to selectively ignore. Which exists in mutually exclusive competition with the holy books of millions of other people. You have chosen this as your cudgel to beat gay people, many of whom don't even share your beliefs.

But we will win in the end, because, in the fight between freedom, and the regressive forces who have always and still seek the suppression of the civil rights of black people and gay people and women, is won by those who are on the side of compassion and reason.

Incidentally, you say your God is love. Then why is His Church only united these days by hate and fear? Of other religions, women bishops and of gays. This is why your numbers are declining and this is why you will lose. Because your cause is control, and not love at all.

10 May 2012 at 10:08  
Blogger Derek T Northcote said...

Here Here Jon.

Well said.

It makes me sick how they pontificate on this forum claiming a God of love, and all they do is spout divisiveness and hatred.

10 May 2012 at 10:23  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Begin forwarded message:

From: Naomi King
Subject: A Frightening Danger - David Cameron's lack of judgement and his liberal friends - Andrew Cooper and Danny Finkelstein
Date: 8 May 2012 07:58:44 GMT+01:00
To: dcameron

The Prime Minister

Mr Cameron

This letter is from a Conservative who voted for you at the last general election, well I won't be again. Mr Cameron you are a fool and as we all know, pride goes before a fall.

You don't seem to care too much about your Party, in fact it is proving very difficult to see what you do care about. Maybe we just go back to the point discussed at length in the Archbishop Cranmer "Witney-Tatton Question" Blog on the 26th April, http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/witney-tatton-question.html in that you don't appear to have sound judgement or maybe it is that you are such a fallen secularist that you are a frightening danger to us all. The issue of the proposed sanctification of homosexuality (which by the way God abhors) has been a total disaster and will be the testing in the refiners fire for you, the Party, the State and the Church. Whether your Coalition Government can hold together time will tell.

As your leadership, the Party, the Government and the Church of England are all damaged over this issue so too is the Monarchy but then you don't seem to care too much about that either.

This proposed sanctification of homosexuality has divided the sheep from the goats because no-one can be equivocal. The battle lines are already drawn and individuals are on one side or the other. I thank God for Lord Carey and the brave members of the Coalition for Marriage; and in particular I thank God for the half million (500,000) ordinary, probably largely middle class voters, who have protested at your decision and signed the Petition in Support of Marriage. I thank God for Archbishop Sentamu, for Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien and other members of the Catholic Church for their leadership. I thank God for David Burrowes MP and Peter Bone MP and others, and for Rowan Williams who have all declared from their position in Public Office that your proposal is truly wrong, unprincipled and disastrous for the moral, spiritual and social health of this Nation.

They are now being persecuted for their faith in the Lord God Almighty but then what did you expect ?

I like many, many others are most unhappy with your lack of judgement and terrible leadership. The propagation of this schismatic policy through the office of Prime Minister, and through the Front pages of The Times and Sunday Times, is wholly unacceptable and detested by the people who would otherwise be your supporters. Why have you chosen not to listen to your own Party and have listened instead so closely to the likes of Peter Tatchell, Lynne Featherstone, Andrew Cooper and Danny Finkelstein, (executive editor of these two newspapers and a self proclaimed ex SDP turned Tory party "moderniser") ? I would suggest for modernisers we should read "losers". Your Party and your supporters have turned against you this is a dangerous place to be.

I believe Peter Tatchell, Lynne Featherstone, Andrew Cooper and Danny Finkelstein are close friends of yours. Maybe you should chose your friends more wisely, for by their company shall ye know them. I believe you are now fatally wounded. We the people don't trust you anymore.

Yours sincerely
Naomi King

10 May 2012 at 10:28  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Hey cool, you can slag-off a text you can't even be bothered to read. Oh well, you're gonna win anyway, so why would you need to?

10 May 2012 at 10:37  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

"the institution precedes both the Judeao-Christian religion and the advent of the nation state. It appears to exist in nature, as Aristotle observed: complementary union is necessary for procreation, which is necessary for the continuance of society and civilisation"

If the thing which we have come to call marriage really is necessary for society and civilisation, then people had better carry on doing it, hadn't they? But if it existed prior to church and state, and existed in nature, then what does it matter if other people adopt it? Presumably they are merely using the same term to define what they do; why should it bother anyone who is practicing the real, society-and-civilisation-sustaining activity? Work is necessary to maintain society and civilisation. It existed prior to church, and state. I do it because it sustains society, civilisation, and me. If someone wants to refer to (say) reading books or sunbathing as "work", then I wouldn't care at all.

10 May 2012 at 10:56  
Blogger Martin Geddes said...

I look forward to you campaigning against non-procreative heterosexual marriage. Surely passing menopause should merely allow a man and woman to be roommates with an intimate friendship? After all, it's just the definition of marriage, innit?

Oh, but that would be cruel and bigoted...

I pity you for your inability to see and celebrate committed love and families. May your frozen heart unthaw, as spring is surely the gaiest time of year.

10 May 2012 at 11:09  
Blogger orangegoblin said...

Don't know if it helps but I am in a civil partnership and no one ever refers to me as anything other than married in real life.

At work, in the bank, at the council tax office, my grandparents, at my children's school.

10 May 2012 at 11:13  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

orangegoblin

Exactly. It is, after all, merely a word which we can use to describe a loving and enduring union. Most people are getting used to the idea that gay and lesbian couples can apply this word to their relationships, if they want to. Similarly, there will probably remain a small group of people who will say that an exclusive definition is the real definition. But I would wonder about their motives.

10 May 2012 at 11:18  
Blogger William said...

YG

"The fact that some heterosexual couples opt for contraception or are unable to have children is utterly irrelevant: marriage is the term we use for the union with procreative potential. That is the definition."

Indeed, and it also honours the vital nurturing component provided, uniquely, by both mother and father that proceeds from that. To redefine such a core component of a healthy society is madness. Most atheists/agnostics know this. It is not necessary to argue it from religious grounds.

If the institution of marriage is to be redefined then married people have to be asked if they agree with the new definition because it is owned by neither church nor state. If married people disagree with the redefinition then some other institution will have to be instantiated for gay people to define their long-term relationships (apparently civil partnerships are not good enough!). Any other route to same sex marriage is divisive and authoritarian and must be resisted.

10 May 2012 at 11:20  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

William

"If the institution of marriage is to be redefined then married people have to be asked if they agree with the new definition because it is owned by neither church nor state."

I don't see why. It wouldn't change any contractual agreements they have. It is just a word which would be applied to a slightly different category of things in the world. If we ask anything, we would have to ask Nature, of course. And don't forget to include the Bonobos.

10 May 2012 at 11:30  
Blogger John Thomas said...

" ...we will win in the end ..." (Jon). Er, End? Of course, this sort of approach is in the ascendant at the moment, and, yes, will come out on top ... but only for a while. All lies are seen-through, eventually, and before long, reality wil re-assert itself. End? The only real end will be the end of everything, when all will be put to rights, utterly.

10 May 2012 at 11:54  
Blogger William said...

Sam Vega

There is nothing in Nature that points to a need for Homosexuals to get married. Nor Heterosexuals for that matter. Marriage is an institution that is not owned by any other institution. Therefore to change its definition requires, at the very least, the agreement of the majority of those who have entered into that institution. Although a general referendum may also be acceptable as marriage is for the benefit of society as a whole.

10 May 2012 at 11:58  
Blogger Tony B said...

I've known plenty of marriages that weren't for the benefit of society as a whole, and that turned out not even to benefit those people that entered into them: and I include one of my own.

10 May 2012 at 12:05  
Blogger Philip said...

Good piece.

But I doubt that even "years and decades or generations after the introduction of civil partnership" society would consider such couples as being "married"... because most know marriage is between one man and one woman, and oppose the proposed change of definition. (Unless over time homosexual lobby's propaganda through its media outlets such as the BBC changes society's view - although that's questionable as many homosexuals support the traditional definition). But yes, it is most unconservative and is totalitarian for the State to impose such a dogma, effectively outlawing the public support of centuries of belief and customs as to what is right by nature.

btw, yes BBC seems cock-a-hoop at Obama's 'brave' new stand, the item being prominently reported in R4 news bulletins in excited tones.

10 May 2012 at 12:07  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

William

"There is nothing in Nature that points to a need for Homosexuals to get married. Nor Heterosexuals for that matter."

Agreed.

"Marriage is an institution that is not owned by any other institution. Therefore to change its definition requires, at the very least, the agreement of the majority of those who have entered into that institution"

Wrong. Your "Therefore" implies some logical necessity, but there is none. It does not follow from the fact that an institution is not owned by another institution, that those currently in the institution must be consulted as to how we define the institution. When a new law criminalises a new sub-set of the population, we don't ask existing criminals if they mind, do we?

Marriage is simply a human convention. If the priest or registrar says the words under the right conditions, then the couple are married.

Even if you were right in this, what happens when public opinion swings around to supporting gay marriage? According to one poll, it is 50-50 in America today. Would you allow that the referendum would trump any supernatural considerations or special pleading?

10 May 2012 at 12:14  
Blogger Concerned said...

Jon,
Have you even bothered to read the Bible? I rather doubt that you have.
"But we will win in the end". Isn't this what the Communists and other authoritarian ideologies have said before? And look where they are now?

The world, and you included, seems to know far better how and what Christians should believe because of your more enlightened status and that the Bible is nothing more but the product of a more darker time. The implication is that the world should dictate what Christians teach and believe and the the Bible should not.

10 May 2012 at 12:16  
Blogger roye said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 May 2012 at 12:40  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"...the fight between freedom, and the regressive forces..."
Blah blah blah. The "gay marriage" business is about attempting to redefine reality, because some people don't like it as it is.

10 May 2012 at 12:59  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Nationally the voting figures on the 3rd May were 39% Labour, 31% Tory, 14% UKIP, 11% Liberals, 5% Odds and Ends.

This is a huge increase for UKIP which should be frightening the Conservative establishment. For every 2 people who voted Conservative, 1 person voted UKIP. The Conservatives can't afford that type of haemorrhaging if they want to win the next election.

Cameron has got to do something different and that has to be something very different from what he is doing now, because homosexual "marriage" is not giving him the results he wants and he needs to retain or win back the confidence of his Party.

10 May 2012 at 13:06  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10 May 2012 at 13:07  
Blogger William said...

Sam Vega

"Wrong. Your "Therefore" implies some logical necessity, but there is none. It does not follow from the fact that an institution is not owned by another institution, that those currently in the institution must be consulted as to how we define the institution."

Then who is to be consulted? Who has a mandate to redefine the institution?

"When a new law criminalises a new sub-set of the population, we don't ask existing criminals if they mind, do we?"

How is that relevant? We have institutions with a mandate to define the law. There is no such institution for marriage.

"Marriage is simply a human convention. If the priest or registrar says the words under the right conditions, then the couple are married."

You seem to be missing the point. Who has the right to redefine the convention?

"Even if you were right in this, what happens when public opinion swings around to supporting gay marriage?"

If this swing were validated in a referendum then at least the government would have a democratic mandate.

"Would you allow that the referendum would trump any supernatural considerations or special pleading?"

I would argue that religious institutions should be allowed to refuse to marry people at their discretion. Something that the ECHR has said would be unlikely due to equal rights legislation.

10 May 2012 at 13:09  
Blogger Jon said...

Concerned, AIB. I've read my Bible, several versions of it in fact. Unlike you though, it isn't my sole reference point for what's right in the world. These days, it's not really a reference point I lean on at all.

LBS - Really? You're here prepared to believe in something you can't see, hear or touch, and you're talking about reality? We're proposing to redefine a societal convention to broaden its scope to include different kinds of loving couples. It's very simple. If your reality fails to keep up (as it appears to have with conventions on racial nomenclature), feel free to check out of it.

OrangeGoblin - I'm really glad for you! From my perspective, it just shouldn't be an issue anywhere - I'm glad it's not an issue in your life already.

10 May 2012 at 13:11  
Blogger Jon said...

Naomi, do you think it was gay marriage that caused the switch to UKIP, or could it be that they are the only protest vote for Tories who could never consider voting Labour?

There are other issues where UKIP differs from the Tories. Like, say, UK Independence from the EU. The clue is in the name.

10 May 2012 at 13:12  
Blogger Jon said...

Incidentally, Concerned, I'm not trying to control what you teach in your church at all. I'm not trying to control your marriage either, but you are trying to proscribe mine.

Get your beak out of my business, and I'll keep mine out of yours. If you don't want gay marriage, marry someone of the opposite gender. You and yours are the ones defending your control here.

"But we will win in the end" is also the mantra of the Church, of course. But you've probably forgotten that because your head is full of dislike for men and women marrying men and women. Shame really.

10 May 2012 at 13:17  
Blogger non mouse said...

Well, Your Grace --- that's me away from your site for the next few days: simply because the picture is physically nauseating.

If governments insist on forcing homosexuality on everyone, then some of us will have to stay inside and never venture out. If they ultimately decide to batter down the doors... then one hopes the good Lord will provide the final exit for heterosexuals.

PS: They lie, if they claim that homosexuals are not that nasty or aggressive. Some certainly are; otherwise, we wouldn't be in this situation.

Bye for now.

10 May 2012 at 13:19  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

William

"Then who is to be consulted? Who has a mandate to redefine the institution?"

As marriage is merely a legal contract, Parliament has such a mandate. Or as much of one as applies to any comparable contract.

"How is that relevant? We have institutions with a mandate to define the law. There is no such institution for marriage."

As I said, Parliament, given that we are talking about a contract here. Who has a better right? If we are merely talking about a convention or custom, then it hardly matters who defines it. Religious people are perfectly at liberty to think that their religiously-sanctioned marriage is better than all the others, if it makes them happy. But we are either legislating about legal contracts (which is fine) or we are attempting to legislate for customs and opinions, which is rather futile.

" I would argue that religious institutions should be allowed to refuse to marry people at their discretion. Something that the ECHR has said would be unlikely due to equal rights legislation."

I wholeheartedly agree, W. The church should not be compelled to marry anyone it doesn't want to, according to its own rites. If the church departs from the government's (democratically mandated) view of what marriage is, however, then it should cease to have the power to marry people in that way.

10 May 2012 at 13:25  
Blogger Jon said...

Non Mouse, I don't really understand how you can find the picture nauseating. I mean, it's not attractive, but nauseating? I don't find straight people kissing nauseating. Maybe you should see someone about your issues?

I don't know where you get the idea of aggressive homosexuals from. As has been pointed out before, it's not often you get roving bands of homosexuals beating up kids for being straight.

I strongly recommend a film called the Laramie Project, about the murder of a young man called Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. It's a beautiful film and shows how a whole community can respond to acts of hate with great acts of love.

10 May 2012 at 13:27  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Jon - No indeed, you've demonstrated your willingness to ignore it as a reference point, even when you're discussing it.

I do, of course, consider Scripture to be an authoritative reference point for morality - I've always been clear about that fact. But then, when I refer to it, I actually refer to it, rather than what I half-remember it saying, or what I think it says without so much as a glance at it.

It's funny, because I get students in my tutorials who don't read the stuff we're discussing, and they're generally of two types. The first sits silently, hoping not to be asked any questions. The second waits long enough to have a handle on the theme of the discussion before jumping in (usually dominating discussion) and blustering. Of course, because they haven't done the reading, their contributions tend inevitably to distract, and very often reveal their own preoccupations by directing discussion towards something which they *do* know about. At least the silent ones have the sense to be embarrassed. Oddly enough, they tend to do better in the final exams than their blustery counterparts.

By all means enjoy your freedom from bondage in Christ, but don't dress up intellectual laziness as a form of enlightened morality, because there are plenty of non-Christian commentators who do actually take the time to read material properly, and their arguments are all the more worth reading.

10 May 2012 at 13:28  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I think we should redefine the word "straight" so that it includes homosexual people. The very existence of the word "straight" implies there are people who are different and therefore it's very existence is divisive & discriminatory.

Similarly, I hate the fact that only women are allowed to be "pregnant". What gives them the right to own such a word. If a man is expecting a child why can't he be pregnant.

And the word "red" - it clearly discriminates against colour blind people. They're born that way don't you know. What gives those of us with full colour vision the right to own the word "red"?

Are all homosexuals bigoted idiots or just the ones who comment on Christian blogs?

10 May 2012 at 13:30  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

Jon

"Non Mouse, I don't really understand how you can find the picture nauseating. I mean, it's not attractive, but nauseating? I don't find straight people kissing nauseating."

Careful of these assumptions. Maybe it's the inter-racial thing...

10 May 2012 at 13:42  
Blogger William said...

Sam Vega

"As marriage is merely a legal contract ..."

Then why are Homosexuals arguing for same sex marriage when they have the equivalent legal rights in civil partnerships?

Something tells me I'm feeding a troll. So I will desist. Anyway, if you really believe that marriage is merely a legal contract then I fear we have no mutual ground.

10 May 2012 at 13:42  
Blogger Jon said...

AIB - Oh dear - I'm a naughty student now! How patronising!

I don't bother studying the Bible for the same reason that the Church ignores lots of it, it isn't relevant to my life. (When was the last time your vicar preached on Numbers?) However, unlike you, I have considered alternative possibilities (including protestant Christianity) and found them wanting. I remain to be convinced.

Perhaps the second form of student you reference doesn't like the text you decided they should read and decided to read something else which they felt would prepare them better for life? Freedom of thought in education? Heavens preserve us!

Indeed, it's interesting that you claim an especial knowledge of gay marriage, since you aren't gay and therefore won't have a gay marriage. Aren't you pontificating on a subject about which you know little, and which will affect you even less? Maybe try reading something that isn't by St Paul, and then come back at talk to me about homosexuality. Otherwise, I'm afraid you're taking the equivalent of Plato into your Organic Chemistry course, and it's not going to help you much.

1/10 for effort. See me. ;-)

10 May 2012 at 13:42  
Blogger Derek T Northcote said...

"Are all homosexuals bigoted idiots or just the ones who comment on Christian blogs?"

We are the ones on the defence.

It is you lot who are always on the attack.

10 May 2012 at 13:43  
Blogger Jon said...

William, because the rights aren't equivalent, for one thing, but I can't imagine you care much about that.

Leaving aside the most potent arguments against "separate but equal" which I think we all agree is self- evidently horrid in racial circumstances now (so why not in sexual ones?) there's also the fact that, by saying that one is in a civil partnership, one is automatically giving away that one is gay, when one should be free to make that disclosure when one wants to. It wasn't so long ago that banks, insurance companies, private healthcare providers etc. would discriminate against you on that basis. I don't see why they should be allowed that information unless the person wants them to have it.

10 May 2012 at 13:45  
Blogger Chris said...

Jon's point is valid but unfortunately besides the point. Love is fair, is it not?

You can love you ever you want, and they'll love you back!!! No? Oh hang on, that's unfair! Isn't it?

That's the point, the point is, love doesn't make everything "right", it makes all things nicer, but trying to evaluate something that is plainly against God's view, then say, well because I love thee, then it must be made right in society and everyone must accept it, period. It's unjust, and the reason why marriage must remain between man and woman.

Love is unfair, and something I don't think we'll ever understand, chemically one day but emotionally, I doubt it's possible.

Secular 'equality' upon us all, absolutely, now there I was thinking our society tolerated all kinds of faith and respected peoples belief.

Organised secularism and atheism is at the forefront of destruction of faith and reason but that's not to say religion doesn't go against the law, which is the point and the reason I'm sure Jesus is going to be pretty pissed off at society, but that's doesn't mean he won't be pissed off at the rest of the Christians who break the rules, including me.

Condemn sin not the sinner.

2012 years after Christ, and what have we taught society? Can the real slim-Christian please stand up.

10 May 2012 at 13:47  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Jon stated

"Incidentally, you say your God is love. "
He indeed is but it appears you do not comprehend what this means or in which context this was stated.
1 John-The LOVE Epistle!

You appear to be making equal the statement “God is love” with “Love is God,”.

“God is love” is contained within the theme of love for the brethren, which is introduced in 1 John 2:9-11:

9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.
10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Here, love for one’s brother or sister is a sign that one is “in the Light,” meaning the light of God:

1 John 1:5
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 3:21-24

21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

John futher explains that he is talking about a giving, self-sacrificing love as exemplified by Christ Himself on the cross:

1 John 3:16
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

John does not say that loving our brothers is the only requirement for being a Christian, nor does he say that love itself is the substance of Christianity. He makes it clear that we must obey God’s commands, the most important of which is to believe that Jesus Christ is His Son.

Take that as a 'NO' then Jon.

Ernst

2 B Continued

10 May 2012 at 13:51  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"Perhaps the second form of student you reference doesn't like the text you decided they should read and decided to read something else which they felt would prepare them better for life? Freedom of thought in education? Heavens preserve us!"

It's certainly a possibility, and one which I am quite happy to allow them to test by relieving them of the burden of having to have some intellectual integrity by failing them.

"Indeed, it's interesting that you claim an especial knowledge of gay marriage, since you aren't gay and therefore won't have a gay marriage."

I am married, though not, as you correctly observe, in a same-sex marriage. Can I infer from your statement that you regard same-sex marriage as a distinct and separate category from heterosexual marriage?

10 May 2012 at 13:51  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Continued

1 John 4:8 does not teach that all love is God, nor that God and love are interchangeable things. Rather, the term “love” tells us something about God - it functions almost as an adjective, describing the noun (God) that it modifies. But obviously you cannot see that but take this statement 'God Is Love' out of context, as a guilt stick, to beat Christians with.

“God is love” means that ‘love’ is one of the attributes of God, it is one of His characteristics. There is no suggestion that ‘love’ is God’s only characteristic, or that ‘love’ and ‘God’ are identical. “God is love” explains what God is like; the noun ‘love’ functions as an adjective, like this: God is a loving God.

God is love and mercy, but at the same time He is also justice and judgement. His qualities of love and mercy do not mean that evil people may act without fear of judgement, for the Bible warns of the terrors of coming face to face with Almighty God on ‘Judgment Day.’ Christians also will stand before God to account for their actions, words and sins. The point here is that God’s love cannot negate His justice. His mercy cannot negate His righteousness.
Is God not revealed as all these things throughout His Word, yet you state only one, as if this is a justification for you or others to continue sinning in God's eyes because anything else is therefore unloving.

The Bible says that God is righteous, that He lays down the rules, and that we sin when we disobey those rules. Therefore, theft is a sin, regardless of what ‘loving’ motives one could find to justify it.

The Greek word used ‘agape’ has a much narrower meaning, as the types below show.
Someone may love’ their pet, country, chocolate, their older brother, their parents, their girl/boyfriend and God and all without worrying too much that there is one term for these seven different kinds of ‘love’.

The Bible states unequivocally that love is manifest in Christ’s atonement on the cross. It is God’s love we are to emulate, not romantic or sexual love.

Righteousness is also equated and contrasted with the statement;

1 John 2:29
29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:7,10

7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

The theme of 1 John has nothing to do with such glorification of love itself which borders on paganistic spiritualism or even hedonistic philosophy.

Adhering to the unbiblical doctrine that ‘love is God’ has brought a subjective nature to the principles of right and wrong in the Family. This doctrine is open for misuse and abuse, with very little in the way of boundaries or limits.

God is love, but love is not God.

Ernst

10 May 2012 at 13:52  
Blogger Jon said...

"Organised secularism and atheism is at the forefront of destruction of faith and reason but that's not to say religion doesn't go against the law, which is the point and the reason I'm sure Jesus is going to be pretty pissed off at society, but that's doesn't mean he won't be pissed off at the rest of the Christians who break the rules, including me.

Condemn sin not the sinner.

2012 years after Christ, and what have we taught society? Can the real slim-Christian please stand up."

Chris, thanks, sort of. It's not gays who are campaigning that biblical creation be taught as equivalent to evolution in schools. Religion today (as distinct from faith) is at the forefront of the destruction of reason - in the UK, in the US, and most obviously, in the middle east.

What's more, as I've pointed out before, the US has been a secular democracy since its inception and continues to generate scientific innovation.

As to the idea that love isn't fair, I'm not denying that! However, if two people do love each other consensually, I don't see why society shouldn't extend the same benefits and recognition to committed couples regardless of gender.

10 May 2012 at 13:52  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Jon stated

"Incidentally, you say your God is love. "
He indeed is but it appears you do not comprehend what this means or in which context this was stated.
1 John-The LOVE Epistle!

You appear to be making equal the statement “God is love” with “Love is God,”.

“God is love” is contained within the theme of love for the brethren, which is introduced in 1 John 2:9-11:

9 The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.
10 The one who loves his brother abides in the Light and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11 But the one who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

Here, love for one’s brother or sister is a sign that one is “in the Light,” meaning the light of God:

1 John 1:5
5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

1 John 3:21-24

21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
22 and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23 This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
24 The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

John futher explains that he is talking about a giving, self-sacrificing love as exemplified by Christ Himself on the cross:

1 John 3:16
16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.

John does not say that loving our brothers is the only requirement for being a Christian, nor does he say that love itself is the substance of Christianity. He makes it clear that we must obey God’s commands, the most important of which is to believe that Jesus Christ is His Son.

Take that as a 'NO' then Jon.

Ernst

2 B Continued

10 May 2012 at 13:54  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Continued

1 John 4:8 does not teach that all love is God, nor that God and love are interchangeable things. Rather, the term “love” tells us something about God - it functions almost as an adjective, describing the noun (God) that it modifies. But obviously you cannot see that but take this statement 'God Is Love' out of context, as a guilt stick, to beat Christians with.

“God is love” means that ‘love’ is one of the attributes of God, it is one of His characteristics. There is no suggestion that ‘love’ is God’s only characteristic, or that ‘love’ and ‘God’ are identical. “God is love” explains what God is like; the noun ‘love’ functions as an adjective, like this: God is a loving God.

God is love and mercy, but at the same time He is also justice and judgement. His qualities of love and mercy do not mean that evil people may act without fear of judgement, for the Bible warns of the terrors of coming face to face with Almighty God on ‘Judgment Day.’ Christians also will stand before God to account for their actions, words and sins. The point here is that God’s love cannot negate His justice. His mercy cannot negate His righteousness.
Is God not revealed as all these things throughout His Word, yet you state only one, as if this is a justification for you or others to continue sinning in God's eyes because anything else is therefore unloving.

The Bible says that God is righteous, that He lays down the rules, and that we sin when we disobey those rules. Therefore, theft is a sin, regardless of what ‘loving’ motives one could find to justify it.

The Greek word used ‘agape’ has a much narrower meaning, as the types below show.
Someone may love’ their pet, country, chocolate, their older brother, their parents, their girl/boyfriend and God and all without worrying too much that there is one term for these seven different kinds of ‘love’.

The Bible states unequivocally that love is manifest in Christ’s atonement on the cross. It is God’s love we are to emulate, not romantic or sexual love.

Righteousness is also equated and contrasted with the statement;

1 John 2:29
29 If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of Him.

1 John 3:7,10

7 Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

The theme of 1 John has nothing to do with such glorification of love itself which borders on paganistic spiritualism or even hedonistic philosophy.

Adhering to the unbiblical doctrine that ‘love is God’ has brought a subjective nature to the principles of right and wrong in the Family. This doctrine is open for misuse and abuse, with very little in the way of boundaries or limits.

God is love, but love is not God.

Ernst

10 May 2012 at 13:54  
Blogger Jon said...

AIB - aha - you almost caught me in your clever web of words!

"It's certainly a possibility, and one which I am quite happy to allow them to test by relieving them of the burden of having to have some intellectual integrity by failing them."

Good for you. Don't worry that this could have a knock on impact on the rest of their lives, you just exercise your power over your little part of the shop - as long as they keep taking the spoon-fed medicine, they pass.

As an employer, your students will likely be of little use to me. I like free- thinkers.

"I am married, though not, as you correctly observe, in a same-sex marriage. Can I infer from your statement that you regard same-sex marriage as a distinct and separate category from heterosexual marriage?" No, but you should infer this about yourself. Either you have knowledge of marriage regardless of whether it's in a gay or straight form, and so they are equivalent, or you don't, in which case your opinion on gay marriage is much less valid. As I've said, I'm not pontificating on your marriage, but you are on mine. So, which is it?

10 May 2012 at 13:57  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Jon said...

Which exists in mutually exclusive competition with the holy books of millions of other people.

Dear Jon if you seriously believe the above to be the case, then you have clearly missed something of vital importance.

Yes certain claims made by the person of Jesus are indeed in direct conflict with ALL other religions, however most of that which the Holy Bible contains is as pagan in its origins as ALL other religions bar very few.

It all comes ultimately down to just two basic world views as expressed by Materialist Atheism and Spiritualist Theism.

If you choose to believe that your entire being is evolved solely by a completely unproven process of almost infinitely improbable chance, then you are welcome to your ignorance based belief system.

However please understand that you are part of little more then a tiny, highly religiously motivated faith based minority.

You are indeed part of a group of people who rely on faith every bit as much as you claim theists do.

What could seem to be more super natural then the self apparent existence of mobile telephones, the internet and quantum mechanics?

It is not just theists that believe in the existence of the supernatural. Modern science is exploring the super-natural all of the time. The only difference is that when materialists find examples of what undoubtedly would once have been considered the supernatural, they simply leave out the word of God in all respects, and call whatever they have found nature or natural.

A God of The Gaps is a materialist invention. Theists make no such distinction. For everything is the product of the mind of God, including you my friend, whether you consciously accept the fact or not.

A God of creation is not the same thing as a god of war or peace. God is universal mind expressed in material reality.

10 May 2012 at 13:58  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Colour blind people can't see red - they're born that way.

Homosexuals can't marry.

10 May 2012 at 14:01  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Colour blind people can't see red - they're born that way.

Homosexuals can't marry.

10 May 2012 at 14:01  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Oh Dear.

It appears that the Homosexuals and the Roman Catholics want to take over this particular thread today. Casting corrupt human reasoning at each other, whereas the Truth always comes by hearing The Word of God state on these matters, giving clarification.

The World versus The World!
Same old, same old.

Ernst

10 May 2012 at 14:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dear Bird

As Asked on a previous thread;

As Christians we are asked to pray for people.

Which of your many personalities on display today would most benefit from a prayer, to help free you (THEM) from this bondage.

Ernst

10 May 2012 at 14:11  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"Good for you. Don't worry that this could have a knock on impact on the rest of their lives, you just exercise your power over your little part of the shop - as long as they keep taking the spoon-fed medicine, they pass."

I ask them to read a book, not reproduce my ideas about it. I would like to be able to assess *their* view of the material. If they don't read or engage with it at all, it isn't a difference of opinion that causes them to fail, it's the fact that they've failed to begin to formulate one.

If you want to employ them, it's your funeral, but what would you say if they turned round and said: "I'm not going to do the work you asked me to do, because I'm a free thinker."

---

"Either you have knowledge of marriage regardless of whether it's in a gay or straight form, and so they are equivalent, or you don't, in which case your opinion on gay marriage is much less valid."

Assumption: One must have experience of a thing to have knowledge of it.

Proposition A: Marriage constitutes a single category whether same-sex or heterosexual.

A + Assumption: Experience of marriage provides the basis for legitimate opinion on what constitutes marriage.

Resulting Opinions on A:
Opinion 1: Same-sex marriage is no different from heterosexual marriage.

Opinion 2: Same-sex marriage is intrinsically different from heterosexual marriage.

A + Assumption cannot be true, as Opinion 1 and Opinion 2 are mutually exclusive. A and/or Assumption are incorrect.

Proposition A1 + Assumption: Experience of marriage provides the basis for legitimate opinion on what constitutes marriage, so long as it adheres to Opinion 1.

Proposition A2 + Assumption: Experience of marriage provides the basis for legitimate opinion on what constitutes marriage, so long as it adheres to Opinion 2.

The basis for the legitimacy of both opinions relies upon the experience of marriage being authoritative (Assumption). Consequently it is impossible to test Proposition A solely on the basis of experience.

Conclusion: Assumption is incorrect. Opinions 1 & 2 cannot be resolved solely by recourse to experience.

10 May 2012 at 14:20  
Blogger William said...

Jon

"William, because the rights aren't equivalent, for one thing, but I can't imagine you care much about that. "

There is NO right to same sex marriage because marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman. If the definition of marriage were changed to e.g. "any persons who love each other, as long as they aren't already related", then you would have the right to marry another man.

You mention dicrimination against gay people by insurance companies and that you should be allowed to disclose that you are married without disclosing that it is to another man. Fine. Let's have legislation that prohibits companies from discriminating against Civil Partnerships. Just don't tell me that stable, Heterosexual relationships (as enshrined in marriage) are equivalent to stable, Homosexual ones. They patently are not.

10 May 2012 at 14:27  
Blogger Sam Vega said...

William



"Then why are Homosexuals arguing for same sex marriage when they have the equivalent legal rights in civil partnerships?"

My understanding is that it is because it is not a marriage, and they consider this to be discriminatory.

"Something tells me I'm feeding a troll. So I will desist. Anyway, if you really believe that marriage is merely a legal contract then I fear we have no mutual ground."

That something is wrong, William, unless you define "troll" very broadly indeed. We may have no mutual ground. But if I have offended you I apologise. My comments to you were not meant as mockery.

10 May 2012 at 14:27  
Blogger Benjamin of Wight said...

I see the homosexual bigots leap in with their usual sophist bile. God is Love not Lust.

10 May 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger William said...

Sam Vega

No offense taken or apology necessary. I am sorry if I have misrepresented you.

10 May 2012 at 14:36  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Well, well your Grace here we see Obarma and Cameron in passionate embrace, looks like Mr Cameron really is wed to the Liberal cause !

10 May 2012 at 14:48  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

There's a fairly straight forward way of approaching the legality of marriage.

Essentially, the argument goes that not allowing same-sex couples into the institution of marriage discriminates against their basic rights. We're not talking about access to the *legal benefits* of marriage - because same-sex couples already have full access to that those through civil partnerships. In effect, what is being criticised is any attempt to limit or define who can legitimately enter into a marriage.

Let's assume that this is true - that disbarring people because they are not heterosexual is a breach of their basic rights. Rights are something which people have that aren't subject to majority scrutiny.

Ok. There are other restrictions on marriage in the UK too. Monogamy for one. What happens when a polyamorous couple want the recognition of marriage? What happens when a polygamous partnership (company? group?) want the same recognition? If we are being consistent, we would have to conclude that disbarring them on the basis of how they choose to conduct their domestic and sexual arrangements is as wrong as disbarring same-sex couples. In which case, marriage would have to be expanded to include polyamory and polygamy. We could of course, recognise, and apply legal benefits (tax, next-of-kin etc.) to polyamorous and polygamous couples without altering marriage. But this seems to be an unacceptable arrangement for many same-sex couples.

What this leads to is a defacto position that, within reason (I'm not invoking paedophiles to go reductio ad absurdam), any claim upon marriage should be accomodated so long as that claim does not constitute an attempt to define and limit eligibility. Beyond being something of a hydra, this has the consequence of effectively saying that minority groups not only have a full right to toleration and recognition, but to redefine normative practices without democratic consent.

Changing heterosexual marriage to include same-sex couples is a redefinition, as is expanding it to non-monogamous or polygamous relationships. Whether we merit these claims is, for the moment, irrelevant: it's a change. The issue, constitutionally at least, is: on what basis can substantial changes to the character of an integral part of public life be altered?

The tyranny of the majority is certainly something to carefully avoid, but if we take the view that the majority acting unilaterally against the wishes of minority groups is wrong, how can we be comfortable with the reverse?

My simple plea, despite what Jon may think, is not that a North-Carolina-esque perpetual ban on same-sex marriage is imposed, but that the *redefinition* of marriage is something which should only be countenanced with democratic approval - either through making it a manifesto issue, or by a direct referendum. If that proves to be in support of a full redefinition of marriage (and it may well do), I'll capitulate to democratic consensus. I'll still stand by what Scripture teaches, and would argue strongly against the possibility of Christian same-sex marriages internally, but I have no desire, nor do I see the point of trying to impose Christian morality on people who don't share my faith through earthly laws.

I have assumed that people are interested in being consistent, and that support for changes to marriage is a matter of principle rather than partisanship. I may be wrong - in which case, the issue of polyamory or polygamy will never arise. But if that's so, it's not about equality of marriage for non-heterodox arrangements, it's about a single minority. If we take the claims that we should not ignore the demands of one minority seriously, we should be prepared to consider what the long term consequences of doing so are with regards to other minorities. But somehow, I think Cameron's position is motivated not so much out of the kind of principle I describe, but more out of the message it sends about the "de-toxification" of his party.

10 May 2012 at 15:10  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Ernst

"Casting corrupt human reasoning at each other, whereas the Truth always comes by hearing The Word of God state on these matters, giving clarification."

Except casting off the authority of the Church didn't bring clarification, did it? It created instead a system in which every man could be his own prophet, as the Reformers themselves recognised, causing them to backtrack furiously and set up ecclesiastical systems of their own, with their own confessional statements to which believers had to adhere.

Protestantism does not have less corrupt human reasoning than Romanism; it just has an awful lot more people engaging in it.

10 May 2012 at 15:19  
Blogger Galant said...

Darter - true, but that's why they were 'reformers' not revolters isn't it? It's just that the RC Church didn't want to/agree to be reformed. Thus, now being on the 'outside' they had to figure out how to proceed. No?

10 May 2012 at 16:01  
Blogger Jon said...

Oh dear. Where to start.
Blofeld, I'm really sorry, but I struggle to follow your train of thought a lot, and in the list of people who I take issues with on here, you're a nice chap, and so you come last. The squeaky dodo gets the slap, I'm afraid.

Rebel Saint:

"Colour blind people can't see red - they're born that way.Homosexuals can't marry."

Women couldn't vote. They were born women. We changed that. We'll change this too, and if we changed the legislation so that Catholics weren't allowed to poo, presumably you'd be ok with that too because that would then be the established order? Ridiculous man!

AIB - you made me chuckle there!

Also - I agree with you, that one cannot base one's views on marriage solely on experience, otherwise the Inspector would required to be quiet all the time (if wishing made it so). However, experience is valid, if only because marriage (as one experiences it) is different from the state of marriage as a societal concept.

Your marriage, as you experience it, is, I assume you concede, unaffected by the fact that gay people in various countries around the world, are married in precisely the same way you are should you go to those places. It does nothing to diminish your marriage. If I'm right then your experience of marriage is no different if gay marriage is permitted or not.

As such, you presumably only object to the societal consequences of allowing gay people to marry. Presumably, you believe that gay people marrying will in some way deter heterosexuals from doing so/ having children/ remaining together? I just can't quite figure out what those consequences would be.

Without a personal dog in the fight, and without a legitimate societal grievance, I can't understand why you would object, unless it were because you think that gay people marrying are committing a sin. But since you think that gay people having sex are committing a sin anyway, I don't see that allowing them to marry makes any difference - they are still in sin.

In short, your own marriage, the state of marriage, and the state of a gay person in sin are unaffected by their marriage. So tell me again why it's so wrong?

10 May 2012 at 16:07  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Galant,

Entirely true. The problem for the Reformers was that once they had removed the authority of the Church they could find little agreement amongst themselves as to the interpretation of Scripture.

There were many people who pressed for reform of the Roman Church without leaving it, most famously Erasmus, Sir Thomas More and the spirituali.

I make no pejorative comment on Protestantism; I simply observe that each Protestant denomination is itself as open to the possibility of corrupt human reasoning as the Roman church is.

10 May 2012 at 16:14  
Blogger Galant said...

Darter - Also true. I believe the answer to this situation - which places the 'Protestant' churches in a better position (if they adhere to it) - is to make Scripture the highest authority, and let Scripture interpret Scripture. There is an 'objective' way to do this - which can be taught, learned, and shared, and on the basis of which discussions may be had. Failure to engage in this renders it useless, but it nevertheless exists and remains true.

Of course, such an approach does not result in complete unity of opinion on every matter but it does deal with all of the major doctrines which constitute orthodox belief. Within the remaining areas permitting differing opinion the old adage applies, "In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity". And most of all, we should remember the command of Christ to pursue unity.

The inherent problem with the RC system is that individuals have, essentially, equal authority to Scripture which means the original Apostles' teachings - the true faith and Gospel - can be added to or corrupted by later 'apostles' teaching.

Summed up, the difference is 'Protestants' can/should say "This is orthodox belief, and I'll show you why." The RC church says, "This is orthodox belief, because we say so."

In the end, the Protestant approach (or perhaps just Evangelical?) is always to go back to Scripture, above all else, and to teach or discuss or disagree by going to Scripture and being able to explain why.

I have to say though, I do appreciate and somewhat envy the RC respect for authority and received wisdom.

10 May 2012 at 16:46  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Obama has been bounced over the definition of marriage, which in any case is not within the competence of the President, as such.

The same is true of abortion, making it no wonder that the Republican Party has never done anything at all about it. Quite apart from the fact that several of its biggest donors, many of its powerful back room functionaries, and not a few of its public figures are broadly to strongly pro-choice.

For two generations, pretty much, white Evangelicals and a large section of white Catholics have been conned into voting against their own economic interests, and latterly in favour of the harvesting of the Irish Catholics and of the Scots-Irish Southerners and Westerners (as well as the blacks) in wars of corporate greed and ideological lunacy, by the entirely empty promise of action against abortion. Action that neither the White House nor Capitol Hill can take.

The effects of those economic policies have been thoroughly anti-life and anti-family. It is blatantly obvious that those foreign policies, in themselves, were and are. Please God, let the same mistake not be made over the definition of marriage, a states' matter in which black, Catholic, Southern and Western Democrats are in fact in the vanguard of defending the traditional position. Least of all, let it not be made over a departure from that position quite so half-hearted, lukewarm, and obviously forced as Obama's.

10 May 2012 at 17:03  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Two point on the words of Obama:

1. Everything he said made sense.
2. Nothing he said related to marriage.

Most arguments in favour of "Gay Marriage" are simply arguments in support of Civil Partnership/Union. Civil Partnership in England and Wales is a good example of equality though diversity. The new institution extended civil justice to those with a sexual preference at odds with the necessarily heterosexual nature of marriage, while simultaneously conserving the purpose of marriage. It is physically impossible for two women to marry - as impossible as it is for one woman to marry. The best we can do is end the (discriminatory) exclusion of mixed-sex couples from Civil Partnerships, and call the new institution Civil Marriage. This is exactly what is happening. Loss of purpose is destructive - the antithesis of conservation.

10 May 2012 at 17:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

[Jon, I've had to split this up to do justice to answering your questions. Hopefully you'll bear with me on the length.]

"Without a personal dog in the fight, and without a legitimate societal grievance, I can't understand why you would object, unless it were because you think that gay people marrying are committing a sin. But since you think that gay people having sex are committing a sin anyway, I don't see that allowing them to marry makes any difference - they are still in sin."

Almost. You have one half of it. I do indeed think that all manner of sexual impurity is sinful - but I'd not afford same-sex sexual activity a special kind of status as an "uber-sin", nor assign a corresponding stigma to those who do so. I'd also differentiate between the act of committing a sin, and the legal legitimacy of the act. You suggest that gay marriage is simply one more sin on top of another, so why bother. My contention is not that gay marriage is a sin, it is that gay marriage is incompatible with Scriptural teaching on marriage, so that it would be truer to say that same-sex marriage is simply something which cannot legitimately occur in the eyes of God.

So why defend marriage? You ask a very reasonable question, and I'll do my best to explain the thinking. The answer is that marriage is not solely a term or a convention in Scripture. If I thought it nothing more than a word, I'd not bother to expend energy defending its usage. If I thought it nothing more than a convention, I'd probably not have bothered getting married.

It is a sacrament given by God - a binding covenant with God as much as it is with my spouse. It is, therefore, "something", just as sin is not just a concept or a word to express disapproval - it is "something" with objective (even if not immediately objectively observable) consequences. It has a definable character of heterosexual monogamy and spiritual fidelity - it is by virtue defined by its limits as much as it is by the blessing it is intended to be for those who enter into it. It exists, unquestionably, for the purposes of procreation - though that is not its exclusive character. We also believe that there is a real spiritual union between people when they have sex, which is intended by God solely within Scriptural marriage, but which occurs even when people engage in sex beyond those bounds - and it is this which constitutes sexual impurity. It isn't a metaphor, it's a belief in a real union with lasting spiritual consequences (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).

Imagine a square - add an extra line and, yes, it's still a shape, capable of holding a bit more. If all you care about is being in a shape then you're fine and dandy, but if you value the square for its squareness, you've lost your square.

Furthermore, as the character of the metaphorical square is, at least to Christians, a matter of moral integrity, altering its fundamental qualities by expansion degrades its original frame of reference in the system of morality being subscribed to.

Now you would be perfectly justified in observing that the sacramental and spiritual model of marriage I've described isn't enshrined in our secular law (and arguably, from the perspective solely of the legal definition of marriage never really has been spelled out in legislation, even when Christianity was the defacto religion of the land). I'd already observe a difference of categories between a secular civic marriage and a union made in the eyes of God. At present, the two are broadly compatible even if they aren't entirely contingent - that is, that the legal definition of marriage does not ask me to accept a position that contradicts Scripture, nor does it ask me to recant an element of Scriptural marriage.
[continues]

10 May 2012 at 17:31  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

[continued]


The present resolution with Civil Partnerships is acceptable to me - though not, I will acknowledge, necessarily to same-sex couples. I've outlined in the post above my view that this fundamental difference of opinion should be settled by democratic consensus, so I'll not repeat myself here.

In the event that Civil Partnerships and marriage were merged, I and many other Christians would be faced with a legal system that was in principle incompatible with Scripture. You are quite correct to say that gay civic marriage could occur without Christians believing that sacramental marriage had been compromised - but that doesn't mean that many of us wouldn't regard the resultant law as creating a compromised form of marriage.

As to how this would manifest practically, I have honestly no idea. I'm sure I'm not alone in toying with the idea of returning the legal document certifying my marriage, but in any case I couldn't do this without prayer and the agreement of my wife, as my marriage is not solely my property but rather jointly with her and God. Hypothetically, if I had been getting married under the proposed system, I would probably have refused to submit the paperwork to the authorities and asked my pastor to carry out the ceremony on the authority vested in him by God and the Church (who, knowing the pastor in question, may well have obliged). In effect, I would come to regard UK marriage law much as I would marriage law in countries where other faiths are dominant: the law of the land, not to be overthrown (we really don't want to incite riots), but not to be regarded as superior to God's Word.

Finally, for the sake of disclosure, I'll let you know that I haven't signed, and probably won't sign the C4M Petition. Again, like civil marital law, their position is broadly compatible with Scripture, but on the other hand, I am not as yet convinced that their aim is to institute or even to defend a Scriptural view of marriage. There are undoubtedly numbered amongst the signatories those who are motivated by hatred of gay people, or who solely defend the idea of "cultural Christianity" as a means of resisting what they perceive as threats to their identity. There are also probably a lot of people with views not dissimilar to my own, but without wishing to cast judgement on them, as far as my own behaviour is concerned, I am wary about being yoked to ideologies that misrepresent or misuse the Gospel, just as I am wary of being yoked to legal systems that require an acknowledgement of positions contrary to Scripture.

10 May 2012 at 17:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace. They said it would be close, the presidential election. So, like a seagull perched on a bin, Mr President tosses out the contents to see if there’s anything worth having in there, to his grasping mind. He finds gay marriage, which he threw away four years ago. A quick shake to rid it of the dust and dirt and the fish heads, and he runs it up the bloody flag pole.

It is the Inspector’s opinion that those who least deserve power are the ones most desperate to hang onto it. The USA needs a man of conviction in charge, not some shameless vote grubber…

10 May 2012 at 17:33  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Jon said ..."Women couldn't vote. They were born women. We changed that. We'll change this too, and if we changed the legislation so that Catholics weren't allowed to poo, presumably you'd be ok with that too because that would then be the established order? Ridiculous man!"

Seriously ... you think the right to vote & "right" to marry are equivalent? And you think I'm ridiculous. The ability to vote isn't determined by biology. The ability to procreate is. You can no more "redefine" marriage than the word "red" or "pregnant". They are what they are. And, incidentally, nobody redefined "Voting", nor did women get the vote redefining the meaning of "man".

10 May 2012 at 17:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon at 10:08 But we will win in the end, because, in the fight between freedom, and the regressive forces who have always and still seek the suppression of the civil rights of black people and gay people and women, is won by those who are on the side of compassion and reason.

Stirring words what ! Exceeds Churchill’s exhortation for the people of this country to fight the NAZIs, don’t you think. And all this caused because you are dissatisfied with the term ‘civil partnership’ and all the rights, yes ‘rights’, that gave you. You just can’t help your homosexual self wanting to balance on high heels in a stunning wedding dress and announce to the world that a life of blissful sharing, caring and sodomising awaits you and your, well, lets just call him a chum.

No idea have you, how damn ridiculous you look in the eyes of decent people, and that includes gays who want nothing to do with your drama queen antics…

10 May 2012 at 17:37  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Jon said ..."Women couldn't vote. They were born women. We changed that. We'll change this too, and if we changed the legislation so that Catholics weren't allowed to poo, presumably you'd be ok with that too because that would then be the established order? Ridiculous man!"

Seriously ... you think the right to vote & "right" to marry are equivalent? And you think I'm ridiculous. The ability to vote isn't determined by biology. The ability to procreate is. You can no more "redefine" marriage than the word "red" or "pregnant". They are what they are. And, incidentally, nobody redefined "Voting", nor did women get the vote redefining the meaning of "man".

Nor did we have to redefine or redesign the bus in order to allow Rosa Parks to sit on one. Nor did we have to redefine the army to allow openly gay men and women to serve. These are instances of men and women having an ability but being denied the opportunity. With marriage, every individual has the opportunity. Same-sex couples do not have the ability. Civil Partnerships are a civil rights issue. Redefining marriage is not.

10 May 2012 at 17:47  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Jon

What about the marring the dog argument? They may have sex with the dog, love the dog but it is not marriage.

Same with wanting to marry your sibling, or your child

I am not saying that homosexual relationships are the same as these and I am not trying to upset anyone by implying these relationships are equivalent in validity. However, I can see that similar augments will be put forward to extend the current arrangements if homosexual marriage is allowed.

Indeed I cannot see any valid argument to rule out polygamy if we extend marriage to homosexuals, this is in my mind the next logical step and one we will have even less authority to challenge.

I am not saying that there are any equivalence of these other relationships to homosexual/heterosexual relationships but there are people who want to extend this further and see homosexual marriage as the first step along the way.

It would be interesting to hear a pro homosexual marriage advocate's opinion as to whether this will lead to ???? marriage!

Phil

10 May 2012 at 17:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon, Northcote, and all other aggrieved homosexuals who frequent this site.

You fellows are quite vociferous and frequent in your condemnation of the Christian stance on marriage. You portray us Christians as beasts. You even infer we hate you. Nothing can be further from the truth – we love you as brother humans. And beasts we are not. In fact, as believers in God and grateful for what His son has done for us, we try to live exemplary lives. Now, you must admit from that, we are amongst the finest in creation: Able to recognise God, and act accordingly to please Him.

Now, all this guff about gay marriage. Why should we listen to you and your demands ? First, you are a minority, one in twenty. Second, you chaps don’t know your own mind – here’s why. By giving you homosexual inclinations, nature has played a cruel trick on you. You are de facto duds, so to speak. Sterile beings. Now ask yourself this, what right does a sterile being have to change society to suit them ? And your minds. It is not inconceivable that you have the thought process of heterosexual women. Not such an outrageous accusation when you consider your singular and somewhat unnerving desire to have sex with men, as strong as a woman’s. Take Jon, displaying exhibitionist tendencies in his writings, plus a very self centred nature. Prima donna or what !

So there we have it chaps. Some home truths for you, and well overdue in publication, don’t you think. We Christians are trying to save you from yourselves. We don’t expect gushing thanks, but a little appreciation every now and then wouldn’t go amiss. Sure you’ll agree…

Now, fall out and carry on…

10 May 2012 at 17:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "You are de facto duds, so to speak. Sterile beings. Now ask yourself this, what right does a sterile being have to change society to suit them ?"

I have no reason to believe my little swimmers aren't up to scratch. I'm guessing by your expectation there that sex education at your school just consisted of "Sex? DON'T! JUST DON'T" back in the day.

10 May 2012 at 18:01  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Thought I might throw this one in to the mix:

This may be accused of being reductio ad absurdum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum) but let's try taking it through a few logic leaps and see if people still think that if the public believe something to be good then it should be allowed.

Public vote 70% in favour of gay marriage. Does this mean that it is right to change marriage's definition?
Public vote 70% in favour of legalising all narcotics. Does this mean that it is right to make all drugs legal?
Public vote 70% in favour of decriminalising murder. Does this mean that it is ok to allow people to kill other people?
Public vote 70% in favour of reducing the age of consent to 8 years of age. Does this mean that it is ok to let 8 year olds have sex?

Anyone say yes to all of these?

Did anyone look at these questions and say (at least to some of them) "But no one would ever vote for that, or if they did they would never vote in enough numbers for it to get passed"?

Anyone ever wondered what people might have said in 1812 if you asked whether people would vote in favour of making marriage available to homosexual couples as well as heterosexual couples?

So back to the first question, should we change the definition of marriage just because a majority of the public vote in favour of it? What about if this opens marriage up to future change, like polygamy? It wouldn't happen? I refer you back to 1812!

Ok, now some of you are thinking "You moron, Youthpasta, these would never be passed because the prohibition of them is due to the damage it can cause." Umm, the whole reason for homosexual acts being illegal was because it was deemed to be damaging on a person's mental state and their spiritual well being. And yet here we are, with completely different ideas by many people about the effects of homosexual activity.

So we now have to ask, is there any protection for anything or anyone if we follow the principle of "people want it, therefore they should have it"? I think we can safely say that no one and nothing is safe, if you'll pardon the pun! Get enough people to vote for it and the death penalty could be reinstated. Get enough people to vote for it and the monarchy could be abolished. Get enough people to vote for it and we could have the House of Windsor held accountable for all crimes of Her Majesty's ancestors, be they real or imagined, upon her subjects' ancestors. Get enough people to vote for it 3 times and we could end up killing off the Queen. And after the last monarch to have that done to them in Europe, iirc, we saw the second most heinous crime mass murder (and almost certainly with a higher body count) of the 20th Century!

So please, enough of this insanity of rule by the people!

10 May 2012 at 18:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0. You might as well be firing blanks. Perhaps you are, might be part of the condition ! Glad to see that’s all the criticism you have of the post. Must be you concur with the general synopsis...

10 May 2012 at 18:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Pasta: "Get enough people to vote for it and the monarchy could be abolished."

Woah! Let's get same-sex marriage out of the way first before we work on that one. Besides, we'd probably be better disestablishing the Church of England first.

10 May 2012 at 18:13  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@DanJ0 - Would the Queen sit by and let that happen do you think? I may have misjudged her, but I suspect if any issue was going to goad her into confrontation with her government, it would be that one.

10 May 2012 at 18:15  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "You might as well be firing blanks."

You too, it seems. If we're right and you really are a man in denial then you might want to consider one of these if you eventually become comfortable with yourself and still want offspring.

10 May 2012 at 18:16  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

AIB: "Would the Queen sit by and let that happen do you think?"

She'll do what we tell her. In reality, she's a servant of the People.

10 May 2012 at 18:18  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Youthpasta: It's always possible, but the kind of situation of total and perpetual mob rule is probably best considered to be fairly extreme. One of the difficulties with governing on "public opinion by proxy" is that there is no means by which to engage the public in decision making. Instead a coterie decide on the public's behalf, very often listening to the loudest, rather than the most consistent or coherent voices.

An engaged electorate can also be swayed by demogogues, but the more engaged they are, I'd argue, the harder that becomes, in part because there are too many competing demogogues (as opposed to the selective nature of those who get through the gate-keepers to the political elite), and in part because in mature democracies, the hope is that the electorate exhibits a kind of collective scepticism.

10 May 2012 at 18:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Indeed, we're a representative democracy. Our MPs aren't just delegates.

10 May 2012 at 18:23  
Blogger David B said...

How far would a a conservative Christian blogger go in supporting freedom of parents and schools in educating to children in accordance with their worldview?

This atheist liberal is contemplating where he would draw the line, but such things as supporting Sharia Law, FGM and forced marriage are clearly to me over the line.

David B

10 May 2012 at 18:38  
Blogger Naomi King said...

JOSH 22:5 But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.


JOSH 23:16 When ye have transgressed the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed yourselves to them; then shall the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and ye shall perish quickly from off the good land which he hath given unto you.

10 May 2012 at 18:41  
Blogger len said...

I do not think many in the secular World can grasp the implications of pushing the agendas of man against the moral law of God.

Whether it is the intention of man to rebel against God or they (secularists ) think it just' 'a good idea' to have' Gay marriage'the end result will be the same.

Of course the spiritual World is denied by secularists( because they cannot perceive it) but it exists just the same and the spiritual World existed before the Physical World and is infinitely more powerful.

When man rebels against God he aligns himself, places himself under the authority of the enemy of mankind.The 'god of this World'is the 'slave master ' of all who are under his authority and when in this position he can the pour his death and disease into us.

So God does not have to Judge us when we rebel against Him and His moral Law, all He has to do is let us have what' we desire' and that will destroy us.

What a fool man without God is!.

10 May 2012 at 19:46  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Despotic rulers( which is ALL of them without exception )and their priest-hoods have used homosexuality as a method of controlling their subjects since the dawn of recorded civilization.

In Egyptian times male servants who were forbidden from sexual relationships with women were made into human sacrifices on the death of their Pharos.

Married men with dependent children where rarely used for this purpose, and were most usually spared from be required to perform suicidal tasks during military service.

Homosexuals were often much preferred for employment within royal households for fairly obvious reasons.

Homosexuals are still preferred to act as priests, politicians and civil-servants within all corridors of high power, because a person who clearly has little stake in the present and infinitely less in the future, is more easily persuaded to perform what most people would clearly see as evil deeds.

Homo-sexuality was made highly illegal by the RCC for example, not to control or reduce homosexuality, but to simply make their almost exclusively homosexual priests profoundly obedient to the church hierarchy.

This method is still being used today in the RCC, as well as absolutely anywhere else despotic power exists over the interests the vast majority of the common people.

I think we would all agree to a varying degree that our MP's have a highly disproportionate propensity towards homosexual and other far less wholesome sexual preferences, then is found within the general public as a whole.

I hope I have explained why this is so, and of course why it is getting 'worse' every year.

HOWEVER, this is the really bad news, at least for our children anyway.

Over the last 100 years or so the social stigma, and high illegality of the homosexual act has largely dissipated within western/Christian societies.

This fact has created a problem for the established powers. They have had to promote ever more outlandish sexual perversions like for example pedophilia to take up the role once performed by homosexuality.

10 May 2012 at 19:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Rather believe homosexuals haven’t thought it out. “Let’s have gay marriage” in the same manner that a pig or dog decides it’s a good idea to role around in shit...

10 May 2012 at 19:52  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@David B:

Forced marriage is a red-herring like paedophilia. (I'm not suggesting you're deliberatly being obfuscatory, just to make that clear!). They're both issues of consent. Those forced into a marriage they are opposed to, or minors who are legally incapable of giving consent, cannot be said to be involved in legitimate unions.

FGM - wouldn't that fall under grievous bodily harm? If there is no health reason to do so, and specific health reasons not to do so wouldn't this get treated in the same way as if a parent started scarring their child? I guess you could take a really fine philosophical stance that the right to express culture could be observed, but that the act breached other essential components of law.

Sharia law is the old problem of multiple laws. So long as its not binding, and so long as it doesn't contradict the law of the land, I'd be content to allow people to live on the basis of their religious precepts consensually. It might be politic to insist that informal courts always make it publically clear that participants can at any time take their problems to a civic court, but my guess is that most of the time people know that. And if there are hypothetically individuals who threaten those who want to take that option - well there you go, they're guilty of intimidation or blackmail.

So to answer your question, I'd assume that in these cases, there is sufficient basis in general law to find the positions at fault, without needing to invalidate them on principle.

10 May 2012 at 20:01  
Blogger David B said...

@ Belfast

"Those forced into a marriage they are opposed to, or minors who are legally incapable of giving consent, cannot be said to be involved in legitimate unions."

So minors baptised or christened are not legitimate members of Christian sects?

David

10 May 2012 at 20:12  
Blogger len said...

Christening and Baptising of infants has no meaning at all except to the parents and family.

It might be nice to' dedicate' a Child hoping it would recognise a need for a Saviour one day but without one making a conscious decision it would be meaningless as far as salvation is concerned.

God welcomes all infants who pass away before they reach the age of accountability (early teens)so there should be no concerns for that matter.

But where salvation is concerned (for adults) there must be repentance(infants cannot do this)and an acceptance of Jesus Christ(infants cannot do this either)

10 May 2012 at 20:23  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

You have to be capable of giving consent to have sex, which forms the basis of marital unions.

Is there a similar clause for the age of consent for religious/social affiliation? I'd imagine you'd probably be in favour of one.

Ok that's a bit weasely, so I'll try and answer your question honestly. Personally, I retain a strong sympathy, which is I'll admit primarily sentimental, for child baptism (and one which is not shared by my wife). I've always understood (and indeed in the CofE and I think the RC baptismal proceedings this is spelled out) that the baptismal promises are made on behalf of the child by their parents. Symbolically, this signals the parents' commitment to raise their children in a manner pleasing to God, sacramentally (cue Ernst/len) it confers the status of baptism. The former aspect is probably reasonable enough to most people, providing that children have the option not be mistreated or abused if they decide, at whatever age that they don't want to pursue it. Mind you, going on the experience of my siblings (neither of whom are Christians) if they've decided against participation there's not an awful lot you can do to change their minds. As to the latter, I'll end by weaseling out by saying that sacramental types will regard it as fully efficacious, but would distinguish between its efficacy and its long-term legitimacy, which requires confirmation when the child is capable of giving consent.

10 May 2012 at 20:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Oop. Too slow. len got in first.

10 May 2012 at 20:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Too much emphasis put on baptism, don’t you know. Useful in the early times to get pagans to convert to Christianity, a symbol of commitment, you see. But with Christianity established, a mere symbolic gesture. We’re talking here of the all powerful God. He decides who is saved and who is binned...

10 May 2012 at 20:34  
Blogger anna anglican said...

@Darth Yo'th Pasta,

I just knew you were a sith Lord!

It reminds me of the Blackadder series when gets Baldrick elected to a rotten borough and one of the candidates is interviewed "now many moderate people agree with you on the asparagus issue, but what's all this extremist nonsense about abolishing slavery?"

10 May 2012 at 21:20  
Blogger anna anglican said...

Oooh, found a clip here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8zfDhRmmR4g

10 May 2012 at 21:24  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I replied to a tweet from @JonWynneJones who is in support of equality with SSM and said if they want equality in marriage then
'Let gays perform vaginal intercourse if they want to be equal'.

10 May 2012 at 21:42  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Inspector,
As an independent church attender, we practice adult baptism by immersion. The practice, unlike infant baptism, is for the benefit of the baptismal candidate. It is an outward sign of an inward conviction and a statement to others that they have decided to follow Jesus.

10 May 2012 at 21:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good man Integrity, that tells them where to get off. Large numbers of homosexuals on this site tonight, what ! Not sure if there is a collective noun for them but how about ‘plague’. The irony won’t be lost on them, that’s for sure, don’t you think ?

10 May 2012 at 21:54  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector
Your letting the protestants confuse you. Baptism makes us right with God, including infants. We die and are resurrected as members of the Body of Christ. It is not symbolic at all. And God offers salvation to all - the offer is for us to accept or reject. And no talk of predestination, please! You'll have me thinking you are being "born again"!

Ernsty
You are a strange man. At the time of your posts, all rather long winded and rambling btw, I could detect no obvious Catholics on the thread. What on earth did you mean? And are you developing paranoia? Is that me sitting in the chair opposite you?

len
Don't you see all your nonsense about "faith alone" and "scripture alone" has undermined Church teaching and authority. It allows some Christians to claim homosexuality is acceptable to God because that is how they 'understand' scripture. It permits no authoritative doctrine.

10 May 2012 at 21:54  
Blogger David B said...

@ Integrity

That's lesbians off the hook then.

Seriously, that ia one of the most dumbass sexist comments I've ever seen.

It ignores half of the human race.

David

10 May 2012 at 21:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Integrity, the Inspector tends to view baptism as a duty we Christians must perform to be, well, Christians. We must not forget the rest of God’s earthly creation who are not Christian. One cannot conceive God in his magnanimousness love denying salvation to the good of other religions and indeed the good atheists, David B included...

10 May 2012 at 22:01  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Marriage exists solely between a man and a woman. The arguments have been too well rehearsed on here to need repeating.

Since the 1960's we have tolerated the moral evil of homosexuality. Then we gave legal recognition to such unions under the pretext of avoiding "discrimination" against persons who live with someone of the same sex. Now, the call is for legal equivalence to marriage of homosexual unions and the legal right to adopt children.

As Christians we must give witness to the whole moral truth which is contradicted both by approval of homosexual acts and also by unjust discrimination against homosexual persons. However, tolerance is being exploited and used in the service of secular ideology - and even being twisted by some calling themselves christian.

We must state the immoral nature of these unions and tell our government to contain homosexuality to safeguard public morality and to avoid exposing young people to erroneous ideas about sexuality and marriage that will spread this evil.

Moving from tolerance to legitimisation of specific rights for cohabiting homosexual persons and now equivalence to marriag is giving approval and legalising evil.

Clear and emphatic opposition is the duty of all Christians.

"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."
(Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, June 3, 2003)

10 May 2012 at 23:35  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Atlas Shrugged said ... "Homosexuals are still preferred to act as priests, politicians and civil-servants within all corridors of high power, because a person who clearly has little stake in the present and infinitely less in the future, is more easily persuaded to perform what most people would clearly see as evil deeds".

Hammer. Nail. Head. Thanks for that small epiphany. The reason for the plethora of homosexuals in certain professions is obvious (hairdressers, air stewards, fashion & beauty etc). But their abundance & over-representation within the corridors of power has always puzzled me. I presumed it was to do with dirty little secrets & the desire to keep them hidden. Your explanation makes perfect sense.

It also serves to illustrate the absolute necessity for hereditary peers to be maintained & restored in the Lords. They were the people who had a long term investment in the nations interests. What interest have homosexuals in leaving the country a better place for the next generation - the here & now is all that concerns them? I wonder if that also explains certain politicians & parties zeal for "Lords Reform"?

I had a similar epiphany when it was explained to me (in a Radio 4 documentary of all places) why the female models used within the fashion industry are so hideously unfeminine : skinny, flat-chested, narrow-hipped types. The gay men who dominate the industry are simply vicariously fulfilling their desires for others who naturally have a similar physique, if you catch my drift.

10 May 2012 at 23:41  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

AiB - Mob rule, albeit through the ballot, may be thought to be extreme, but that is almost how politicians are acting as they create policy, which is probably part if the reason why thus comments section has brought it up earlier as a way of furthering the argument.
The more politicians pander to minority demands with the aim of getting their vote, the more we will see insanity lie this appearing. That is why lobby groups have become stronger in their influence, because politicians think that they can get more support in future elections. And with vast swathes of the
UK population apathetic towards politics we see politicians going for anyone that seems to be likely to vote, rather than trying to get the unlikely out to vote.

10 May 2012 at 23:50  
Blogger wallygreeninker said...

Just as homosexual sex is a bit of a parody of the real thing so it will be with homosexual 'marriage'. Of course many people are worried that the institution of marriage will be brought into disrepute by being extended to same sex couplings but they needn't be concerned. The streak of silliness that runs through homosexual culture like a scarlet thread will quite quickly demonstrate to people that the two types of pairing are quite different in practice.

11 May 2012 at 00:13  
Blogger Oswin said...

Derek T.Northcote @ 10:23: a bit like yourself then?

Do any of the regulars here, abuse homosexuals on their own sites?

11 May 2012 at 02:06  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

At least all of this gives an inkling of what Emmeline Pankhurst must have felt and faced at times.

11 May 2012 at 05:57  
Blogger G. Tingey said...

Jon @ the start

AND

Which BITS of the "bible" are you going to CHOOSE to obey and which not?
[ The cause of many wars taortures and suffering - what a suprise - not ]
After all the bible endorses slavery, and the killing of your own children if they disobey you, and the value of Pi as 3 and that (in some places) that the Earth is flat and that shellfish are not safe to eat or making clothes out of mixed materials and .......

Now then?

11 May 2012 at 08:15  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Three excellent posts Chaps, keep up the good work

AnonymousInBelfast said...
It is a sacrament given by God - a binding covenant with God as much as it is with my spouse. It is, therefore, "something", just as sin is not just a concept or a word to express disapproval - it is "something" with objective (even if not immediately objectively observable) consequences. It has a definable character of heterosexual monogamy and spiritual fidelity - it is by virtue defined by its limits as much as it is by the blessing it is intended to be for those who enter into it. It exists, unquestionably, for the purposes of procreation - though that is not its exclusive character. We also believe that there is a real spiritual union between people when they have sex, which is intended by God solely within Scriptural marriage, but which occurs even when people engage in sex beyond those bounds - and it is this which constitutes sexual impurity. It isn't a metaphor, it's a belief in a real union with lasting spiritual consequences (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).

In the event that Civil Partnerships and marriage were merged, I and many other Christians would be faced with a legal system that was in principle incompatible with Scripture. You are quite correct to say that gay civic marriage could occur without Christians believing that sacramental marriage had been compromised - but that doesn't mean that many of us wouldn't regard the resultant law as creating a compromised form of marriage.

I am wary of being yoked to legal systems that require an acknowledgement of positions contrary to Scripture.


Office of Inspector General said...
Your Grace. They said it would be close, the presidential election. So, like a seagull perched on a bin, Mr President tosses out the contents to see if there’s anything worth having in there, to his grasping mind. He finds gay marriage, which he threw away four years ago. A quick shake to rid it of the dust and dirt and the fish heads, and he runs it up the bloody flag pole.

It is the Inspector’s opinion that those who least deserve power are the ones most desperate to hang onto it. The USA needs a man of conviction in charge, not some shameless vote grubber…


Dodo the Dude said...
"The Church teaches that respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. The common good requires that laws recognize, promote and protect marriage as the basis of the family, the primary unit of society. Legal recognition of homosexual unions or placing them on the same level as marriage would mean not only the approval of deviant behaviour, with the consequence of making it a model in present-day society, but would also obscure basic values which belong to the common inheritance of humanity. The Church cannot fail to defend these values, for the good of men and women and for the good of society itself."

11 May 2012 at 08:24  
Blogger Naomi King said...

The point about UKIP is they are the only mainstream political party that has not been seduced by this homosexual nonsense. Hence the steep rise in their share of the vote, even outstripping the liberals.

The falsification of the Guardian poll on Tuesday in the dark hours from the true figure that 70% of real people don't want any refection of marriage to a purported mere 46% shows that the homosexuals have to lie to make a case. The Guardian should be investigated over this in the same way the BBC were investigated over the rigging of competitions/phone ballots etc. .e.g. Blue Peter. Whether there is a mechanism for this who knows. They can’t just make up the news... Can they? :-)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2007/may/30/broadcastingethics.bbc

11 May 2012 at 08:48  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Your Grace,

Well we now see the homosexuals in their try colours dont we ? As freely's disclosed by correspondents on your blog.

Firstly - There is homosexual "marriage"

Secondly - There is the House of Lord Dismantled

Thirdly - Then there is the Established Church Dismantled

Fourthly - There is dissolution of the Monarchy

Fifthly - There is the glorious, Godless, Homosexual Republic of Britain.

It's a great future to buy into !

But not what I would call a Conservative future nor a ‘national harmony’ or the ‘beautiful order’ which you propose. I would venture to suggest it would be a rather ugly place then.

All very clear now, thank you.

11 May 2012 at 09:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Archbishop Cranmer ‏ @His_Grace

@Edthornton Because it isn't respect: it's obsequious fawning. Mohammed, by Christian definition, is a false prophet."

Most wonderfully tweeted!

Old Ernst is always confused by thios 'The Prophet" because he most definitely prophesised of nothing so why call him by this false term of reference.

Islamic reference of Prophet - The chief spokesperson of a movement or cause.

However Almighty God's definition of a True Prophet are that "A prophet's words are false if they are inconsistent with, or contradict, God's revealed Word that is accepted as true by His people as 'It came to pass'". (This is the ACID TEST. God does not contradict His Own Word.)

A Contrast;

The prophets spoke the word of God, but Jesus is the Word of God.

The prophets said, “Thus saith the Lord”, but Jesus said, “Verily, verily I say unto you.”

The prophets were men representing God, but Jesus is a man and God.

Who were to be prophets

All prophets were to be tested concerning the origin of their words, and the meaning and the purpose of their teaching.
That teaching MUST come from Jehovah; it must be true to the earlier revelation of the character of Jehovah, and it must be designed to encourage men to be faithful to Jehovah.
Put these points together and we will find God’s method for testing the credentials of a true prophet:

1. He must be a true Israelite.

2. He must speak in the name of the Lord (Jehovah/ I AM).

3. He must call men to living obedience to Jehovah and worship of Jehovah.

4. He must be tested and vindicated by the fulfillment of predictions made by him in the name of Jehovah, by the authority of Jehovah and in keeping with the character of Jehovah.

This explains why the prophets of the Old Testament and the apostles in the New Testament were members of the Hebrew (Israelite) people. Apart from these Biblical prophets and apostles, no man has ever been known to fulfill the Divine requirements laid down in Deuteronomy and other verses in the OT.
Many men have claimed to be leaders, teachers and prophets, but when we examine their credentials, we find that they were not members of the Hebrew race, nor did they speak in the name of Jehovah.

Deuteronomy 18 contains remarkable truth. It sets out for all time the criteria for the recognition of a true prophet, and also a prediction of the coming of 'The True Prophet', a prediction which was finally and perfectly fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus came to the Jews, He fulfilled all the conditions of the prediction in Deuteronomy and thus His disciples accepted Him as the promised Prophet and Messiah. So certain is this fact that the Apostle Peter said, Every person who does not obey that prophet will be destroyed and thus removed from the people.’ (Acts 3:23). This is a solemn warning to those who reject the claims of Jesus Christ.

Mohammed did not reach any of this criteria and 'rejected' the claims of Jesus Christ (Jehovah is most definitely NOT allah then, is He)!!!!

Ernst

11 May 2012 at 09:01  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Jon @ 10.08 said 'But we will win in the end, because, in the fight between freedom.....is won by those who are on the side of compassion and reason.'

Following which statement you should congratulate those of us who oppose homosexual marriage for our rational perceptiveness.

A heterosexual marriage with progeny is a unique vector for human genetic and cultural continuity. The same can never be said for homosexual marriage. Until you and the rest of your peer group grasp that simple fact you will continue to lose the argument with the electorate who can recognise false logic when they see it. Elements of the polititical elite such as David Cameron and Barack Obama, both parents who should know better, are setting themselves up for defeat by backing homosexual marriage. You live in London, and you need to understand that in rural and regional Britain beyond the bounds of the M25, the idea of homosexual marriage is dismissed as plain daft. It's been that way since before Stonehenge was built, and until our species procreates by different means there is no prospect of a change in attitude.

In the end, you won't have the numbers and never have had since we walked out of Africa.

11 May 2012 at 09:12  
Blogger Youthpasta said...

Tingey, you are a moron. And clearly not a very well read one!
The Bible is as much to blame for torture and war as atheism is (see the effects of Communism in Russia).

Now, before you start spouting more nonsense try reading the whole Bible and reading it in the context of what the New Testament says primarily.

Oh, and also remember that humans will often try to claim anything is part of their beliefs and then twist it to their own ends. Hence those famously successful atheist-run countries of Russia/USSR, China etc having such poor human rights records. That is, unless you are willing to admit that atheism WAS the reason they killed, tortured and wrongly imprisoned so any?

11 May 2012 at 09:12  
Blogger Jon said...

AIB - thank you for your post!

I'm not adding a line to the square in your analogy, I'm just making it a bit bigger. I want to be in the square myself, and for the square to retain its squareness. Presumably, you are prepared to recognise the (square) marital status of (say) married hindus, even though they weren't married under Christian sacraments. I'm basically asking for the same thing for my marriage from you.

If Hindus don't do it for you, His Grace pointed out that Aristotle referred to marriage. Marriage is not an exclusively Christian concept, so I don't want the "sacrament given by God". I don't take his other sacraments any more, and I don't want this one. I want a sacrament given by the democratically elected representatives of Her Maj!

Others on here have proposed a French model - where a legal marriage ceremony and a religious one are separate, and I would support this. I see no reason to get married before a congregation that doesn't support me.

As to your returning your marriage certificate, as I understand it, in your wedding ceremony, God has made you one with your wife, and your presumed subsequent consummation (and virginity when you did so!) has affirmed this. Handing back your certificate would only be effective if you acknowledge that the legal and scriptural elements of your marriage are separate. I only want the first, since the second is meaningless to my partner, and confusing for me.

I don't think the Church can claim ownership of a term which both precedes its existence, and is used in countries (and by people in this one) which don't follow Christianity. Nevertheless, these places recognise your marriage, and we recognise theirs. Many of these marriages aren't even based around love (as forced marriage has been brought up here). At least mine would be focussed on the love between two consenting adults (and no dogs, thanks Phil Roberts, you arse - I'm bloody stunning in my white dress ;-)).

11 May 2012 at 10:16  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

AnonymousInBelfast said...

Oop. Too slow. len got in first.



The let old Ernsty get in second..

The term of baptism is different to the term you claim. It has no scriptural meaning or significance...ie. Unbiblical!

The expression “baptismal sprinkling” is an oxymoron.

Our word "baptize" is translated from the original Greek word "baptizo", which means to immerse.

"Baptizo" does not mean sprinkle or pour.

If our Lord had wanted people to be sprinkled, he would have inspired the New Testament writers to use the Greek word "rhantizo".

If our Lord wanted people to be poured He would have inspired New Testament writers to use the Greek word "katacheo".

But he didn’t, so "baptizo" was used, which can only mean to immerse.

Imagine doing that to a baby or infant.

Colossians 2:12 says that we are "buried with him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him." Here again God requires the one being baptized, to be buried and raised when he is baptized. When we bury a dead person in the cemetery, we do not lay him out on the grass and sprinkle a little dirt on him, do we.

The first recorded case in all of early church history was that of Novatian in 251 AD, who lay sick on his bed and water was poured on him. What had been allowed as neccessity had become semi-official by nod and a wink until it was made formally official at Council of Ravenna (A.D. 1311) despite not being recognised as efficacious towards salvation by early church fathers. It had to be immersion. Error crept in just like infallibility that was made official also by a council.

Utter nonsense and Ernst is in total agreement with Len on the meaning and implications. No baptism is efficacious from salvation. Like the Lord's Supper it is to be associated as a Christian WITH Christ but does not give salvation by receiving or doing it. It occurred AFTER they believed!!!

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved"

Ernst

11 May 2012 at 10:42  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

ps

The expression “baptismal sprinkling” is an oxymoron.

An example..The man went swim walking!

Ernst

11 May 2012 at 10:43  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

How has your evaluation of the dragon software gone?

As my eyesight is getting worse by the day and one of Ernst's little pleasures is reading your blog daily and the comments by others on the thread, could this software be used to hear audibly your blog posts as well as write comments by using it.

E S Blofeld

11 May 2012 at 10:52  
Blogger William said...

Jon

Get a Civil Partnership. It carries the same legal rights and doesn't concern itself with irrelevancies (as far as you are concerned) such as consummation or the begetting of children. It's taylor made for you and I hope you and your partner will be happy. Also you won't have to piss a whole section of the married population off by redefining the institution that they willingly entered into and who believe that the unique benefits of stable, Heterosexual relationships to society should be promoted through marriage.

Marriage (with the potential for procreation and nurturing children) is for Heterosexuals by design.

Civil Partnership (with its equivalent rights) is for Homosexuals by design.

11 May 2012 at 11:08  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Our Lord says in Mark 16:16, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Here one of the prerequisites of being saved is to believe, which is impossible for an infant or baby to do.

In Acts 8:36-37 the question was asked, "See here is water; what hinders me from being baptized?" And the answer is given in the next verse: "And Philip said, if you believe with all your heart you may." Here we see the condition that must be met before a person can be baptized is that he must believe with all his heart. Can an infant do this? No.

In Acts 2:38 the apostle Peter told a group of people, who had asked what they should do, to "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins." What is the requirement found here that we must do before we can be baptized? Repent. Can an infant repent? It would be absurd to think that an infant could believe or repent, but it is just as absurd to think that an innocent infant, who is without accountable sin, must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, which he does not have. He/She must do, think or say them first.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved"

Ernst

11 May 2012 at 11:20  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Naomi, the same-sex marriage thing is because I'm gay, though very clearly there are more straight people than gay people who support the idea accordng to multiple opinions surveys. The disestablishment thing is because I'm a secularist and this is related both to my atheism and my recognition of our social diversity. The abolition of the monarchy thing is my being facetious, though in theory I'm a republican. I'm very content to leave the monarchy as it is, provided they don't become politically troublesome. I don't have a strong opinion about the House of Lords, I can see positives and negatives in any proposal. Your lumping of all those separate positions together as one and linking it with homosexuality rather highlights your own homophobia, I think, but then that was pretty clear anyway.

11 May 2012 at 11:20  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Jon:

I described the quality of the "squareness" as 'heterosexual monogamy and spiritual fidelity'.

Civil marriage makes no mention of spirituality, but it is presently: 'heterosexual monogamy and sexual fidelity'.

With respect, a fundamental alteration is occurring ("adding a line") if you alter the heterosexuality of marriage, the monogamy of marriage, or the requirement for fidelity in marriage. As I said, if you value marriage for its squareness, doing so means you no longer have a square.

I do separate the legal and the spiritual categories - but as I explained, there is a difference between the legal category being fundamentally compatible with the spiritual meaning, and fundamentally incompatible. To take your example of Hindu marriage, I don't know what the law is in, say, India (I suspect given its past, it's probably close to our own), but yes, if there was a similar incompatibility that required the acknowledgement of

William kind of makes the logical point: if you really do only care about the legal rights, why not accept a Civil Partnership? I know you *don't* just want a CP because you don't see the heterosexuality of marriage as being a necessary quality of it. But whether your position is merited or not, it does mean that you are engaged in seeking an alteration to one of the basic limits of it - and one which has not been done before.

And before we go down the avenue of arguing that the reason it hasn't been done is institutional homophobia, consider for a moment that there have been countless civilizations where same-sex activity was not only tolerated but encouraged. Classical Sparta encouraged sexual activity between men in its agoge system of training - but it didn't have gay marriage despite its extensive acknowledgement not only of same-sex attraction but of love between men. Why? Because heterosexuality was the fundamental core of what marriage is, because it has always been contingent with procreation and the transmission of assets and identity through resulting offspring. In that sense, you are partly correct to say that the Church's rather specific teaching is not universal. But if any single component of "heterosexuality" "monogamy" and "fidelity" might be said to be universal, it is the heterosexuality.

11 May 2012 at 11:40  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Incidentally, I refer anyone to my posts above regarding how this should be dealt with in law: democratically.

11 May 2012 at 11:42  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Oop - cut off my line with cut and paste!

It should read: "...if there was a similar incompatibility that required the acknowledgement of a position contrary to Scripture I would take the same steps outlined in my previous posts as and individual, and - if appropriate - seek and campaign for legal reform."

11 May 2012 at 11:44  
Blogger Flossie said...

'Gay marriage' proponents really have not thought it through. All they can see is the 'here and now'. The homosexual ones (at least those who are true to their self-identity) have no stake in the future. The straight ones don't seem to have any vision, or are young with uninformed opinions.

I have written to my own MP, to David Cameron, Lynne Featherstone and Theresa May challenging them on how they propose to prevent homosexual practices such as sodomy becoming part of the sex ed curriculum once gay 'marriage' becomes socially acceptable. Do they really want their children to learn these things, I wonder? But how can they be prevented?

Saying to a 14-year-old that this is something gays do but you mustn't is surely discriminatory?

Don't anybody think for one minute that this will be the end of the line. The demands will be endless. The cost will be huge.

11 May 2012 at 11:48  
Blogger Flossie said...

And whoever it was earlier on who invoked Matthew Shepard as a gay poster-boy who was tragically murdered, the killing had nothing to do with homophobia. It was drug and money related. His murderer said so. But that doesn't stop the gay lobby parading his horrible murder as 'evidence' of homophobia.

11 May 2012 at 11:53  
Blogger Adrian said...

Also see,

http://www.thecatholicthing.org/columns/2012/the-president-jesus-and-the-golden-rule.html

11 May 2012 at 12:00  
Blogger Jon said...

William - you get a civil partnership, I'll get married thanks. Stop telling other people what they can and can't do.

AIB - I'm not suggesting there's institutional homophobia (although there's a number of people on here who should be in an institution and are homophobic). You have retreated, I think, from your supposition that necessary characteristics of marriage are that it is both heterosexual and a Christian sacrament (if hindus in in India are too close to home, try shinto Japan - my analogy still holds). You are therefore prepared to enlarge your square by admitting non- Christians - thereby altering your definition of marriage.

Why aren't you prepared to accept that a legal (rather than Christian) marriage could also include gays?

By the way - thank you for being prepared to consider things reasonably, rather than simply hurling insults like many others on here.

Flossie, it was me who brought it up. He's not a "gay poster-boy". He was a kid who got killed by two mindless idiots because he was gay. His mum said so, the arresting officer said so (and you're suggesting he perjured himself, by the way.) And why believe a murderer over his girlfriend, or a police officer? Because it fits your awful world view, perhaps?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard

11 May 2012 at 12:07  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Jon:

I've not retreated from the basis of my understanding of marriage in the Christian sense being supreme. Firstly because while being yoked to non-Christians is not encouraged (and experiences of people who I know who are in this situtation tends to bear out the sense of that advice) it is not forbidden. Nor is it the case that a marriage between two non-Christians need necessarily be understood as being fundamentally illegitimate, providing it retains the basic character of heterosexual monogamy and fidelity.

To take fidelity, for instance, I'm sure there are non-Christians who are every bit as consistent in staying loyal to their husbands or wives (you probably consider yourself to be in this category also). When they aren't, we are capable of all agreeing that they have done wrong, that they have violated their marriage. Or at least we are presently - I am still concerned that consistently applying a principle that says marriage may be redefined upon couples outside its limits complaining that it discriminates against them. I'm not accusing *you* of arguing for monogamy or polyamory, just to be clear, but rather that if we uphold the principle of your argument, we'd better have some strong reasons to refuse an equivalent argument from other applicants.

And if you think I'm playing reductio ad absurdum or slippery slope with these examples, here are a couple of real defences of both. The only substantial difference (in principle) between them and the C4EM is that they haven't yet organised vociferously:

http://www.gay.net/dating/2012/04/26/gay-polyamorous-relationship-new-york

[I await a comment about the source of this one]

http://www.christian.org.uk/news/polygamists-challenge-us-states-law-against-bigamy/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-15032947

11 May 2012 at 12:34  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I'll stick with the square analogy since it seems to be helpful. Also, if you're familiar with Plato and Paul, you'll probably be aware that Platonic ideals form a backdrop to the New Testament philosophy, so it's even contextually appropriate.

The present secular form of marriage still retains its fundamental "squareness" but lacks the blessing of the Spirit of God. In that sense, Christians might think of it as a tarnished square to Christian marriage, but nevertheless something that might be redeemed through the conversion of both husband and wife. A pentagon might too experience a similar conversion, but its fundamental character must change to match the squareness of God's intended form of marriage. If that means one or more partners must become sexually fidelious, then this they must do. Polygamy and non-heterosexual marriages cannot make those changes. They simply can't achieve the fundamental "squareness". Does that mean that I'm saying you can't be in love with a man, or with many women? No. It seems perfectly obvious that you can be in love with all manner of people - you can earnestly love someone who is not your spouse, for instance. But that doesn't mean that that love is compatible with, or can as a matter of possibility, be affirmed by Scriptural marriage.

Quite clearly we're at mutually exclusive positions. I actually share your view that it isn't right, or even much use, enforcing the views of one small group over the rest of a country. That's why I support this being put to the democratic consenus - which also has the secondary advantage of establishing a precedent that subsequent changes could only be done in a similar way. But I don't see either the merit or the advantage in allowing a substantial change solely on the grounds of the offense caused at being outside the bounds of an institution that is, as I said earlier, intrinsically defined by what it excludes.

11 May 2012 at 12:34  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

Quickie, that shouldn't need to be said, but I will anyway.

I deplore any injury or murder of others. Holding hatred in your heart for anyone is something that Christ persistently rebuked. If we as Christians end up in a position where we think that we have license to seek out and inflict misery on others because they are sinners, we have completely failed to understand that we have ourselves been saved from sin, and we are in fact endangering our own salvation (Matt. 18:21-35).

11 May 2012 at 12:38  
Blogger Flossie said...

Well, Jon, read on:

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=277685&page=1

But did this hit the headlines? Of course not! The 'homophobia' angle made much better reading.

Compare and contrast this story with another murder at around the same time, that of 13-year-old Jesse Dirkhising, who was raped and suffocated by two homosexual men. This received very little media coverage compared with the feeding frenzy over Matthew Shepard. I read somewhere the number of newspaper reports - it was something like ten million to five - well, I exaggerate a trifle, but you get the picture.

11 May 2012 at 12:43  
Blogger William said...

Jon

"William - you get a civil partnership, I'll get married thanks"

That's a shame Jon. A rather selfish attitude too. That you would dismantle traditional marriage and remake it in your own image (when you already have the equivalent rights), while everyone else can go hang.

11 May 2012 at 15:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "[...] while everyone else can go hang."

Or just carry on pretty much as normal with very little change if any, which is what will actually happen when all this religious fuss has died down.

11 May 2012 at 17:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

bluedog: "Until you and the rest of your peer group grasp that simple fact you will continue to lose the argument with the electorate who can recognise false logic when they see it."

We're not losing the argument as the opinion surveys show very well. In fact, I recall I posted links to the most recent ones when you claimed this last time. In principle it seems the majority think it's fine, and in practice I doubt it will have much effect on the electorate in a general election. We're all too worried about the country's financial situation and the knock on effects from that to care about an issue like that when voting.

11 May 2012 at 17:54  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

DanJ0 is quite correct about the polls, although "majority" is not clear in all the polls, there is a substantial level of public support to the question of marriage equality.

Personally I suspect a referendum would depend heavily on how the no campaign went. If it did the whole "against nature, gays are perverse" line, I suspect it would lose.

If on the other hand they made the point that it would be conceding that minority groups have an inalienable right to redefine normative practices to accomodate their views, I suspect it would be a closer-run thing. Sadly, judging by the C4M rhetoric, the former rather than the latter line would be pursued.

11 May 2012 at 20:17  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Belfast

All Cristians are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions - in the name of Christ, and not just because this goes 'normative practices'.

Faced with legislative proposals in favor of homosexual unions, we have a moral duty to express opposition clearly and publicly because it is harmful to the common good is also gravely immoral.

It isn't just about winning and losing; it's also about witnessing our faith.

11 May 2012 at 22:15  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Jon

and no dogs, thanks Phil Roberts, you arse - I'm bloody stunning in my white dress ;-)).

So it seems we were right all along, you are not worried about the next step after GM or any negative effects GM could have on society.

Just how you will look in your white dress!

It is all about me, my rights, my happiness, now and to hell with everyone else and what they think or are concerned about, because what I want now is everything.

And no I am not an "arse" whatever you mean by that.

Phil

11 May 2012 at 22:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

“If it feels good, do it”. Not the Inspector’s attitude, but Fred West’s....

11 May 2012 at 23:21  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Belfast said ...
" ... we have completely failed to understand that we have ourselves been saved from sin, and we are in fact endangering our own salvation (Matt. 18:21-35)."

Ummm ... I do agree but wonder what little pope len and Ernsty make of this. They maintain once "saved", through "faith alone", salvation cannot be lost.

I confess not being able to quite grasp their logic or find ebvidence in scripture. It has something to do with the 'spirit' being perfected whilst the sins of the 'flesh' are covered and the 'soul' regenerated. Once "saved" God is in complete control whatever sins we commit.

As a Catholic Christian such thinking is completely alien to me.

11 May 2012 at 23:36  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr DanJo @ 17.54 says 'We're not losing the argument', which must explain why the Queen's Speech is silent on Dave's formerly passionate embrace of SSM.

As for Obama, you would hope he was more concerned about Iran's nuclear weapons programme than with indulging himself over a peripheral social issue:

'Former Israeli Military Intel Chief Yadlin: Iran already has a nuclear capability
Maj. Gen (Res) Amos Yadlin said Iran is working on infrastructure for shortening the weaponization process of its nuclear program to 60 days, confirming Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s latest estimate. “How can those who cannot contain Iran now expect to do so after it has built a weapon?” he asked. Yadlin authoritatively debunked the arguments of other former Israeli security chiefs against an Israeli attack on Iran.'

Debkafile report, 5th May 2012

12 May 2012 at 01:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

bluedog: "Mr DanJo @ 17.54 says 'We're not losing the argument', which must explain why the Queen's Speech is silent on Dave's formerly passionate embrace of SSM."

Nothing to do with the fact that the consultation has a number of weeks left to run, or that the proposed timeframe is by the end of the elected term?

12 May 2012 at 02:31  
Blogger uk Fred said...

It is not just the politicians who are changing marriage, although they are making divorce easier. The church by failing top teach biblical doctrines is every bid as involved in destroying marriage. Have a look at http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/reframing-christian-marriage/
and review the table in the main post to catch my dirft.

13 May 2012 at 00:10  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr DanJo @ 02.31, no, in this communicant's view the consultation has years, not weeks to run. May one suggeste the proposed timeframe will extend to late 2015? In other words, after the elected term, not before. Dave being Dave will say one thing to the 1922 Committee and another thing to the homosexual lobby.

The weakness of Dave's position with regard to SSM was summarised by Fraser Nelson in the DT the other day.

If communicant Naomi King has it right, 'At 9pm last night I took a screen shot of the poll For abandonment - yes 67.7% - 32.3% no.' the Grauniad is facing an uphill battle too.

Fortunately the Guardian's sister organ the BBC is of unimpeachable integrity and would never stoop to the measures allegedly employed by the Guardian. Would it?

13 May 2012 at 07:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

bluedog: "May one suggeste the proposed timeframe will extend to late 2015? In other words, after the elected term, not before."

I've said a number of times that I think it will take a Labour government to actually bring it in. Cameron is just using it to detoxify the Tory brand, I'm sure, but it's not bad for us as he's put it into the public mind now.

"If communicant Naomi King has it right, 'At 9pm last night I took a screen shot of the poll For abandonment - yes 67.7% - 32.3% no.' the Grauniad is facing an uphill battle too."

Those clicky poll things are just frivolous games anyway. I've seen calls to arms from both sides, exhorting people to visit and click to get the stats up before the end. Naomi can sit at her computer with her tinfoil hat on but, really, they're meaningless fluff in terms of results and I expect they exist just to give readers a sense of interaction and involvement.

13 May 2012 at 11:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

What you need to look at, I think, is historical trends of opinion surveys where questions about sexuality are asked blandly amongst a whole raft of subjects. The results are astonishing, I think. Public opinion has shifted dramatically decade on decade over the last 40 years regarding homosexuality. Moreover, the trend there is obvious to anyone who had lived through the period. Even regarding same-sex marriage, opinion has changed over the last 5 years or so. We're winning the argument hands down over sexual orientation politics.

13 May 2012 at 11:48  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

In fairness bluedog, you musn't be surprised that DanJ0 is quite right about the shifts. The UK is hardly going to consider Christian arguments to be more credible when it is increasingly not Christian.

Personally, I think we're best placed looking at reviving Christianity, rather than focusing on the accumulated issues that we are opposed to. Otherwise we just end up campaigning from one issue to the next, and further reinforce the view in many people's mind that all we're interested in is following tradition. Anecdotally, I've noticed a number of my friends (including former Christians) who have ceased making any difference between "swivel-eyed conservatives" and Christians, because they see Christianity as merely another ancient tradition to be overthrown.

We should get back to the fact that we follow the Living God, because the positions on many of the legal questions we face proceed from the Grace He has given us, and the Truth He has revealed to us. Bring people back to God, and He will change their hearts, and turn them away from sin, just as He does with us.

13 May 2012 at 12:20  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr AiB @ 12.20 said firstly, 'you musn't be surprised that DanJ0 is quite right about the shifts.'

Agreed. But in my judgement the momentum of the homosexual lobby in SSM is peaking. I quite agree with Civil Partnerships which are clearly necessary in protecting the property rights of individuals in long term relationships. However it seems profoundly irrational to me to compare a heterosexual family with a homosexual union, they are simply not the same thing and cannot be compared. Even if SSM is mistakenly granted, there will still be a need for a heterosexual family unit to be given favoured status. No civilisation has yet managed without recognition of the importance of the family. In short, at a practical biological level, heterosexual society can survive without homosexuals but the reverse is not true.

And secondly 'The UK is hardly going to consider Christian arguments to be more credible when it is increasingly not Christian.'

This is where I have great difficulty with your approach. While fully agreeing with your comments regarding the Christian definition of marriage, it seems to me an exercise in complete futility to hold out Christian belief as authority when discussing same-sex marriage with atheist interlocutors. In the context of same sex marriage, the arguments can be made on a secular basis against the proposal. This is my approach and I have yet to quote a Christian authority in this debate. Quoting a Christian authority or reference to atheists simply gives them oxygen in the form of an opportunity for them to disagree with you in the dual context of your faith and your view opposing SSM.

In my view it is essential to avoid a fight on two fronts.

13 May 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

bluedog: "Even if SSM is mistakenly granted, there will still be a need for a heterosexual family unit to be given favoured status. No civilisation has yet managed without recognition of the importance of the family."

I'll all for the favoured status thing for marriage, which is one reason why I advocate same-sex marriage too. If I understand where you want the favour to fall, you're putting the inequality in the wrong place. We should be encouraging stability and mutual support structure because those units are the building blocks of a solid society. All the better that procreation and child-rearing take place within those units.

13 May 2012 at 15:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

AIB: "Bring people back to God, and He will change their hearts, and turn them away from sin, just as He does with us."

Well, quite. Matthew 5:14 seems apposite here. As an atheist, I usually have contempt for people who tell me my nature is disordered and my loving behaviour is immoral and against their god's plans. Christians need to sell their god to people first, before judging them according to Christian beliefs.

13 May 2012 at 15:15  
Blogger len said...

It is not the Christians business to 'sell their God'.

We merely point out the realities of the situation.... you either accept that or deny it.

If I saw replay of the 'Titanic' sailing I would warn those on board, if they' stuck up two finger's to me is their affair and quite within their 'Human Rights'

Once having warned them my job is done so to speak.

13 May 2012 at 21:17  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr DanJo @ 15.07 says 'We should be encouraging stability and mutual support structure because those units are the building blocks of a solid society.'

Prima facie that's true and civil partnerships cover that need in respect of the homosexual community. Your community repeatedly asserts 'we're different' and CPs accordingly respect that assertion. The electorate will see any attempt to argue otherwise as pure hypocrisy.

13 May 2012 at 22:30  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

len said...
"It is not the Christians business to 'sell their God'.

We merely point out the realities of the situation.... you either accept that or deny it."


And in just two sentences you reveal your arrogance, again, and the shallowness of your approach to Christ and spreading His Word.

Of course one has to "sell" the Gospel message. Jesus did this Himself through His parables and His miracles. He changed the way people saw their world and then told them about God.

In today's culture one has to meet the obstructions put in the minds of the recepients of the Good News. Barriers need to be broken down to make people receptive to assent to the workings of the Holy Spirit.

14 May 2012 at 00:00  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

len aid ...

"Once having warned them my job is done so to speak."

You really think so? John the Baptist your most certainly not! Your "job" would be to pray for people; through your works show the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit; inspire them to change.

To just stand at the dock and shout "You're all doooomed and heading for destruction" will just make them think you a religious nutter.

14 May 2012 at 00:12  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Ps len

And that's why everyday I thank God I am a Catholic! And not because it makes me feel better than others but because it makes me realise how small I am and the small part I am called to play.

I also ask Him each day to strengthen me to persevere in my faith, to understand and do His will.

14 May 2012 at 02:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

bluedog: "Your community repeatedly asserts 'we're different' and CPs accordingly respect that assertion."

Different? Well, my arguments are usually based on relevent likeness. In fact, I repeatedly say that my aspiration is for sexual orientation to become completely unremarkable. My community? You think I live in some sort of gay community? Weird.

14 May 2012 at 07:46  
Blogger len said...

Dodo

No wonder you cannot grasp simple spiritual truths.

You are immersed in the wrong spirit.

14 May 2012 at 07:49  
Blogger len said...

Dodo. you really should read your Bible.

Jesus presented the Gospel to anyone who would hear it.

Did he try to' sell his God ?. Certainly not!.
God is not a 'product' to be sold in the market place!.

In fact Jesus didn`t present an 'easy Gospel'at all! From listening to Him one might even think He was even trying to put people off!.
Jesus spelt out just how hard it was to accept and to follow Him, picking up' ones Cross' is accepting execution!.

14 May 2012 at 07:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

DanJo @ 07.46 says:

1)'I repeatedly say that my aspiration is for sexual orientation to become completely unremarkable.' Worthy sentiment in theory, but doesn't work in practice. Sexual orientation is frequently but not invariably a key determinant of career choice.
2) 'My community? You think I live in some sort of gay community?'
Apologies, you're a lone predator with a promiscuous disposition. Should have remembered.
3) 'Weird'. A reference to yourself, or to my memory?

14 May 2012 at 08:21  
Blogger Jon said...

AIB - I agree, we are at mutually exclusive positions, but they are respectfully held.

I think, for both of us, it comes down to the squareness argument. I don't wish to labour my point about Christians being able to accept all sorts of forms of marriage (Hindu, Mormon, Buddhist), although King Solomon's multiplicity of wives, and live in harem, testify to a certain preparedness to be elastic! I know you'll shoot back with something Paul, but given that Deuteronomy is regularly quoted here against gays, I think you can see how this looks to outsiders!

Incidentally - betty bowers has a silly video about biblical marriage - you may enjoy it, I'm not sure.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OFkeKKszXTw

I agree with you that democratic consensus is the way to go in this case, although, I'm also a bit uncomfortable that we should have the "rights" (sorry, I couldn't think of another word and can hear troll feet) of minorities circumscribed by electoral mandate (e.g. Jim Crow).

I also agree that the C4M argument is pretty poorly made. In the States, there was the recent incident of a leaked press release seeking to "drive a wedge between the gay and the african american communities" which clearly isn't divinely inspired! When arguing for gay marriage, experience has shown the public responds well to arguments made around loving couples, and less well to abstract legal or religious arguments.

In this, we have something of an advantage, because the C4M people have to show that allowing committed gay couples into the square makes the square lose its squareness. Since most people in the UK probably don't think that god- based marriage is essential to the squareness of marriage, unless there is some form of religious revival, I think over time C4M will lose its argument as more and more people encounter committed gay couples and see no reason why they shouldn't marry.

Flossie, first of all, it's important that you accept that gay people are disproportionately more likely to be attacked, per se. Secondly, what you've quoted as "fact" is actually an interview with two people who killed someone. They're not denying that part. They are also seeking to have their sentences reduced from consecutive life sentences by portraying their crime as not a hate crime (which carries extra time). That you are clutching at a straw offered by convicted murderers to defend the indefensible says a lot about your level of compassion. Your "fruits of the spirit" are riddled with maggots - you are a whitewashed tomb and you have not love.

14 May 2012 at 09:17  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

@Jon

I tend not to quote the Old Testament, because Covenant Theology isn't particularly widely thought about by many Christians, so I don't assume that it will be by non-Christians. Suffice to say, that there is a coherent position wherein one may uphold the moral laws of the Old Testament without needing to abstain from shellfish.

Likewise, I think a reading of King Solomon's life may well demonstrate that the "rot set in" precisely because he was so maritally and spiritually profligate (to the degree that the two are intertwined). Likewise, Abraham, had and caused no end of trouble by preferring his own interpretation of God's promise of a son to him.

But beyond that, I'd agree largely with what you've written. I think there is enough of a credible historical argument to suggest that heterosexuality has been a key component of marriage - made all the more so by the fact that it remained a qualifying part of it even in cultures where same-sex unions were recognised and afforded respect and/or legal rights. In that sense there is far more historical weight behind the Civil Parnership division than there is for outright redefinition. However, I would acknowledge that history holds water only for a while - if one were to argue for C4M solely from that perspective, eventually you would concede to a democratically mandated change.

But that's really it with regards to my argument: the constitutional legitimacy of a change we appear to largely be agreed on, and the religious component is only going to be compelling to someone who follows God, or I suppose thinks that the culture is an integral part of their identity (though this latter one is not something I'd be keen to endorse).

14 May 2012 at 14:02  
Blogger gentlemind said...

bluedog said
"Mr AiB @ 12.20 said firstly, 'you musn't be surprised that DanJ0 is quite right about the shifts.'

Agreed. But in my judgement the momentum of the homosexual lobby in SSM is peaking. I quite agree with Civil Partnerships which are clearly necessary in protecting the property rights of individuals in long term relationships. However it seems profoundly irrational to me to compare a heterosexual family with a homosexual union, they are simply not the same thing and cannot be compared. Even if SSM is mistakenly granted, there will still be a need for a heterosexual family unit to be given favoured status. No civilisation has yet managed without recognition of the importance of the family. In short, at a practical biological level, heterosexual society can survive without homosexuals but the reverse is not true."

Civil Partnerships and Marriage have love, stablility and commitment in common. These are all emotional concepts. But marriage is a physical (sexual) relationship and, on the physical level, Civil Partnerships and Marriage are clearly different. Physical equality can only ever be achieved by taking something away from someone. That then causes injustice.

bluedog said
"And secondly 'The UK is hardly going to consider Christian arguments to be more credible when it is increasingly not Christian.'

This is where I have great difficulty with your approach. While fully agreeing with your comments regarding the Christian definition of marriage, it seems to me an exercise in complete futility to hold out Christian belief as authority when discussing same-sex marriage with atheist interlocutors. In the context of same sex marriage, the arguments can be made on a secular basis against the proposal. This is my approach and I have yet to quote a Christian authority in this debate. Quoting a Christian authority or reference to atheists simply gives them oxygen in the form of an opportunity for them to disagree with you in the dual context of your faith and your view opposing SSM.

In my view it is essential to avoid a fight on two fronts."

People of all faiths should use that faith as their motivation in the fight to save marriage. But i believe you are right to say the case for preserving marriage can be - should be - secular.

14 May 2012 at 17:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

bluedog: "Apologies, you're a lone predator with a promiscuous disposition. Should have remembered"

*shakes head*

What an ill-informed, bigoted and pointless twat.

14 May 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJo

An ill-informed and pointless comment, perhaps. Just why does this mean bluedog is "bigoted" and a "twat"?

14 May 2012 at 22:22  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "An ill-informed and pointless comment, perhaps. Just why does this mean bluedog is "bigoted" and a "twat"?"

Where have I ever given the impression that I am promiscuous or that I am a (presumably sexual-) predator here? Quite the opposite, really. He's just reverting to a gay stereotype, popular with those who have an adverse emotional position against homosexuality, simply because I'm gay. The homosexual community thing is similarly misplaced. It lumps people who are gay into a group who have shared attributes, values, interests, and outlook simply because of their sexual orientation. In effect, he's equating being gay with the localised culture around Soho in London or Canal Street in Manchester and calling it a community to whom gay people belong. It's like saying there's a single black culture and black people are like some of the Jamaicans who live in Brixton. There are probably 3 million of us in the UK and we're a completely diverse group of people, most of whom you won't recognise as gay in the street, in the workplace, or in pubs. Gah, I don't know why I'm even bothering explaining this to you as you couldn't even recognise your own blatant homophobia here in the past.

15 May 2012 at 06:26  
Blogger len said...

Stereotyping (or putting people into boxes) is seemingly part of the human condition(not very PC though.)

Whenever a Christian is portrayed in the Media he(or she) is usually a nutjob of some sort or other, a serial killer, or just downright weird.

We must try and see past' the labels' and look at the person(even Dodo and his friends)and evaluate them on that basis.

15 May 2012 at 18:03  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0
I have never, I repeat, never, given expression to bigoted or homophobic views about homosexuality!

I see it as a disorder, yes. I view its influence on society as corrupting and evil, yes. I am fiercely opposed to same sex marriages, yes. I would prefer it if the law prevented the active promotion of homosexual behaviour as 'normal', yes. I also do not believe homosexuals couples should adopt or foster children, yes.

Homophobic? No!

16 May 2012 at 00:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "I have never, I repeat, never, given expression to bigoted or homophobic views about homosexuality!"

Dodo, you just don't get it.

16 May 2012 at 06:04  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

As I have said a number of times, criticism of homosexuality on religious grounds is not homophobia.

16 May 2012 at 06:05  
Blogger len said...

The Power of sin is such an insidious thing.It takes the normal wants needs and desires of people and distorts them into something other than God intended.
It(sin) makes itself appear attractive to people but the pull of sin lures people into bondage to itself.
That is the reason that Christians speak out against sin(as defined Biblically)because the nature of sin is that it turns people inward against God and leads them into bondage.
'The Sirens' were young and beautiful bird-woman in Greek Mythology who lured sailors onto the rocks to their death with their enchanting voices ,the Power of sin has a similar intention.

16 May 2012 at 08:18  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Actually, I think it is is you who does not get it.

On the one hand you say rejection of homosexuality on religious grounds is not homophobic (I assume this covers rejection on natural morality grounds too) but still accuse me of bigotry and homophobia.

My objections are founded on the harm that comes from this behaviour because it contradicts both nature and God.

16 May 2012 at 11:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "On the one hand you say rejection of homosexuality on religious grounds is not homophobic (I assume this covers rejection on natural morality grounds too) but still accuse me of bigotry and homophobia."

You still don't get it. You're a blatant homophobe because of your past behaviour here not because you try to justify your behaviour afterwards with off-the-shelf religious positions.

16 May 2012 at 17:38  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Absolute tosh!

You have no basis for a claim. So what if I've taken the piss out of you and you homosexual pals and the use of the words "queer" and "gay"? Get a sense of humour transplant and stop being so anal.

Produce some evidence.

16 May 2012 at 21:01  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Produce some evidence."

You produced large quantities of it night after night over a number of months and it's available for anyone to see. You tried this evidence thing before after you were caught secretly using multiple IDs and when the evidence was duly produced you tried everything you could to spin it away. To no avail, of course. I see you're trying to reimagine the homophobia stuff above now so no doubt you'll try the same again. Hence, I'm happy just to point out that you're a blatant homophobe. I don't know why you bother denying it anyway, it's not illegal to be one and there are plenty of other religious people to keep you company.

17 May 2012 at 05:03  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo, oldbird.

"Of course one has to "sell" the Gospel message. Jesus did this Himself through His parables and His miracles. He changed the way people saw their world and then told them about God."

If Christ was selling the gospel, why did Jesus tell the disciples;

"And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow." (Matthew 13:3)

Many people have the mistaken idea that Jesus spoke in parables in order to help unbelievers better understand spiritual truth, but Christ told His disciples, "it is given unto YOU to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to THEM it is not given" (Matthew 13:11). The parables were given for the instruction of His disciples (believers), not to convert unbelievers. In fact, these parabolic teachings were symbolic so that unbelievers would not understand them!

Luke 8:11-13

11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Parables are not for Unbelievers anymore than the epistles are written to unbelievers!!!

Must Ernst continually correct you on the fundamentals of belief or does just a word from Len make you go opposite?!.

Ernsty

17 May 2012 at 11:37  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Ummm ... I do agree but wonder what little pope len and Ernsty make of this. They maintain once "saved", through "faith alone", salvation cannot be lost.(The Father has promised to make us holy and He will. Anyone who has never felt The Fathers disciplining hand in his life is NOT one of His.!

I confess not being able to quite grasp their logic or find ebvidence in scripture.(It is given to you but it is like a parable, is it not?!) It has something to do with the 'spirit' being perfected whilst the sins of the 'flesh' are covered and the 'soul' regenerated. Once "saved" God is in complete control whatever sins we commit.(That is exactly IT!!!)

"As a (Roman??!!)Catholic Christian such thinking is completely alien to me." Ermm WE gather.

Ernst

17 May 2012 at 11:45  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Ernsty
Why bother with all this confusing nonsense? I fully understand the role of Parables and miracles in Jesus' teaching - unlike you. Again, one line from scripture and you build a whole 'theology' on it. Incredible! Do you actually read the words of Christ?

You and little pope len have clear differences as evidenced in the above posts. Why not address these comments to him? Afterall, you and he appear to support one another and yet don't agree on justification and sanctification.

17 May 2012 at 12:17  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Yeah, thought not. No evidence then? And I wondered when you'd raise the old "multiple ID" reference again. When all is lost, eh?

17 May 2012 at 12:19  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Ernsty

Sorry, little pope len explained his infallible understanding of scripture on an earlier thread:

"If the desire to indulge in sinful pursuits is more overpowering than following the inward leading of the Spirit then I believe the Heart can become so hardened that one could wilfully reject one`s salvation.

This would be a really tragic situation because the way back would be extremely difficult not because God would reject you but genuine repentance would be extremely difficult unless personal circumstances changed drastically."


Care to explain this - or, failing that, address it with your mate?

17 May 2012 at 12:22  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo

Is a lesson in the phrasing of a Presupposition really required?

You cut and paste from Len's argument (Don't know in what context he was referring to??) but it starts with an 'If', which defines several possibilities, does it not..If and you are/you are not. If, perhaps you will/perhaps you won't. If, and you won't but I wish you would etc...

Len's train of reasoning appears counter to the argument that if it was left to WE alone, we would fail because... He shows this rationale is therefore wrong!

Do you even comprehend, my bird, the Scriptures that lay in front of you in The Holy Bible and the arguments presented By Father Son Holy Spirit and those authorised to transmit Truth to the faithful and therefore our assurances.?

Salvation/Fellowship. Two completely different arguments. One you can never lose, the other seperates you from fellowship and is a result of continuing in sin, leading to the discipline of the Father..

Hebrews 12:14

14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

Fine but who shall do this...The Believer??

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

Who sanctifies you, calls you and who will do it?

To be a holy people is to be a people that God has uniquely chosen out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. It is to be a unique people, a people who alone are set apart in a relationship of love with the unique and only God.

In Leviticus 21 and 22 when we are told that God makes the people of Israel holy and He makes the priests holy, this is what He means. He freely chooses them to be His people according to His own purposes and not because of anything in them and He makes them fit to live with Him.

Jesus told the disciples, “You did not choose me but I chose you.”

Ephesians 1:4: “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”
In 1 Corinthians 6:11 he describes Christians as those who have been MADE holy. In fact, the most common term used in the NT to describe Christians is "holy ones" or in most of our English
translations: "saints."
This doesn't first refer to our moral condition but to the fact that we have been uniquely chosen by God to be his treasured people.

When God makes us holy we are humbled because we know that we had nothing to do with our being made holy. God did it, contrary to what we deserve and in spite of what we wanted. He chose us and he changed us.

Ernst

17 May 2012 at 16:47  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "No evidence then?"

*reels out some rope again*

Hey Dodo, did we ever get to the bottom of whether Nowhere Man is another of your fake IDs?

17 May 2012 at 17:06  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Let's keep all talk of bottoms out of this, please!

17 May 2012 at 19:16  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Ernsty

I know what I believe and I'm not interested in point scoring through egotistical displays of scriptural knowledge.

You need to take all this up with your pal little pope len who alwayd disappears when obvious contradictions in his beliefs surface.

Here's the posts:
Anonymous in Belfast said ...

”All I'm suggesting to you is that the picture you paint of the born-again experience being one of an irrevocable character shift doesn't seem to be borne out in Scripture. There are numerous references to people falling away and being mislead by false teaching or undertaking a sinful life. Some, certainly, never understood Christ (in the Johannine sense) to begin with - but there are others who appear to have taken up sinful activities.

If you'll forgive me, but why else does Paul write some of the epistles? It's very often to warn Christians that they are in danger of being led astray. Consider also the letters to the Seven Churches in Revelation. There's always a definite "if" in Scripture.

Hold firm to Christ, and reject sin. If you put to death your sinful nature you will be saved. If you allow it to resurface, if you do nothing to end its hold over your life, you risk being one of those people Christ warned about: the one's who cry "Lord, Lord" but to whom He will say: "Who are you? I do not know you. Depart from here.””


little pope len replied ...
”AIB, I do not believe salvation can be lost but I believe salvation can be rejected.

'I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.'(John 10:28)

If the desire to indulge in sinful pursuits is more overpowering than following the inward leading of the Spirit then I believe the Heart can become so hardened that one could wilfully reject one`s salvation.

This would be a really tragic situation because the way back would be extremely difficult not because God would reject you but genuine repentance would be extremely difficult unless personal circumstances changed drastically.

The parable of the prodigal son shows the Heart of the Father towards repentant sinners. To keep 'short accounts' with God is important and to be truthful about sinful impulses and desires.The 'flesh'( our human nature not yet under the authority of the holy Spirit) will always try to regain control and it is only the power of the Holy Spirit than can keep the flesh under restraint.”


I do look forward to your comments and his reply.

17 May 2012 at 19:24  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Ps

My reply:

little pope len said ...
"I do not believe salvation can be lost but I believe salvation can be rejected."

It amounts to the same thing! Either the Holy Spirit is all powerful or He requires our active and ongoing cooperation.

"If the desire to indulge in sinful pursuits is more overpowering than following the inward leading of the Spirit then I believe the Heart can become so hardened that one could wilfully reject one`s salvation."

A very Catholic position, and I fully agree. The rejection comes through evil killing God's sanctifying Grace in the soul.

" ... the way back would be extremely difficult not because God would reject you but genuine repentance would be extremely difficult unless personal circumstances changed drastically."

That's why the Church and its sacraments are there - ever waiting on the prodigals. The way back is ever present through the wonderful sacrament of Reconciliation and we are strengthened by the Lord's Body and Blood in the Eucharist.

17 May 2012 at 19:27  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo. a considered response.

AIB, bit all over the shop with his reasoning but not certain how his argument is about lost salvation for a believer..

”AIB, I do not believe salvation can be lost but I believe salvation can be rejected.' Wheats and tares? Not Saints and unbelievers but Saints and those who profess to be believers who are not!
"you risk being one of those people Christ warned about: the one's who cry "Lord, Lord" but to whom He will say: "Who are you? I do not know you. Depart from here.””" They expect Jesus to know them so they cannot be 'unbelievers' in their own minds, can they, but Jesus rejects them. They refused to check if their belief they were relying on was correct..It was not.

'IF'..Revelation 3:7-13, there appears to be none as they are doing what is expected.

Ernst

17 May 2012 at 19:54  
Blogger len said...

Dodo, it is God through the power of the Holy Spirit which is calling people to repentance.... not' your Church'.

If' your Church' was open to hearing the voice of the Spirit it would be devastated at how it is leading people away from God and into legalistic bondage instead.

The reformers(formerly Catholic Priests) realised the gross errors of Catholicism and set about restoring the Church out of the hands of men and back under the authority of God.For this they were tortured, burned alive, had their tongues ripped out,and when they begged for mercy their cries were ignored.
Is this the Church that Jesus Christ gave His Life for ..certainly not....The Catholic Church is a satanic counterfeit of the true church of God based not on love but greed,wealth, power and position.

17 May 2012 at 20:30  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

little pope len and Ernie the milkman

Talk to one another gentlemen and resolve your own fiundamental differences. What a pair of fundamentalists who disgree on the fundamentals!

Address one another in debate; not me. I'm interested in witnessing how you square this circle.

17 May 2012 at 21:48  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Dodo

Can't see any disagreement. It's all in your mind.A square is a square!

Ernst

18 May 2012 at 12:11  
Blogger Dodo the Dude said...

Oh dear, it seems the deluded and confused are unable to comprehend written English.

One claims salvation cannot be lost as the Holy Spirit always succeeds; the other says it can be "rejected" once received through the power of sin.

And there are no differences in their theology?

19 May 2012 at 00:14  
Blogger Unknown said...

Devout Christian US President Obama’s Gay-Christianity (and Gay-homosexual-anal-sex/sodomy Marriage): The New face of Christianity or a political stunt … ?
US Vice-President, a devout Roman Catholic Jesuits, Mr. Joe Biden Endorses Sodomy/Same-Sex Marriage
http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/05/06/478786/biden-marriage/?mobile=nc
Devout Methodist Christian, US Secretary of State, Madam Hillary Clinton backs New York Sodomy/Gay marriage law
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57843.html#ixzz1uvszwAws
40% priests are homosexuals and gay…Bishop Patrick Buckley
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/northern_ireland/470645.stm
On May 20, 2009, Reuters reported the results of a nine-year investigation by the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which looked into decades of endemic sexual abuse against children in Catholic-run reform schools in Ireland. Mr. Donohue of the Catholic League-USA, said, in October 2009, that the Catholic Church has a "homosexual" [sodomy], not a "pedophilia", problem, …… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_League_%28U.S.%29

20 May 2012 at 19:45  
Blogger Unknown said...

150,000 children stolen by Catholic, Anglican, Protestant & United Church: Stolen Generation
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aASpve7WRJI

All over European countries nearly 20% of children :, millions of children are victims of sexual child abuses and sodomies by the Christian priests and Jesuit teachers: (Same is happening in all counttries of the world in Asia, Africa and Americas: Where there is a Christian Church, priests, Jesuits and their Christian and Muslim followers and Mullahs, there is Child abuse sodomies and homosexuality): ….. As in Ireland, 20% Dutch children: Hundreds of thousands victims of Dutch Church
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZdKAaVvGv8
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/16/thousands-children-abused-dutch-catholic?CMP=twt_fd
Thousands of children suffered sexual abuse in Dutch Catholic institutions, and church officials failed to adequately address the abuse or help the victims, ...
Sex and The Church

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/kerala-rising-cases-of-sexual-abuse-within-the-church/1/151572.html
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20 May 2012 at 19:46  

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