Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where Ya Goin'?

There has been a trend that I find somewhat disturbing. Others of my political and religious persuasion might not find it so, but I insist that it's at least unfortunate. That trend would be the exodus of liberal commenters from visiting my blog. For some, it's enough to be able to publish their opinions and feelings and leave it at that. I expect that some do not even welcome opposing comments of any kind. That has never been the case here. I've said before and maintain that I hope, through my blog, to persuade or be persuaded. That I've failed in the former seems only to bother me. It's the latter that has brought about this exodus.

I am often accused of being stubborn, controlling, intellectually lazy, apathetic (that's a new one---I don't get it) and a host of other adjectives. That's all fine. What isn't is a poor argument for why any of that might be true. Let's look at some examples of scenarios common here at Marshall Art's:

Homosexual marriage and the Bible: In this debate, my position has rested upon one simple fact. The Bible teaches that homosexual behavior is sinful. The counter arguments range from distorted interpretations of original language, to convenient insistence that OT laws no longer apply, arguments from silence, and a wide variety of variations. Nothing has ever been presented that trumps one salient point, which is that it is the act itself that is prohibited with absolutely no Biblical discussion whatsoever regarding the intention, though process, attitude or whatever, behind the commission of the act. In other words, whether the act be murder, theft, lying, having sex with a goat, or merely having sex with someone of the same gender, we are simply told not to do it, and one's mental or emotional state has no bearing. It doesn't matter if I have a loving, monogomous relationship with my neighbor's wife, or if I'm doing her just for the fun of it, the teaching simply says, DON'T. No one's ever presented anything that trumps that fact, yet I'm the one who is being controlling, as if I, and not God, instituted the law.

Abortion: Against a horde that accuses us conservativeChristianrightwingfacists of being anti-science, just the opposite occurs. Science supports the pro-life position without question, but the pro-abortion crowd denies that without support of any kind.

In other areas, I have had thown at me demands for things like peer-reviewed papers to validate the bonafides of someone I use as an expert. Another was whether my source was listed in some kind of reference index (not sure it's called that). In both cases I found that neither provides the support my opponent implied due to rampant politics that play so heavily in both. At the same time, this particular insists on referring to the opinions of a Nobel Prize winner even when the winner is speaking on something not related to his expertise (I guess just being given a Nobel means one is an expert on everything).

Recently, Ron has created a new blog, which I highlighted, but it seems so soon that he has gone off the deep end. He rejects any counter argument before one is even offered. He does exactly what he claims is the reason for his new blog. He hasn't so much thought out of the box, but merely created a new box in which to hide.

My box has been the same all along. My arguments have remained consistent with my core beliefs, beliefs I have always stood ready, willing and eager to defend. My arguments have been clear and logical and it isn't that I'm blowing my own horn, but that despite the lamentations and protestations and accusations, I have been not been given any reason to change my mind. For all the reading done by some of my opponents, like Geoffrey and Feodor, none of it results in a good argument to change my way of thinking.

Let it be known, I've had my paradigms shifted over the course of my life. Certain beliefs have been changed to the point where I can't believe I ever thought differently. So I CAN be persuaded. I remain open to any and all arguments. I even dare others to try. If my opponents have a leg upon which to stand, at some point I should be stumped. At some point I should have no retort. It's pretty clear the opposite has been true and that's why those who have left, uh, left. They were stumped. They ran out of arguments. They had no counter. Were it reversed, they would be demanding that I concede. Were it reversed, I would have.

So their arugments that I am inflexible, unable to fathom the complexities of life, unwilling to show compassion, and all the other accusations hurled my way as the door hit them in their collectives asses, are the weakest arguements of all, for they have failed to convince themselves of their own beliefs. That's why they run.

Well, I never sought to chase them off. I never thought I was that good and still don't. So, for any who believe there's no point, for Geoffrey who delinked (not as painful as it might sound), Hashfanatic (who I think hasn't truly bailed yet), Ron, Dan, Les (who might still be lurking, being that he likes to lurk), and any other who has left in a huff, the welcome mat has never been rolled up. Don't take things so seriously or personally. Come take another shot.

207 comments:

1 – 200 of 207   Newer›   Newest»
Les said...

Of course I lurk. I just see no point in arguing in circles with you any longer. We simply have different ideas of what America is supposed to be when it comes to the wedge issues. I try to argue that liberty means "Live and let live." At the end of the day, your argument boils down to "Live AS I live."

No thanks. I'm just fine sittin' over here in the corner, thank you very much.

Perri Nelson said...

Well, I'm still here... although I think we see things from the same perspective most of the time. But then, I'm usually a lurker. Living in an echo chamber isn't edifying.

Some people will never be convinced to look at things differently. For example, liberty isn't really "live and let live", it's "live and let live within an ordered society." The extreme of "live and let live" is merely license.

Les said...

Perri's response is precisely why I don't bother. Thank you, Captain Obvious. I'm not advocating free license to kill, steal, and rape. I'm advocating the freedom to do as one wishes when one's actions don't threaten anyone else. Art is convinced absolutely that liberalism poses said threat, posts examples to support his claim, and dismisses examples that counter it. So again, why bother?

Erudite Redneck said...

Same thing happened at my place, man. All the righty-rights who used to hang around have gone away.. Not sure how that happens.

Erudite Redneck said...

Here's another take on the Bible and homosexuality, by the way:

Even if the Bible so clearly said what you think it says, it's wrong.

Even if the Bible was right to accept and even support slavery back in the day, it quit being right in the 19th century.

Even if the Bible, or to be specific, St. Paul, was right back in the day to "keep women silent in the churches" and present women as second-class, it quit being right in the 20th century. The biblical notion of woman and children being treated as chattel property quit being right before that.

Even if the Bible clearly declared flatly that homosexuality was wrong back in the day, which it does not, it quit being right about 30 years ago and the law will recognize it in the 21st century -- and so will the church. OK, maybe the 22nd century for the church.

Erudite Redneck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Clarke said...

I'm still here, although I agree with much that you say rather than arguing. You rightly say that some people who accuse others of being narrowminded are about as inflexible as steel girders themselves. It comes down to 'I'm right so you should agree with me otherwise you're narrow minded'. (Self -serving reasoning). As you say, people try claiming that what the Bible says has changed, when one of the critical things it says it that none of its words will pass away. That is part of its value. We do not need to worry that we've been left behind by progress. Once you learn what the Bible says that teaching is forever.

Marshall Art said...

Well. For now, I just want to say a few things. Firstly,

Hi Les! Good to hear from ya! It seems you've not understood exactly whence I come. That could be my fault. I've never meant to suggest that any live AS I live, but only that I live as I do because I follow what I believe are absolute truths that too many reject these days. The negative impact of that rejection is what I try to bring to light. And while I do try to present evidence when I can, I do NOT dismiss examples that hope to counter, but only show why they don't. Perhaps I've failed there as well. In any case, your two comments have given me fodder for future threads.

By the way, I just knew you were lurking. I'm always out of chips and pretzels.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

No particular reason why I haven't commented at your blog. Just kinda happened that way. I do check it out now and again.

Your second comment, however, will also make for a nice post. You might not care, but it suggests a reason why your opponents are concerned your "walk" might be more of a stagger. Stay tuned.

Marshall Art said...

As Perri suggests, dealing only with those who agree isn't especially edifying. Where's the fun in that? I much prefer to engage with those who disagree because like I said, I hope to persuade or be persuaded. I could not be more serious about this. In some cases, and ER is an example for me, Dennis Prager's preference for clarity would suffice for starters.

Neil said...

"So their arugments that I am inflexible, unable to fathom the complexities of life, unwilling to show compassion, and all the other accusations hurled my way as the door hit them in their collectives asses, are the weakest arguements of all, for they have failed to convince themselves of their own beliefs. That's why they run."

Marshall, that's the new tolerance at work. If you don't change to agree with them you are inflexible. If they don't change to agree with yours they are correct. Neat, huh?


"Even if the Bible so clearly said what you think it says, it's wrong.

Even if the Bible was right to accept and even support slavery back in the day, it quit being right in the 19th century."

Perhaps if ER studied history a little more he'd see that many people correctly interpreted the Bible to conclude that U.S.-style slavery was immoral (i.e., William Wilberforce and countless U.S. citizens). Were they wrong for thinking the Bible clearly said what they thought it said?

Of course not. ER is just trying to dismiss the views of Christians without doing any hard work.

"Even if the Bible clearly declared flatly that homosexuality was wrong back in the day, which it does not,"

But if ER thinks the Bible is so clear about that, can't we just say he's still wrong?

Another option is to just read the verses in context and see that the scriptural evidence supporting the view that homosexuality is a sin is overwhelming.

Satan has been asking, "Did God really say . . .," to rationalize sin for a long time.

Les said...

"It seems you've not understood exactly whence I come...I've never meant to suggest that any live AS I live..."

On the contrary, I hear you loud and clear. In fact, your point of view has become clearer as I've watched you prosletize from afar as of late. When we first started out back at the Museum all those years ago, you struck me as a conservative guy who could separate his religion from his politics alot more than the guy I've seen here in recent months. These days, you don't even try to hide the fact that your political positions find their roots in your particular interpretation of theology, and I have no interest in arguing with someone so entrenched in said dogma. I've made no secret about that. With someone who believes with as much conviction as you believe, there's just no piece of secular data that can trump spirituality. While people obviously have every right to believe as such, I simply have no interest whatsoever in waging that war. All I want is for those people to realize and accept the fact that other Americans who don't share their beliefs have every right to live as they will. While you may not be "suggesting" that others live as you do, you affect their lives and their constitutional pursuit of happiness when you push for laws that favor your values over theirs.

4simpsons said...

Marshall, I hope you are properly chastened by Les. How dare you let your religious convictions inform your policical views!

From now on you must vote the opposite of what your religion tells you. You must be pro-murder, pro-stealing, pro-perjury, etc.

Oh, what's that? That isn't what Les meant? You mean he just wants you to ignore your religious views when they disagree with his political views? How convenient -- as if he isn't trying to affect the lives of others and their constitutional pursuit of happiness when he pushes for laws that favor his values over yours.

Les said...

"You must be pro-murder, pro-stealing, pro-perjury..."

Please see my second comment.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "your 'walk' might be more of a stagger..."

Absolutely true.


And yes, Neil, you are perfectly free in Christian liberty to tell me I'm wrong.

LOL. But I'd be careful about challenging me on history, especially antebellum and Civil War-era Southern history. One of the degreess I am occasionally lambasted in these parts for having is a master's degree in history. Southern Christians, for the most part, positively did hold up the Bible as not only "allowing" slavery but as proscribing it for the good of the slaves and their souls. True fact. But they were wrong.

4simpsons said...

"I'd be careful about challenging me on history, especially antebellum and Civil War-era "Southern history. One of the degreess I am occasionally lambasted in these parts for having is a master's degree in history. Southern Christians, for the most part, positively did hold up the Bible as not only "allowing" slavery but as proscribing it for the good of the slaves and their souls. True fact. But they were wrong."

Agreed. I wasn't questioning the fact that some people - who may or may not have been Christians - misinterpreted or abused the Bible for their own ends. That happens a lot, especially by liberal theologians.

I was pointing out how in your haste to discredit the Bible you ignored some other facts, such as as how many Christians pointed to the Bible as foundational to their opposition of slavery. It was a curious omission on your part.

4simpsons said...

Les, I saw your second comment. It doesn't address my comment that you are only trying to suppress Marshall's religious views when they disagree with yours.

Les said...

"How convenient -- as if he isn't trying to affect the lives of others and their constitutional pursuit of happiness when he pushes for laws that favor his values over yours."

4simpsons, I will admit unequivocally that had I been alive in 1920, I would have absolutely been trying to make those that opposed the 19th Amendment just a little less happy. Had I been alive in 1862, I would have absolutely been trying to make those fighting under the Stars 'n Bars just a little less happy (sorry, ER - that's a whole other post). Had I been alive in 1963, I would have absolutely been trying to make George Wallace and his supporters just a little less happy. Had I been riding a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955, I would have absolutely been trying to make a certain white passenger just a little less happy.

See, Art and I probably disagree most severely on the gay issue and its scope. I view it as an equal rights issue, and I'm fully aware that the other side does not. When it comes to liberty for all, I will openly admit - hell, I'll scream it from a freakin' mountaintop - that I'd like to see the other side a little less happy. To me, equal rights issues have nothing to do with one's personal moral values, and everything to do with free will.

4simpsons said...

Thanks, then we appear to agree that you were being hypocritical in saying the following to Marshall:

"While you may not be "suggesting" that others live as you do, you affect their lives and their constitutional pursuit of happiness when you push for laws that favor your values over theirs."

Les said...

4simpsons, would you take this snide position of yours if you were arguing against suffrage? Against racial equality? I highly doubt it, because I'll assume you're neither racist nor sexist. If not, then my question is, why do you use this tactic when dealing with gay rights?

Les said...

BTW, if it helps clarify my position for you, then I'll add the following to my quoted comment:

"...when you push for laws that favor your RELIGION-BASED values over theirs."

Anonymous said...

Les, what is it about being "gay" that calls for special recognition and rights? mom2

4simpsons said...

Les, there you go again. When I point out your hypocrisy you call it a snide tactic. I haven't even mentioned gay rights. I'd be glad to address any fact-based arguments you'd like to present, but I'm not convinced you are a reasonable debater.

Thus far you have just used cheap tricks to dismiss your opponent instead of addressing his arguments. Why would someone want to waste time debating someone who won't refrain from that?

Do liberals think their case is so weak that they have to have to dismiss the other side with trickery or have they used these lame methods so long that they don't even realize they are doing it?

Remember, this could be a two way street if we wanted to make it so. I could dismiss the arguments of liberal "Christians" who advance "gay rights," abortion, etc. by saying that they shouldn't impose their religious beliefs on others.

BTW, I assume you expend equal energy on liberal "Christian" blogs telling them how wrong they are for pushing their religous views on others? Or do they get a pass because they agree with you?

4simpsons said...

"...when you push for laws that favor your RELIGION-BASED values over theirs."

That doesn't help. You have not demonstrated why it is immoral or unconstitutional for someone to have their religious views inform their political views. In fact, I'm pretty sure the Constitution protects the opposite.

Do you expect us to vote the opposite of our views? Again, I'd have to be pro-murder, pro-stealing, pro-slavery, pro-perjury, etc.

No, you just like to dismiss the views you don't agree with because they happen to coincide with our religious views. How convenient.

Having said that, I always enjoy advancing non-religious arguments for the pro-life or pro-traditional marriage positions. The universe God made is such that we can make very strong and clear cases without even opening the Bible. But anti-religious bigots often assume we're making Biblical arguments anyway.

4simpsons said...

Just to clarify my "I haven't even mentioned gay rights" comment - I was referring to the political topic of gay "rights," not the Biblical view that the behavior is sinful. I addressed that because ER brought it up.

I am glad to address the Biblical view with those who want to understand it or with those who claim to be Christians. For non-believers I stick to secular reasoning.

Les said...

"Les, what is it about being "gay" that calls for special recognition and rights?"

Absolutely nothing, mom2, and I don't support legislation giving gays special rights. However, I also don't approve of codifying certain institutions - like marriage - so that it specifically EXCLUDES gays. My opponents would ask, "Well, can't a gay man still get married?" Well sure, but only to a woman. This would obviously mean absolutely nothing to a gay person, unless the marriage were for strictly financial or social image purposes, so in this particular situation, they are basically denied the same right to PURSUE their happiness that we all enjoy. Since I don't see the same threat against traditional marriage that those like Art do, then I can't help but wonder why gays are so ferociously denied this privilege, unless the opposition is based primarily in religious belief. I can't support that. Again, live and let live. Allowing the marriage isn't the same thing as approving of it.

Neil said...

Les, gays get married all the time in apostate churches and outside of them. They get all the benefits of heterosexual couples in CA (despite the lies of the anti-Prop 8 folks).

Are you seriously claiming that because they don't have a piece of paper that they can't pursue happiness? Do you require gov't validation of your preferences before you can be happy?

But by nature and design they do not produce the next generation and they can NEVER provide a mother and a father to a child (the fact that some couples can't or don't want children, or that some children end up without a mother and a father as parents is irrelevant to the argument of what is the ideal.) They can never meet the ideal, so why should the gov't get involved in these unions?

Also, gov't recognition of these unions leads to all sorts of inappropriate things being pushed onto children as young as kindergarten -- http://www.massresistance.org/

Do you support these "rights" for polygamists, incestuous couples, bestiality, etc.? If not, does that make you a bigot?

Les said...

"Do you expect us to vote the opposite of our views?"

You seem to be taking the position that unless the state specifically outlaws something, then a tacit approval exists. That's not the case at all, and I have no problem whatsoever with believers espousing their views on homosexuality in the private sector.

"When I point out your hypocrisy you call it a snide tactic."

And you conveniently ignored the point of AND avoided my question. Why?

"I haven't even mentioned gay rights."

Nope. I did. Why? Because it's a wedge issue that fits this topic. As Art can attest, you're a newcomer to an argument he and I have been having for years on this, so go catch up so you can understand the context before throwing in your two cents, ok?

"You have not demonstrated why it is immoral or unconstitutional for someone to have their religious views inform their political views."

If those views contribute in any way to the compromising of equal rights, then I've got a problem with it. America is about freedom. Can't have it both ways, friend.

Les said...

"...for polygamists..."

Yes.

"...incestuous couples..."

Yes, as disgusting and immoral as that might be to me - with a caveat. They can't have kids, because there are potential health concerns for incestuous offspring. Again, I don't support something that can harm the unwillingly involved. Legality for me is NOT determined by the "ick" factor.

"...bestiality..."

Of course not. It's not two (or more) consenting HUMAN adults.

"...etc..."

You'll have to be more clear.

Nice jump slippin' right into that argument, though.

Les said...

"... is irrelevant..."

Says you.

4simpsons said...

"And you conveniently ignored the point of AND avoided my question. Why?"

What question - this one? "4simpsons, would you take this snide position of yours if you were arguing against suffrage? Against racial equality? "

If that is the question you were referring to, then I ignored it out of charity towards you. Your argument self destructs.

You see, my religious views inform my political views on those topics as well. The Bible demonstrates that women have equal worth with men and blacks have equal worth with whites. You would want me to vote the opposite of that, and in theory, you'd oppose liberal Christians who advance "gay rights," abortion rights, etc.

That is, you'd oppose them if you were internally consistent. But you are behaving hypocritically and are an uncharitable debater. You would rather silence views under the guise of un-Constitutional religious bigotry rather than address the arguments in question.

"If those views contribute in any way to the compromising of equal rights, then I've got a problem with it. America is about freedom. Can't have it both ways, friend."

Now you are begging the question. If the topic of debate is whether rights exist, then you can't dismiss arguments beforehand by saying they compromise equal rights. You are basically saying that if you think these aren't rights then you can't offer arguments saying they aren't rights because it would in some way compromise those rights.

That's a cute trick. Sadly, too many people fall for it. Do you even realize you are doing it?

4simpsons said...

""...bestiality..."

Of course not. It's not two (or more) consenting HUMAN adults."

So you are a species-ist? I figured as such. Making up the rules as you go along. You are Ok saying that marriage is NOT just between a man and a woman, but you'd object to those who want to make it between a human and a non-human?

""...incestuous couples..."

Yes, as disgusting and immoral as that might be to me - with a caveat. They can't have kids, because there are potential health concerns for incestuous offspring."

You sound kinda preachy.

And just how do you plan on regulating whether they have kids or not? What about "gov't staying out of bedrooms?"

""...for polygamists..."

Yes."

Thanks for the misogynistic concession. So anyone should be able to add partner without the consent of their spouse or without getting a divorce? Lovely.

Les said...

"...then I ignored it out of charity..."

Of course you did, because it wouldn't be rhetorically advantageous to accuse someone of hypocrisy who fought for suffrage or civil rights now, would it? You simply refuse to put the gay issue in the same ballpark. By refusing to do so, you can keep it sordid. Speaking of...

"If the topic of debate is whether rights exist..."

It's not. You're pivoting.

"You are basically saying that if you think these aren't rights then you can't offer arguments saying they aren't rights because it would in some way compromise those rights."

Wrong. You can argue against them all you want, and I never said you couldn't. I also believe the KKK has every right in the world to argue its position, and I don't feel that doing so compromises the rights of black folks. In this particular case, I just don't want your arguments translated into codified discrimination. Argue away, if you like. It's your right.

"...and are an uncharitable debater."

And what, pray tell, are you, 4simpsons? Have you done anything in this entire thread that has been any less dismissive? Get over yourself already!

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "how many Christians pointed to the Bible as foundational to their opposition of slavery. It was a curious omission on your part."

I don't know what's curious about it. My point was that the Bible is used to justify all sorts of social legislation -- some of it deemed good for awhile, then not, some deemed good by some and bad by others.

But you are mistaken if you think that the Southern Christians, during their own time, were misusing the Bible to justify and promote slavery. They were USING the Bible for what they believed was a positive good. Changes in society, yes, led by other Christians, deemed them, eventually, to have been wrong.

BTW, I don't accuse you, Neil of misusing the Bible, as you do me. I say you use it -- and I disagree with the way you use it, and I say that there is no one way to use the Bible that all Christians can agree on. Which is obvious.

Les said...

"...but you'd object to those who want to make it between a human and a non-human?"

Yes. What's the problem?

"You sound kinda preachy."

And what does that have to do with legality?

"And just how do you plan on regulating whether they have kids or not? What about 'gov't staying out of bedrooms?'"

What part of "unwillingly involved" do you not understand? If related peeps want to marry, then I see no problem with making them agree to have their reproductive capabilities medically disabled.

"...without the consent of their spouse ..."

No.

"...or without getting a divorce?"

In terms of polygamy, yes.

"Lovely."

No, legal.

Les said...

FYI:

"...misogynistic..."

Polygamy isn't limited to the model seen on shows like Big Love. Polyandry means one female, several males. Polygyny means one male, several females. But thanks for assuming the worst.

Erudite Redneck said...

Preach it, Les. As much as I disagree with certain uses of the Bible by anti-gay zealots, and as much as I support open-and-affirmation congregations and a wide-open Communion table for all who would come to Christ, the root of my support for gay-rights legislation is secular Liberty.

4simpsons said...

""If the topic of debate is whether rights exist..."

It's not. You're pivoting."

Not at all. Of course the issue is whether these are civil rights. You're fighting to obtain those rights, remember? You know, the "rights" you insist are currently being denied and have been denied for over 200 years?

So don't pretend that isn't what is being debated, and don't pretend that you aren't begging the question here. You are trying to prove these are rights at the same time you are pretending they are such well established rights that no one should be able to argue against them.

I do appreciate the transparency of your hypocrisy. Most debates aren't this easy.

"If related peeps want to marry, then I see no problem with making them agree to have their reproductive capabilities medically disabled."

That's rich. And Liberals think we want to control people's private lives. Uh, what if these folks don't get married, Les? What are you doing today to stop it? How do you ensure they don't get their vasectomies undone, or whatever method you advocate the government FORCING ON THEIR BODIES.

""...but you'd object to those who want to make it between a human and a non-human?"

Yes. What's the problem?"

Just your inconsistency.

ER, you beg the question as well. No one is stopping gays from having long term consensual relationships.

Oh, and would it make my arguments better if I called you a pro-gay zealot?

"BTW, I don't accuse you, Neil of misusing the Bible, as you do me."

Oh, come on. You think I misuse it but are too passive-aggressive to say so. I think you are wrong in how you interpret it and am glad to show you where and why.

Les said...

Actually, ER, I part company with gay rights activists who claim the Bible doesn't oppose the lifestyle. On the contrary, I think the Bible is quite clear in its condemnation of homosexuality. Again, my argument is not one of morality, rather legality. So yes, secular liberty is the theme.

4simpsons said...

"I think the Bible is quite clear in its condemnation of homosexuality."

Hey, we agree on something!

Marshall Art said...

Don't you bums have jobs?

Of course you do, but what are they again? If it allows time for blogging, it's probably the type of job that'll best suit me.

Les said...

Silly me. I should've known your head would explode if I used the word "rights". How awful of me. I should've stuck to "privileges", as I did in an earlier comment. If it makes you feel better, 4simpsons, I can replace "equal rights" with "equality". Can we stop dancing around the spirit of the debate now? Specifically, the fact that anti-gay activists want to codify laws to ensure that gay marriages are legally inferior to straight marriages? Great. Done.

"How do you ensure they don't get their vasectomies undone..."

You can't. But at the end of the day, what does that really have to do with marriage? If kin wanna fuck each other, they don't need marriage to do so. All I'm saying is, if the state were to allow kin to marry contingent upon an agreement to suspend reproductive capabilities, then the state has made a good faith effort to protect potential unwilling parties as personified by incestuous offspring. I'm not asking if you agree here, because you clearly don't. I just want to be sure you understand.

"...whatever method you advocate the government FORCING ON THEIR BODIES."

There's no forcing here. It's a choice. If kin want to wed, I don't believe they should be allowed to endanger potential offspring - the aforementioned unwilling party. And I'm not debating unmarried incestuous couples here. The issue was legalized marriage. YOU brought up incest. Please don't move the goalposts on me now.

"Just your inconsistency."

You'll have to explain to me how marriage between humans and marriage between humans and animals is in any way, shape, or form "consistent". Do you really have this much difficulty separating the two?

hashfanatic said...

"Again, my argument is not one of morality, rather legality. So yes, secular liberty is the theme..."

les, i more or less went along with the way you saw it, until i saw the evangelical atheist movement take up the cause of marriage equality, and saw the hatred and aggression, played out in the streets, during the week of the prop 8 demonstrations

at that point, i realized that the marriage equality cause had been co-opted by those who would violently destroy churches, attack the religious, etc., and i gave up defending their right to be heard, while simultaneously standing in opposition to them

i'm not the only one turned off by these tactics...at that point, the gay activists became a threat to the right of religious freedom, and the security of america as a whole...

i'd seen some of it coming, but did not believe that rubicon would be crossed...

i now see the denial of marriage equality rights on a secular level, as a penance of sorts, that the gay community must suffer, for an undetermined length of time, for allowing themselves to become the oppressors, over the oppressed...

Les said...

Hey, shut up, Art! I'm just getting 4simpsons up to speed on territory we've covered over and over and over and over and over again.

And the Bulls still suck.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

I think you confuse "misuse" of the Bible with improper interpretation. You also confuse whether or not the Bible is wrong with those who misuse or misinterpret. They are distinct. Those Christians that preached the Bible supports slavery were wrong because the Bible does no such thing. It merely teaches slaves how to act and how to treat their masters, and masters how to act and how to treat their slaves. But it makes no judgement on the institution of slavery itself. At least none that I've ever noticed.

But the Bible DOES say that homosexual behavior is forbidden, just like it forbids a host of other sexual practices. On this it could not be more clear, as "Thou shalt not..." is about as clear as it gets. Further, nothing in either Testaments overturns ANY of the sexual sins found along side of homosexual behavior, and certainly not homosexual behavior itself.

To say that the Bible is wrong, particularly on issues of human behavior, is to raise one's self up a bit too high in assuming that one is entitled to pass such judgements on the Will of God as it is revealed in Scripture. It is no more or less a matter of doing things your way as opposed to His way.

hashfanatic said...

"Do you support these "rights" for polygamists, incestuous couples, bestiality, etc.?..."

neil, this is a popular refrain from fundies that has found its way into the talking points of some of our most cynical political "opinion leaders", as well as a tired comeback from lower-echelon talk radio hacks, and some sort of fundie rallying cry

it's also a disgusting sentiment and a vile tactic, because it dehumanizes unnecessarily...it crosses the threshold from disapproval, indignation and disgust, right over to pure hate for queers

i do not understand why some of you persist in using it, it is not applicable to the situation being discussed, and undercuts, rather than reinforces, your argument

please reconsider using it as an all-purpose fallback, it seriously undermines the credibility and fundamental human decency of anyone who uses it, as well as actually normalizing the concept of inter-species relations of an improper sort, during an era where conventions against such vile activities, appear to be crumbling

4simpsons said...

"Specifically, the fact that anti-gay activists want to codify laws to ensure that gay marriages are legally inferior to straight marriages? Great. Done."

Nope, you're just playing word games. You want to make a radical change to the definition of a foundational institution and you try to silence the opposition by saying they are forcing their religious beliefs on others. In your world gays have been getting married here since 1776 and the bad guys are trying to take that away. Sure.

But you sit quietly while many religious people push for oxymoronic "same sex marriage." Somehow it doesn't bother you when they let their religious views inform their political views. No consistency there. So your real objection isn't to religious views, just to views that you don't agree with. How tolerant.

And you ignore the Constitutional rights of people to let their religious views inform their political views.

And you ignore the non-religious arguments they use against your position.

Other than that, you're doing great.

"If kin wanna fuck each other, they don't need marriage to do so."

Yep, and if gays want to . . . (complete the sentence and note how they don't need gov't recognition of their relationship to do so).

"You'll have to explain to me how marriage between humans and marriage between humans and animals is in any way, shape, or form "consistent"."

You want to change the definition of marriage to "not just between one human man and one human woman," but you pull up the drawbridge once your preferred class has what they want.

4simpsons said...

Hi Hashfanatic,

I don't follow. The arguments used to advance oxymoronic "same sex marriage" can and will and are being used by other groups. This isn't a slippery slope argument, it is a "cliff" argument, as in, once you say marriage isn't just between one man and one woman then it is anything anyone wants it to be.

Other perversions just don't have the lobbying muscle of the pro-gay crowd, but the precedent will be there. I don't see how it dehumanizes anyone to take their arguments to their logical conclusions.

Erudite Redneck said...

"4S" you crack me up with this passive-aggression stuff. You are such a tool. What amuses me most about you is how you're generally civil on your own site, even with disagreeing with people, but you start out as a real jerk on other people's sites. That there is called bein' two-faced, m'boy.

Oh, and I think you use the Bible the way every other bibliolator does -- rightoy within yer own fevered concept of it. It's yer concept of it that's idolatry. Therefore wrong.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

Perhaps in the Museum days, there didn't happen to be opportunity to express how my opinions are shaped by my religious convictions. I really don't recall. As with Neil, using Scripture to defend my position isn't always necessary or desirable for every encounter. It's too easily dismissed if my opponent is an atheist. It just so happens that my God has preferences for our behavior that serves to help us all if we place our faith and trust in Him. We can see what happens when we choose our own way by merely looking at all of the harm done to our people and culture by disregarding His other laws covering human sexuality: millions of abortions, numerous STDs, children with STDs, high divorce rates, kids with babies, suicides, spousal abuse...I'd say He knows what He's doing. We SHOULD listen even if each or any of us feel we are being deprived our "right" to achieve happiness as we perceive it.

As such, and to clarify my position, I don't favor ANY laws that grant marriage-like priveleges to those who aren't married. At least some of the problems, such as visitation in hospitals, can be dealt with as separate issues, others merely tweaked, but the traditional family unit is an ideal that far outweighs any other arrangement. The argument for such has overwhelming support and evidence.

I reject the claim that I'm seeking to interfere with the happiness of others because of my religious beliefs, because the opposition is doing exactly the same thing in reverse. It's a lame argument as a result. That's, in fact, what law making is about. Somebody is gonna feel they've lost with every new law put into effect. It's the greater good that is considered and with the watering down of marriage, the greater good is not served. Indeed, it just adds more of the same, as we know homosex marriages break up for all or most of the same reasons, but it also adds the health risks and the influence that further degrades the overall morality of our culture in a way that, as I said, does not serve the greater good.

What it comes down to, is that you apparently are supporting their claim to these "right" merely because they want them. The state has no compelling reason to recognize them for such shallow reasoning. The state has thus far determined that there has been no deeper reason that compels it, either.

You continue to compare it to race and gender (civil rights and suffrage), but that is not an apples to apples comparison and I believe you know it. Being black isn't a behavior nor is it an orientation that compels a distinctive behavior. It is an unchangeable characteristic that on its own has no bearing on the person's nature. As we know, homosexuality is indeed changable and this would be as true even if biologically driven. I say this because if homosexual desires are biological, then all our desires are, incuding the malevolent ones. Why do they get a pass?

On top of all that, we know that from every possible angle, lies are required to support the push for "equality" (which they already have). And at the very pinnacle, I totally oppose the notion that the state should legislate in favor of anyone merely because of how they want to satisfy themselves sexually. I could not think of much that would be more pathetic for a state, culture, society to craft law on such a basis.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, from Les: "I think the Bible is quite clear in its condemnation of homosexuality."

Ah. OK. I think it's fairly clear regarding plumbing, in Leviticus; I just don't think Leviticus is relevant for now, or for me. As for the stuff in Romans, I think St. Paul meant what he said. But Paul was wrong about some things. Just being clear.

But yes. Liberty, not religion, drives my attitude toward gay rights. And yes, if yer comfortable, "4S," calling me a pro-gay zealot, feel free. Because I *am* damn adamant about it.

Marshall Art said...

OH!!! YOU GOT IN A SHOT ON DA BULLS WHEN I WASN'T LOOKIN!!!!

Bucks are going down and we're the ones to put 'em down, like the dogs they are. WE GOT BRAD MILLER, DAMMIT!!

4simpsons said...

"Liberty, not religion, drives my attitude toward gay rights."

Other than their inability to participate in oxymoronic "same sex marriage" and have it recognized by the gov't, what rights are you so concerned about? (Come to think of it, they don't have the "right" to own square circles, either. Does that upset you?)

Do you seriously think they don't have the ability to choose their mates and live with whom they like? I'm amazed that you put so much zeal into advancing an un-Biblical notion.

Re. Paul being wrong: I do appreciate your transparency in your heresies.

Hey everyone, ER is right and St. Paul is wrong. Just wanted to clear that up!

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "To say that the Bible is wrong, particularly on issues of human behavior, is to raise one's self up a bit too high in assuming that one is entitled to pass such judgements on the Will of God as it is revealed in Scripture."

No. I am passing judgment on human writings from antiquity to audiences that are long dead, for specirfic purposes that no long apply.

BTW, men, when your wife is having her period, do you consider her ritualistically uncl;ean and make her stay alone in a shed out back?

Les said...

"You want to make a radical change to the definition of a foundational institution and you try to silence the opposition by saying they are forcing their religious beliefs on others."

Which side is pushing for the Federal Marriage Amendment, 4simpsons? Which side wants this piece of legislation, which formally makes non-traditional marriages ILLEGAL, incorporated into the United States Constitution? Again, I have a problem with the state essentially BANNING practices between consenting individuals in a free country!

"...complete the sentence.."

Yes, complete that sentence, 4simpsons. Don't lump sex and marriage together here, because that's not what we're talking about, and I won't allow you to change the dynamic of this argument.

"Somehow it doesn't bother you when they let their religious views inform their political views."

How you come up with this nonsense is beyond me. Or this:

"And you ignore the Constitutional rights of people to let their religious views inform their political views."

The hell I do. Art used to try this little piece of faux victimhood on me. I believe people should be - and ARE - allowed to formulate their views based on any thing they please and vote accordingly. That said, when their religious beliefs result in legislation that codifies any breakdowns in equality, I'll fight them and hope someday they can differentiate the two. The state, after all, is not the almighty judge of the one true morality, and shouldn't be entrusted with that kind of power. That responsibility belongs to God and God alone.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "Hey everyone, ER is right and St. Paul is wrong. Just wanted to clear that up!"

Thanks! I'll cop to that on some things. Absolutely. Specifically, any thoughts of his that are defined primarily by his time and place and culture.

4simpsons said...

"That there is called bein' two-faced, m'boy."

If I'm a jerk then I'm an equal opportunity jerk, ER. I don't think I've been a jerk here. All I've done is point out Les's reasoning.

Don't you remember how I so mistreated you at my place that you changed my link on your blog to "Neil's Cult of One" or something like that and left for months? And I've called you a heretic there plenty of times.

So how about just addressing my arguments and quit making up personal attacks?

"Oh, and I think you use the Bible the way every other bibliolator does -- rightoy within yer own fevered concept of it. It's yer concept of it that's idolatry. Therefore wrong."

I take the Bible seriously and am glad to be corrected on it if I have misunderstood something. I am a follower of Christ and when in doubt I take his side. Among other things, He upheld the accuracy of the OT, so I'm sticking with him. Your "bibliolator" tag is just a cheap ploy to rationalize your picking and choosing what you like. We call that, "Making God in your own image." Bad idea.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "You want to make a radical change to the definition of a foundational institution ..."

I think I'll cop to this, too. But I have no desire to silence those who disagree with me. I prefer to help eventually shout them down. (That is, outshout them).

Erudite Redneck said...

OK, this bum has to get back to his "work" for awhile ...

Les said...

"...if homosexual desires are biological, then all our desires are, incuding the malevolent ones. Why do they get a pass?"

Sigh...

Please, once again, re-read the part where I say I support peoples' rights to do as they please as long as they're not hurting anyone.

I can already see the circle we're running toward yet again, so I'll stop.

Yet again.

4simpsons said...

"No. I am passing judgment on human writings from antiquity to audiences that are long dead, for specirfic purposes that no long apply."

That is a non-Christian view of the Bible. Just because humans can make mistakes doesn't mean they always make mistakes. That simple logic is endlessly lost on you.

And it is interesting that you are the arbiter of what applies and what does not, and that your conclusions are remarkably indistinguishable from the latest politics of the far Left. Go figure!


"Which side is pushing for the Federal Marriage Amendment, 4simpsons?"

The side against those who brought the subject up. If the gay rights crowd quits pushing for SSM then the FMA wouldn't be needed. Nice try.

"Which side wants this piece of legislation, which formally makes non-traditional marriages ILLEGAL"

Cute word games. "Non-traditional" marriage really means "non-marriage." So it merely restates what it always has been because it is under attack from those who are creating NEW "rights."

"Again, I have a problem with the state essentially BANNING practices between consenting individuals in a free country!"

Oh, please. Who is stopping them from being with whomever they like? You just don't get the gov't recognition. Those word games might work with the uneducated but here they just expose your disingenuousness.

""Somehow it doesn't bother you when they let their religious views inform their political views."

How you come up with this nonsense is beyond me."

It isn't nonsense, and I come up with it by reading your words -- words like, "While you may not be "suggesting" that others live as you do, you affect their lives and their constitutional pursuit of happiness when you push for laws that favor your values over theirs."

"I believe people should be - and ARE - allowed to formulate their views based on any thing they please and vote accordingly. That said, when their religious beliefs result in legislation that codifies any breakdowns in equality, I'll fight them and hope someday they can differentiate the two."

Great. So why not stick to the arguments and spare us the notion that it is bad to let religious views inform political ones?

"The state, after all, is not the almighty judge of the one true morality, and shouldn't be entrusted with that kind of power. That responsibility belongs to God and God alone.""

OK . . . and just how do you suggest we manifest that responsible in a Democracy in the absence of God taking over? I was thinking that voting along the lines of what we think God would want would be a good idea. We could vigorously debate what we thought that would be. People like ER could claim that we should ignore Paul and listen to ER for guidance from God, and Christians could wrestle with what the whole Bible has to say.

Les said...

What does this:

"Somehow it doesn't bother you when they let their religious views inform their political views."

have to do with this:

"While you may not be 'suggesting' that others live as you do, you affect their lives and their constitutional pursuit of happiness when you push for laws that favor your values over theirs...I believe people should be - and ARE - allowed to formulate their views based on any thing they please and vote accordingly. That said, when their religious beliefs result in legislation that codifies any breakdowns in equality, I'll fight them and hope someday they can differentiate the two."

Oh, gawd. Way to manufacture controversy, 4simpsons. Would you like me to say I disapprove of gay activists using religious beliefs to support pro-gay legislation? If so, consider it done. Anything else you need me to condemn publicly? Shall I go on record right now and say that I do NOT support kidnapping? Done. Kitten killing? Done. Sexual assault? Done.

"The side against those who brought the subject up."

You mean the side who vocally showed their disdain when gay folks said they wanted the same marital recognition as straights? Thought so.

"Who is stopping them from being with whomever they like?"

"Being with" and "marrying" ain't the same thing. Stop pretending they are.

"So why not stick to the arguments and spare us the notion that it is bad to let religious views inform political ones?"

Because I support equality.

"...and just how do you suggest we manifest that responsible in a Democracy in the absence of God taking over?"

By allowing free will to run its course. If you truly believe God will judge us in the hereafter, then what's your problem? If you truly believe in eternity, then why be opposed to a society that allows for free will as long as said free will doesn't hurt anyone else?

4simpsons said...

"Way to manufacture controversy, 4simpsons. Would you like me to say I disapprove of gay activists using religious beliefs to support pro-gay legislation? If so, consider it done."

That seemed less than sincere, but yes, that is exactly what I was after. Only I don't really care if you do it now. My question was whether you did it before or if you only singled out religious beliefs you disagreed with. If you never complained about Lefty religious views influencing politics when you agreed with them then you are a hypocrite. Kinda late now to pretend otherwise or to claim I'm manufacturing controversy.

""Being with" and "marrying" ain't the same thing. Stop pretending they are.'

I never said they were the same. I was pointing out the fallaciousness of those who pretend we are stopping gays from having liberty and equality, as if we are keeping them from the ones they want to love. It is a big lie.

They are free to marry under the current definitions: Those of the opposite sex. They are not free to marry anyone they like, just as many other people are not free to do so because of other restrictions (already have a spouse, a sibling, another species, too young, etc.). The pro-gay zealots just like to pretend we're being bad guys and getting in the way of love.

"If you truly believe in eternity, then why be opposed to a society that allows for free will as long as said free will doesn't hurt anyone else?'"

Because I love my neighbors and have their long term best interests at heart.

Your utilitarianism of "not hurting anyone else" sounds good at first. I used to say such things myself. But we often don't see very clearly about what damage can be done by given actions. People rationalized that divorce would be good for children, and a generation later we found it would be anything but. The consequences of gov't recognition of oxymoronic "same sex marriage" are huge, starting with the well documented impact to children as young as 5 who will be subjected to these perversions.

You are going in circles again. I'll bow out now and let you have the last word. I do appreciate the dialogue and how well your views have been documented above.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "That is a non-Christian view of the Bible."

No, it's not. It's a scholarly Christian view, more or less, as opposed to a purely spiritual view. You just don't recognize Christians who disagree with you on how to deal with the Bible. And I know it galls you that you actually don't get to be the one who decides who gets to be a Christian -- or even use the label. Sorry!

Erudite Redneck said...

Les, what about cat juggling???

Les said...

Gee, I wonder why lefties aren't stickin' around your blog, Art? I stick my nose back in here and immediately get into a circle jerk with some guy who labels me a disingenuous hypocrite. Out of curiousity, just who the fuck does this guy think he is? I explain my position and he decides to condescendingly look down his mightily righteous nose and accuse me of being dishonest in my arguments? WTF?

If nothing else, Art, I don't think you've been dishonest in your arguments over the years. I've certainly accused you of dodging and running in circles, but I don't think I've accused you of misrepresenting your beliefs for rhetorical benefit. 4simpsons has succeeded in immediately sucking the life back out of me with his holier-than-thou bullshit. It's baffling, too, because I just support equality as I see it. If that makes me worthy of scorn and derision in the eyes of Marshall Art's participants, then why would I want to stay here? Ask yourself that question, and then see if you can figure out the mass lefty exodus from your blog. Mine, at least.

Les said...

ER,

Done.

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "who ... does this guy think he is?"

I honestly would like to see him answer that question.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

It's probably due to one thing I suggested, the natural inclination to take the whole thing too seriously. What the hell do I care if somebody I haven't met thinks ill of me? I know who I am and what I believe and until they can prove I'm the (fill in the blank) they think I am, it's just a defensive response at worse, but sometimes a purposeful provocation as well, meant to procure a more clarifying answer. In other words, lighten up.

As far as going in circles, we all get to drive everytime we each get to post a comment. We all do it to some extent as we seek to arrive at the destination. That destination is either merely understanding the other's position, even if it still remains stupid, or, agreement. I prefer to keep striving for either of those even if we get dizzy in the process.

You do, however, miss the point about doing to the right what you accuse the right of doing to the homosexuals. If they get their way, it will indeed result in the conflict between already established and Constitutionally protected rights of free speech, freedom of religious expression and freedom of association, and the "rights" of the homosexual. Some of these are already on shakey ground and hate crimes crapola further erodes these rights.

I would also offer that marriage is only marriage when two people vow to be faithful to each other. This can happen without state sanctioning and truly does already. The license is for all the legal stuff that goes with it, and that legal stuff exists as the state sees traditional marriage as a beneficial ideal that should be encouraged, and doesn't see that in other arrangements. So the homosexuals want to force the rest of society to accept that they match that ideal when they clearly don't. Same-sex marriage is about forcing beliefs upon others in the way that you find objectionable in the other side.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

"Thanks! I'll cop to that on some things. Absolutely. Specifically, any thoughts of his that are defined primarily by his time and place and culture."

What that is is forcing God to relate to your desires, rather than putting aside your desires for the sake of God. This is more the case when looking at Levitical law.

Erudite Redneck said...

Man, you are almost literally equating the Bible with Almighty God God's Self.

Nope. I reject the insistence that the Bible is either inerrant, infallible, unassailable or otherwise anything other than an incomplete human but God-inspired (as in inspired by their search for God and truth) record of those who came before us in the faith, both Christian and Jewish. As such, it is to be taken seriously, but rarely literally, and it is sacred because of its place in our sacred history, not because of some alleged supernatural origin.

hashfanatic said...

"Other perversions just don't have the lobbying muscle of the pro-gay crowd, but the precedent will be there. I don't see how it dehumanizes anyone to take their arguments to their logical conclusions..."

neil, queer sex is not on the same level as bestiality...this is not a moral issue, as much as it is common sense

queer sex is sex between humans, sex between animals and humans is inhuman, not to mention inhumane, and you already know this

therefore, to knowingly equate sex between humans with bestiality is to dehumanize the humans, having sex with other humans, which is fine to express, but will (correctly) be viewed by the humans involved, as hateful

and, i don't even believe in "hate" crimes, but i also believe we have dominion over the animals, as stewards of their well-being, not as someone's next one-night stand, LOL!

seriously, imagine making a similar comparison, to a member of any other special-interest group

we're not called upon to make such statements, just for the sake of "winning", that's where the moral imperative lies

4simpsons said...

"queer sex is not on the same level as bestiality...this is not a moral issue, as much as it is common sense"

Perhaps it is just coincidence, but I noticed that these verses appear back-to-back in the Bible:

Leviticus 18:22 Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

Leviticus 18:23 Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

I appreciate your tone and perspective but I don't see how pointing out the logical conclusions of a viewpoint is somehow inhumane. I don't use this as a lead argument but I don't see why it shouldn't be used.

hashfanatic said...

neil, you honestly see them as equivalent??

4simpsons said...

"neil, you honestly see them as equivalent??"

No, but I never made that claim, other than that both are sinful. I just said that the arguments used to advance oxymoronic same-sex marriage redefine the word to mean that marriage is not between one human man and one human woman, it is whatever society wants it to be. By "proving" one scenario you have done the same for polygamy and more.

hashfanatic said...

not really, since no christian is bound by tanakh, at any rate

it's simply a matter of going to the lowest common denominator, just to try and prove a point that is irrelevant to most christians anyway

when discussing human relations in the context of determining justice in the eyes of secular law, one does not need to go bringing animals into it, IMHO

4simpsons said...

"not really, since no christian is bound by tanakh, at any rate"

Not to get off track, but I encourage you to take a fresh look at the context of Lev. 18. It was an extended warning not to be like the Canaanites. God was judging the Canaanites for these sins. They weren't just for Israelites.

Not sure if this link will post properly but I wrote about it here -- Leviticus 18

Peace,
Neil

Jim said...

By "proving" one scenario you have done the same for polygamy and more.

Once again, a false argument. No US person has a right to "polygamy and more". Only some US persons may marry another person. This is not equal protection for all persons. It's against the constitution.

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

"No US person has a right to "polygamy and more"."

Not yet. But as Neil states, the arguments used by the homosexual community to muscle themselves into the institution of marriage are already being used by those in favor of polygamy. Should the homosexual community succeed in getting marriage to include them on a national level, others will indeed push for inclusion based on the very same arguments.

Les sees no problem with this. Nor do others, but it will indeed have changed the institution. The impact of this change is not even being pondered by those who support it, beyond pie-in-the-sky hopes or simply some wacky idea that one would be considered "unequal" if not allowed the same state sanctioning. But we can look to the Netherlands and at least monitor the experiment at their expense before pretending here that there would be no negative ramifications. As Neil says, apostate churches and some states are already granting these fake marriages and to insist on "full rights" is really nothing more than forcing their morality on the rest of us.

Marshall Art said...

Hash,

The connection between homosexuality and the other prohibited sexual practices of Leviticus, to which we, as Christians, are all still oblidged to abide, is simply that they are all prohibited. It's not a matter of sex with animals being the same as sex with one's mother or same sex relations. It's just that they are all forbidden.

In the secular arguement, as stated more than once, polygamists are waiting in the wings ready to use the exact same arguments to win the exact same "rights".

I've mentioned before that a film festival within the last couple of years (perhaps Sundance) featured a documentary film sympathetic to bestiality. I mention this only to point out that the unthinkable is being thought in a more public way. It may take longer for a goat-lover to gain his "rights", but the fact that a film like this was even made, even shown, even considered, is not without precedent as our culture's moral decay has worsened in the last 60 years. The distance the homosexual agenda has been advanced is merely another manifestation of this decay.

So to insist that mentioning these other practices hurts the cause I think is untrue. Sure, it is used by the homosexual activists to further demonize those of us who stand for morality, but that's just one of the multitude of lies that they commonly use in their fight for that for which the state has no compelling interest in supporting.

One more thing, the sociopathic reaction by the activists towards the passage of Prop 8 is something I take as a good thing for our side. They do themselves a diservice and I'm sure those who simply wish to marry and live their lives are none to happy with that reaction. It's sad for them, but works for me if it has turned folks like yourself in any way. I'd prefer that people are persuaded by the absolute logic of my side's position, but I'm not so proud that I won't take this kind of help. I wonder what percentage of the total homosexual population actually opposes these wacky activists.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

Which came first, your opinion about these matters, or the teachings of the liberal scholars that you think validate it? I've never seen any game winning evidence presented to support the self-serving interpretations of such scholars. It's just subjectivity as far as I can see, that allows them to do what they like rather than abide those aspects of God's Will they find personally opposite their desires. I'm more than happy to look at any evidence of which you might be aware. The argument that OT Scripture doesn't apply is about as weak as weak can be, and represents a fairly obvious desire to erase God's Will in favor of one's own. You shouldn't buy into that even if others then give you crap over it.

Erudite Redneck said...

Personally, what came first was when I realized that insistence that the Bible is "perfect," infallible, inerrant or whatever, in any way, was unbiblical itself. But historically, there is plenty readily available concerning the scholarly approaches to studying the Bible that emerged in the 17th century through the present. Of course, it's subjective -- as are all interpretations, guided by the Spirit, not necesarrily by the beliefs of antiquity. I have no more "evidence" to present you than I have to present to my atheist friends who clamor for it. There is no "evidence" for any side in matters of faith: There is only faith and experience, both individual and common.

Mark said...

ER's statement, "Even if the Bible so clearly said what you think it says, it's wrong.",is amazing to me.

Take out the words, "even if" and "so clearly said what you think it says,", and he is saying, "The Bible is wrong."

Sorry, ER, as much as I respect you and oft times partially agree with you, that statement is heretical to say the least. Is it also wrong when Jesus hisself says, "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled"? (Matt 5:18)

Because you can't believe part of the Bible is wrong and believe that passage at the same time. Those two beliefs are contradictory with each other.

And the questions I still ask, and will probably never get an answer to is this:

If parts of the Bible is wrong, who gets to decide which parts are wrong and which parts aren't? YOU? Who made you the final arbiter of truth? God?

If parts of it are wrong, why should we believe any of it? If any part of the Bible is wrong, we might as well as throw out the whole kit and kaboodle, because if some of it cannot be trusted, none of it can be trusted.

Show me where He bequeathed to you His authority. Please. I'm begging now.

That goes for anyone else who believes himself more wise than the God of the Universe.

Mark said...

Dang it! forgot to click the "email follow up comments" button.

Mark said...

Double-Dang it! Did it again! Getting old sucks!

Erudite Redneck said...

Hi, Mark. You've missed too much of this thread, or you're ignoring it. I won't be catching you up.

Short answer: You are the one to decide what is credible in Scripture for yourself. And MA is. And "4S" is. And where we agree, the biblical example is that we are to work together. Where we disagree, the biblical example, actually, is to part ways.

4simpsons said...

2 Samuel 22:31 “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.

Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

I'd go on but it will fall on deaf ears.

Christianity is historical and evidential. Read the Book of Acts. They didn't appeal to blind faith. They shared the facts and reason of the Gospel.

Mark said...

Nope, ER, I read the entire thread, even the argument between Neil and Les.

The truth of the Bible does not depend on fallible man's interpretation.

The Bible is God's Word.

God is the arbiter of truth. Not flawed man. Especially not you. Especially not me.

Erudite Redneck said...

Real quick, Mark, 'cause I gotta run, but re: "That goes for anyone else who believes himself more wise than the God of the Universe."

There you go again, literally equating the Bible with God Almighty God's Self. That, my friend, is idolatry on its face. I do not deem myself wiser than God LOL. I do, in fact, deem myself more informed than any writer of any part of the Bible on things not directly to do with those writers' personal experiences. You are too. I cannot deny anyone experiences. I do reserve the human, and Christian, right to examine and rexamine their interpretations of those expriences. But, please, the Divine Word of God, which can be derived, withthe aid of the Spirit, from the collective writings of the Bible, is this: Jesus Christ bridges and fixes the broken relationship between Godly God and unGodly humankind; accept it; trust in it; rely on it; and with that relationship restored, now go and loe God and neighbors, and love yourself. To reduce the Divine Word of God to merely the literal words in ink on pages in 66pieces of writing that are between two covers of a book we call the Bible is to reduce the very incarnation of God in Man to the very kind of wood, hay and stubble that puny men such as ourselves quibble, fight and war over until the Fire of Righteousness itself burns all that crap off.

Mark said...

And the questions remain unanswered. You've already admitted to other heresies. Why not admit you consider yourself (or some so-called fallible human theologian) God's ultimate arbiter of truth?

The only way you can arbitrarily proclaim "the Bible is wrong" is to consider yourself the ultimate authority.

Mark said...

ER, I don't know why I bother, because you are allowing yourself to be blinded to the truth.

John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

John 1:14 "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us."

There you have the truth:

God is His Word, Jesus is God. Jesus is God's Word.

You cannot make an Idol of God's Word only. To make an Idol of God's Word is to make an Idol of God, and that is what He expects.

Mark said...

ER sanctimoniously proclaims, "I do, in fact, deem myself more informed than any writer of any part of the Bible on things not directly to do with those writers' personal experiences."

God Hisself wrote the Bible. Therefore, you deem yourself more informed than the Creator of the Universe. It's simple logic. You've made your point.

God, or should I say, "You bless".

4simpsons said...

"There you go again, literally equating the Bible with God Almighty God's Self. That, my friend, is idolatry on its face."

If God spoke through his word as it claims over 3,000 times, why is it idolatry to take it as such? I think your idolator charge is weak and unfair. We aren't worshiping the Bible, we just hold the view that the original writings have precisely what God wanted them to have.

I think it was Bubba who pointed out that using your reasoning, you idolize yourself because you get your views of God from whatever you think up.

hashfanatic said...

"It's sad for them, but works for me if it has turned folks like yourself in any way..."

well, i obviously don't concur with your or overview on the subject, and the level of emphasis of importance you guys attach to the entire subject is concerning to me...

however, i have withdrawn my level of support for those aspects of the marriage equality debate, based on three factors:

the fact that californians voted on prop 8, their will must be upheld, from a secular viewpoint

infiltration of radical anti-religious extremists into the marriage equality debate, whose aim is to destroy churches and freedom of americans to worship, using this issue...the level of violence and hateful rhetoric has reached dangerous levels, and the gay community must be punished, for using intimidatory tactics for such an ultimately minor gain

my choice to act in obedience to my church, and comply with its directives on the matter, although my opinions do not necessarily line up, at this point

"I wonder what percentage of the total homosexual population actually opposes these wacky activists..."

i deal with many such folks on a daily basis, and most of them skew toward the "conservative" end, of the spectrum of decadence

for the first time, the vast majority seem to be lining up with the extremists

their reasoning seems sincere, but this matters not, since the issue, IMHO, calls not for violence, and baseless hatred...

the same applies to the phelps types...

hashfanatic said...

"I think it was Bubba who pointed out that using your reasoning, you idolize yourself because you get your views of God from whatever you think up..."

there's a serious element of truth to your rationale, which we frequently dismiss all too easily, and quickly...

my best choice, at this point, is to act in obedience to my church's directives on the matter, even though i have serious issues with them, and continue to pray for a greater level of understanding and acceptance, on both my part, and my church's

Bubba said...

Neil, been lurking on this thread, and I'm not quite sure that's how I've put it, but I definitely agree with it, that what you call "dalmatian theology" almost inevitably leads not only to an idol -- a false image of God -- but to an idol forged by one's own conceptions about God.


What I have most often said in the face of such criticism of inerrancy is two things.

1) In reply to ER's frequent accusation of putting God in box, I note that the denial of inerrancy constrains God, too: ER presumes that God has not (or perhaps cannot) inspire human writers to reliably record His revealed truth.

2) Jesus Christ Himself affirmed Scripture's authority to the smallest penstroke.

ER writes that "the Divine Word of God" can only be "derived" from the collective writings of the Bible, and that's simply not consistent with what Jesus Himself taught about the Bible.

To reduce the Divine Word of God to merely the literal words in ink on pages in 66pieces of writing that are between two covers of a book we call the Bible is to reduce the very incarnation of God in Man to the very kind of wood, hay and stubble that puny men such as ourselves quibble, fight and war over until the Fire of Righteousness itself burns all that crap off.

We don't "reduce" God's word to the written text of Scripture. We don't believe that the Bible is comprehensive, only that it's sufficient, inerrant, and authoritative.

The Bible doesn't reveal everything about God, but what it DOES reveal, we believe that it is true and sufficient for salvation.

ER doesn't hold back at all in attacking those who affirm inerrancy, writing here that we "reduce the very incarnation of God in Man" to some sort of straw man.

But who is it that accepts at face value what God Incarnate taught about Scripture, what the Living Word taught about the written word?

It sure isn't Erudite Redneck.

4simpsons said...

Bubba,

Sorry, maybe it wasn't you who said that! I tried to find the comment but couldn't (too many to search through). I just didn't want to take credit for an idea that didn't originate with me.

While searching for the comment, I did run across this bit by ER (you had quoted it from his site):

"Red flag warning: ANY allusions [sic] cast upon ANYONE’s Christianity will be deleted without comment.

No “self-described,” no “so-called, no “alleged,” no gratuitous use of “quote marks,” as in “Christian.”

None. No, not one.

That s— flies at Neil’s place. Not here. It is it’s own evil, and I will shoot it down."

So just for the record, it is OK for ER to call us idolators but not for us to question him (at least on his blog). And he'll delete your comments if you do. Seems kinda cult-like to me, threatening to censoring views like that ;-) .

Erudite Redneck said...

Dude. If you declared that someone is a heretic -- other than myself -- or just plainly say someone is not or cannot be a Christian because you disagree with them, you should be whacked.

I do not, nor have I ever said that you, or anyone else is not a Christian, nor called you heretics. S--t fire and save matches, hoss, you can be a Christian and a goldang idolator at the same time. Lots of people do. It's just usually money, fame or themselves that they idolize.

Neil said...

"If you declared that someone is a heretic -- other than myself -- or just plainly say someone is not or cannot be a Christian because you disagree with them, you should be whacked."

Of course, that isn't my claim at all. It isn't that I disagree with them, it is that they (and you) disagree with Jesus so thoroughly and consistently.

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh. Then carry on, realizing, I hope, that what I'm actually doing is disagreeing with you about how to interpret what we read in the Bible -- as well, as what the Bible, itself, is.

I'm disagreeing with YOU. I'm disagreeing with what you say certain passges mean -- as well as whether they're relevant.

Which is shocking only to those who regard the Bible as something that God "wrote Himself."

Erudite Redneck said...

I win! 100! Woo hoo!

Bubba said...

ER, as recorded in Matthew 5, Jesus Christ Himself said said that not one penstroke from Scripture will pass away until all is fulfilled. The remainder of the Gospels contains numerous situations where Christ settled an issue simply by appealing to Scripture: "It is written."

Never mind Paul's statement that Scripture wasn't simply the result of man being inspired by thinking about God, but the result of God "expiring" thoughts to man, that all Scripture -- all of it -- is "God-breathed": in your humility you apparently do not defer to Christ's hand-picked Apostles on matters in which you know comparatively little, and where what you do depends largely on what they taught.

Never mind what Paul said. Jesus Christ Himself affirmed the authority of Scripture, down to the smallest penstroke.

Even implicitly, He affirmed Scripture's authorship.

"Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men."

And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die'; but you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God) then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do."
- Mk 7:6-13

Note that Christ appeals to Scripture with that familiar phrase "it is written," but notice also this:

Christ harshly criticizes the Pharisees for breaking from what Moses taught, "thus making void the word of God" through their human tradition.

Christ equated Moses' command with God's word.

It would be absurd to scold people for clinging to the "tradition of men" while SIMULTANEOUSLY presuming that they should cling to Scripture, IF Christ thought that Scripture was man-made.

Jesus Christ's dismissal of the traditional teachings of the Pharisees as being human in origin clearly and inexorably implies His belief that the Scripture He upheld is DIVINE IN ORIGIN.


So far as I can tell, ER, you have never, EVER addressed what Jesus Himself taught about Scripture's authority (down to the smallest penstroke) and its divine authorship.

Feodor said...

There was no codified corpus of Hebrew scripture for Jesus to approve, change, or transcend. But then, even if it had been, that is not the point for restoration Judaism of the time. God was present in the Temple in Jerusalem and the Torah, "scriptures" preeminent, were conceived of as "received" teaching, not written text.

If you asked a Jew of the time to show you where in scripture it is written that so and so was a fact, they would take you to a rabbi or a priest of the Temple, one who had read, to tell you. The written text was not the center of Torah, the community was. Torah was wrapped on the head and around the arm of the reader, not ink on the page.

"It is a thing very near to you, on your lips, and in your heart ready to be kept."

Deut. 30:11 and ff. Romans 10:6 and ff.

The life of Torah was an interpretive one, and everyone knew the Mosaic cycle, the Joshua cycle, the Decalogue and the prophetic witness against rebellious Israel and the exile and return. Scripture was read aloud at the assembly, and lived within the assembly.

Since this was the life of Torah, Jesus could break the Sabbath laws for merciful reasons (healing) and because he was the Lord of the Sabbath and, by extension and forecasting, the assembled body.

Scripture was alive, not ink.

Jesus was referring to the law written on the body, Israal, not papyrus, when he said it would not pass away. Torah was to be Israel, Israel was to be Torah, written on by God, living among his people in his Temple.

This, Jesus, affirmed, would always be true, but true in a new way.

Bubba and Neil, you have read -- anachronistically -- your over-developed protestant theology of sola scriptura back onto the body of Torah where it does not belong. Your theology of the word was not theirs and was never the faith of Jesus, either.

Yours was written in ink much, much later.

Erudite Redneck said...

:-)

Bubba said...

If Scripture was "read aloud at the assembly," does that it imply that it was written down somewhere?


At any rate, ER has commented on this thread at his blog, and he and I are discussing whether Jesus taught Scripture's inerrant authority and divine authorship.

Marshall Art said...

"Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this Torah on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests." (Deuteronomy 17:18)."

This was a duty of kings of Israel. So, obviously, the Scripture to which Christ referred was indeed printed somewhere more than once. If an ancient Jew pointed to the local Rabbi to answer questions of law, it was likely because that Jew couldn't read. Just a guess.

As Bubba reminds us, a common expression of Jesus was "it is written".

Feodor said...

The function of the teacher saying, "it is written," is to lay claim that he had indeed read the written text, had studied it, and now had the authority to teach.

That his authority as a Teacher provoked both discipleship and ostracization indicates that the Torah was a communally adjudicated source of authority. The Priests as a group held authority. A town's synagogue ("assembly") held authority. Particularly charismatic and wise teachers held authority. Conflicts between these authorities were hashed by how they demonstrated persuasive interpretations.

Jesus and many other itinerant teachers had their various disciples (John the Baptist among them(.

The written text could no more provide literal truth for them -- in order to judge between authorities -- than it does for us. The only ones who seemed to come close, though, were the Pharisees.

"Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, 'Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, 'Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it."

Torah is not located primarily in the scroll or on a cylinder or a potsherd. This is, in part, a scandal of Temple Judaism in the pagan world: religio-ethical law can be written on human hearts by God without recourse to "mysterious" texts and mysterious practices.

And for Christians, this becomes an example of Christ's body, the church.

For Paul, scripture is not giving testimony to itself, scripture gives testimony to the Word of God, incarnated in the Son now not simply embodied in his people, Israel. Through the Son, the church becomes the New Israel.

"Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

"

Anonymous said...

when discussing human relations in the context of determining justice in the eyes of secular law, one does not need to go bringing animals into it, IMHO

Hash, do you think God made a mistake by putting it in the Bible? Maybe, there was a reason. All this legitimizing by man for sin is just foolish. mom2

hashfanatic said...

mom2, i don't believe God makes mistakes, never did, never will

my church simply views homosexuality entirely differently, that's all

the devil really is in the details, as they say...that's what we're all pretty much fixated on, for the time being

i'm in no position to bash others for things i know nothing about

i'll continue to pray that God's Perfect Will be done in the situation, and pray that others take a more charitable tone, because it's all very divisive, not to mention politicized

Marshall Art said...

Feodor,

The point is that the Torah was physically written down, something with which you seemed to refute. Whether it is also written on the hearts of men is besides the point. When there is doubt, there is something written against which to compare. The same for NT stuff. The Gospels were physically written down. The Epistles were physically written down. All, along with the OT, are a basis by which we can compare what we THINK we understand against that which is recorded for to base out understandings.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm not gone, just busy.

But I'm less and less inclined to continue these conversations. It's like Geoffrey has noted: You don't argue with folk who claim that the Holocaust didn't exist or that we never landed on the moon. If people want to believe wholly unbelievable thoughts and make wholly ridiculous comments, who am I to interfere?

Bubba said...

Dan Trabue, ladies and gentlemen.

Not content with exercising his right to call our beliefs ridiculous -- maybe he just doesn't understand our beliefs -- he takes the extra step of comparing us to Holocaust deniers.

I'm reminded of the time we criticized Obama's hate-mongering preacher for accusing the US government of creating AIDS as an act of attempted genocide against blacks. The preacher happened to a leftist, so Dan not only defended the guy, he attacked us for criticizing a black preacher, and he did so by invoking the image of lynching.

But remember: out of love for his Christian brothers and sisters, Dan really despises slander.

Dan Trabue said...

he takes the extra step of comparing us to Holocaust deniers.

No slander. Some of you all openly mock anyone who does not accept a six day creation and question (or reject) their Christianity. Some of you all repeatedly claim that taxation = theft. Some of you all say that I and Obama are Marxists and that we enjoy killing babies.

Those are out and out ridiculous belief systems, akin to those who deny men land on the moon or Holocaust deniers. It's not to say anything bad about you (if you believe it you believe it, I don't really care), just to note that it's hard to try to reason with folk who reject such basic points of reality and who do so with a vengeance.

Dan Trabue said...

I apologize, by the way, if the "holocaust denier" allusion was offensive. If you don't like that one, just use the other image I used - that of the "Moon Landing denier."

My point was only that many of the Mark, Ozarka and, to a lesser degree, Bubbas, Erics and Marshalls that I've dealt with have had a distinctly different take on reality than I believe to be the norm and I was suggesting it is difficult to have meaningful ongoing conversations on such topics when we can't even agree on basic realities and language usage.

Bubba's reference to my comments on Reverend Wright are a good example of this. He hears me to have

1. "defended the guy"
2. "attacked us for criticizing a black preacher," and
3. Dan "did so by invoking the image of lynching"

In the real world,

1. I BOTH criticized and defended Wright - criticizing mostly the offending comments, but defending him as STILL a good man and minister, by all evidence, who merely had several quotes in a lifetime of ministry that were stupid ("stupid," being another criticism of Wright, not a defense).

2. I did NOT "attack" others "for criticizing a black minister," but rather, I criticized THEIR attacks as being unduly harsh and reflecting a lack of awareness of the black community and history of race relations.

3. And yes, I did invoke lynching imagery, as we have a history of such actions towards uppity blacks in this country and that is how I (and many others) perceived the attacks on the imperfect man, Wright.

My point is that there is a difference in how Bubba and I perceive what has been said and, after striving for months to broach those differences and come to some basic agreement on word usage and reality (not necessarily agreement on positions, but the paradigms on which to discuss our positions), it seems to be running into brick walls communicating with one another. I have not given up, necessarily, but it is wearying on all sides.

Erudite Redneck said...

Wearying! Amen. ... Hey, Dan, I posted a testimony of sorts at my place this morning. I'll bet our paths have been similar in places ...

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Welcome back.

"If people want to believe wholly unbelievable thoughts and make wholly ridiculous comments, who am I to interfere?"

Nothing the least bit unbelievable about my thoughts posted here, nor any wholly ridiculous comments.

Regarding that which you claim to be "In the real world",

1) You ASSUME the quotes in question were out of the ordinary for Wright. We believe logic dictates it's a far more common spiel than you choose to believe based on the reactions of his congregants, as well as the fact that he preaches from a BLT perspective.

2) We attacked that for which there is no justification. AIDS created by the gov't to wipe out blacks? Yeah, sensible stuff from a preacher.

3) And you dare compare our perspectives to Holocaust and moon landing deniers.

You think this stuff is any less wearying for us?

Bubba said...

Dan, you should own up to your words.

If your intent really was "not to say anything bad" about us, you picked an atrocious way of going about it. It is insulting to compare us to those who deny the moon landing, and it's completely reprehensible to compare us to holocaust deniers.

You haven't apologized for comparing our beliefs to holocaust denial, and you still stand by the imagery of lynching that you used to attack us -- yes, US and not just our criticism -- for daring to criticize Jeremiah Wright.

You even suggest that we criticized him because he's an "uppity" black, which couldn't be further from the truth. Our issue with him is that he's a hateful, race-baiting conspiracy monger. For us, his words are what matter, not his skin color.

If all you wanted to say was that we have such different points of view that we can hardly understand each other, you could have just said that.

Instead, you don't stop at writing that our perspective is different from yours: in the comparisons you make, you imply that our persective is insane and immoral.

You don't mean to offend? I don't find that remotely plausible.


If you're really being honest that you meant no offense with your comparisons, then it really is the case that we can't find common ground even on word usage.

Me, I think the bulk of the problem would lie with the one who thinks comparisons to holocaust deniers are innocuous and inoffensive.

Marty said...

"we have such different points of view that we can hardly understand each other"

I'd say that's probably the case. Perhaps we can't do anything about our brain orientation.

We are basically just farting in the wind with each other.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I meant to correct a few points of yours which are totally misleading.

From your post of March 1, 2009 8:10 AM you said:

"Some of you all openly mock anyone who does not accept a six day creation and question (or reject) their Christianity."

Don't recall any mockery about this issue except in reverse. Those who believe in a six day creation are routinely mocked, as if our Lord is incapable of such a feat and to think so is ludicrous. It seems rather strange to be accused of putting God in a box, yet, those same accusers box Him up as one incapable of creating all with the slightest thought.

"Some of you all repeatedly claim that taxation = theft."

This is not quite accurate. Some of us rightly feel that to tax the producers, which would be the wealthy, in order to cover everyone else is indeed theft since it is an unequal burden on a small segment of society. And when such support comes from one who believes in living a spartan existence, it is also hypocritical. Give all you want. Encourage others to give as well. But to force others to do what you yourself is unwilling to do is indeed theft.

"Some of you all say that I and Obama are Marxists and that we enjoy killing babies."

The Marxist part is correct, but we don't say you enjoy killing babies, we say you support killing babies which makes you both complicit in the deaths of millions of unborn.

If you keep mistating our positions, we'd have to add "liar" to the list.

Erudite Redneck said...

I thought at first that you were really stooping, MA, to join that blog with Al-Ozarka. But no. Y'all really are two sick peas in a delusional pod! LOL! Wack-O!

Bubba said...

I wonder what you wrote, Marshall, that makes ER here think you're sick and delusional.

Over at his blog, Alan wrote all sorts of stuff, and ER didn't seem to mind: Alan called us violent, fat-assed cretins and hateful, inhuman scum. He implied we have the mentality of Christ-killers, he smeared us by invoking the Ku Klux Klan, and simply called us "real evil."

But ER didn't mind that.

And, here, Dan Trabue compared us to holocaust deniers and repeated the smear that we were lynching Jeremiah Wright.

ER doesn't seem to mind that, either.

What in the world could you have said that is so offensive?

You haven't dared suggest that there is such a thing as false doctrine, have you? And that there are people who are teaching such false doctrine?

Gosh, I hope not, 'cos that's apparently the only language that ER here won't tolerate. He claims that any suggestion that someone else is a false teacher is proof that you're judging men and announcing that you have the authority to judge them and drum them out of the tent of Christianity.

Please, Marshall, we must be civil.

4simpsons said...

Bubba, thanks for reminding me why I don't read those blogs!

Yes, that's the passive-aggressive liberal mentality for you. Quick to call you childish names (sick, delusional, wacko, fundie, wacky fundy, fundy candy store, cult, etc.).

I describe them with more technical terms such as liberal theologian or heretic.

If they called me a conservative theologian I'd have no issue with that. I suppose they could call me a heretic as well, only that would prove my point that there are essential doctrines that one shouldn't disagree with and claim to be Christian. That would actually advance the conversation!

4simpsons said...

"He claims that any suggestion that someone else is a false teacher is proof that you're judging men and announcing that you have the authority to judge them and drum them out of the tent of Christianity."

Yep. And he misses the irony that he is accusing us of holding false religious beliefs. They don't even realize when their arguments commit suicide. Oh, he'll try to twist it and say that he isn't saying our beliefs are false, but if that was the case then we'd all be in agreement, right?

Bubba said...

Neil, I definitely understanding objecting to being called heretical, heterodox, or a false teacher (equivalent ideas or nearly so), but what gets me is the objection to the idea of ANYONE being called a false teacher.

Christianity means certain things, which means that it logically and necessarily excludes other things.

It's monotheistic, which excludes polytheism and atheism, so any self-described Christian who subscribes to, say, polytheism (such as Mormons) are promoting a false teaching and are, therefore, false teachers.

Objecting to the idea of discerning false teachers -- an idea which we are commanded by Christ to carry out, not least by judging the fruit they bear -- is essentially objecting to the idea that, despite minor disagreements among denominations, Christianity is a clear and objective set of ideas which a person either affirms or denies.



Marshall, about your reply to Dan's summary of our position, I do have a couple points, at least to clarify my own position.


First, about equating taxation and theft, my position certainly isn't that ANY taxation is theft. In our last discussion about this subject, I made this point explicit, but in his eagerness to gripe about how I so frequently misunderstand his position, it seems Dan overlooked this and is now misunderstanding mine.

My point, which I also made explicit, was to criticize Geoffrey's apparent "position that an act is moral simply because it results from the mechanisms of self-government."

The majority can trample on the rights of the minority either through mob rule or through political processes. That trampling isn't suddenly made moral just because the process happens to be political.


About the claim that Obama and others "enjoy killing children," I wonder, would Dan object if we said that leftists enjoy promoting abortion?

If so, why?

If abortion is a morally neutral act like they claim, why is it wrong or offensive to say people enjoy promoting it? Bicycling is (obviously) morally neutral, and people feel good advocating bike trails; why aren't people equally proud about their advocacy for abortion clinics?

It seems to me that those who believe abortion is morally neutral, try to have their cake and eat it. On the one hand, they insist that the act isn't murder. On the other hand, they think the fact of abortion is regrettable, and the act should be safe, legal, and RARE.

If it's morally neutral, why is it regrettable? If it's morally neutral, why should it be rare?


Finally, I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to say that Dan subscribes to orthodox Marxism. He himself will tell you that he's a capitalist, and he can make this claim by hiding behind the fig leaf of the absolute minimal definition of capitalism: the nominal belief in private property.

But while Dan believes in private property as an idea, he doesn't believe in the freedom to dispose of property limited only by natural law. Getting some clarity on where he stands is like pulling teeth, but Dan does support price controls, specifically laws setting floors on the price of labor (i.e., minimum wage laws).

And while Dan claims that there are taxes and government interference he would oppose, he does so in the name of pragmatism rather than principle. This pragmatism assumes that the government has the moral right (and perhaps even the duty) to regulate the market when doing so would be (arguably) produce results that he favors.

This isn't pure Marxism, but the all-encompassing state he supports -- where individuals (ostensibly) still own the means of production while the state redirects those means at its discretion -- is, I believe, what has been described as a Marxist heresy. It's built on Marx's ideas, but it's not "orthodox Marxism."

Dan's politics are collectivist and, I would argue, totalitarian in the original, "all-encompassing" sense of the word.

And his politics are radical in their willingness to subvert (or tear down) traditional institutions in order to advance his agenda: I don't think it's a coincidence that Dan emphasizes those Bible verses that synch up with his politics, downplays those that aren't useful to his agenda -- little things like, oh, the physical and historical resurrection of Jesus Christ, which Dan believes but thinks is doctrinally OPTIONAL -- and dismisses as outright atrocities those passages that can't fit in with the pacifism, androgyny, or so-called "social justice."

But Marxism is only one kind of radical totalitarianism, and it's a very specific kind. What Dan subscribes to is probably in the larger family of related political philosophies, which runs from the brutal to the merely beuracratic: from the Jacobins and Leninism, to Mussolini's Fascism, to the Progressivism of Wilson and FDR.

It's probably more accurate to say that Dan isn't a Marxist, he's a Progressive, but I say this knowing that, as Jonah Goldberg documented so thoroughly in the book he wrote last year, these aren't opposite philosophies. They are, at the very least, distant cousins: attacks on the classical liberalism of Smith and Burke, from the same direction.

Mark said...

You guys have described Dan's ideology in complicated terms when the fact is, it's not complicated at all. Dan just likes to argue. That's it. No secret here. Dan just likes to argue. If you say the sky is blue he will say it's green. Just to be contrary.

If you want to take it further and attempt to explain Dan's motive for being contrary, It's this. Dan is a narcissist. It's all about Dan.

See? Simple. Like Dan.

Mark said...

For the record, Dr Sam Vaknin says all of us have some narcissism in us. I know I do. I admit it. If I didn't, I wouldn't have a blog.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

"I thought at first that you were really stooping, MA, to join that blog with Al-Ozarka."

You might not be aware, but AmericanDescent is the creation of Eric, who invited the rest of us to participate in this team blog. Al-O is, at the risk of offending him, somewhat of Michael Savage-type at that blog. I haven't visited his own blog enough to know how he is routinely. But what I've seen of his comments at other blogs, as well as AD, doesn't seem as bad as the overly sensitive types, like Alan, might want us to believe. As you might know, I prefer to let comments stand and let the reader decide on the character of the commenter. I do have a line that I don't wish to see crossed. It is not defined, but like good art, I know it when I see it. I would call out anyone who crosses it, as Mark can testify.

Aside from style, we are two peas in a pod, but we are neither sick nor delusional. Indeed, the conservative position is far more based on reality than liberalism, as we understand the two disparate schools of thought to be nowadays. As always, I stand ready to help illustrate that truth whenever called upon to do so.

Marshall Art said...

Bubba,

Sometimes the truth is offensive. That could be what rankles. Other possibilities are when it appears to them that I'm not getting their points, or worse, when I respond to their points forcing them to come up with yet another argument or concede, which they don't want to do.

SIDEBAR: For all, I'd prefer we not talk about someone in the third person particularly when that person just visited. To do so would make us like Geoffrey and Alan who like to be little gossips instead of confronting us when they know they have no argument. ER, Dan, they still visit. Let's address our comments directly to them, unless of course we're just speaking anecdotally (is that a word?).

Back to the news:

Overall, I don't much care what name or label an opponent wishes apply, if they can back it up. What the hell, they might be right. But no one'll ever know if they just say it. Dan will sometimes, in his goofy way, try to show how "some might view us as...", which makes it easier to label us without doing it personally, so to speak. But at least it gives one the opportunity to explain what a stupid thing it was to say.

Moving on to your latter comments, I just want to say that I was responding in a general sense to Dan's comments, which were much like what I was just describing above.

Mark said...

"I would call out anyone who crosses it, as Mark can testify."

I may have crossed the line, but I got the intended reaction from Dan.

It provoked disgust from him for a behavior he says is normal and God blessed.

Well, if it is normal and God blessed, why was he so repulsed by the graphic imaging?

Dan Trabue said...

Mark still does not understand the nature of his depravity and perversity. Sad.

Mark said...

I only described in words what you say is "Blessed by God", and you responded by saying it is depraved and perverse.

Well, make up your mind. Which is it? Depraved and perverse, (as I have been saying all along) or blessed by God?

You're an idiot, Dan.

Mark said...

If Lesbian sex is blessed by God, as you say, wouldn't God be pleased to have it graphically described?

Come on, Dan, you're a bright boy. Why can't you see the hypocrisy of your arguments?

Dan Trabue said...

If heterosexual sex is blessed by God, then you won't mind if someone writes about what you and one of your wives have done in your bedroom?

You are a pervert, writing about your fevered wetdream fantasies about what you imagine happens between two adults you don't know. And you apparently still don't know why you were wrong and thus, are unable to apologize for your obscene behavior.

Bubba said...

Dan:

THE SONG OF SOLOMON.

Q.E.D.

Dan Trabue said...

Are you comparing Mark's perverse fantasy speculations about what happens in somebody else's (someone he doesn't even know) bedroom to the beautiful poetry of scripture?

Mark is no poet and his perversion is not scripture.

Mark said...

Obscene? I thought it was blessed by God? Are you saying something blessed by God is obscene?

Mark said...

"Mark is no poet and his perversion is not scripture."

I agree, Dan. Except the image I provoked wasn't MY perversion. It was about lesbian sex. I'm not a lesbian, so it can't be MY perversion, but at least you finally admit it is perversion.

Dan Trabue said...

I repeat:

"And you apparently still don't know why you were wrong and thus, are unable to apologize for your obscene behavior."

Marshall Art said...

OK, let me finish off this little tiff between Mark and Dan.

First of all, I have no doubt that Mark knows he was wrong to be as graphic as he was regarding the comments in question. He has certainly apologized to me behind the scenes in being so graphic on my blog.

Dan, however, is avoiding the larger issue by playing his Mr. Piety role with his "shock" at the graphic nature of comments.

The point Mark was making was that the very notion of one person having sexual relations with another of the same sex is the real perversion, as it perverts the intention of the genitalia involved. That intention of course, being for procreation, that being the intention of God and/or nature.

The point extends to the religious ramifications of suggesting that God would ever possibly bless that which He has completely condemned as an abomination.

Dan should get off his high horse over the coarse nature of Mark's commentary when he gives support to something so plainly contrary to the Will of God, as revealed in Scripture, and thus every bit as obscene.

Mark said...

OK, Dan, if it will make you feel better...

I regret my slight transgression of pointing out a bit too graphically that lesbian sex is a perversion in God's eyes. Yes, it was a little over the top. Nevertheless, if you were offended by that truth, I apologize.

But I did it to illustrate a point, which you still have failed to admit to recognizing.

Additionally, you owe me (and every Bible believing Christian) an apology for making the absolutely stupid assertion that God would ever bless an act that God Himself has declared to be an abomination to Himself.

You have offended me by even suggesting God would bless such an unholy union.

Les said...

I always enjoy watching the gradual descent into chaos in which these petty arguments amongst believers always seem to find themselves. It usually goes something like this:

Side A: "The Bible says this."

Side B: "No, you're reading it wrong. It says this."

Side A: "You're stupid."

Side B: "No, you're stupid."

Side A: "ROOOAAAAR!"

Side B: "ROOOAAAAR!"


Oh, wait - no, I don't exactly enjoy this little game in the least bit. In fact, I'd rather bash my face against a wall. Good lookin' out there, Christians. Way to recruit. Gosh, with all the thousands of Christian sects and their numerous interpretations of what exactly constitutes the one true faith, I wonder why I take exception to legislation based on speculative spirituality? Hmmm...

Bubba said...

Les, even granting that this particular conversation has been less civil than it should be, what we've been discussing here is hardly trivial and "petty."

In fact I would argue that the theological conservatives and the theological liberals here aren't ultimately debating what the Bible says, but whether to believe what the Bible says. We're debating the Bible's authority more than its content, and the question of its authority is crucial in resolving most other serious disagreements among those who profess to be Christians.

Les, if we were to sweep aside our most serious disagreements in order to appeal to people like you, for the sake of getting along, we would have to water down the Good News so thoroughly that there would be practically nothing to preach.

We're not commanded to make converts, whatever it takes, diluting the message as much as necessary to make progress at the margins. Instead, we're explicitly taught by Christ to teach everything He taught us.


And, the fact of the matter is, the bulk of what we believe, we have no intention of codifying in legislation.

And, of those areas where our religious beliefs lead to our supporting particular laws, it appears that you have no objections to most of the laws we support, such as the prohibition of murder, theft, and fraud, all of which are found in the Ten Commandments.

You don't even seem to object to Christians whose religious beliefs inform their ideas about the civil institution of marriage, so long as those ideas match up with your own.

Your biggest problem is with those who believe, in accord with most of human history, that "marriage = husband + wife."

In order to discredit our support of the institution's traditional definition, you denigrate our religious beliefs that inform our support as "speculative spirituality," but it's obvious you're very selective -- and therefore hypocritical -- in exercising this particular rhetorical tactic.


And, since I don't think anyone's addressed the point yet, I think your very first comment in this thread is transparently false.

You claim, "I try to argue that liberty means 'Live and let live.'"

But it's not that we're arguing over whether homosexual behavior between consenting adults should be legal. Most of us here surely agree that it should be.

We're arguing over whether the state should issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples, giving their relationships the official approval of the state.

That's not "live and let live."

That's getting the government, whose taxes we pay and whose leaders we elect, to give their official endorsement to a particular behavior.

You're not arguing over the privacy of the bedroom, you're arguing over the very public arena of the courthouse, and if you're not going to be fair in the way you treat what we believe, the very least you could do is be honest about what you believe.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

I depart from Bubba's response in this way: that it is indeed often a matter of interpretation. But that's no different than in the public arena where the same dispute takes place. By that, I mean that the sides are also labelled conservative vs liberal, with the same argument ongoing, that is, whether the Bible/Constitution means what it says. Just as with the Constitution debate, the libs prefer to make words mean things that satisfy their desires rather than curb their desires within the parameters of the true meaning of the words, be they Biblical or Constitutional.

And just like my concerns over blogging debates, the debate over the issue of homosexuality has the same elements. We know the Bible is explicit in it's condemnation of the practice, without reference to intention or feelings or monogomy or anything else. It condemns the act alone as sinful and an abomination. The lib Christian seeks to twist and contort Scripture, to ignore the responses to their attempts, to dismiss and demonize the scholars who show the error in their interpretation, and in short, simply insist what they say IS, without need for supporting evidence.

It's so very much like every other debate with a liberal. This one just happens to be within the Christian community. You call it going in circles. I call it, "the ball's still in your court if you think you've got game". Typically, the liberal doesn't and that's when they stop posting comments.

Les said...

Bubba,

"...of the state."

Exactly. Not of individuals. I'm not arguing that churches or people should be forced to approve of said arrangements. Only that consenting adults who want to be included in an institution that has by default only been available to heterosexual couples in the past should be allowed to do so. I freely admit that's the historical definition, and the one that your side has been trying to protect. That being said, a frequent argument I hear is that the state endorsement of the one man/one woman model aims to protect the ideal. While that may be its intent, I think this idea is inherently flawed. Why? Because humanity doesn't need marriage to survive, as procreation doesn't require a license. And let's be honest - that's what this boils down to, isn't it? Procreation?

Do I think monogamy and faithfulness are valuable assets to a society? Absolutely, and I wouldn't argue otherwise. But that doesn't mean the "ideal" model of society as embodied by traditional marriage is the sole source of value and social contribution. For example, I'm an unmarried thirty-something with no kids. I contribute to this economy, pay my taxes, am politically active, and volunteer from time to time. How does my value compare with that of married couples with children? Without children? Unmarried couples with children? Without children? Are you willing to say I'm of lesser value to my country than married people? Even the bad ones? If so, then we've nothing more to say to each other.

If, then, the argument against gay marriage is NOT simply limited to the issue of children, then it has to be about the emotional and physical health of its participants and the effects on those around them. I'd argue that the participants themselves are the ones responsible for making the arrangement work, and that goes for both straight and gay marriages. And since gay folks are going to face societal disapproval whether they're married or not, a state-issued marriage certificate shouldn't mean a hill of beans to their detractors.

See, I consider my position to be the "live and let live" position because I don't think it's right to go that extra step and definitively exclude people from something. If you feel my position insults either you or your religious beliefs, then I apologize, because that's honestly not my intent. Again, you're entitled to them. It's just that codifying your beliefs on this particular issue would mean a portion of our citizenry - however miniscule - would face exclusion. I can't support that.

For the record:

"...whose taxes we pay and whose leaders we elect..."

This doesn't really mean much, as we both know our tax dollars and elected officials don't always help our individual beliefs play out in the real world. My tax dollars are funding a war I want no part of. Do I have a problem with that? Nope. It's the cover charge for living in America.

Bubba said...

Les, I certainly don't think that single men and women are of less value to God or society than married couples, but since you brought up bachelors, I would like to ask:

Do you think that an individual BY HIMSELF should be able to get a marriage license and be considered by the state to be married TO HIMSELF?

Let's think of the "emotional and physical health" of the bachelor who doesn't want a spouse of either sex but still wants to be married.

If you think that marriage should be limited to couples (or at least groups of 2 or more), then you're "definitively" excluding unmatched individuals, and I was under the impression that you thought that's wrong.

For what it's worth, I don't think what you describe falls under the umbrella of "live and let live":

See, I consider my position to be the "live and let live" position because I don't think it's right to go that extra step and definitively exclude people from something.

Living and letting live, doesn't entail being all-inclusive. It entails leaving people alone.

Les said...

"But that's no different..."

We're covering areas we've covered before, but again, I feel this statement is 100% incorrect. One of those ongoing arguments draws upon sources characterized by tangibility, measurable data, historical documentation, social analysis, scientific observation, etc. There's no general consensus among the participants about what it all means - hence the debate - but the sources are there to be studied nonetheless, and every once in awhile, a breakthrough is made. The other is rooted solely in faith.

Erudite Redneck said...

Took a break.

My last remark was in reference to MA's calling any taxation "theft." If it's legal, whether you like it or not, it's not fricking theft. Nice rhetoric, but it's not true.

Same with calling abortion "murder." It's not. Not under the law. Again, it's rhetoric, but it's not accurate.

And -- LOLOLOL -- to call President Obama a Marxist would be hilarious if you really didn't think so. But you do think so, wghich makes plain that you don't know jack about either Marxism or Obama's approach to governing.

It's not the tone that offends me here. Not the occasional hard language. It's the rank ignorance, and the fact that apparently nothing on God's green earth can surmount it.

Carry on.

Mark said...

Les, apparently in an attempt to lighten the mood, says, "I always enjoy watching the gradual descent into chaos in which these petty arguments amongst believers always seem to find themselves. It usually goes something like this:

Side A: "The Bible says this."

Side B: "No, you're reading it wrong. It says this."

Side A: "You're stupid."

Side B: "No, you're stupid."

Side A: "ROOOAAAAR!"

Side B: "ROOOAAAAR!
"

LOL! That's funny, Les!

Sometimes even Christians get carried away in our passion.

Mark said...

ER, gassing six million Jews to death was legal by German law in the 40's. Because it was legal it isn't murder, according to your logic.

The judgments at Nuremburg should be overturned and a big fat apology issued to the Nazi party, right?

Mark said...

OK, you're right, ER. It's only rhetoric.

Therefore let's use the proper term for Obama's politics:

Marxist Collectivism.

Les said...

"Do you think that an individual BY HIMSELF should be able to get a marriage license and be considered by the state to be married TO HIMSELF?"

No, as marriage inherently entails the joining of individuals. And the "emotional and physical health" portion of my answer wasn't referring to gays being distraught over being denied marriage licenses, which I'm guessing was how you read it. Instead, it was a callback to one of Art's former arguments against gay marriage. His contention is that gay couples are more emotionally disturbed and have more problems than their straight counterparts, and he's provided data in the past that supports his position. With all the social stigma attached to homosexuality, is it any wonder that Art can provide said data that supports his position? Hardly. My argument is simply that the health of a marriage - ANY marriage - is up to the actual participants involved. No one is beholden to statistics. Ya know, that whole personal responsibility thing.

Bubba said...

Les, you write that "marriage inherently entails the joining of individuals."

I disagree. I believe it inherently entails the joining of HUSBAND AND WIFE.

If you can oppose "single-person marriage" because it contradicts the inherent meaning of the term "marriage," I don't see any problem with my opposing "gay marriage" for the very same reason.


But my point is still valid: if you support "gay marriage" because it's exclusionary to do otherwise, it's ALSO exclusionary to oppose "single-person marriage."

Taken to its logical conclusion, your stated reason for supporting "gay marriage" -- to be all-inclusive -- ultimately leads to dissolving ANY clear idea of what marriage means, leaving an amorphous blob where the institution is what the farthest fringe defines it to be.

But this has been Neil's point and, more recently, mine: you're not taking your position to its logical conclusion.

Erudite Redneck said...

Mark: Actually, the world -- the West, anyway -- pretty much got together and decided that the whole Nazi enterprise was illegal, including those laws. So, no.

Get the world, or the West, together and declare that the United States government is an illegal regime, and then you'll be getting somewhere.

Erudite Redneck said...

Mark, yes, the Democratic Party does have a strain of collectivism in it. Absolutely. But that ain't no more "Marxist," than the strain of hard-core individualism equates to anarchy in the GOP (RIP).

Les said...

"... you're not taking your position to its logical conclusion."

That's only its logical conclusion according to you and yours. I don't buy into "slippery slope" defenses, as I feel they're simply hyperbolic paranoia intended to produce a rhetorical effect. I also never said marriage should be all-inclusive. Read my above comments.

Bubba, when I say opera is the marriage of music and drama, am I saying opera inherently entails the joining of human individuals? Of course not, which is why the inherent trait implied by the term "marriage" that I'm confident we can BOTH agree upon - specifically, the act of combining at least two elements - will never change.

Mark said...

Well, ER, the world and raving lunatic Liberals are certainly going to try the damnedest.

Marshall Art said...

Les,

"Of course not, which is why the inherent trait implied by the term "marriage" that I'm confident we can BOTH agree upon - specifically, the act of combining at least two elements - will never change."

This is not traditionally or historically accurate. The inherent trait implied by the term "marriage", as it concerns human beings in the bond of matrimony, is the combining of one man and one woman. Your definition of "at least two elements" is a modern definition used to allow other arrangements. Thus, this "inherent trait", as you put it, is a twisting of the truth. If it can be twisted in order to allow for other arrangements of "two elements", it can certainly be adjusted for one or more than two elements as well. Your mistake is in improperly defining marriage as the combining of two elements. It's a mistake because it is an incomplete definition.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

Like Geoffrey, you place legality over morality. I don't. Even though I must abide the law, "legal" doesn't mean "moral". Forcing a small percentage to cover the cost of the majority is not moral, particularly when they would be doing as much through a flat tax system, which is more just.

Abortion is still murder whether the law agrees or not. At the very least, it is the killing of another human being with the exact same value as any one of us. Nazia killed by ethnicity, the Klan by race, and abortionists and abortion supporters by size. All immoral. Legal or not.

As to the labeling of Obama as a Marxist or communist or socialist or liberal Democrat, they are all shades of the same color. For the best outcomes for this country, the only acceptable color is capitalism and a free market economy. I don't much care about the accuracy of the terms I use in this regard otherwise.

Bubba said...

Les, opera is most certainly NOT a literal marriage.

In the case of opera, marriage is used figuratively, and what's intrinsic to the literal meaning of any idea isn't always fully retained in the figurative use: a metaphor may capture an aspect or two of the intrinsic meaning, but not necessarily every aspect.

Mules are often invoked figuratively for people who are stubborn, but not all stubborn animals are mules: the long ears and four legs are equally intrinsic to the literal meaning of "mule" even though they're not carried over to the metaphor. Because metaphor REQUIRES comparing two unlike things, the comparison drops what's dissimilar (even if it's essential) and keeps what's similar (even if it's inessential).

It's just lame to suggest that, because "marriage" can be used figuratively, its literal meaning doesn't intrinsically entail the union of husband and wife.


All that said, it's worth noting that you invoke a metaphor involving the "marriage" of TWO UNLIKE ELEMENTS.

Music and drama are different, which may be one reason why it's apt to invoke the metaphor of marriage to describe them.

You never hear the metaphor used to describe a joining of two similar elements: something may be a figurative "marriage" of X and Y, but never of X and X.

You "marry" two unlike elements like drama and music, and you get opera. You "marry" two unlike elements like written text and graphics, and you get comics.

Literal marriage also involves the marrying of two unlike elements.

Husband and wife.

Bride and groom. (Or groom and bride.)

Man and woman.

Male and female.

Marty said...

"You call it going in circles. I call it, "the ball's still in your court if you think you've got game". Typically, the liberal doesn't and that's when they stop posting comments."

No.

It's called "becomming bored with it all and having better things to do with your time".

Les said...

The argument evolved into one of numerics and its connection to the term "marriage" itself, as opposed to one of gender. That's the part I addressed. No twisting here.

Les said...

"Literal marriage also involves the marrying of two unlike elements."

Agreed 100%. Like Roy and Steve. Not Roy and Roy.

Bubba said...

So, who's the wife, Les? Roy or Steve?

Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "you place legality over morality."

I do not. I place definitions over EVERYTHING. And when either side let's rhetoric run away to the point that it has with Obama is "Marxist," abortion is "murder" and taxation is "theft," it really becomes almost impossible to communicate.

Which is why we don't communicate. We rant and rail and cuss and discuss to no damn end.

Bubba said...

ER:

You apparently believe that "murder" is defined as illegal killing, but it appears that Marshall believes -- and I certainly believe -- that the term is defined as IMMORAL killing.

In which case, Marshall doesn't object to having definitions for terms: he objects to your definition.

Les said...

"So, who's the wife, Les?"

Neither. They're both husbands, as they're both male. What they are NOT is the same person. This is obviously the crux of the entire same-sex marriage debate, Bubba, and the impasse that will most likely never be breached. I'm not sure what your point is here, as the absence of gender difference is obvious and, again, at the very core of the debate.

But this thread hasn't been limited to same-sex marriage. Polygamy and incest got thrown in the mix, too. I'm not sure how relevant the gender difference point becomes in those situations, so clearly some other form of "difference" has to come into play. If that's the case, then which differences can we all agree are acceptable? None, of course. Using that opera analogy again, music and drama are two different things, but then we could waste time finding differences in each of those as well. Would you agree that some forms of rock music are marriages of blues and Motown? At the end of the day, it's not simply about gender differences, per se. It's about what we're comfortable allowing the state to include under the term marriage.

Bubba said...

Les:

Neither. They're both husbands, as they're both male. What they are NOT is the same person.

Marriage is not simply the union of one person and another person.

It's the union of husband and wife.

In your example, Roy isn't a husband because he doesn't have a wife. Ditto, Steve: he has no wife and therefore is not a husband and isn't in a marriage.

Les said...

"It's the union of husband and wife."

Oh. I guess that settles it then. That was easy enough.

Erudite Redneck said...

I confess to placing a higher value on legal definitions -- for purposes of debate and conversation -- than moral ones. My guess is most people do.

Which is why such rhetorical use of words, while it is great for stoking political bases and comforting and encouraging people who are already convinced, do nothing to advance causes.

Every time you call taxation "theft," the people who might agree with you if you said some taxes are unfair roll their eyes.

Every time you call abortion "murder," those who agree with you on the goal of reducing the incidence of abortion turn and walk away.

Everytime you call Obama a Marxist, even those who disagree with some of what he is trying to do dismiss you as an extremist not worth seriously debating as we all try to go forward in this country.

So, enjoy yer rhetoric, and yer moral superiority! But that's about all yer gonna get from using such language. I promise you, you are changing nobody's minds.

4simpsons said...

"Every time you call abortion "murder," those who agree with you on the goal of reducing the incidence of abortion turn and walk away."

Mainly because they really don't care if abortions are reduced.

It is a scientific fact that abortion kills an innocent human being. Sounds like murder to me.

"Actually, the world -- the West, anyway -- pretty much got together and decided that the whole Nazi enterprise was illegal, including those laws. So, no."

ER, your views are legalistic in the extreme. You'd make a Pharisee blush. By your definition the Holocaust (as already pointed out) and slavery were legal. But you'd rather focus on legal definitions than moral. How Christian.

And you also seem to imply that we can go in after the fact and declare something illegal. Does that mean we can do that with abortion?

And you have the audacity to claim folks here are ignorant?

You should stick to your name calling. You are much better at that than logic.

Erudite Redneck said...

Neil, don't be such a loser. You seethe when you address me anymore, no matter what, no matter the issue, no matter what I say.

I hope you enjoy it until you choke on it. You have NO room to sneer at my Christianity. None. Your hyperorthodoxy is anything but Christian. Your cocksure attitude is anything but humble. Your swagger is laughable. Your triune god is the Bible, your own interpretion of it, and those who agree with you.

Have you ever even CONSIDERED Jesus?

Ichabod!

4simpsons said...

"Neil, don't be such a loser. "

Good one! Thanks for taking my advice and sticking to ad homs over careful thinking. Always good to play to your strengths.

"You seethe when you address me anymore, no matter what, no matter the issue, no matter what I say."

No, I just point out what I see as errors in your logic. You interpreting it as seething. I'm a really joyful person. Your heresies don't hurt me.

"You have NO room to sneer at my Christianity."

That begs the question.

Les said...

"No, I just point out what I see as errors in your logic."

You also judge. And label. Just like everyone else in the blogosphere.

Erudite Redneck said...

Neil, I lie prostrate at your feet, slain by your rapier logic. So don't elevate what I'm saying to you to the level of argument -- not even ad hominem.

I'm in the mud because you, again, come blazing in, in all YOUR glory, knocking about all those who dare laugh at you.

Ha. Ha. Ha. Nothing passive-aggressive here, buddy. You're a nutbag.

And an idolator. You worship, IF you worship at all, a made-up deity who lives only in your mind. Joyous? The deluded usually *are* as happy as all get-out!

Here. While I'm still on the ground at your victorious feet, here's my other cheek: Take a whack at it, too, you Pharisee.

Erudite Redneck said...

Heretic! Damn straight. Absol-fricking-lutely, if Neil -- OR Bubba -- are the measures of orthodoxy.

As IF -- as if! LOL -- The Way of Jesus had a damned thing to do with what anyone believes.

Hey, I suck at following Jesus. I just keep stumbling along. But good God I'd rather be stumbling along, flailing about, trusting God God's self, than hanging anything on some religious "orthodoxy."

Gah.

4simpsons said...

"As IF -- as if! LOL -- The Way of Jesus had a damned thing to do with what anyone believes."

Good point.

John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Romans 10:9 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Mark 1:15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

John 8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”

John 11:25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;

1 Thessalonians 4:14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.

1 Peter 2:7 Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”

1 John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.

1 John 5:5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

1 John 5:10 Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son.

1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

And a couple hundred other verses.

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, wow. I actually hit one of Neil's buttons.

Just about every one of those uses of the word "believe" actually means "trust," not "assent to intellectually."

Whatever list of things you or anyone else comes up with of propositions that one must assent to intellectually to "be a Christian" is religion talking, not The Way of Jesus.

John's Gospel, being the latest, was one of the first to start such a list, BTW. And if you don't think the author of John put words in Jesus's mouth to suit his own purposes --not a terrible thing, mind you, since they all did sometimnes, but a thing nonetheless -- then you don't think enough.

4simpsons said...

"Whatever list of things you or anyone else comes up with of propositions that one must assent to intellectually to "be a Christian" is religion talking, not The Way of Jesus."

You seem rather certain of that. Do you "believe" it? (pick your own definition.) Why should we believe your truth claim? And how do we know you aren't just making that up to suit your purpose? After all, you "know" that's what the Apostle John did.

Erudite Redneck said...

I believe -- hee hee -- that what I stated was an opinion, with which you may or may not agree. I try to avoid "truth claims."

You should come to your own conclusions based on your own thinking.

I admit: My purpose is to seek the truth -- not that I ever expect to find it, just to get close, mroe or less. I'm in the crowd of those hanging around Jesus. I don't think he needs bouncers or handlers like you.

I don't know that's what the author of John did. It sure looks like it. And, I also freely admit that trust scholars boldly seeking the truth more than anyone who unthinkingly defends their own version of it.

It's funny. I hear a lot about "liberal biblicakl scholars." Snort. There are biblical scholars. And there are reactionary biblical scholars. You know who I'm giving the benefit of the doubt and who I'm not.

Erudite Redneck said...

Produce the list of things Jesus demanded that people assent to intellectually before he would save them.

Erudite Redneck said...

Oh, and you probably should stick to Matthew, Mark and Luke, and Mark more than the other two. I know what Paul said. What did Jesus say to believe?

Erudite Redneck said...

I will sleep with bated dreams. Nite-nite now!

4simpsons said...

"You should come to your own conclusions based on your own thinking."

Already did. You have just lived in stereotype-land so long that you think you are the only one who has done that. Then again, you haven't admitted to making conclusions on the truth (even though you make them left and right then back off and call them "opinions").

"I also freely admit that trust scholars boldly seeking the truth more than anyone who unthinkingly defends their own version of it."

But that's just your opinion. You can't demonstrate that others aren't seeking the truth boldly and that they haven't found it.

"I believe -- hee hee -- that what I stated was an opinion, with which you may or may not agree. I try to avoid "truth claims.""

Oh, but of course! What a perfectly wimpy way to debate. I'll just go back to ignoring you. I don't mind alternate views, but once again your passive aggressiveness shines through. How come you're only honest when throwing tantrums?

"Oh, and you probably should stick to Matthew, Mark and Luke, and Mark more than the other two. I know what Paul said. What did Jesus say to believe?"

Cute game! Dismiss the Bible before it is even brought up. What a uniquely Christian thing to do.

Then again, no matter what we would provide you'd claim that we don't know if Jesus really said it, that someone put words in his mouth, etc.

XOXOXO,

Neil

Bubba said...

ER, I think there are three things worth saying in response to your willingness to discard or diminish the testimonies of John and Paul.

First, I think it's far worse for you to question the authority of Christ's hand-picked Apostles, than it is for any of us to question whether your beliefs fall outside of orthodoxy.

Second, your unwillingness to trust as authoritative the Apostles' writings absolutely validates our suspicion that your beliefs really do fall outside of orthodoxy.

Third, you have no business whatsoever accusing anyone else of idolatry:

"You worship, IF you worship at all, a made-up deity who lives only in your mind."

You pick-and-choose which passages of the New Testament are reliable. Rather than trust that they're presenting an accurate portrayal of what He taught, you presume that John and every other NT writer -- "they all did" -- put words in Christ's mouth. I suspect that what you discard as inauthentic interferes with your own ideas of Christianity, and I sincerely doubt that that's a coincidence.


You wrote that you're absolutely happy to be considered a heretic "if Neil -- OR Bubba -- are the measures of orthodoxy."

But we're not, we don't claim to be, and it's obvious your problem isn't ultimately with Neil and me. It's with the authors of Scripture, to which we appeal.

Your problem, quite apparently, is with Peter, James, John, and Paul.

Ultimately, I cannot see how your problem isn't also with Him who called these men to be His Apostles.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

I'm not getting this "assent to intellectually" comment. What do you mean by it? How can anyone NOT consider Christ on some intellectual level before assenting to any of what He said or preached? Are you suggesting some kind of unconscious assent, or perhaps stupidly assenting? Really, dude. I'm not getting it. 'Splain yourself.

Mark said...

I think, though I'm not sure, that the term "assent to intellectuality" has to do with some idea that one can't understand the nature of God unless one is highly intelligent, an idea that has been propagated by pseudo-intellectuals because they want everyone to think they are somehow superior to the common folk because they are smarter than us, and are the only ones who can understand this so-called "nature of God" concept.

An idea which flies in the face of God's grace, really.

I don't believe there is any evidence that God intended only smart people to be granted salvation. In fact, in my experience, the most Godly people I have met often were some of the most simple, intellectually speaking.

It is possible, I believe, to overthink God.

He offered us (all people) the gift of eternal life, and all anyone has to do is accept the gift. We don't have to know diddly-squat about Him. And we certainly can't understand Him.

Of course, this might not have anything to do with the phrase "assent to intellectuality". Knowing ER no better than I do, I still don't believe he buys into all that "intellectuals being superior" crap.

I probably should just shut up and let ER hisself explain it.

Erudite Redneck said...

Neil, " I'll just go back to ignoring you."

Yay!


MA and Mark: What I mean is this: If you insist that I believe in X, Y and Z -- for example, that Jesus walked on water, that scales literally fell from Paul's eyes, or that Jesus was born of a virgin -- none of that has anything to do with the kind of FAITH that means TRUST. It has to do with me agreeing with you that those three propositions, or any others, are factual, historical and accurate.

In other words, that has nothing to do with the will, which is involved in TRUSTING God, and everything to do with the intellect. You say, "Jesus walked on the water," I would say, "I agree," or "I assent." But who cares? That has nothing to do with trusting Christ, or trusting God through Christ.


Bubba: It all boils down, again, to what one considers the Bible to be. You consider it to be one kind of thing, and I consider it to be another kind of thing. You don't get how I can consider it differently than you do and still consider it authoritative, and that's OK. I've tried previously to splain it. Uncle.

Bubba said...

ER, you forgot to mention that you, apparently, don't get how Neil and I consider the Bible differently than you and yet are not guilty of being "bibliolators."

Anyway, you asked Neil to argue that Jesus taught something, but you forbade him from appealling to Paul's epistles or John's Gospel. And, of the remaining synoptic gospels, you recommended that Neil focus on Mark.

Why? The only logical answer is that, quite evidently, you don't think that the New Testament canon is authoritative. You even admit as much when you write that every single NT writer put words in Christ's mouth: "they all did."

John wrote that Jesus said X, and that's not sufficient for you to believe that Jesus said X.

By any reasonable standard, you do not hold to the Bible's authority.

Erudite Redneck said...

No, just not by your standard, Bubba. Apparently, what *you* mean by "authoritative" is unassailable, take-it-all-or-leave-it, unquestioning acceptance. What I mean by "authoritative" is it's the first place I look for guidance, but not the only place.


Here are some standard definitions:

1. Having or arising from authority; official.

2. Of acknowledged accuracy or excellence; highly reliable.

3. Wielding authority; commanding.

4. Having or arising from authority.

5. Worthy of belief, as because of precision or faithfulness to an original.

6. Serving the function of deciding or settling with finality.

7. Exercising authority.


I'd say I mean 1, 2, 4 and sort of 5, and you mean 3, 6 and 7. But we both regard it as authoritative.

Now that *that's* settled ... LOL

Bubba said...

ER, if you look to the Bible as the "first" source of truth but not as the decisive source of truth, then you don't consider the book to be authoritative. Period.

A baseball fan who fact-checks his stats-crazed best friend against MLB.com doesn't consider the friend to be an authoritative source of statistics, no matter whether he goes to the friend first just because he's more readily available.

It's not whether you go to other sources, but what you do with those other sources.

If you look elsewhere for truth about God and conform what you find to what you know the Bible teaches, then you do indeed consider the Bible to be authoritative. If you look elsewhere to overturn what the Bible teaches, then you don't consider the Bible authoritative, and it's dishonest to suggest otherwise.


Glancing around, I see that you wrote this last year:

Part of the problem, as I have come to see it, is the notion of the Bible being any sort of revelation of God to man becomes more absurd as science, and even theology, progresses. When the Scriptures are seen as sacred because of their place in Jewish and Christian history, and not because of their supposed origins ("God-breathed"), and rather than revelastion, seen as records of humankind's attempt so "see," comprehend and understand God, *that*s when one begins to be able to take the Bible seriously but not literally.

The Bible claims to be divine revelation rather than merely human speculation, and indeed Jesus Christ Himself strengthens that claim. Assuming you haven't changed your position, you apparently reject that claim.

"It all boils down, again, to what one considers the Bible to be."

No, it boils down, not to what "one considers" the Bible to be, but what the Bible claims about itself.

If you reject its own claims about its divine authorship, you logically cannot affirm its authority.


About those definitions, I affirm that the Bible is authoritative in all seven senses of the word that you give.

It does NOT seem to me that you affirm even those definitions you say you do.

Scripture claims to be "God-breathed," to be revelation rather than speculation, to be God's "official" written word, but you apparently reject that claim, striking down definition #1.

You assert that every NT writer put words in Christ's mouth, undermining Scripture's claim to be "highly reliable." There goes definition #2.

You do not believe what the Bible claims about its own authorship, so you can't believe that the book is "worth of belief." On the contrary, you smear those who DO consider the Bible worth of belief, by accusing us of idolatry. There goes #5.

You drain the adjective "authoritative" of most of its meaning, to justify your draining the Bible of most of its message.

Erudite Redneck said...

Ohhhh-K. I didn't get past the first sentence. If yer gonna argue with the actual accepted definitions of words, or, insist that your personal preferred definition is the only one that *I* can use, well, forget it. Just forget it. Never mind. Forget I was here. Have fun twisting in your own wind. Period. LOL

Bubba said...

Let me be clear, I accept the traditional definition of the word, "authoritative," and what I reject is that your claims about the Bible match up with the claim that you believe the Bible is authoritative.

But I WILL have to remember that you are such a stickler for dictionary definitions, the next time we discuss the institution of marriage.

Erudite Redneck said...

You'd *better* remember.

Hmmm ...

From Merriam-Webster:

(1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law

(2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage "same-sex marriage" b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

(3): an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected ; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities

(4): an intimate or close union


So, you take 1, and I'll take 1, 2, 3 and 4!

Bubba said...

Since you're clearly reading past the first sentence again, maybe you could explain how you affirm that the Bible's authoritative when you don't believe its claims about itself or, for that matter, its claims about what Jesus taught.

Erudite Redneck said...

Naah. We'd just keep going around in circles.

Marshall Art said...

ER,

"What I mean by "authoritative" is it's the first place I look for guidance, but not the only place."

This statement seems contradictory to me. By not being the only place, it's not very authoritative, or, as Miracle Max might say, it's only "mostly" authoritative.

Rather than seeking authority elsewhere, true authority would imply that the Bible is the LAST source, the source against which all others must comply. That would make it truly authoritative.

Erudite Redneck said...

Nah. It's like the Constitution. That's where you start in deciding the basic parameters for our system of government, but the details. It's fleshed out in legislation, then in regulation, then in practice.

The Bib;e is where you start for the broad paramters: God loves us, to the point that Jesud died for us. The church formed to go tell the story of Love.

How it does so and most of the dteails are worked out in liturgy, experience and practice, among other things.

Bubba said...

ER, if that's all you were saying, I doubt any of us would have much problem with your position.

Instead, you've asserted that every NT writer put words in Jesus mouth, which we should implicitly ignore as unreliable and inauthentic.

You're not just suggesting that the church should be free to flesh out the details of what the Bible outlines: your position seems to be that the church should be free to OVERRIDE those Scriptural details that it finds inconvenient.

Erudite Redneck said...

Well, that's not all I'm saying. If you're going to tell me that you think that the Gospel writers got what they say Jesus said exactly right, even in the original writing, I'm gonna tell you that that's preposterous.

Dude, I quote people for a living. It's hard to get it right, without a recorder, as people are speaking let alone 30, 40 years down the line! It's just nuts to think otherwise.

So, not inconvenient: implausible, unlikely, some other words like that.

Inconvenient! Do you realize that, almost totally because of where and when I grew up, I am uncomfortable around gay men? Do you know where I am around more gay men than in any other place? The pew.

Do you realize that sometimes I wish I could go back to the God-said-it-I-believe-it-that-settles it way, because it's so damn much easier?!

Do you realize that it's HARDER to think than to just accept?

Do you know, that like most people, I like the idea of being a member of a club that only *some* people can be a part of?

Bite me. ALL of you bite me if you think that I think what I think because it's fricking CONVENIENT!

The path I'm on now is harder than ever -- mainly because of Pharisaical Bible worshippers who can't see Christ in others unless they filter it through their own damned pet doctrines. Well, keep it. 'It's GREAT religion. It's a wonderful club you've got going.

And it stinks like the whited sepulcher it is.

Bubba said...

ER, it's simply not the case that theologically conservative Christianity is "a club that only *some* people can be a part of."

All people are welcome, just not all beliefs.

That's the case for your belief system, too, as you deride inerrancy as idolatry.


You object, in no uncertain terms, to my belief that you discard passages of Scripture out of convenience.

But my point is less about why you sift through Scripture, and more about the simple fact that you do so.

You pick and choose what parts of the Bible are trustworthy. It's not the case that you merely fill in the details of what the Bible omits: you discard parts of what the Bible includes.


I understand the implausibility of the idea that the Gospel writers or their sources had photographic memories and perfect recall. Inerrancy doesn't depend on the super abilities of the human writers, but on the guidance of the divine Author, who (we believe) kept the writers from error while not suppressing their personalities.

For someone who quotes people for a living, you grasp the difficulty of perfect recall, but what you don't seem to grasp, in the case of the New Testament, is the impossibility for merely human scholars to sift truth from error, centuries after the fact.

The New Testament documents are the best accounts we have for what Jesus taught and did, and there are no other documents we can invoke to evaluate them.

You have no rational justification for believing that a particular passage in John, for instance, is inauthentic, because you have no other sources of information that are more reliable, against which the Gospels can be compared.

In the end, by picking and choosing from the New Testament those teachings that you like, you're constructing a completely artficial image of what Jesus taught.

It is an image built on foundations far weaker than one built from all of what the NT teaches, because you have NO RATIONAL BASIS for sifting through the New Testament.

It is ultimately an idol, and I believe the charge of idolatry is far more plausible with you than it is with inerrantists.

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