Monday, May 31, 2010

More Common Sense Regarding DADT

This article in Human Events by William Buchanan (didn't he die in last season's "24"?), highlights the only sensible arguments that should be considered as Congress once again discusses a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which would allow openly homosexual men and women to serve in the military (in direct violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice).

A military spending bill that repeals DADT has already passed the House. This is a devious and dishonest ploy by enablers within our government. They tie this unconscionable repeal to spending meant to enhance the ability of troops now engaged in warfare to succeed. What results is that those who vote against this bill because of the part that repeals DADT, as whether it fails to pass or not, can be said to have been against supporting the troops. At the same time, the military has requested that Congress do nothing on this issue until it can be reviewed by the military, but apparently members of Congress think they know better what's best for the military than military people.

And this is where the article comes in. Even if the military leaders are wrong if they vote against a repeal (which they would not be), it is still something only they can righteously judge because the responsibility of the quality of our military falls on them.

But it seems there are too many political animals in the military as we see by an article in today's paper heralding the first batch of women now assigned to submarines in the Navy. There have already been higher incidents of rapes and pregnancies since women were allowed to serve on other ships, and now somehow, closer quarters won't make a difference. Don't these boneheads understand that our ability to protect the nation is at stake?

The article begins with a perfect example of boneheadedness:

"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen recently fired another salvo to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the 1993 law that prohibits openly gay people from serving in the Armed Forces, when he declared before the Senate Armed Services Committee, "No matter how I look at the issue I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens." "

"Lie about who they are"? Not at all. What common sense people are hoping for is that such people resist who they are, just as we hope pedophiles resist who they are, adulterers resist who they are, thieves resist who they are, etc., etc., etc. Why should this behavior be considered immutable, yet all other behaviors forbidden under the UCMJ not? Where's the social justice for rapists and thieves? The lie is that there is no difference between homos and heteros and that there won't be serious negative ramifications should this stupidity be made into law. The article to which I've linked lists a number of considerations that are more than just potential, but are worth a wager for their extreme likelihood.

UPDATE: More common sense on the issue of DADT is found here. It is even better than the one above for the fact that it focusses more directly on the real point of the opposition to the repeal of DADT. As much as some want to see it as some kind of racial like discrimination against those poor homosexuals, it is and always has been an issue of military effectiveness and how that would be impacted by the repeal.

263 comments:

1 – 200 of 263   Newer›   Newest»
Mark said...

What about the rights of the straight soldiers? Don't they have a right to take showers without homos ogling them?

Men are sexually stimulated by visual stimulation. When a homo takes a shower with another man, there is almost a 100% chance he will be turned on by the sight of the other man's genitals.

We wouldn't want men taking showers with women and getting aroused, and possibly assaulting the women. It's the same thing with homos. Sexually aroused men, whether gay or straight, sometimes lose control and violently attack the objects of their desire.

Even if the incidence of this is rare, why would we want to take that chance?

Jim said...

They've been showering with gays for decades, haven't they?

You are obviously a neanderthal out of touch with 78% of Americans and 60% of Republicans.

Sexually aroused men, whether gay or straight, sometimes lose control and violently attack the objects of their desire. Even if the incidence of this is rare, why would we want to take that chance?

Umm, THAT would be against the UCMJ and would be dealt with officially (and unofficially, you can be sure).

They tie this unconscionable repeal to spending meant to enhance the ability of troops now engaged in warfare to succeed.

Kind of like adding "no viagra for child molesters" by the Repugs to the Health Care Reform bill, huh?

What common sense people are hoping for is that such people resist who they are

No, not common sense people. Only the 20% who are neanderthals like you.

Why should this behavior be considered immutable, yet all other behaviors forbidden under the UCMJ not?

Your equating legal behavior to illegal behavior, which is par for your course, but nobody buys your argument anymore.

You are out of the mainstream, but I'm sure that makes no difference to you.

Marshall Art said...

I see, Jim. So by your logic, should the mainstream come to feel that sex with small children is OK, that would then make it so in your mind? I guess the deal is that numbers determine right vs. wrong? That's certainly a typical attitude for leftist relativists, but I don't subscribe to such beliefs. I see right vs wrong an issue dictated by a higher power, not the whims of contemporary man. Indeed, what is OK to some now, will reap its harvest at a later date one way or the other. The issue here is that some are thinking incredibly short term, while common sense people, usually conservative people, think more long term, more deeply than the shallow minded self-centered leftist.

Adultery, by the way, is not illegal. It is against the UCMJ. What I'm comparing is immoral behavior against moral behavior and noting, as Buchanan suggests, the likely negative ramifications of cow-towing to those who define themselves by their immorality and then insist that others accept as normal their abnormal condition.

I don't know to what you are referring regarding the health care reform bill. I'm satisfied that there need be no added tricks to justify squashing that inane and economy destroying bill. What concerns me here is the ploy being used here. I haven't seen much besides this repeal that makes the rest of the bill worth voting against. Fortunately, Obama has said he'd veto the bill over some portion regarding funding for a particular weapon or plane, so it may not pass no matter what Congress does now. But you'll need a better example than the health care bill to try to make an apples to apples comparison.

Also, though soldiers may have been showering with homos already, the homos lived under the threat of court martial if they act on their impulses in a public manner. Also, unless all in the barracks have expressed no personal problem with being approached by a homo, I doubt any homo would risk a beating.

There is nothing "neanderthal" about holding fast to traditional notions of morality. It IS neanderthal, however, to call such people names for doing so. Childish as well. And if only 20% of the population stands up for morality, that only means that only 20% of us AREN'T neanderthals who indulge freely every impulse that seeks to drive us. That does not bode well for civilization.

Jim said...

So by your logic, should the mainstream come to feel that sex with small children is OK, that would then make it so in your mind?

No. Sex with children is illegal. Sex between consenting adults is legal. Your attempt to make a comparison to what the majority would agree to NOW compared to what a majority would NEVER agree with FAILS.

I see right vs wrong an issue dictated by a higher power.

And you are perfectly within your rights to do so. However,the military is a secular organization and subject to the UMCJ and the laws of Congress and not by your "higher power."

those who define themselves by their immorality.

I know of no one who does any such thing. Do you?

the homos lived under the threat of court martial if they act on their impulses in a public manner.

And that would change how exactly?

I doubt any homo would risk a beating.

And that would change how exactly?

OK, I'll withdraw the "neanderthal" description and simply repeat that you are out of the mainstream.

Dan Trabue said...

Why should this behavior be considered immutable, yet all other behaviors forbidden under the UCMJ not? Where's the social justice for rapists and thieves?

The difference, quite obviously, is that two adult folk loving each other - whether straight or gay - is not a crime. Rape and thievery ARE crimes.

The problem with your thinking, as I've noted before, is that you're jumping to penalize the victims (women who might be raped and gay folk who might be beaten, killed or mistreated) rather than the criminals and thugs. "SOME people (ie, rapists, killers, sick people who would assault others) would have a problem with gay folk or women in the military, therefore, let's keep gay people and women out of the military."

This is backwards, from a justice point of view, and just a little insane. Let's keep the CRIMINALS out of the military and penalize THEM, not innocent women and gay people who merely wish to serve their country. Penalties are for criminals, not the innocent.

Marshall Art said...

"No. Sex with children is illegal. Sex between consenting adults is legal."

Really, Jim? Wow! What a news flash! My point was that what is considered moral by your logic is merely the result of what is mainstream, or what the majority believes to be wrong or even worthy of being prohibited by law. But what if it changes? What if somewhere down the road sex with minors is no longer considered by the majority to be wrong? Will it still be or do you believe that votes determine morality. I'm not confusing the two here. I'm debating morality, not legality. There's a difference.

But as to the issue, homosex is considered to be a disruptive condition within the military, which is why, like adultery and other sexual behaviors it is considered outside of what is best for military discipline and cohesiveness. The issue is, does that impact change simply because leftists with a corrupted sense of morality have pressured politicians to change the law? Further, does it change reality for the military even if "the mainstream" decides there's no problem? I'm saying that nothing changes. The same dynamics in human behavior will exist and create problems such as that suggested by Buchanan. I would suggest, without knowing for certain, that the UCMJ regulations regarding sexual behavior may have been originally based on the mores of the time in which the regs were devised, but also with the consideration for the impact of allowing such behaviors to go unchecked.

Buchanan's concerns are based on common sense and the awareness of that human dynamic. Put that together with the evidence of sexual misconduct between men and women in the military already, particularly on Naval vessels, and it's clear that someone is thinking from his hindquarters.

Keep in mind that homosexuals are already banned under the UCMJ regulations and that DADT was a means under which homos could serve. If they kept their perversion to themselves, just as a hetero must keep his desire for his neighbor's wife to himself for example, then both homo and adulterer are free to serve. But to allow for people to indulge their passions and desires does not serve an organization where the unit is to be placed above those things. What you support invites disaster.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I'm not "jumping to penalize victims" at all. What I'm trying to point out is that a behavior is forbidden for reasons the military finds justifiable. YOU and other enablers have decided that you know better than they what behaviors can be allowed. Again, it's a matter of morality over legality (for the sake of this debate) and the impact of allowing a particular immoral behavior to be codified and sanctioned, particularly for reasons having nothing to do with how it improves or detracts from military effectiveness. My argument regarding other behaviors has nothing to do with anyone engaging in those behaviors, for not everyone who feels the compulsion to steal will steal, not everyone who feels attracted to small children will act on that compulsion, not everyone who feels like knocking down a chick and dragging her behind the bushes will do so.

What I'm talking about is people admitting upon enlistment that they have those desires. Should anyone admit to being a rapist, they would likely be denied entry into the military whether they've raped before or not. What you're suggesting is that it should be OK for someone to be open about a behavior that the military to this point has considered unacceptable for military personnel. The reaons for this have been well laid out in Buchanan's article and are not based in the least on religion or morality, but on common sense understanding of human nature and how it can and likely will manifest if allowed. Good gosh, think of David and Bathsheba. He sent Uriah to the front lines where his death was all but assured so that he could have Bathsheba. Do you actually expect anyone to believe that the average man would not do something similar due to an attraction for a guy in his command or that one might be distracted by his desire for a fellow soldier with the result being disastrous for others?

This is not to say that allowing homos to serve guarantees widespread abuses. But the likelihood of more abuses cannot help but happen when you put people in this situation. It's naive and ignorant to pretend otherwise.

Dan Trabue said...

What I'm trying to point out is that a behavior is forbidden for reasons the military finds justifiable. YOU and other enablers have decided that you know better than they what behaviors can be allowed.

Unfortunately, the military is made up of fallible human beings who are sometimes wrong. In the past, the military did not want to include some people simply because of the color of their skin. We the people had to demand that justice be done and blacks were allowed to serve in the military.

Some made the excuse, "but if we allow the blacks in the military, it will undo military readiness and unit cohesion. Besides, black folk might get beat up or killed by racist soldiers. It's best to let the military to decide..."

Those arguments were wrong about skin color. They were wrong about gender and they are wrong about orientation.

Dan Trabue said...

This is not to say that allowing homos to serve guarantees widespread abuses. But the likelihood of more abuses cannot help but happen when you put people in this situation. It's naive and ignorant to pretend otherwise.

And what we're saying is that we allow folk to serve and only prohibit bad behavior. To ban a whole group based on what might happen to or by some is an injustice. It would be naive and immoral to pretend otherwise.

Marshall...

What you're suggesting is that it should be OK for someone to be open about a behavior that the military to this point has considered unacceptable for military personnel.

What we're suggesting is that someone's sexual orientation - gay or straight - is not a morally legitimate reason to ban all folk. EVERYONE has a sexual orientation and it would be ridiculous to ban people who might have sexual attractions to one gender or the other. Of course, you're not talking about doing that. You're talking about banning ONE orientation and not the other.

If the military wants to ban extramarital sexual activity, that might be one thing (probably a bad idea and you'd probably really have an army of ONE when they were done...), but they're not talking about doing that. They're just talking about discriminating against ONE group (gay folk) and not the other group (straight folk) for participating in the same behaviors.

We're suggesting that laws and rules be consistent and just and moral and, given that, there is no logical reason to ban gay folk. Just as the racists and their defenders were wrong to ban black folk, history will show that sexists and homophobes and their defenders were wrong on those fronts.

Joe_Agnost said...

I see nothing that shows that homosexuality is immoral. I see the comments refer to "moral vs. legal" etc. but nowhere has anyone shown that homosexuality is itself immoral!

Fundies sure do pick their battles poorly... they're not going to win this one!

Jim said...

Should anyone admit to being a rapist, they would likely be denied entry into the military whether they've raped before or not.

This pretty much tells you that we're going to go nowhere here except another 400 comment discussion with people shouting into the hurricane. Comparing a homosexual to a rapist is bad enough, but I've never heard a person referred to a murderer, rapist, thief, or liar before committing the act. That's just ludicrous.

I'm going to suggest here that further discussion is pointless. The "issue" and the post are based on moral "standards" of Mark and Marshall and the sources they quote and will NOT be swayed by anything anyone else here writes or cites. Won't happen.

But the end of DADT will. It's only a matter of time. If for no other reason than generational. The majority of young people just don't care if people are gay. They already go to school with them and play sports with them and socialize with them and go to church with them. When they go into the military, they still won't care. The majority of our military now is most likely under age 25. Most will not care about fellow soldiers' sexual preferences.

Those that do will get over it or get out.

Joe_Agnost said...

Amen to that Jim!

Marshall Art said...

It's pretty apparent that neither Jim nor Joe actually read the Buchanan article. The point being made by Buchanan is that it is NOT an issue of morality, but of combat effectiveness and how introduction of openly homosexual recruits would impact that. Perhaps after reading the article one of you might want to comment on the points made within it and state how you know none of them will ever be an issue. And keep in mind the following facts when trying to pretend that it won't matter: The CDC has stated that homo men are over 40 times more likely to contract an STD than hetero men. It further stated that of new reports of syphillis, 60% are by homosexuals. There is a far higher incidence of depression and suicide among homosexuals and it hasn't been determined whether such mental/emotional symptoms are the cause or result of homosexuality.

So it really doesn't matter if kids know homos in school, or church or anywhere else. What matters is what impact it will have on the military should they be allowed to "be themselves" while a member of the military.

And for Jim, keep in mind that I don't compare homos with any other group, such as rapists or murderers other than to say that all are on the list of people the military doesn't want. Of course no one who feels compelled to rape or murder labels themselves in that manner. Duh. The point is that they don't and as long as they don't and as long as they keep such feelings and desires to themselves, they could serve because they wouldn't be disruptive. But for homos, we're supposed to believe that there'd be no problem if they're condition was publicized. Unfortunately, as Buchanan points out, there are plenty of legitimate reasons for concern that, at least in this thread, have yet to be addressed. Just how is the military to deal with them? By simply taking the word of the activists and enablers that the fears are unfounded? Buchanan's points are based on human nature and are more likely than not. Try to make the case that that isn't so.

Joe_Agnost said...

MA wrote: "It's pretty apparent that neither Jim nor Joe actually read the Buchanan article."

I'm guilty as charged... but I was commenting on the comments in the thread, not buchanen.

I went to buchanen's post (linked at the beginning of this post)... and wow. Just wow. Not a single decent point in the whole article - it's just a typical homophobic rant.

Every single point he makes could be directed at women in the military. His whole point seems to be homos coupling up in the military - but aren't women allowed too? Are the hetro relationships ruining the military - because it's the same thing!

Quotes from Buchanen's post to follow...

Joe_Agnost said...

Buchanen's first point seems to be that because some military staff might be uncomfortable with gays the gays should be discriminated against.

Buchanen wrote: "The crucible of combat taught me that unit integrity depends to a large degree on respect, confidence, trust in leaders, and teamwork."

So because the military might be filled with bigots they should discriminate in this way? Not a good starting point...

The entire post from that point on is irrelevant in a male/female military. Every point he makes could just as easily be directed at females in trying to ban them from military service.

For example...

WB wrote: "it is not difficult for me to envision the truckload of problems that would have ensued had one of my squad leaders in Vietnam been gay and had an intimate relationship with one of his fire team leaders"

If intra-squad relationships are allowed this shouldn't be a problem, if it's not allowed then how is this relevant (it's already banned)? Does he worry about the males/females hooking up intra-squad in the same way? What's the difference?

WB wrote: "Would he hesitate to commit his lover's team to a flanking maneuver during a firefight?"

Is this a problem for hetro couples in the military? There is no difference. If this ~is~ a problem then intra-squad relationships should be outlawed - not gays.

And "What if he came down with AIDS or some SDT during a search and destroy mission?"

He just sounds like a fool here. Does he think that hetros are immune to STDs? This is no more a problem for gays then it is for hetro soldiers.

Oh - and MA gave a lot of stats from the CDC about gays that did not look believable. I'd love to see your citations for those stats MA... you know... if they're true.

Jim said...

OK, I'll confess I hadn't read it either because I was commenting on the posts rather than the linked article.

Now I have read it, and the article has little if any value in this or any other discussion.

Let's start out with this quite inane statement at the beginning of the article:

Since the military is prohibited from questioning sexual orientation, a clueless statement like that from the nation’s most senior military officer is troubling to those of us who have served in combat units.

What's clueless is Buchanan's "assumption" (I guess) that not being asked relieves the gay soldier from any concern about revelations of sexual identity. That's absurd.

The validity of Buchanan's credibility TODAY is discredited by his own words:

My service with the United States Marine Corps in the 1960’s...

That' 40-50 YEARS ago. None of what he "envisions" based on those experiences would apply any differently today if he were talking about a soldier of the opposite sex, a blood relative, or just plain best buddy.

What if he came down with AIDS or some SDT during a search and destroy mission?

Huh? A vicious surprise attack from the HIV or the clap? What about the flu?

The entire article is simply the silly musings of a military dinosaur. He is imagining things as if they could only happen with or among gay soldiers.

It's laughable.

Feodor said...

"apparently members of Congress think they know better what's best for the military than military people..."

Yeah! Those idiot founding fathers!
_________________

"There have already been higher incidents of rapes and pregnancies since women were allowed to serve on other ships..."

Really? Wonder why?

Wonder what the pregnancy rate was before women were allowed to serve. Someone should most definitely look into that.
_______________

I see you are as finely honed as ever, Marsha.

Marshall Art said...

Good GOSH!! Who broke wind? Oh! Feodor's here!

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

I'll tell you what's laughable. That you think it is wise to invite those who would add to issues already encountered by the military. Yeah, soldiers have had issues with contracting STDs in the past and they are constantly warned about it. The problem is how it affects readiness. Add homosexuals, who account for the bulk of newly reported cases of STDs and how does that help the situation? (Joe, you'll have to either go back through a few months of postings or check out the CDC yourself if you doubt my stats. I'll wait here.)

As to the mix of women with men, there already has been incidents of fraternization that resulted in pregnancies forcing command to adjust to personnel losses due to maternity leaves that should never have to be dealt with. And yes, there is a higher probability that a commander might alter his decisions due to personal preference for a woman in his command with whom he's developed a relationship or hopes to. And now you would add to THAT with the introduction of open homos. Yeah. Good idea.

The point Buchanan makes is that being ready to kick butt is all any soldier or commander should ever have to worry about. Not sexual tensions within the unit. Not pregnancies or STDs (particularly passed around amongst the homo element of the division---yeah, pretend that won't happen).

What is laughable is how you and Joe dismiss these concerns as being invalid when they are reflective of human nature, and there are already incidents in evidence from the introduction of women in traditionally male roles.

And once again, for you all who can't seem to get it through your homo enabling heads, I'll try this one more time:

I'm NOT equating homosex with any other sin, behavior or abnormality. I've merely suggested that YOU all believe this particular sin, behavior and definite abnormality is worthy of being considered normal, equal to heterosexuality, having no concerns over which a military command might take note. YOU folks want to believe something for which you don't have real evidence. CAN a homo serve honorably? That's not the issue.

The issue is what might happen if homos are allowed to serve as openly homosexual people. Further, the issue is who gets to decide whether or not it's time to test this social experiment with our miltary.

The fact of the matter is that this issue is being discussed without other issues surrounding homosexuality being settled. Without those other issues being settled, to risk our miltary effectiveness for the sake of the lie of "rights" or political correctness is at best, immature and irresponsible considering we're talking about those who defend us.

cont---

Marshall Art said...

I saw a comment, and I think it was attached to the Buchanan article, where some idiot posed the scenario of someone in some sort of life or death situation. I don't recall what it was. It could be anything, so I'll say, trapped in a fire. The idiot then asked if it would make any difference to the one trapped, say if it was me for example, if the guy who saved me was a homo.


That totally misses the point regarding homos in the military. The point here is that there is so much nonsense being used to support homos in the military and most of it is manifested in how legitimate concerns are dismissed.

Jim said...

OK, let me put it this way...

Whatever legitimate concerns there may be, they can and will be overcome. They've been overcome with blacks and they've been overcome with women.

And they've been overcome by Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay.

In the end, all of the STDs and fraternization and pregnancies and sending lovers into dangerous situations, and giving lovers medals unfairly are simply diversions from the crux of this matter which I alluded to previously, and that is evident, no, OBVIOUS when we read:

I'm NOT equating homosex with any other sin, behavior or abnormality. [emphasis added]

YOU all believe this particular sin, behavior and definite abnormality is worthy of being considered normal, equal to heterosexuality

It all boils down to a matter of sin to YOU.

the issue is who gets to decide whether or not it's time to test this social experiment with our military

The people do.

Marshall Art said...

Now it seems it is YOU who is stuck on the matter of sin. I clearly stated my concern was elsewhere. And though I believe sinful behavior should not be elevated in any way as to be mistaken for goodness, I concede that there may not be enough like me to overcome those like yourself who suffer from moral corruption.

As to all the countries you've listed, if they were to jump off a cliff, should the United States also? I believe in American exceptionalism and don't feel the need to look to other nations for hints as to right vs wrong or what is or isn't best for us, in the same way that I don't look to others for determining what I should believe regarding obvious abnormality and/or sinfulness. I prefer to deal in facts and those who support the homosexual agenda do not. It's that simple. And, as I stated, we have NOT gotten over the issues of putting women together with men, we've ignored them. That, too, is a fact.

Marshall Art said...

I offer this article with the attendant interviews of military officers. Note the quote near the end where it speaks of more pregnancies than the Navy is willing to admit. I wonder what all those foreign countries are willing to admit about their socially engineered military. Indeed, why would they ever let on that their experiment was less than advertised. It would seem to me that to make such a stupid mistake would never be admitted, and then to encourage other countries to do the same would be a logical ploy. And we have just enough idiotic lefties to fall for it.

Jim said...

those like yourself who suffer from moral corruption.

This blog is YOURS. Up YOURS.

Joe_Agnost said...

If women getting pregnant (ooh the horror!) is the biggest problem with women in the military then you should be able sleep better at night - because in case you missed it, gay sex doesn't lead to pregnancy.

I thought you were perhaps just a homophobe... but reading your latest comments shows that you're clearly a misogynist too! Nice job!

Marshall Art said...

Jim,

Nice retort.

Marshall Art said...

Joe,

Apparently I need to spell things out for you and do so more slowly. The silly point was made by your side of the issue that women in the military was not a problem, so why should openly homosexual recruits. My response was in support of the fact that women in the military, particularly in the Navy, was INDEED a problem. (Some will get pregnant on purpose just to avoid deployment) In the case of women, the pregnancies have shown to be an issue of readiness and problematic in assigning duties and on a ship, particularly on a sub, shifting manpower around isn't so simple. So the argument that the introduction of women to traditionally male roles does not work for you after all. I'm well aware that homos can't get pregnant, but that was never really an issue, was it Einstein?

And I can hardly be called a misogynist simply because I actually recognize the differences between the sexes and realize neither is suited for everything. That's called, "facing reality". You should try it sometime.

As for "homophobe", nice try there. Who has more fear of homosexuals than those weak-kneed liberals who accept without question every charge, complaint and claim the homo lobby makes. I have no fear of being called names by those who's behavior is immature and irresponsible or by the people who support and enable them. Face reality. We'll all be better for it.

Joe_Agnost said...

MA wrote: "The silly point was made by your side of the issue that women in the military was not a problem, so why should openly homosexual recruits."

I got that... what you're missing is that women "getting pregnant" shouldn't be a problem! It's what sometimes happens to a woman when she has sex.

That you want to use this as a reason to withold certain jobs from women indeed makes you a misogynist (IMO).

MA cont's: "Who has more fear of homosexuals than those weak-kneed liberals who accept without question every charge, complaint and claim the homo lobby makes."

You mean like those charges that they're just like everybody else? Deserving of rights like everybody else? Yeah - it's my fear of 'teh gayz' that leads to my humanity in wanting equal rights for all. (roll eyes).

Marty said...

"Are the hetro relationships ruining the military - because it's the same thing!"

It's only the same thing if you think that heterosexual relationships are only about sex. Marshall and his friends don't think so. They only think it's about sex when homosexuals engage in it.

But alas...here we are again...another post on Marshall's obsession...and it has...again...become all about sex.

(Yawn and eye roll)

Marshall Art said...

"But alas...here we are again...another post on Marshall's obsession...and it has...again...become all about sex."

And here you are, too, Marty, you closet porn lover, you.

Seriously, my "obsession" is the moral decline of our culture. I see it as a major threat and few things in current events so perfectly capture that decline but the obsession with legitimizing abnormal sexual behavior. It's just the way it is, Marty.

Mark said...

I think gays and women should be allowed to serve in the military, but, they should train separately, and fight logically.

For instance, in time of war, we should first send in the men to fight the enemy. Then, every 28 days, send a squadron of pissed off women in to cement the victory. Then, when everything's over, send in the gays to clean everything up and hang curtains.

Thereby making use of everyone's best abilities.

Anonymous said...

Maybe put the homosexuals on the front lines of all battles. It might make men of them. (sarcasm)

Marty said...

"It's just the way it is, Marty."

Not necessarily, Marshall. But one thing is certain...it is the way YOU think it is.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

Are you saying there's NO obsession with trying to legitimize abnormal sexual behavior, or that it isn't a perfect example of the moral decline of our culture? You're not being clear.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall, if you click here, you will find a post that is an invitation for you, and Mark, and whoever else, to make the case for our national moral decline. I would only ask that you be respectful, and keep the ad hominem's to a minimum.

BTW, I know Mark considers my blog "blaspehmous", but since I've incorporated that in to the title, perhaps he can post with the understanding that others might understand it to be so :)

Marty said...

"Are you saying there's NO obsession with trying to legitimize abnormal sexual behavior, or that it isn't a perfect example of the moral decline of our culture? You're not being clear."

Neither.

I am saying that YOU believe there is a moral decline, but just because YOU believe it, doesn't make it a reality.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

Do not be offended if I don't get over to your blog right away. Lots going on in the next few days, beginning with Lakers/Celtics tonite (can't help myself). I will get there within the next few days to a week.

Marshall Art said...

"I am saying that YOU believe there is a moral decline, but just because YOU believe it, doesn't make it a reality."

I believe it because I see it. The evidence is all over the place. So, because I believe it (know it, actually), doesn't rank as convincing proof to YOU, it isn't the only evidence YOU should consider. But if you open your eyes, be honest with yourself, and compare today with several decades ago, you'll be unable to say that no decline exists. The only legitimate debate, really, is how badly the decline has been.

Marty said...

What? And part of that evidence for YOU is that the military is more than likely going to repeal DADT?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Remember well the 86/87 back-to-back series'. Some outside shots from Larry Bird, in particular, remain with me.

Have to admit, I always pulled for the Lakers.

Mark said...

Just because some Liberals don't believe here is a moral decline, it doesn't mean there isn't.

I'll tell you something else that's happening to our country:

We are systematically being wussified. The Liberals are not only too thin skinned themselves, they are succeeding in making almost everyone else thin skinned.

Marty said...

What makes you guys think that morals were ever very high in this country in the first place?

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

It's quite possible that you mistake what people thought with what people did. For example, though YOU know so many women of your age group that had sex before marriage, that doesn't mean it was either condoned or considered proper. Indeed, I'd go so fare as to say that during the period when you were a teen, such women were still considered by adults and even many among your peers to be "bad" girls, while girls who were chaste were still considered as being more moral. The overall attitude toward pre-marital sex was far more strict in years past regardless of how common in may or may not have been. So when I say that there is a moral decline, I don't mean that at one point all was pristine and now all is filthy. I mean the the cultural standards of what passes for morality was higher and more people aspired to those standards. Now, many people look at virgins as if they are retarded and naive about life. Tell me that's not a decline, especially when coupled with the higher rate of STDs and the younger ages of people who suffer from them.

I'll be more specific and give more examples when I get the chance to visit Geoffrey's blog. In the meantime, let's not stray too far from the thread.

Mark said...

Remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty?

Apparently, Marty, Geoff, Joe, and Dan don't.

Marty said...

Thanks for the explanation and I am interested to see how this discussion plays out at Geoffrey's.

Marty said...

Mark, it's all about sex with you isn't it? Is that all you ever think about?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I know I shouldn't, but I feel compelled to respond in some way to the following from Mark: "Remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty?"

Sure, I understand there was a time when bourgeois morality insisted that sex was bad (in particular for women). It isn't really. Nor is it, as Marshall said once, a completely selfish act. Sex between two persons who love one another is selfless, not selfish.

That some folks yearn for a time when human sexuality was treated no differently than moving one's bowels. While it might be nice to be able to discuss human sexuality in public without incurring the wrath of people who think that "vagina" is a vulgarity, for the most part we are moving to a point where human sexuality can be understood for what it is - something that is truly beautiful.

I have to wonder, in all honesty, why it is some folks think it should be thought of as dirty.

Marty said...

"I have to wonder, in all honesty, why it is some folks think it should be thought of as dirty."

Been wondering that too....seems as though those who think it is dirty are obsessed by it.

Mark said...

"Sure, I understand there was a time when bourgeois morality insisted that sex was bad (in particular for women). It isn't really."

This statement is no surprise considering it comes from someone who has long been morally bankrupt.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Mark's reply to my thoughts on "sex was dirty": "This statement is no surprise considering it comes from someone who has long been morally bankrupt."

Aside from the fact that I honestly have no idea what he means by moral bankruptcy (I think I'm a pretty stand-up guy; a morally bankrupt person would be more like, say, Tom DeLay), this just doesn't address the issue. So, let me ask again.

Mark - why do you think sex is dirty, or should be considered so? Why do you think it morally vicious for others not to think it so?

Dan Trabue said...

Sorry (not too sorry) I've been away enjoying my 25th anniversary and missed this conversation.

Suffice to say that people have always thought that the world is going to hell in a handbasket. The values of the "kids" is never up to snuff to the values of the adults and vice versa.

Do we have more rampant adultery today? I don't know, I have not seen any studies to support such a claim, just folk like Mark who find "dirty" acts around just about every corner. (And isn't it interesting that the "family values" guys often have had the most marriages? I believe Marty, Geoffrey and myself are all on our first marriages... Just noticing.)

But the truth is, if we are more sexually open today than we were in the past and more adultery IS going on, we have less overt racism, we have less overt xenophobia, we have less acceptance of beating women, "the gays" or other acts of overt aggression.

The world is ever evolving. Improving in some ways and getting worse in other ways. We can't ALWAYS have been getting worse. Were Sodom and Gomorrah and their overt acts of pleasure-seeking, mistreatment of the poor and needy, their laziness and wealth - were they less wicked than we are today? I don't think you can make that case.

Are we morally worse off today than we were in the 1950s, when racism was overt and rampant and Jim Crow was alive and well? When we began an age of rampant militarism that sucked up all kinds of resources - "stealing" money from taxpayers so they can't give as much to charity to aid the poor?

Again, I think it is obvious that we, as a world, tend to get better in some ways and worse in other ways and, in balance, we're not much worse than the racist, sexist world of the 1950s or the slave-driven age of the previous centuries where poor folk died on the streets in utter poverty and people were sold like animals or the days of decadent Rome or the days of Sodom and Gomorrah. In many ways, we're much better than in the past, in other ways, perhaps worse.

It would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

Marshall Art said...

I'm not going to address Dan's comments here. I'd prefer he cut and paste them over at Geoffrey's blog where the issue of moral decline is the topic of his latest invitational. All I'll say is that I can't wait to get there. Maybe even tonight, but hopefully by the end of the weekend.

As to this comment by Mark:

"Remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty?"

That's an old joke. Is it really that unfamiliar to you all on the left? If you're all familiar with the joke, is it really necessary to have to refer to it as a joke, or do you really, seriously believe the issue surrounds an actual belief that "sex is dirty"? If it's gotten that bad on these blog discussions, I find it really sad, unless it's another ploy to further denigrate the opposition.

To be fair, it would have helped if after the first silly lefty response Mark would have said something like, "Hey! It's a joke! Lighten up!"

Such things are really beginning to bore me. Let's all cut the crap.

Once at Geoffrey's, I hope to also hear what it is about sex between two in love that makes it "selfless". Throwing one's self on a live grenade to spare the lives of one's fellow soldiers is selfless. Giving the last bit of food to one's wife or child is selfless. In what manner is having sex with ANYONE an act of selflessness; having no concern for one's self?

Mark said...

YOu won't find me at Geoffrey's blog. I won't sully myself wasting my time explaining what a complete nincompoop is Geoffrey and the equally idiotic moral relativists who skulk around there.

I do think it's funny, however, that Geoffrey continually insists he doesn't care what I think, yet he re-titles his blog in my honor (so to speak).

I think another commenter here had a better title for that piece of excrement you call a blog, Geoffrey:

"What's left in the church after all the true Christians leave".

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall asked...

In what manner is having sex with ANYONE an act of selflessness; having no concern for one's self?

Without getting too personal, how do you think one makes love?

Is it not expressing one's deepest love and desire for the Other, cherishing THEM, honoring THEM, seeking to please THEM? If someone is making love selfISHly, they are doing it wrong, seems to me.

Marty said...

Just to clarify....

"I believe Marty, Geoffrey and myself are all on our first marriages... Just noticing."

I'm on my second marriage Dan. But it has been going strong for 32 years. I have 2 children, one from each marriage, and 3 grandchildren.

Dan Trabue said...

Fair enough, but then, you're not the one going around pooping on other people's relationships.

Those who live in glass houses, and all...

Joe_Agnost said...

MA wrote: "In what manner is having sex with ANYONE an act of selflessness; having no concern for one's self?"

Your poor, poor wife...

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Marshall, you ask in what way sex is selfless? In all ways, when it is done with someone you love. I mean, come on. Otherwise, it's just masturbation with someone else present, and how fulfilling is that?

While I hate to do it, I have to say that your attitude toward sex is really puzzling. Is it nothing more than getting your rocks off, having an orgasm, for you? That's the only conclusion at which I can arrive.

While trying not to say too much here, when I am with my wife, sex becomes something sacramental, in the most basic sense of an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace. The act itself is only meaningful precisely because we are giving ourselves most deeply and intimately to one another. The physical stuff is secondary to the emotional and spiritual bond that links us.

That's what I mean when I say that sex is selfless. Self-emptying, really.

And, yes, Dan, Lisa and I just celebrated our 17th anniversary, last month. In the midst of preparing to move, and all the various stuff in our lives, we celebrated quite happily - dinner alone together at a favorite restaurant; dancing together to our wedding song - and I have no doubt that in another seventeen years we will be looking back and wondering where the time has gone.

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, I don't think it's fair to conclude that Marshall believes that sex is "nothing more than getting your rocks off" simply because he doesn't consider the act selfless.

I don't think it's fair, because of what he points to as an act of true selflessness: falling on a live grenade to save one's platoon, an act that does not benefit the individual one bit.

You're right that, at its best, sex is self-emptying, but it is also beneficial and satisfying for both parties. The benefits accrue to both.

From the live-grenade example, it seems that Marshall's idea of selflessness entails more than self-giving: it's self-giving where all the benefits accrue to someone else, while all the costs are paid by one's self.

You reach your unfair and uncharitable conclusion as the "only" possible conclusion, because you're applying your notions of selflessness to his statements, despite evidence that you're wrong to do so.

Marty said...

It's really nice to hear stories of first marriages lasting. My mom and dad were married 67 years before my Dad died last year. My first marriage was doomed before it ever started. I was in love with a dead soldier killed in the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, but even at that our marriage lasted 7 years and I've got a pretty neat son and 3 grandchildren, plus my ex and I are still friends. I'm telling my age here no doubt!

Bubba said...

Coming late to this particular discussion, and not having the opportunity to keep up with any regularity, I do have a couple thoughts.


1) Marshall, this is probably grist for another discussion entirely, but I wonder whether those who believe in the morality of homosexual relationships draw the line at transexuality and other instances of transgender sexuality. I ask because that would put them at odds with those activists who group those practices together in the increasingly mainstream acronym "GBLT" (or "LGBT"), but I've never seen the sort of clarification that one would expect if that was their position.

I think those who argue that God blesses "gay marriage" should be encouraged to make clear what else they support.

If they break with the GBLT crowd in significant ways, they should say so.

And, if they don't, and instead believe that God blesses people for rejecting the sexual identity that God gave them, they should say so.


2) Perhaps discussions like this should involve the recognition of degree: not only that X is bad but Y is good, but that, while Y may be good, Z may be better.

It's a good thing if two people are "giving [themselves] most deeply and intimately to one another."

But it's better if they do so in accordance to the will of the One who gave them their selves in the first place.

It's a very good thing for sex to involve the consent of one's partner: it's an obvious evil if consent is not given.

But it's better still to have the consent of one's partner AND THE CONSENT OF ONE'S CREATOR, in terms of God's intended purposes for His gift of human sexuality.

This entire discussion comes down to the simple question, why did God make us male and female?

The Bible is clear about the answer, in Genesis 2.

Jesus Christ Himself is clear about the answer, as recorded in Matthew 19.

People are free to balk at that answer, but they should not do so while claiming -- hypocritically and dishonestly -- that they follow Christ's teachings, that they love the Bible and respect what it teaches, and that they worship the God of the Bible.

Bubba said...

FYI, Marshall, I haven't forgotten our email discussion, I've just been too busy to write at length.

I hope to find time to change that this week.

Dan Trabue said...

Just to address this, if Marshall does not mind...

And, if they don't, and instead believe that God blesses people for rejecting the sexual identity that God gave them, they should say so.

The questioner presumes that those who are transgendered are "male" as God created them and they desire to change that and become female. Transgendered men (ie, folk born female but who adopt a male life) believe God created them male and it was just a result of an imperfect birthing process that gave them female characteristics (and the same is true in reverse for transgendered women).

It might be said to be akin to the person born with a disability - blindness - for instance choosing to reject the Blind label. God did not intend for them to be blind or otherwise disabled, God intends us to be whole and it is just a fact that sometimes in the birthing process (or afterwards) that circumstances present someone with a disability. But they are NOT disabled in God's eyes and they will choose to live life as ENabled as possible.

Transgendered folk are striving to live life as enabled to be the person they believe God designed them to be, as much as possible.

So the questioner is making a presumption that isn't accurate - we do not believe that they are rejecting how God made them, but just the opposite.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Bubba, what other conclusion can I arrive at? Marshall once said that all sex is selfishness. His reply, a bit of an extension, but in essence just recapitulating that point, can lead to no other conclusion but that, for Marshall, sex between two adults, as a selfish act, is the pursuit of physical pleasure for its own sake, which is getting one's rocks off.

Now, I admire your attempt to salvage some dignity on behalf of our host, but the fact is, Marshall is hoist by his own petard, not mine.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As a side note, why is it that selflessness is only ever equated with the whole "throwing oneself on a live grenade" thing? There is all sorts of equally selfless acts, sexual love between two adults among the rest, which is kind of my point.

So what if benefits accrue to each individual in sexual union? Does that somehow invalidate the selflessness of it? Since far better ethical thinkers than me have pointed out ways the whole "throw oneself on a live grenade" scenario can actually be interpreted as a selfish act, I think it quite possible to argue that it is such.

Be those things as they may, my point is - so what? There is only one kind of selflessness in your universe, where a person dies?

That's either crazy, stupid, or both. Since I prefer not to choose, I'll settle for that last.

Dan Trabue said...

So, is hoisting one's own petard a selfish act...?

Bubba said...

Geoffrey, if you could point out where Marshall said that sex is, as you said earlier, "a completely selfish act," I'd appreciate it.


Dan, I reiterate my hope, expressed just last month, that we steer clear of each other, because it's probably for the best of us.

Steering clear of me does not include quoting me and addressing what I wrote, even if you allude to me as "the questioner" and not by name.

Marshall Art said...

I resent and therefor must protest any further public discussion of my petard.

Goeffrey,

To hoist one's self on one's own petard to be a victim of one's one schemes. A petard is a bomb and to be "blown upward" by one's own bomb is the hoisting. It generally is a term used to suggest a negative scheme, something meant to be done to another which actually makes a victim of one's own self. Hardly a selfless act in any way, whether the scheme works or backfires.

I don't know if I actually said sex is a "completely" selfish act, but selfish it is. And though even most of those with whom I normally find agreement will also use phrases such as "gift from God" to apply to sex, I continue to defy anyone to provide any Scriptural support for the notion. Instead, we find that sex is mostly heavily restricted to one scenario, that being between a man and his (female)wife. If anything, we see that sex for pleasure (in that one scenario) is more tolerated than gifted, as it is also restricted from times of prayer. We are taught not to refuse our spouses, but aside from that, little else is said.

Now, to be sure, if anything qualifies as a "gift" from God, sex can be offered as a fine example, but that's a human judgement, not something that is ever described by God or even His prophets. Indeed, that it is so elevated by man gives credence to MY argument rather than the other way around.

As to selflessness, consider the moment of truth. Except by force of will provoked by this discussion, I question anyone who claims they're thinking of their partner at this point. Without question, when planning the event, it is this moment of truth that either partner is mostly concerned. That either chooses to restrict themselves to sharing the journey to that moment with a specific person exclusively is quaintly described as "doing for the other", but it's hardly selfless. The word is defined by the notion that one's own reward is of no concern, indeed that one acts with the foreknowledge of no reciprocal benefit. In order to make sex truly selfless, no pleasure should be felt while providing pleasure to the other. Otherwise, the word is redefined. And who would do something like that? :)

cont---

Marshall Art said...

The question then becomes whether or not there is something wrong with having sex with one's spouse for one's own pleasure, or, for simply getting one's own "nuts" off. The answer is "no". Not in the least. What I think is happening here with this disucussion is that some feel guilty to admit that they are concerned with their pleasure. Between my wife and myself, that simply isn't the issue. More accurately, aquiring the pleasure sexual contact provides IS the issue. "Act of love"? Hyperbole. But that we truly love each other to the exclusion of anyone else is without question. But "selflessly giving myself to her", "emptying myself during the act"...pure hyperbolic romanticism that has no real meaning beyond making one's self feel one isn't concerned with one's own sexual pleasure as much as one is. It's a fake, a fraud and totally unnecessary within a proper marital relationship of a man and woman.

There's about a billion other and better examples of selfless love within a marriage that are far more accurate than having sex.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In a discussion on my site a couple years back, in your own words, said that while you personally loved and enjoyed it, thought it a completely - the adverb is present - selfish act. Bubba, I kid you not.

Since he reiterated the point by asking when it was possible for sexual congress not to be selfish, I think that makes it pretty clear. At least to me, and most anyone else who reads English.

As for being hoist by one's own petard, it is indeed to have one's scheme explode in one's face. Marshall is attempting, I think, to have it both ways - defending heterosexual sex, while insisting it has some kind of intrinsic badness to it. I, on the other hand, find it a beautiful, God-given gift, to be celebrated rather than scorned.

If Marshall enjoys sex as much as he claims, all the while insisting it is selfish, I might echo the thought of others who are concerned with Mrs. Marshall, as it were. . .

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, you asked what I thought was a reasonable question founded on a faulty premise. I assumed that you were looking for an answer and thought it would be okay to directly answer your direct question, clarifying your mistake.

If you prefer I don't answer open ended questions from you like this one, I won't.

Marshall Art said...

I'll concede the adverb, I really didn't recall if I actually used it, not that it matters. It's a very minor point that is not altogether inaccurate. So I'll even stand by it, while also not kidding.

I think it's probably to be expected that some might wonder whether the fetching Mrs. Marshall Art is satisified or not. But to at least some degree, while she is quite happy with the quality of our episodes, she agrees with me regarding the act being a selfish one.

But you have to consider that "selfish" is not necessarily bad, wicked or evil. I'm pretty self-centered about eating when I haven't done it is many hours. I want to eat pretty much at the expense of anyting else. The same goes for thirst. The same goes for "me time". The same goes for hobbies, favorite books, movies and music and other things. Selfishness is only nasty when it results in the suffering of others. If it's a chronic attitude also qualifies as a bad thing.

To think of one's own pleausure while stimulating one's own self, even with the help of another, is not a bad thing, but it is selfish nonetheless. (Just to be clear, I do consider stimulating one's own self without the assistance of one's own wife to be a wicked act.) Why is it so hard to acknowledge?

Moving on, I do NOT consider hetero sex to have some "intrinsic badness" if done with one's lawfully wedded spouse (of the opposite gender). I thought I was pretty clear on that point. Sorry if I was less than clear.

"I, on the other hand, find it a beautiful, God-given gift, to be celebrated rather than scorned."

Good for you, but that's a romantic notion rather than a supportable statement of fact. That's all I'm saying. I'm not unromantic, nor am I unromantic about sex. But I plainly see it for what it truly is and don't confuse my romanticism with fact. I maintain that if you didn't enjoy sex, you wouldn't find it all that much a gift to be considered, much less celebrated. You'd find it a chore.

Dan Trabue said...

Geoffrey had said...

"I, on the other hand, find it [healthy sexual relations with a loved one in a committed relationship] a beautiful, God-given gift, to be celebrated rather than scorned."

Marshall responded...

Good for you, but that's a romantic notion rather than a supportable statement of fact. That's all I'm saying. I'm not unromantic, nor am I unromantic about sex. But I plainly see it for what it truly is and don't confuse my romanticism with fact.

What "fact" is it you think you are holding to, Marshall?

Geoffrey had contended that healthy sexual relations to be

1. Beautiful. Is that an opinion (as opposed to a fact)? Sure, I reckon. But are you suggesting that sex is NOT beautiful and that this is somehow a fact?

2. God-given gift. Opinion? Okay. Are you suggesting that sex is NOT a God-given gift and that your position is factual, as opposed to an opinion?

3. To be celebrated rather than scorned. Opinion? Again, yes, probably. A reasonable opinion, but an opinion.

Are you suggesting that sex in healthy relationships is NOT to be celebrated and it IS to be scorned? Are you further suggesting that this is a "fact?"

What "facts" are you speaking of, Marshall?

Marshall went on to say...

I maintain that if you didn't enjoy sex, you wouldn't find it all that much a gift to be considered, much less celebrated. You'd find it a chore.

? Really? I personally don't enjoy changing diapers. But you know what? Having children and even the responsibility of changing their diapers IS a joy, something to celebrate. Not every aspect of loving relationships is something that we might personally enjoy, but that does not mean it isn't a gift or something to be honored and celebrated. I personally did not find changing my children's diapers to be much of a chore.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

While I find Dan's questions interesting and fair, I am also pleased because Marshall Art and I are exchanging views here. Communicating. For my part, I recognize there are differences between our positions, and think that's fine. I really have no need to explain my own position, in general terms, any further, as it seems quite clear, as does his.

That's not so hard, is it? No name calling, no insinuation of moral depravity, nothing but two folks having an honest discussion of their own position on an issue of substance and importance. I don't think I was presenting and argument as to why I feel and think the way I do; I was just describing the way it is with me is all. I got the same impression from Marshall Art.

And no name calling, spitting, hair-pulling, or what have you.

I thank you, Marshall. I'm not bowing out because your views are superior. I feel like, in this instance at least, there has been real, honest communication without judgments or rancor.

Bubba said...

Dan, briefly, I've reconsidered.

If I ask some open-ended question, you should feel free to provide your own answer, and I'll probably continue to avoid engaging you on the question or on any other issue.

Regardless of how the issue was raised, it's probably worthwhile for everyone to know that you embrace the notion that a person can come to believe that she was "designed" by God to be male and was "made" by God to be male, even though her parents' procreation provided her with two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome.

It's good to know that you believe the actual sex with which people are endowed, male or female, is from a process so imperfect that the result can be the exact opposite of what God intended, and that you compare being made female with being born blind, at least in those certain circumstances where a person is absolutely convinced that God intended her to have a Y chromosome.

(How a person can trust that conviction would be a very good follow-up question, especially in light of the imperfect process in which we were made. Which is more likely, that some of us are born one sex when God intended the other, or that some of us are born with the maladjusted psychological condition that would convince us that we have the wrong equipment, when we don't?)

I should never object to the rare moment that you make your beliefs so crystal clear, and I'll try not to do so in the future.

Dan Trabue said...

Thank you, I'm glad you understand my position. And, to be fair, it's not really MY position. It's the position of scientists who've studied it and people who've lived through it. I just avow the validity of their positions.

I am, clearly, not an expert on the topic and so look to those who do know more about it and who live with these issues more fully than I do.

Scientists tell us that gender (like orientation) is not as clear cut as many of us may have been brought up to believe culturally. More on the topic by people more informed on it can be found here.

Dan Trabue said...

To address this open-ended question...

Which is more likely, that some of us are born one sex when God intended the other, or that some of us are born with the maladjusted psychological condition that would convince us that we have the wrong equipment, when we don't?

In either case, we have some problems, if we choose to look at it that way: Either God made a "mistake" and created people who are physically male but mentally female OR God made a "mistake" and made a person who mentally thinks he's a female and thus, they're born "wrong in the head." In either case, God made someone wrong - either wrong in the head or wrong in the body. You are saying that God made someone wrong in the head if they think they're the opposite sex of the physical body which God got "right."

I'm not saying either. We are born and not all of us are born fully male and fully female. Not all of us are born fully heterosexual or fully homosexual. I don't think God goes around creating what some would call "mistakes." It just is. Sometimes we're born left-handed, sometimes right. Sometimes gay, sometimes straight. Sometimes physically whole (or mostly so) sometimes with a disabling condition. Sometimes fully identifying with our birth gender, sometimes not.

That's just the way it is. I don't think God has made "mistakes" in those cases, it's just the way it is. From the way it is, it then falls upon us to do with what we have the best we can. Some may have disabling conditions and they get by the best they can. Some may be born straight and they get by the best they can. Some are born fully male and some fully female and they get by the best they can. And sometimes, some are born NOT fully identifying with their birth gender.

Does the Bible ever condemn the notion of transgenderism? No, not at all. But culturally, because it is a rare and, therefore, not "normal" (ie, not the norm), some find it scary and perhaps even evil and condemn those who'd simply try to identify with the right gender as best they can. There's no real moral, Godly or biblical reason to condemn such folk, just cultural reasons. I don't think that's enough. If people are born with a female identity but male body parts, well, why wouldn't we support them in living out life the best way they know how?

I guess that's my open question to anyone out there, if we're still wandering down this rabbit trail: Since there are no biblical or logical moral reasons, what reason would you have for condemning transgendered people?

Mark said...

Therein lies the crux of this argument.

God hath said, "Thou shalt not lie with a man as thou lieth with a woman. It is an abomination."

There are some apostates that would have us believe the oxymoronic notion (or to use Dan's favorite term, "hunch") that God would create an abomination to Himself.

That's like saying I am going to grow onions for my own consumption, but I hate onions.

Why would I do that? Why would God create an abomination to Himself?

Dan Trabue said...

I'm unsure of your question. It is a fact that some folk are born gay and some straight and some are born somewhere in between.

It is a fact that some people are born 100% male, some 100% female and others who are somewhere in between.

Are you suggesting that God makes people "wrong?" Or are you suggesting that you know better than those involved how they were born? That you don't think all gay or straight folk are NOT born that way? When did you decide to become straight, Mark (or is that supposing too much)?

Mark said...

Stop being an idiot, Dan.

It is NOT a fact that some people are born gay. That is an assumption you make that is completely and totally unfounded on any evidence whatsoever.

No, Dan, I am not suggesting God makes people "wrong".

You are.

As I said, and His Word backs me up: God says homosexuality is an abomination to Him. God does not create what He Himself has declared is an Abomination to Himself.

Listen: I have no problem if your buddies want to be homosexual. They can float their boat wherever they please. I really don't care. That's their business.

But stop telling the lie that God created them that way. He didn't. When you make such idiotic statements you insult God. You are saying God makes mistakes. No reasonable, thinking, adult could ever reach a conclusion that God would create anything that is repulsive to Himself. It defies common sense and logic.

And, in your heart, you know it.

Mark said...

And, By the way, Dan.

Since I was born heterosexual, according to God's plan, as were you and everyone else since time began, there was no need for me to decide to be heterosexual.

When did you decide God was imperfect?

You see, just because you want to make excuses for your homosexual buddies so they can feel good about being perverts, and refuse to be held responsible for their sin, it doesn't mean you are right.

God doesn't mold Himself to fit your idea of what God should be. He expects you to mold yourself to fit His image of what you should be.

Dan Trabue said...

You argue that transgendered folk need psychological help, Marshall, but psychologists don't think there is anything psychologically wrong with being transgendered. You appeal to experts whose opinion you reject over your uneducated and uninformed opinion.

Tell me: If someone holds an opinion contrary to those who have lived through it, who have personal experience with it or who have studied it, and that same someone has NO experience with the situation, is NOT educated about the circumstances and is NOT informed and has done NO studies to back up his wholly uninformed hunch, how much weight should we give to this wholly uninformed and ignorant position, in general?

That is, if your doctor tells you that you have a tumor that needs to be removed, but your neighbor next door - who is NOT a doctor, knows nothing about tumors or illness of your sort, who has not studied your situation and really knows nothing about your situation - if THAT neighbor says that the "experts" are crazy, that you DON'T have a tumor because no such things as tumors exist, that you probably have a unicorn in your back yard and THAT is what is causing your illness, how much time would you give to that idiotic and uninformed opinion?

Hopefully, about as long as reasonable people would give to your ignorant and uninformed opinion.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe you ARE transgendered and have some experience with this. Maybe you HAVE studied these situations and you have met with MANY transgendered folk, interviewed them and studied their circumstances, or maybe you simply know a few transgendered folk and are basing your hunches on a few isolated instances?

My guess is that you don't know the first transgendered person, that you have not read the first study and that you're just offering unicorns in the backyard sorts of nothingfluff. Yes?

Dan Trabue said...

As to the rest of your and Mark's comments, I'll just let them sit there like the intellectual roadkill they are.

And I don't say that to be mean, just that your uninformed and wholly unsupported opinions simply don't mean much, even IF you truly believe your cultural hunches. True believers in nothing are just that.

I'd suggest reading and studying more before even beginning to form opinions, fellas.

Mark said...

Well, there you have it, Art. Dan puts his trust in the opinion of psychologists over the omniscience of God.

Mark said...

Hey Art. Dan thinks Bible supported opinions are wholly unsupportable. I guess that shows us what he really thinks about God's Word.

Dan, never use Bible verses to support your apostate opinions again.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark, it doesn't matter HOW MANY times YOU claim to speak for God and say that God has said something that God has NOT said, it won't become true simply through repetition. Not in the Bible nor anywhere else has God said that "homosexuality is an abomination" and beyond that, you don't seem to understand what "abomination" means in context. The Bible does not support what you are saying.

Just because YOU read the Bible and YOU THINK it suggests what you've concluded does not mean that the Bible actually says what you've concluded.

Sometimes we can be so blinded by our cultural traditions that it can be hard to see what the Bible actually does and doesn't say, what God does and doesn't say. It can be too easy to place our human, cultural traditions above God and make OUR traditions our God, but we need to be careful to avoid doing so.

Claiming to speak for God something that God has not said is dangerously presumptive. Placing our cultural traditions above what God has actually said is dangerously presumptive.

Bubba said...

Dan, at the risk of letting an exception ruin a new habit of avoiding you, I continue to note a significant chasm between your beliefs and the Bible's teachings.

You write:

"Does the Bible ever condemn the notion of transgenderism? No, not at all. But culturally, because it is a rare and, therefore, not "normal" (ie, not the norm), some find it scary and perhaps even evil and condemn those who'd simply try to identify with the right gender as best they can. There's no real moral, Godly or biblical reason to condemn such folk, just cultural reasons. I don't think that's enough. If people are born with a female identity but male body parts, well, why wouldn't we support them in living out life the best way they know how?"

You claim that there is no "Godly or biblical reason" to believe that God condemns the act of living out an identity that is contrary to one's biological sex, but I know better.

"A woman shall not wear a man's apparel, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whoever does such things is abhorrent to the Lord your God." - Deut 22:5


You also write:

"I don't think God goes around creating what some would call 'mistakes.' It just is. Sometimes we're born left-handed, sometimes right. Sometimes gay, sometimes straight. Sometimes physically whole (or mostly so) sometimes with a disabling condition. Sometimes fully identifying with our birth gender, sometimes not.

"That's just the way it is. I don't think God has made 'mistakes' in those cases, it's just the way it is. From the way it is, it then falls upon us to do with what we have the best we can.
"

No orthodox Christian would argue that God makes mistakes, but not everything you write here is biblical. It's reasonable enough to say about our earthly condition "it's just the way it is," but that's earthly reason that contradicts what's clearly taught in Scripture.

In John 9, for instance, Jesus Christ healed a man who was blind FROM BIRTH. He didn't console him with platitudes about how being born blind is "just the way it is" and he has to just make do with what he has.

Jesus healed him, because those platitudes aren't true. We're in a fallen universe, and thus we have broken bodies and disordered appetites, not because of any mistakes on God's part -- something I NEVER implied, in case you have any concern about not putting words in other people's mouths -- but because of sin on our part.


It's worth noting your earlier comments about the transgendered, and contrasting your deference to their experiences and your contempt for much of what the Bible teaches.

About the transgendered, you write that you defer to "people who've lived through it."

"I just avow the validity of their positions."

At the same time, you have no problem undercutting the validity of the claims of Moses and the other prophets, whose teachings you frequently dismiss as ahistorical revenge fantasies. Nor do you hesitate to reject the validity of the claims of Paul and the other Apostles, whose teachings you sometimes denigrate as "doubtless" bigotry.

Since the religious beliefs of sexual deviants often clash with the clear teachings of the Bible, you cannot "avow" the former without ultimately rejecting much of the latter.

That you do this is your business, but one very good reason why I think it's best not to talk with you is that you cannot be honest about it.

You shouldn't pretend to love the entire Bible and revere all its teachings when you let the self-serving theories of the sexually confused trump the authoritative teachings of Moses, Isaiah, Peter and Paul -- and when you routinely denigrate their teachings as prejudiced, atrocious, historically unreliable and self-evidently false.

Dan Trabue said...

Since the religious beliefs of sexual deviants often clash with the clear teachings of the Bible, you cannot "avow" the former without ultimately rejecting much of the latter.

Unfortunately, you're begging the question. Who says that the transgendered are sexual deviants? Not psychologists. Not the Bible. Not God.

Only some human traditions.

One verse about men dressing as women is not support for the position that God hates the transgendered. The verse talks about men dressing as women. The transgendered are not men dressing as women (transvestites, maybe), they are people who are women dressing as women.

So, again, I would have to wonder: Since the "experts" don't consider transgenderism to be a problem and since the Bible/God does not condemn the circumstance, why do you?

Again, I think the only reason comes down to cultural traditions. Which is not to denigrate cultural traditions - they can be helpful. We just have to be careful not to let our cultural traditions become our gods and when we let cultural traditions supplant God and speak for God, that's dangerous territory for anyone to walk in.

Dan Trabue said...

As to Deuteronomy 22, I'd note that it's always important to look at context and try to understand the language and the meaning...

"The Aramaic literal translation could be read as “The armor (pl. ma-ne) of a strong man shall not be upon a woman; and a strong man (gaw-ra) shall not be clothed with the armor (pl. ma-ne) of a woman. The LORD your God abhors all those doing these things.”

This is not talking even about transvestism or even cultural styles of dressing, but more specifically (apparently) about women dressing as soldiers.

Do you think that women who wear pants are violating this rule? Do you think Scots who wear kilts are violating this rule? Do you think men who wear silk shirts are violating this rule? How about Milton Berle and Monty Python and other comedians who have cross-dressed for comedic effect?

I don't think this rule means what you think it means and it certainly is not a condemnation of transgenderism.

Once again, just because our cultural, man-made traditions have taught us to think one way, we must hold our allegiance to seeking GOD's will, not merely bowing to man-made traditions.

Bubba said...

Dan, it suffices to say that the person you quote (but do not cite) doesn't know what he's talking about, since the Hebrew word kaliy clearly has a much more generalized use (cf., Gen 24:53 and 43:11), and you don't seem even to grasp his argument.

"The Aramaic literal translation could be read as 'The armor (pl. ma-ne) of a strong man shall not be upon a woman; and a strong man (gaw-ra) shall not be clothed with the armor (pl. ma-ne) of a woman. The LORD your God abhors all those doing these things.'"

I wasn't aware that ancient Israel had a coed army, with specialized armor for each of the two sexes.


More importantly, it's clear that your attempts to seek God's will do not entail submission to His will as it is revealed in the Bible.

Your approach to Bible study has never been limited to taking the text at face value even if doing so clashes with traditional interpretations: instead, you rip passages out their immediate context and denigrate as "self-evident" falsehood and "doubtless" bigotry what the Bible plainly teaches.

Your approach to the text itself is so sloppy and so irreverent that you are in no position to warn anyone else about putting words in God's mouth.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm sorry you disapprove of my exegesis. I always strive to do just the opposite of what you've suggested. I strive to take passages IN context, not out of context. Suggesting that this one passage (in all the Bible) is proof positive that God disapproves of transgenderism would be, to me, a perfect example of taking a passage wholly and ridiculously OUT of context.

This is what I'm trying to avoid: Putting modern cultural biases into God's Word.

Perhaps you have other sources that make you think this ONE passage in all the Bible IS speaking to transgenderism (rather hard to believe, since I'm relatively sure the concept did not even exist back then), but short of that, I'd have to suggest that you are imposing modernist cultural opinions upon a text that does not support that conclusion.

This is the conclusion I've come to based upon the evidence at hand and just some plain, simple reasoning.

So, short of ANY AT ALL biblical evidence and any psychological evidence to the contrary, I am inclined to trust those with some actual evidence and experience with the topic over those with absolutely NO evidence or experience.

I hope you can see how this is only reasonable, but if not, well, there it is, anyway. I'm choosing the Bible and evidence and experience over cultural biases. You'll all have to reach your own conclusions.

Dan Trabue said...

Matthew Henry (quite traditional biblical commentator) on Deut 22...

"I. The distinction of sexes by the apparel is to be kept up, for the preservation of our own and our neighbour’s chastity, v. 5.

Nature itself teaches that a difference be made between them in their hair (1 Co. 11:14), and by the same rule in their clothes, which therefore ought not to be confounded, either in ordinary wear or occasionally.

To befriend a lawful escape or concealment it may be done, but whether for sport or in the acting of plays is justly questionable.

1. Some think it refers to the idolatrous custom of the Gentiles: in the worship of Venus, women appeared in armour, and men in women’s clothes; this, as other such superstitious usages, is here said to be an abomination to the Lord.

2. It forbids the confounding of the dispositions and affairs of the sexes: men must not be effeminate, nor do the women’s work in the house, nor must women be viragos, pretend to teach, or usurp authority, 1 Tim. 2:11, 12.

Probably this confounding of garments had been used to gain opportunity of committing uncleanness, and is therefore forbidden; for those that would be kept from sin must keep themselves from all occasions of it and approaches to it."


This, according to Henry, is likely/possibly referring to cultural practices by the local "pagans" and for the reason of distinction from THEM, this is a cultural taboo. I've read this in other traditional (and more progressive) commentaries, as well.

As in the "men lying with men," it is not a universal condemnation of homosexuality/cross-dressing, but rather, something to distinguish Israel between them and their pagan neighbors and THEIR religious rites.

Of course, Henry does the mistake of going on to assume that cultural traditions = "natural" righteousness. It was the cultural tradition of that society for men to have beards, for women to have long hair (and sometimes for men to have long hair, as well - see the Nazarite tradition) and for men to wear togas or tunics. We don't have the same traditions, men don't wear togas, men don't generally always have beards, women don't generally always wear their hair long, nor do men. These are cultural traditions, not innately "right" and "wrong" ways of wearing one's hair.

Henry fails to recognize cultural traditions in women's roles, as well, but aside from these criticisms of Henry, he does support that this is likely referring to ways of staying apart from the pagan practices of Israel's neighbors, not a blanket condemnation of transgenderism.

To suggest otherwise is simply foisting modernistic cultural traditions that don't fit upon the text, as opposed to good exegesis.

Dan Trabue said...

Don't like Matthew Henry? Here's Adam Clarke's commentary...

"Verse 5. The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man] rbg ylk keli geber, the instruments or arms of a man.

As the word rbg geber is here used, which properly signifies a strong man or man of war, it is very probable that armour is here intended; especially as we know that in the worship of Venus, to which that of Astarte or Ashtaroth among the Canaanites bore a striking resemblance, the women were accustomed to appear in armour before her.

It certainly cannot mean a simple change in dress, whereby the men might pass for women, and vice versa. This would have been impossible in those countries where the dress of the sexes had but little to distinguish it
, and where every man wore a long beard.

It is, however, a very good general precept understood literally, and applies particularly to those countries where the dress alone distinguishes between the male and the female. The close-shaved gentleman may at any time appear like a woman in the female dress, and the woman appear as a man in the male's attire.

Were this to be tolerated in society, it would produce the greatest confusion [Here, Clarke has moved away from exegesis and to offering his personal opinion, not supported by the text, fyi - Dan].

Clodius, who dressed himself like a woman that he might mingle with the Roman ladies in the feast of the Bona Dea, was universally execrated."

Dan Trabue said...

So, once again, given that the Bible has NOTHING condemning transgenderism, I would have to ask you all: WHY do you condemn it? Fear of the unknown? Because it gives you the willies? Because, you know, it sort of turns you on? Curious, but repulsed by your own attraction?

What reason would you have for condemning something the Bible does not?

Mark said...

Dan, wow. Just, wow.

I didn't put any words in God's mouth. Those words come directly from God. But, you know that.

I don't believe anyone in the Universe can be as stupid as you. If you are being honest.

If you honestly believe this crap you spew, you are the stupidest person I've ever heard of.

If you don't really believe it, you are a liar.

Either way, I'm done with you.

What God do you worship? It certainly isn't the God of the Bible.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark...

Those words come directly from God.

You had said...

As I said, and His Word backs me up: God says homosexuality is an abomination to Him.

God does NOT say "homosexuality is an abomination to Him." Not in the Bible and not to you, personally, I'm willing to bet. It just does not say that in the Bible.

Once again, sometimes we get so blinded to our man-made traditions that we can't even see what is plainly there and what is not there. Those words do not exist in the Bible, they don't, no where, at all.

You find God saying stuff that the Bible does not say and claim that it is in there. How does that passage go?

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man [I would assume that includes Mark -dt] shall add unto these things [ie, Scripture -dt], God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book."

Mark, you ought to be careful about adding to the Scriptures and presuming to speak for God. Now, by all means, you can do as I do and say, "When the Bible says... I THINK that means..." but don't just go around making easily disproven false accusations about what the Bible says. It's not good for you nor is it good for the body of Christ.

What God do I worship?

I worship God, the creator of this world and universe, the God of love, the God of Abraham, Isaac, David and Isaiah. I worship Jesus, the son of God, by whose grace I am saved and whose teachings I seek to follow (his ACTUAL teachings, not man-made traditions that are NOT his teachings).

Why, which God do you worship? Do you really think it wise to make such blanket claims when it is easily demonstrated that I am a Christian saved by God's grace?

Disagreeing with other Christians is not a sign that they are not Christians. After all, you are disagreeing with me, does that mean you are not a Christian?

And, of the two of us, who is disagreeing with grace and humor, and who is doing so with hypocrisy and rancor?

Dan Trabue said...

How about my question, Mark? The Bible no where condemns transgenderism. Not anywhere in all its pages does it condemn the transgendered.

That being the case, why would you choose to demonize and criticize the transgendered?

OR, will you stand with me in loving defense of our transgendered brothers and sisters against those who'd oppress and mock?

Dan Trabue said...

100!

Joe_Agnost said...

As an atheist I find this discussion highly enlightening...

I also think it's pretty strange that MA believes masturbation is "wicked". What's up with a little harmless self pleasuring? Why would god hate that?

Mark said...

Dan, Leviticus 18:22 ~ Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

God's words. Not mine.

You are an idiot.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark, that is not the claim you made. We all agree that "men shall not lie with me" is in the OT (along with ALL KINDS of rules we ignore - you should kill your wife if she's not a virgin? Kill the man AND woman if they commit adultery? Mark, would you need to be killed if we followed these OT rules??). We all agree that that line is in the Bible. The question is, "What does it mean?"

But you didn't say that. You said, and I quote, "As I said, and His Word backs me up: God says homosexuality is an abomination to Him."

WHERE does it say that, Mark? You DO see the difference between your first claim and your second claim? The difference between saying the bible says "men shall not lie with men" and "GOD SAYS homosexuality is an abomination," don't you?

Can you admit with me that God does NOT say that homosexuality is an abomination? Or, if you want to maintain that claim, show me where God said that.

Joe said...

As an atheist I find this discussion highly enlightening...

Interesting when cultures collide, eh?

Mark, how about MY question: Since the Bible NOWHERE condemns transgenderism, do you refuse to condemn it, as well? Or, do you choose to condemn it anyway, and if so, based on what?

Human traditions? That queasy feeling being around people who are different than you can cause? A sort of longing to try it out yourself, and yet, feeling guilt because of your human traditions have told you it's bad?

What reason?

Dan Trabue said...

Joe said...

I also think it's pretty strange that MA believes masturbation is "wicked". What's up with a little harmless self pleasuring? Why would god hate that?

Since this is another instance of having NOT A SINGLE Bible passage to support their hunches, I'd suggest this is probably another instance of folks who elevate their cultural traditions (Puritanism, anyone?) to being equivalent to God's opinions.

Joe_Agnost said...

That's likely it Dan.

I must say, I find the certainty in some people's comments REALLY disturbing. Mark thinks he ~knows~ exactly what god thinks/wants. He is positively ~certain~ about it! People like that are ~really~ scary! (shudder)

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan Trabue,

I'm sorry my time is limited today so I must necessarily be brief, but i'll log back in tonight and tomorrow morning to follow up. My question to you would be why are you looking (seemingly exclusively) for a specifically and completely negative case for homosexuality, transgender, etc. from the Bible? Your case for accepting such behavior seems to be something like, "The Bible doesn't explicitly say 'Homosexuality is an abomination to me, thus saith the Lord", or something to that effect.

Isn't the positive case for union between one man and one woman sufficient? I don't think anyone would have a problem with the idea that God established a union between man and woman and blessed it. Why is it not sufficient to say we know God established and blessed that union, and speaks well of that union in all cases, and therefore conclude that we should conform to that behavior? To argue otherwise, it seems to me, would be to argue that if God doesn't specifically condemn something is exact wording then He endorses it. This seems to be pretty obviously flawed.

It seems more rational to say that God established and blessed something, to the exclusion of all others. As an analogy, if I were to enter a chess tournament and at the beginning of my first match replaced all the chess pieces with checkers I could not use as a defense for being disqualified a rule book that did not specifically prohibit usage of checkers. A rulebook describing play with chess pieces by establishment would rule out using any other piece from any other game.

Have you looked at this positive case logic before? What would be your reservation from taking what the Bible does clearly say as opposed to accepting anything the Bible doesn't specifically condemn even though it may conflict with what is clearly established?

Again, i'll try to get back soon before too many posts come between these questions and your response.

Thanks. Trying to come to some understanding from perhaps a different angle.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

the removal of homosexuality from the list of mental disorders was a result of homo activism within the community.

You are correct in saying that homosexuality was once listed as a mental disorder. You are mistaken as to why it was removed.

It was removed because of science, not activism. When it was initially established as a mental disorder, it was largely due to the fact that the first and only exposure many psychologists had were to gay folk with mental problems. Since they were having mental problems and they were gay, voila, homosexuality is a mental disorder.

But that is bad science. It would be akin to white psychologists assuming that black folk are mentally ill because the only black folk they met were people getting treatment.

Once they started looking at the gay population in a more scholarly, studious manner, there was/is no serious psychological, physiological reason to consider it a mental illness. Thus, because it was not a mental illness, it was removed from the list.

There was no secret plot by "the gays" to undermine science. That you cling to that fairy tale undermines your credibility, Marshall.

Again: IF there is no biblical reason (and we've repeatedly demonstrated that there's not) to stand opposed to transgenderism, why do you oppose it? Just a simple answer will do.

Or, if there IS a biblical reason to denigrate our transgendered brothers and sisters, just offer it up. Chapter and verse.

But the one attempt made at this thus far has failed and, in truth, there are no other verses, so what is the REAL reason you are so wary of the transgendered? Do different people scare you? Entice you?

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy asked...

My question to you would be why are you looking (seemingly exclusively) for a specifically and completely negative case for homosexuality, transgender, etc. from the Bible?

I'm looking for the Truth, Jeremy, that's all. I once thought (like Mark, Marshall, et al) that I HAD the truth on these topics. Clearly, I thought, God hates gay behavior and transgenderism would fall under that category (or so I thought).

The problem is, Jeremy, I am convinced that I was mistaken. I had been blinded by cultural, man-made traditions so thoroughly that I could not see that my positions were not based on sound biblical exegesis or understanding. They were not based on reasonable understandings of human nature and our human condition.

I was wrong and in that process, I hurt many people, I'm sure. I sinned against our gay and lesbian and transgendered brothers and sisters and, in an effort to live by the grace by which I've been saved, I'm striving to understand the topic more fairly and reasonably and sharing my opinions with those who are interested in talking about the topic.

Jeremy also asked...

Isn't the positive case for union between one man and one woman sufficient?

No. Not logically. Not biblically. Establishing something as Right and Always and Only Right based on one (or multiple) positive cases is not sound logic or sound biblical exegesis, I don't believe.

The Bible quite clearly establishes that polygamy is an acceptable practice. God even says that God GAVE King David his "many wives." That is a positive case for polygamy.

Does that mean that we ought to accept polygamy as the one and only Right model for marriage? Maybe with a little bit of concubinism thrown in? Heaven forbid!

The existence of a positive case is just not a sound logical way of establishing One Single Truth.

Wouldn't you agree?

There are positive cases for killing children in the bible, does that mean that should be the rule?

There are positive cases for killing the family of virgin girls and taking them home to make them your wife in the Bible (after allowing a week or so for them to mourn their parents whom you just slaughtered!); does that mean that should be the rule?

Heaven forbid!

Surely we agree on this point?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

I'm not surprised you balk at opposition to masturbation. I'm really not. As to what's wrong with it, I haven't the time to school you on something that you have no true desire to learn.

So, you WILL admit on this one that this opinion of yours is entirely your own hunch - that YOU, Marshall, don't think it's a good way to treat your penis and therefore, everyone should agree with you - and NOT that you're speaking for God on this point?

At least that would be an improvement.

I have no problems with you or Mark having Puritan, worldly-based opinions of your own about the transgendered, "the gays," masturbation and sexuality ("dirty, dirty, dirty!!"). It's just when you presume to speak for God that I find it troubling.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Men and women are designed by God/nature (for Joe and other heathens) for each other. Deviation from that is abnormal.

Well, that's a fine utilitarian, dog-eat-dog, survival of the fittest way of looking at things and if you wish to hold to that view as your best hunch about what is good, you're welcome to it. But it's not a Godly, biblical or humanitarian viewpoint.

There are all manner of areas where deviation from "the norm" is generally considered a good thing. The "norm" when confronted with a hand grenade is to run from it. The rare exception would be the brave soul who'd throw themselves ON it to save others. But that would be a deviant behavior and thus, I guess, you would condemn it.

You are welcome to condemn "deviance from the norm," I think the Bible/Jesus teaches us just the opposite, quite often.

Craig said...

Jeremy,

Dan's entire arguement that "God blesses gay marriage" is based on the fact that the Bible is "silent" on the topic. He has never made any affirmative arguement to suppoprt his opinion, nor has he demonstrated that the affirmative case for marriage is faulty. By all means keep trying, I just don't think you'll be satisfied with his responses.

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy asked...

It seems more rational to say that God established and blessed something, to the exclusion of all others.

It may seem rational to you. I don't think that this is a reasonable conclusion to reach based upon the text alone. As I offered earlier, there are many positive examples in the Bible of behaviors that we can probably agree are NOT normative or representative of the One and Only possible behavior.

Jeremy...

Have you looked at this positive case logic before?

I was raised a traditional southern Baptist. These are the cultural traditions and "rules" I learned repeatedly and fairly thoroughly for the first 25 years of my life and the first 15 years of my Christian life. Yes, I have looked at this positive case logic before.

Jeremy...

What would be your reservation from taking what the Bible does clearly say as opposed to accepting anything the Bible doesn't specifically condemn even though it may conflict with what is clearly established?

Let me be clear: I am NOT taking the absence of a topic in the Bible to be indicative of support for the topic. The Bible no where condemns nuclear bombs, but that does NOT mean that using nuclear bombs is a moral good.

Absolutely, the silence of the Bible on ANY topic is neither support for that topic or opposition to that topic.

Gay marriage would be just the same. The reality that the Bible is silent on the topic of gay marriage does not mean that God therefore supports gay marriage. That would be a foolish position to take. JUST AS the notion that the absence of gay marriage in the Bible is indicative that gay marriage is condemned, simply because it's not talked about.

I would hope we could agree on that point, yes?

This is a topic I've covered a great deal with most of those who are reading here, Jeremy, and I hesitate to go too deeply into the topic again. I would gladly point you to a friend of mine's blog where he has gone into great detail as to why we have come to the position of supporting gay marriage as a good thing, if you'd like.

The short of it is:

1. The Bible IS silent on gay marriage (transgenderism, masturbation, homosexuality in general - although there are some very few instances of SOME homosexual behavior occurring within the Bible)

2. Marriage, while being a bit fuzzy within the Bible (is polygamy good? sex outside of marriage? divorce? killing adulterers??), is generally considered a good thing.

3. Certainly, having faithful, loving, respectful relationships and marriage relationships is a good thing.

4. Lacking any solid biblical reason to be opposed to any and all gay or straight behavior, AND having the tradition of faithful marriage as a moral good, I find faithful, loving marriage to be a good thing for straight folk AND for gay folk.

Thanks for the politely asked questions. I hope this sheds some more light on my position.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Dan's entire arguement that "God blesses gay marriage" is based on the fact that the Bible is "silent" on the topic. He has never made any affirmative arguement to suppoprt his opinion, nor has he demonstrated that the affirmative case for marriage is faulty.

Craig, don't you think it would be a fairer representation of reality to say something like, "after several years of talking about this topic and Dan offering thousands and thousands of words and multiple attempts in many different ways of explaining his position, he has never been able to explain it in such a way that I find plausible...," wouldn't that be fairer?

After all, it's easily demonstrated that we HAVE talked about this topic quite a bit and I HAVE tried to explain my position as best I can. Now, perhaps I've failed to communicate my position in such a way that you find it convincing, but it's not from a lack of sincere and time-consuming effort, wouldn't you have to agree?

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

Decided to check back in as I now see I won't be back on until tomorrow and i'm glad I did.

You said: "Absolutely, the silence of the Bible on ANY topic is neither support for that topic or opposition to that topic."

That pretty much covers my point. I'm glad we are in agreement on the notion that an argument from silence is not a legitimate position to take.

I believe the remainder of your points, and those of your friends blog, have been discussed much so I won't do any of the commenters the disservice of rehashing those old discussions.

However, although you state that you are not arguing from silence your enumerated points are in fact based on that premise. Namely, your first and last listed points read as follows:

"1. The Bible IS silent on gay marriage (transgenderism, masturbation, homosexuality in general - although there are some very few instances of SOME homosexual behavior occurring within the Bible)"

and

"4. Lacking any solid biblical reason to be opposed to any and all gay or straight behavior, AND having the tradition of faithful marriage as a moral good, I find faithful, loving marriage to be a good thing for straight folk AND for gay folk."

Now let me say that I have read through your friends article and see those same points with additional discussion, and let me thank you for reducing the size of the post, but the point remains, I think that the argument you have is from silence. You begin with asserting the Bible not directly speaking against homosexuality and end with the Bible not directly opposed to homosexuality are bookends for your position. What is between the bookends is a generalization of marriage being good for two people.

What I see in the Bible when marriage is discussed, again in the positive position of what marriage is established to be, is a man and a woman joined together and blessed by God. You have already stated that we cannot argue from silence, so my follow-up for you would be, given the positive affirmation of a union between man and woman with a blessing by God, how do you get from there to marriage being between any two people without going to silence for justification?

Put another way, since you have said that you don't believe God's establishment of things sufficient for truth, do you at least support that idea that God's establishment neccessary for what is true and good? I'm sure your answer will be interesting to the at least one atheist commenting in this thread because he most certainly believes people can know and do good without God's establishment.

Thanks again. I'll check back in tomorrow.

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

You begin with asserting the Bible not directly speaking against homosexuality and end with the Bible not directly opposed to homosexuality are bookends for your position. What is between the bookends is a generalization of marriage being good for two people.

Yes, that is a fair summary of my position. It is also, I'd suggest, a fair summary (in opposite fashion) for the "traditional" argument. That is, the Bible says nothing about homosexuality in general, the Bible says nothing about gay marriage and in between is the positive case for male/female marriage, but that is not an argument from substance against gay marriage, it is an argument from silence.

What POSITIVE argument do you have against gay marriage? Nothing, that I have seen. Just that, when marriage is mentioned, it's in the context of male/female.

But we've already established (yes?) that the mere existence of a positive example is NOT valid reason to presume that the example is the ONE AND ONLY righteous model or even that it IS a righteous model. There are multiple instances of polygamy and even God "giving" David his many wives, but we probably agree that the mere existence of these positive examples is NOT sufficient to argue that polygamy is the one and only righteous marriage model - or even a GOOD model.

All it proves is the existence and acceptance of polygamy at that time and in that culture.

I can't see how you're dealing with this issue. Have I missed it?

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

You have already stated that we cannot argue from silence, so my follow-up for you would be, given the positive affirmation of a union between man and woman with a blessing by God, how do you get from there to marriage being between any two people without going to silence for justification?

Because

1. I see no condemnation of homosexuality in general and,

2. I see marriage as a moral good, as long as it is between consenting, caring adults in a mutually respectful and faithful situation (not just "any two people" - a "marriage" between a man and a 12 year old is not mutual, it is not between adults and is likely based upon something other than a loving, respectful situation, for instance).

Now, how do you get from gay marriage is not mentioned, homosexuality in general is not condemned and the only examples of marriage are either monogamous or polygamous between a man and woman, therefore, gay marriage is wrong without going to silence for justification?

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy asked...

since you have said that you don't believe God's establishment of things sufficient for truth, do you at least support that idea that God's establishment neccessary for what is true and good?

Slow down a second, please.

1. I have NOT said that I don't believe God's establishment of something to be sufficient for truth. IF God has established something, it is a good, that is my position.

2. However, IF God has established something as a good, that does not mean all other things are NOT good. That would be an argument from silence.

3. For example, IF God establishes giving water to a thirsty man as a moral good, that does not eliminate giving a cup of cold tea to a thirsty man. We agree on this point, yes?

4. The IDEA behind the expression "give a cup of cold water..." is that we ought to tend to the needy in love and grace. The IDEA behind marriage is to be joined in love, respect and fidelity.

4. Given that the Bible does not condemn all homosexuality (although certain behaviors such as rape and ritualistic orgies are condemned for both gay and straight sexual expression) and that the IDEA behind marriage is joining together in love, respect and fidelity, why would I possibly oppose gay marriage? That is, without arguing from silence or appealing to cultural norms, how would you oppose it?

Dan Trabue said...

Sorry, obviously that last point should have been 5.

Thanks again for the respectful questions, Jeremy.

Joe_Agnost said...

MA wrote: "I'm not surprised you balk at opposition to masturbation. I'm really not."

How nice for you.

"As to what's wrong with it... It is an inappropriate use of the equipment."

ROFL! You've got to be kidding me! ~That's~ it?
Didn't you just admit that doing the exact same thing ("stimulating one's own self... with the help of another (wife)") isn't a "bad thing"?

So how is masturbating with the help of your wife "using the equiptment properly" but remove the wife and it's all of a sudden a "bad thing" or somehow using the equiptment "inappropriately"? It doesn't add up Art!

"It wasn't designed for that purpose."

So? (it doesn't help that we aren't "designed" in the first place!)
It feels good, it hurts nobody... it's a win-win!

"But hey! don't let truth and common sense stop you from an active social life."

Don't worry, I won't! (I'm not sure what you think masterbating will do for my social life though...)

Dan Trabue said...

Is anyone going to attempt to present what they think is the biblical case against masturbation and/or transgenderism, or are we all fully agreed that there IS no biblical case against these, just the cultural traditions of some? We are agreed, then, that God has not condemned transgenderism or masturbation?

Yes? No?

(Setting aside the whole gay marriage thing for the moment, just to see how able you all are to see past your traditions, if at all).

Dan Trabue said...

Getting to the oft-repeated "deviating from the norm" complaint about marriage (or transgenderism, although certainly not on masturbation...), I'd posit that we may ALL be able to agree that deviating from the norm - when done as a selfless act of love, justice, compassion, faithfulness, self-control, peace, etc, ie, when done for Godly, good reasons - is always or perhaps nearly always a good thing.

If the norm is to be greedy, deviating from the norm to be giving is a GREAT thing. If the norm is to be selfish and fearful, deviating from the norm in order to be selfless and brave is a GREAT thing.

If the norm is to sleep around and use sex as a toy for abuse and misuse, deviating from the norm in order to be in a giving, committed, loving relationship is a good thing.

The "norm" is only as good as the actions comprising it. I'm sure we can all agree on at least the concept, if not the specific instances.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

From DADT to a quest for a Biblical argument against masturbation all in . . . 125 comments!

Dan Trabue said...

Don't forget, with a little transgenderism thrown in for good measure!

Dan Trabue said...

Interestingly enough, the one and only verse in the bible that some cite as a reason to be opposed to masturbation is found in Genesis 38, in the story of Onan who "spilled his seed" in order to NOT fulfill his obligation to his dead brother's wife (there's a whole other model for marriage - you have to marry your brother's wife if he dies, should that be the norm because it is an example???).

As a coincidence, last week, we had a guest preacher who preached on that whole story. You can read excerpts from the sermon at our Jeff Street blog. Very interesting, very challenging, very powerful.

Mark said...

Dan, I am no longer interested in engaging you.

You refuse to be enlightened.

Idiots can't learn.

You are an idiot.

You be sure to tell God He is wrong when you see Him.

Dan Trabue said...

I love you, too, Mark. Good luck with that grace thing, brother, I know it can be hard.

I'll take that as no's all around, then. No, you don't have any biblical reason to oppose transgenderism or masturbation or gay marriage. Just your own cultural biases. I understand, I am often there, too.

At least realizing it is a good starting place. May God grant us all wisdom and grace.

Craig said...

Dan,

I could say that, or I could say that after years and thousands of words Dan's case in support of his contention that "God blesses gay marriage" is based completely on the silence of the Bible on the topic. I could also say that Dan has never actually made a positive case that "God blesses gay marriage". I could also add that Dan has supported absolutely no Biblical support that underpins his contention that "God blesses gay marriage".

Instead I chose to just throw in a semi humorous comment. I really have no desire to get involved in this thread, I just wanted to give Jeremy a little preview.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Dan's case in support of his contention that "God blesses gay marriage" is based completely on the silence of the Bible on the topic.

You could say that, but it wouldn't be entirely accurate. To say that I base my belief (hunch) that God blesses gay marriage on the silence of the Bible, is to suggest something that is not correct. As I have already noted in this thread, it would ludicrous to suggest that simply because something is NOT in the Bible, God must either oppose or bless it. That's true for the anti-gay marriage position and the pro-gay marriage position.

I've just stated WHY I believe what I believe.

1. The Bible is silent on gay marriage. It just is. As it is silent on transgenderism and all homosexual behavior. The bible holds no position on "the gays." It just doesn't, we've already settled that.

2. The bible DOES clearly hold positions on some sexual behaviors, both gay and straight. Licentiousness is wrong. Rape is wrong. Oppressive behavior towards a loved one is wrong. Gay or straight.

3. The Bible DOES have opinions about marriage, the general gist being that being in a committed, faithful, loving adult relationship can be a beautiful thing. The Bible gives examples of male/female marriage, but does not preclude gay marriage.

4. So, given that the Bible is entirely silent on gay marriage and that marriage is spoken of favorably, I would have to ask what possible reason would I have for opposing marriage for gays or straights?

5. Lacking any biblical position specifically on gay marriage, but having no logical or biblical reason to presume what's good for "the straights" wouldn't also be good for "the gays," I come out in favor of gay marriage.

THAT position is NOT based upon silence but upon extrapolating biblical principles to cover a topic not found in the Bible.

Glad to clarify your misunderstanding of my position.

Craig said...

Yes Dan,

I am well aware of your hunches about this topic and you lack of support from anything besides your opinions. Blah, Blah, Blah, been there done that.

But this gem, I can't pass up.

"The Bible DOES have opinions..."

First, the Bible is not a sentient being therefore it cannot have opinions about anything.

Second, I would venture to suggest that most here would accept the quaint notion that the Bible is God's primary means to communicate his message to us. Given that, if you are trying to suggest that God "does have opinions", I guess I'm OK with that in a general sense. But at a very minimum God's opinion seems like it might carry a certain amount of weight.

Maybe a more accurate expression of what I understand your position on "gay marriage" to be is, "the Biblical support for Dan's personal opinions and hunches about "gay marriage" is the fact that the Bible is silent on the subject."

Or "in Dan's hunches the Bible speaks clearly to him through it's silence".

Again, your opinions are yours and you are free to hold them, but you are still unable to provide any even remotely direct Biblical support for your position.

One solution for this misunderstanding would be for your to rephrase your hunch by something like this.

"In my opinion I feel that my hunch is that God blesses gay marriage"

Marshall Art said...

Joe the thinking man of the 21st century farts again.

If you can't understand the difference between seeking sexual pleasure with one's wife as opposed to seeking sexual pleasure with one's hand, then that renders a hint as to why your social life might consist primarily of you and your hand.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

I'm sure my posts have strayed onto other tangents in fewer comments in the past.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

When you can get past the Levitical restriction on homosexual behavior, then perhaps your position on "gay" marriage wouldn't be so laughable. No where does the Bible ever refer to homosex behavior in a positive manner. No where in the Bible is marriage ever referenced as between any other than a man and a woman. If it prohibits homosexual behavior and condemns it in every reference of it found in Scripture, there is no way any reasonable person can conclude that marriage can possibly be meant for two of the same gender. You have never made a case, neither has your friend Michael, nor has any other pro-homo "scholar".

Here's something that occurred to me as I considered again your lame arugments. You like to pretend that there is some connection between Biblical prohibitions and pagan ritual. But, there is already a clear commandment against worship of other gods. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it might be one of the Big Ten. If this is so, there seems to be no sense in tying the restrictions to pagan worship since pagan worship is already so clearly prohibited.

The fact is that the behavior itself, the laying with a man as one would with a woman, is what is prohibited WITHOUT REGARD for the context in which it occurs. This is especially true since when you try to make this case, there are numerous other behaviors that would then be permissable if not committed within the context of pagan ritual, but are in fact never considered permissable. Yet YOU insist, like other enablers, that the homo thing is cool if not connected to pagan rituals.

Just one more way of looking at your argument and seeing the absurdity so blatantly present.

As to polygamy, it is never "acceptable" in the Bible, but only tolerated, in the same manner divorce is. Neither polygamy or divorce fits God's plans, but due the the hardened hearts of His people, he tolerated some behaviors for a time. The David story is NOT an example of acceptance. God gave ALL of Saul's possessions to David, including his wives. The point of the story had nothing to do with how many wives David then had, but that with all the wives he DID have, he did not need to take Uriah's, too. If I'm not mistaken, David didn't lay with those wives, or at least, never did after repenting of his sin of having Uriah killed in order to take Bathsheba. Nowhere in the Bible do we see a major character living happily ever after with multiple wives. Polygamy was tolerated by God, not accepted or endorsed. Feodor tried to run this BS angle and it didn't work for him, either.

Marshall Art said...

As to your games with the word "normal" and psychology and transgender/homo issues, don't bore me with nonsense. Not all "abnormal" is equal and your ploy of equating the abberation we're discussing with inconsequential examples of other abnormal things is akin to lying. Left-handedness might be abnormal by virtue of the overwhelming numbers of right-handed people, but it's hardly a psychological issue, so it's a bullshit example and you know it.

To question the purpose of two sexes is also a ruse. You know damned well, because Bubba has reminded you repeatedly, why God created us male and female. It could not be more clear. Further Biblical justification for the righteous stance against the notion that God would ever bless a homo union. Clearly, the culture that opposes homosexual behavior is based on Scripture, not the other way around as you'd dishonestly choose to believe.

(I digressed again)

Transgender issues are resolved by the very verses you think are explained away by Henry and Clarke. Again, that the verses refer to a pagan ritual is irrelevant because worshiping pagan gods is already forbidden. The verse talks against dressing like the opposite gender and that's all you need to know. There is also a NT verse or two speaking against acting effiminate. When one is totally equipped as a man, how does that man glorify God by rejecting his maleness in wanting to be a woman. How is it NOT a case of being mentally disturbed to be so equipped and believe one's self to be woman? There's no way to change that. Surgery is superficial and the fact that one is truly a man will never completely be forgotten. And there's the problem of that pesky Y chromosome. The experts upon which you rely are enablers just like yourself, but worse, for they carry credentials that they abuse with their progressive homo influenced "science".

I kinda shotgunned my comments because of time constraints. But your arguments are among the worst I've heard for anything, and I deal with kids all day.

Joe_Agnost said...

MA wrote: "If you can't understand the difference between seeking sexual pleasure with one's wife as opposed to seeking sexual pleasure with one's hand..."

You wrote, and I quote, "stimulating one's own self... with help..."

How is "stimulating one's own self" ~not~ masterbating?

Your words were: "To think of one's own pleausure while stimulating one's own self, even with the help of another, is not a bad thing"

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Transgender issues are resolved by the very verses you think are explained away by Henry and Clarke.

You're not really making sense, Marshall. VerseS? There was ONE verse and it was NOT talking about transgenderism. This has been established.

You are attempting to take one verse out of context and apply some modernist twist on it that isn't meant in the original text.

Even traditional scholars say the same thing.

So, having established that, are you saying you have NO verses that condemn transgenderism? It appears so.

So, I am left convinced that the most likely reason you are opposed to transgenderism is simply your own cultural prejudices, dislikes and fears.

And since you've never even tried to find a verse to support your hunches on masturbation, it appears the same is true there - just your hunch and cultural prejudices for opposing it, not any bibllical or Godly reason.

Which is fine, I'm just trying to make it clear.

And really, when it comes down to it, cultural prejudices and fears are all you have for opposing gay marriage, since you have no real biblical reasons to do so.

At least with gay marriage, you all are attempting to establish some biblical extrapolation to support your hunches and prejudices, but I remain unconvinced.

And there we are.

Marshall also said...

As to polygamy, it is never "acceptable" in the Bible, but only tolerated, in the same manner divorce is.

And we have the same situation here. You say that polygamy is "only tolerated," but you offer no verses to support such a hunch. While I am certainly no apologist for polygamy and don't support it, one simply can't find biblical support for reaching the conclusion that polygamy is "only tolerated."

Or, as always, feel free to offer the passage to demonstrate that this is the case. I don't believe there is the first verse in the Bible that talks about polygamy itself as being a bad thing.

It was very much a part of the culture then and it is not condemned in the Bible. If it is, step up and demonstrate it.

I am relatively sure though that, like your opposition to transgenderism, masturbation and gay marriage, this is another cultural prejudice that you can't support biblically.

Which is fine, you're welcome to your hunches. I just am trying to be clear between the differences of what the Bible says and what our hunches are.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig said...

Maybe a more accurate expression of what I understand your position on "gay marriage" to be is, "the Biblical support for Dan's personal opinions and hunches about "gay marriage" is the fact that the Bible is silent on the subject."

I have no idea what point you're trying to make here, Craig.

The thing is...

1. Gay marriage is never ever discussed in the Bible, not one time.

2. In other words, the Bible is silent on the issue of gay marriage.

3. You and I and everyone else then only try to extrapolate an opinion about an issue that is not covered in the Bible by striving to get some general principles that might cover the topic.

4. You do this extrapolation by noting the (out of context) verse that says "men shall not lie with me," and by noting that all the examples of marriage in the Bible are male/female (again, in context, what else would one expect?).

5. I extrapolate that marriage is a good thing for male/female and that I have no reason not to think marriage is not a good thing for anyone, gay or straight.

6. ALL of us are extrapolating to get a hunch, an idea, a guess as to what God's will is on this topic on which the Bible is silent.

Is "God blesses gay marriage" my opinion? Absolutely. I don't know with any proof what God thinks about gay marriage, this is my best guess based upon Bible study and my God-given reasoning.

Is "God hates gay marriage" your opinion? Absolutely. You don't know with any proof what God thinks about gay marriage, it's your best guess based upon your bible study and your God-given reasoning.

So, I'm not sure what you're trying to get at. Anytime we have a topic not covered in the Bible (like gay marriage, like transgenderism, like masturbation, like nuclear war, like drunk driving, etc), we have to take a guess at what is Good and Right. We have to use our reasoning and, if we are so inclined, use the Bible as our guide.

The difference seems to me that I freely acknowledge that it's only my guess. You all seem to want to claim to be speaking for God and, as Joe has noted, that's often where it gets scary and, if history is any judge, dangerous.

Those who are convinced that they're speaking and acting for God have quite often managed to do all manner of evil and oppression. It pays to be a bit more humble about our opinions, seems to me.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

Wow, about 30 comments it seems since yesterday afternoon. Let me see if I can wade quickly through and make my point a little clearer and maybe ask one more quick question.

You said, in part: "What POSITIVE argument do you have against gay marriage?" and "I can't see how you're dealing with this issue. Have I missed it?"

I think maybe you have missed it. I believe that the Bible is clear in its positive establishment for marriage between a man and a woman and its negative condemnation of homosexual behavior. Together with the simple extrapolation that since homosexual behavior is condemned, homosexual marriage which would include homosexual marriage would also be condemned, they make a cumulative case for preserving marriage as established.

Here, since the latter has been discussed ad nauseum with no apparent headway, I decided to focus on the former, the positive case for marriage between a man and woman. Therefore, my position has not been to find some positive argument against gay marriage, but to argue from establishment for marriage between man and woman as the legitimate expression of the marriage covenant.

More simply, you are the one who needs to make a positive case for gay marriage. Your argument is one from silence to acceptance; i.e. the Bible doesn't explicitly condemn it, my general understanding of marriage is that it is generally good, therefore gay marriage is good.

My argument is one from establishment; i.e. God clearly established marriage between man and woman and blessed it so that is what He clearly designed and specifically intended.

My attempt is to be consistant and unwavering toward God's holiness. I would be fine basing my life, even if there were no negative mention whatsoever in the whole of the Bible against homosexual behavior in standing on the establishment by God the scripture Old Testament and New of marriage between a man and a woman because He is holy and my task is to love Him through obediance to what He establishes.

I have heard you say that you feel you are right in your belief, that you have sought the Holy Spirit in coming to your view on this topic so no need to repeat that, and i'm not publishing my view to beat yours up. What I am challenging is your argument which is from silence to acceptance. What is your positive scriptural reference in the Bible for homosexual behavior and/or homosexual marriage. That would be a positive argument from the Bible for what you are positing as a good.

Response to your others to follow...

Dan Trabue said...

Oh, I just noticed that Marshall had tried to use the appearance of the word translated, "effeminate" as evidence of opposition to transgenderism.

From a conservative website...

The Greek word from which the King James Bible gets the word “effeminate” is malakos, which literally means something soft to the touch, but is used as a negative metaphor to refer to a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man.

We can all agree that keeping a boy for sexual relations with a man is a bad thing.

But it's not talking about transgenderism. Thanks for at least halfheartedly trying, though.

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

Together with the simple extrapolation that since homosexual behavior is condemned, homosexual marriage which would include homosexual marriage would also be condemned, they make a cumulative case for preserving marriage as established.

Where we are having difficulties is that you have made a leap in logic that I don't think the text supports.

Does the Bible in a few places condemn SOME FORM of homosexual behavior? Yes, that is clear.

Gay rape is condemned. Man-boy relations are condemned. Gay (and straight) sexual rituals for pagan worship are condemned.

Several types of sexual behavior (gay and straight) are condemned in the bible. Does that mean that ALL sexual behavior (gay and straight) is condemned? No, of course not.

So the leap that you're making - "since homosexual behavior is condemned" - is where we are parting exegetical ways. In seeking God's will in the Bible, I just don't that leap to be justified.

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

that you have sought the Holy Spirit in coming to your view on this topic so no need to repeat that, and i'm not publishing my view to beat yours up. What I am challenging is your argument which is from silence to acceptance. What is your positive scriptural reference in the Bible for homosexual behavior and/or homosexual marriage.

I appreciate your not "beating my position up," and your questions and comments are sincerely appreciated. I love the tone with which we are holding this discussion. Thanks!

I guess I'll repeat, though, that your argument seems TO ME to be an argument from silence to condemnation, in juxtaposition to my argument (in your view) from silence to acceptance.

I see no reason to condemn what I don't see God condemning. Why would I?

God never talked about car drivers. Should I, then jump to the conclusion that car drivers are evil? Why would I?

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

You said: "2. I see marriage as a moral good, as long as it is between consenting, caring adults in a mutually respectful and faithful situation"

First, I specifically am not addressing your point number 1 for the reasons I described above. Second, what positive Biblical case can you make for your position that marriage is good if between "consenting, caring adults"? I am going to be very particular with pressing this point of positive establishment as long as we are discussing this point.

You said: "3. For example, IF God establishes giving water to a thirsty man as a moral good, that does not eliminate giving a cup of cold tea to a thirsty man. We agree on this point, yes?"

In your analogy you are presenting two good things as equally valid choices, which is true. However, until you argue successfully for the positive establishment of gay marriage as a good thing, you're simply equivocating to use the example as it relates to this topic. Therefore it's not applicable. Not applicable, at least, until you provide a scriptural reference for the establishment of homosexual behavior or gay marriage by God.

You said: "4. Given that the Bible does not condemn all homosexuality (although certain behaviors such as rape and ritualistic orgies are condemned for both gay and straight sexual expression) and that the IDEA behind marriage is joining together in love, respect and fidelity, why would I possibly oppose gay marriage? That is, without arguing from silence or appealing to cultural norms, how would you oppose it?"

Your point 5 here asks two questions. I'll do my best to answer briefly as i'm out of time again. Why would you oppose gay marriage? Because your goal is to glorify God and to love Him through obedience to His Word and nowhere is it established that gay marriage is acceptible, whereas marriage between a man and woman is established and blessed. You should seek to consistantly and passionately defend that which God has clearly established as true. How I would oppose it is what i've spent these last two comments trying to describe. We'll see how well i've done.

Let me say in closing that I understand and appreciate your desire to love all people, regardless of their background, orientation, etc. I have that same desire. I'm not advocating beating anyone up verbally, physically, or otherwise. I'm OK just saying that's not what is clearly established and blessed by God and i'm primarily concerned with preserving God's holiness in all matters.

I realize you are confortable with your position and my comments here may not sway you one way or the other, and if so this may be the end of our interaction on this topic. If so, I thank you for the dialouge. If you would like to present some positive scriptural establishment for the position you hold, we can continue.

Thanks.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

You said: "your argument seems TO ME to be an argument from silence to condemnation". I see from you comments and continued questioning that it seems that way to you, but it is not. I have deliberately said nothing of condemnation, but held strongly to a position of positive establishment. I am saying the God established marriage between a man and woman and blessed it, and that position is clear from scripture, period. This is why my position is from establishment; not to condemnation, but to obedience. The Bible clearly teaches it, I follow it.

You say: "I see no reason to condemn what I don't see God condemning. Why would I?"

I'm not asking you to condemn it. I'm asking you to show where it is established. Positive establishment is what i'm pressing here. This is why your position is from silence, unless you can provide a scriptural reference establishing either homosexual behavior or marriage.

It seems the easiest way to sum up our difference is to say it like this:

My position is - God established it and blessed it so I obey it.

Your position is - God didn't specifically condemn it, so I can do it.

I believe I understand your position and am not doing it a disservice by breaking it down that simply.

Marty said...

Jeremy,

I would like to offer this as positive Scriptual reference for same sex marriage. I believe there is enough there to at least, give us pause and consider the possibility. Now whether God approves or disapproves of same sex marriage...well... it may be clear for you, but not so much for me. God will be the final judge in this matter.

I do not believe that sexual orientation is a choice and therefore I support, like Dan, committed monogomous relaltionships, both gay and straight. I also believe to deny someone equal rights under the law ...such as marriage and service in the military... because of their sexual orientation... is immoral.

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

Your point 5 here asks two questions. I'll do my best to answer briefly as i'm out of time again. Why would you oppose gay marriage? Because your goal is to glorify God and to love Him through obedience to His Word and nowhere is it established that gay marriage is acceptible...

Let me interrupt there and try again:

1. We agree that our goay is to glorify God and to obey God and follow in Jesus' steps. That is a certainty and we agree wholeheartedly upon it. Right?

2. That still leaves me with the question: Why would I oppose gay marriage? Yes, I wish to glorify God. How does supporting gay marriage in any way NOT glorify God? How does supporting two people who wish to share their lives in faithful, loving, supportive committed marriage to one another NOT glorify God?

This is the question that I'm not seeing answered. It is because this question was not answered (at least in part) that I had to switch my view from thinking the Bible was opposed to gay marriage to disagreeing with that position and supporting gay marriage.

You continued...

whereas marriage between a man and woman is established and blessed. You should seek to consistantly and passionately defend that which God has clearly established as true.

And I AM tryiing to passionately defend that which God has supported and that which I learn from the Bible. AND YET, why would I be opposed to gay marriage? Simply because it is not in there?

Well, neither is picking up litter found in the Bible and yet, I believe that to be a good and blessed thing. Neither is throwing one's self on a grenade to save innocent lives found in the Bible, and yet, I believe that to be a good and blessed thing. Neither is giving a cup of cold TEA to the thirsty found in the Bible and yet I believe that to be a good and blessed thing.

We agree, don't we, that just because something is not found in the Bible does not mean it can't be a good and blessed thing, don't we? That would be an argument from silence.

So, again, I'm back to: WHY would I oppose gay marriage?

Here are two examples of actions not found in the Bible: dumping toxic waste and setting up orphanages to try to provide homes for families considering abortion. Clearly, neither idea is in the Bible.

What would I do?

Well, I would stand actively opposed to dumping toxic wastes. I would do so with a certainty of opinion that God would not approve of dumping toxic waste (I might cite as biblical reasons the notion of doing unto others as we'd have them do unto us and the notion that this is God's creation given to us to tend, not left to us to destroy and pollute).

On the other, creating an orphanage to try to place children who need parents, well, that is obviously (to me) an effort to do a good, to do a kindness and work for justice for a needy group and as such, I think it a Godly thing to do and thus I could support it.

But in each of these, I have some reason (based at least a little bit upon biblical principles, even though the topic is not covered in the Bible) for forming an opinion.

And so I still return to: What reason would I have for opposing gay marriage? What biblical, logical, rational, Godly reason would I have for doing so?

Jeremy...

Let me say in closing that I understand and appreciate your desire to love all people, regardless of their background, orientation, etc. I have that same desire.

I do desire to try to follow in the steps of Jesus and love everyone. But that is not my reasoning for supporting gay marriage. My reasoning is simply that I see no logical or biblical reason to oppose it and I can find at least a tangentially biblical and I think logical reason for supporting it, so I do. As with you, I hold my position because I want to be pleasing to God, not to try to love others. That's secondary.

Thoughts?

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

It seems the easiest way to sum up our difference is to say it like this:

My position is - God established it and blessed it so I obey it.

Your position is - God didn't specifically condemn it, so I can do it.


1. We both agree on YOUR position. God ordains marriage and it is a good and blessed and so we BOTH rejoice in marriage, as a concept. We both support the marriage of a man and a woman.

2. Where you say, "Your position is..." though, is not rightly representing my position at all.

3. God did not specifically condemn dumping toxic waste, yet I vehemently oppose it. I could go on with a list of things that God does not specifically condemn that I am opposed to. And so, it is NOT my position that God's silence on a topic means we can do it. That is absolutely NOT my position.

You and I both agree wholeheartedly that an action NOT being mentioned in the Bible is not proof at all of its righteousness or its wickedness.

Are we clear on that?

4. My position is that gay marriage is not talked about in the Bible at all and, lacking any reason to oppose it, I support it. My reason for support has to do with my belief that marriage is a good and blessed thing when engaged for the right reasons.

5. So, I DO have reasons to support gay marriage (marriage in general - the committed loving respectful faithful sharing of one's life with a beloved other is a good thing societally and spiritually) and I have no reasons NOT to support gay marriage, so I support it.

And so, my question remains WHY would I oppose it? I've given reasons why I think we should support it, but what reasons are there to oppose it?

The only reasons I've heard so far have not convinced me - that some people think the Bible condemns all homosexual behavior, which would include gay marriage is simply not convincing to me. I don't think they've made a good case to support that conclusion.

So, if I don't agree with their conclusions, WHY would I oppose gay marriage?

I'm looking for an actual reason beyond "because I think it's a bad thing" or "because I think God blesses straight marriage, so gay marriage must NOT be blessed..." I don't find those reasons compelling.

Marshall Art said...

Marty,

Your link leaves much to be desired. It is nothing but lib projection and I've seen at least one or two of those arguments shredded by real scholars. What's more, even in the original languages, assumptions carry the argument, not specific teaches of acceptance by God as equal to REAL marriages and worthy of any blessing on His part.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

So nice of you to provide info from a conservative site but provide no link so as to study the info ourselves in its entirety and context. Pardon me if I don't trust your interpretation of the "conservative's" explanation. BUT, while taking a little time to research the verse myself, I chose to see what I could find through Rob't Gagnon's site. Unlike pro-homo "scholars", Gagnon is meticulous in his research and rebuttals to pro-homo arguments and interpretations. I've never seen him cower from defending himself against any charges or accusations against his work (of which he's aware) and never fails to make his detractor look like an idiot. Too bad none of them takes such time before opening their mouths against him.

In any case, during my research on the "effeminate" issue, I found this rebuttal of his regarding yet another detractor. The part you'll find interesting begins at the bottom of page six and goes on for two or three pages. The fascinating part is his citing of a few homo/lesbian proponents of inclusion and their belief that Paul likely WAS aware of what would pass for "committed, monogomous" homo relationships and how they don't believe it would have mattered. He would still be including ALL manifestations of homosex as sinful. God bless these fallen people for their honesty on the matter despite their overall support for inclusion. A bit later, Gagnon cites another source speaking about homosexuality in Greek and Roman societies and showing again that there existed those who would seek a marital-type of relationship and how the general societies also found any manifestation as repugnant and against nature's intent.

Seems the culture which so strongly influences me goes back several thousand years. Indeed, the culture that influences me has itself been influenced by thousands of years of Judeo-Christian understanding, not one hundred or so years of liberal wishful thinking.

cont---

Marshall Art said...

You also continue to make the same inane arguments, such as equating OT punishments with the sins for which they were mandated. If you want to try and use Levitical law against us, you should at least stick to apples to apples arguments. Prohibitions against homosex is not parallel to the punishment for it. Therefor, homosex can be (and still is) forbidden even though the punishment of death for the perpetrators might not be in force. I've presented a thorough argument for why this would be true way back in my very first post. But while you claim you don't buy it, you never presented anything that would make that presentation worthless.

AS to transgenderism, there may indeed have been only one verse presented against it here. I'll concede that as I have been reading all sorts of things about these issues without having time to do so efficiently. Thus, I was thinking of a verse that I read elsewhere along the way. BUT, for one to believe himself to be a woman while it is plain that he is not is tantamount to dressing like a woman (or wanting to) and is a rejection of God's intention. This is not a "mistake" on God's part, it is a mental confusion on the part of the guy who thinks he's really a woman. Any "expert" who feels it's better for the guy to help him live as a woman rather than to be what he was born to be is not worth the sheepskin for which his parents paid so dearly. What a fraud!

Also, the argument that a kilt crosses some crossdressing line is sheer buffoonery. A kilt is a man's outfit and always has been. Whatever a given culture decides is men's dress versus that same culture's offering of woman's dress is all that matters. And a woman wearing pants is not a problem if the pants are made for a woman. Were we able to fit into each other's clothes, I would never wear my wife's jeans, as they are specifically made for a woman. The idea is a man wearing "women's" clothes or a woman wearing "men's" clothes. Not a man wearing a kilt or a woman wearing pants. It isn't even a case of a man enjoying the feeling of, say, silk next to his skin. If a man's shirt (from the MENS dept. at Sears) is made of silk, there's no issue. But if he's wearing a silk blouse out of his wife's closet, there is. Once again I must question your level of gracelessness in your debating tactics if you're going to continue running such insulting arguments and expect me to respect them.

Marshall Art said...

For Dan AND Joe,

Do either of you know what "sin of the flesh" means and why it might be a sin to begin with?

Marshall Art said...

One more thing. In regards to your response to Jeremy, Dan, it is clear that you support "gay" marriage in spite of what the Bible says or doesn't say about marriage, homosex or why we were created male and female. Thus, there is nothing Biblical whatsoever about your position nor any Biblical reason to suspect that God might bless such an abomination. You just support it because of the influence of homosexuals and other homo enablers. This is crystal clear by all the years of conversation as well as the message of Scripture.

Marty said...

"What's more, even in the original languages, assumptions carry the argument, not specific teaches of acceptance by God as equal to REAL marriages and worthy of any blessing on His part."

Marshall I realize there is no "specific" teachings of acceptance by God on same sex marriage. But one can consider the possibility that these couples may have indeed had same sex relationships and perhaps even covenant marriages.

Now whether God blesses same sex marriage or not is an asumption as well. And like I've said, I'm leaving the judgement to Him. His grace is infinite and His mercy great and only He can search the heart.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Do either of you know what "sin of the flesh" means and why it might be a sin to begin with?

the only place I can find something like "sins of the flesh" is in one place in the Bible - Colossians 2 - in the KJV, where Paul references the sins of the flesh. Here it is in NIV, in context...

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature ["SINS OF THE FLESH" in KJV], not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.


So, speaking biblically, the "sins of the flesh" are any of those sins, those behaviors common to humanity where we do wrong, where we fail to live up to God's will, where we miss the mark of perfection.

We who are being saved by Jesus' grace ought to be putting off all of that old sinful nature and moving towards striving by God's grace to walk in Jesus' steps.

That's what I see that the Bible means by the term.

Why? What do YOU mean by "sins of the flesh," and what does it have to do with this rambling old conversation?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

In regards to your response to Jeremy, Dan, it is clear that you support "gay" marriage in spite of what the Bible says or doesn't say about marriage, homosex or why we were created male and female.

Many things are "clear" to you, Marshall, that aren't clear to me and vice versa. We are not of one mind. Sometimes, I am mistaken. Sometimes, you are mistaken.

It is clear to me that the best I am able to understand God through all creation and through the Bible, is that marriage is a good and blessed thing, gay or straight. That is my best understanding of God's Word (which is silent on the topic) and the evidence available to us.

You can continue to repeat that you don't believe I hold my position, or that you don't find it believable or whatever it is you think about my position, but the fact remains that it IS my position, as best as I understand God and the Bible.

You have failed to convince me of the godliness or righteousness of your position and so, seeing no reason to think otherwise AND seeing what I consider to be good reasons positively, I believe gay marriage to be a good and blessed thing.

You may disagree with me, but you can't say I don't honestly and sincerely hold my position.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Once again I must question your level of gracelessness in your debating tactics if you're going to continue running such insulting arguments and expect me to respect them.

Really?

"Gracelessness?" It is my position that there are NO passages in the Bible that support condemning transgenderism. The ONE AND ONLY verse offered here is patently NOT talking about transgenderism, but something else.

What is graceless about that? That I agree with the conservative scholars I quoted that this ONE passage has a fairly specific context and is NOT the context which you are trying to insert upon it is "insulting?" How so?

It is I think a fairly universal opinion among scholars, and certainly MY position that this ONE passage is talking specifically about something happening IN THAT CULTURE AT THAT TIME. It is my position that imposing a modernist opinion on a topic that does not fit contextually is poor exegesis.

How is that insulting? Are you trying to say that if I disagree with you, you find it insulting and graceless? Can a person not disagree with you and have another opinion without hurting your feelings or you feeling insulted?

I don't understand your complaint here.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Marty,

Thanks for the input. I checked the link and it does present several scriptural verses that (if relationships of a sexual nature are assumed a priori) would indicate people of God participating in the behavior.

I think that is a pretty big assumption given there is no clear indication that it should be assumed anywhere else.

Also let me say that I appreciate the website for publishing clearly both the "fundamental" and "liberal" position (although the bulk of published background information plumps for the latter which is understandable since that is the point of the post.)

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

You said:

"it is NOT my position that God's silence on a topic means we can do it. That is absolutely NOT my position."

and then,

"My position is that gay marriage is not talked about in the Bible at all and, lacking any reason to oppose it, I support it."

Do you see why i'm confused? I sense that you are becoming a bit frustrated with my continued questioning here, probably because from the comment lines you have been discussing it for years.

I would appreciate your patience, however, in clearly articulating the difference between your stated position that since the Bible doesn't oppose it, you support it and my summary statement that since God doesn't condemn it I can do it? Honestly it just seems to me like playing with words to say the same thing just using different language.

Once again, let me reiterate that i'm not talking about condemnation. I'm not asking you to condemn homosexual behavior or gay marriage because you don't see the Bible specifically condemning it, i'm asking why without a positive establishment and blessing you would take the positive step to support it. I hope you see the difference there.

I think you could be consistant and say something like, "Since the Bible is silent on gay marriage, I have nothing to say about it. I don't condemn it, I don't support it. I'm fine letting God take care of that." You are not doing that, you are saying: "My position is that gay marriage is not talked about in the Bible at all and, lacking any reason to oppose it, I support it." This is very different, and it is because you have taken the positive step to support gay marriage that i've asked you to point me to your positive establishment of gay marriage by God for justification of that positive step.

I hope all that makes sense.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

By the way, I did notice that you consistantly include the phrase, "and lacking any reason to oppose it," in your position. But again you are appealing to a negative here. It is a reiteration of "is not talked about in the Bible at all". Obviously if it is not talked about in the Bible at all then no negative mention would be made concerning the topic (just as no positive mention would be made on the topic).

That being said and just to provide more clarity in how i'm reading your position I read your position statement as:

"My position is that gay marriage is not talked about in the Bible at all and, because it is not talked about in the Bible at all, I support it."

That didn't come out clearly in my last reply.

Mark said...

Dan continually repeats ad nauseum, "I remain unconvinced".

He remains unconvinced despite tons of evidence that he is wrong, wrong, wrong, yet he still insists, without any evidence, that he is right, right, right.

I believe Dan is using an inappropriate adjective.

"Unconvinced" is the wrong word.

Dan remains obstinate.

Past all understanding.

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

You are not doing that, you are saying: "My position is that gay marriage is not talked about in the Bible at all and, lacking any reason to oppose it, I support it." This is very different

I don't think you are reading my whole reasoning, which may be my fault, because I probably have stated this in several different ways in different places. Let me restate my whole reasoning for clarity's sake...

1. The Bible is silent on gay marriage.

2. The Bible speaks positively of marriage between men and women.

3. The Bible does not condemn all homosexual acts, just certain acts, not unlike with heterosexuality.

4. I believe marriage to be a good thing: Two people committing to love, cherish, be faithful to one another in a marriage situation is a good and positive, blessed thing for the people involved, for society at large and for the church.

5. Believing in marriage, as I do, and seeing no reason to presume that ALL homosexuality or heterosexuality to be bad, why would I not support marriage, for straights AND gays?

THAT is the question that I see unanswered from the traditional view. WHY would I stand opposed to gay marriage? What possible reason is there for doing so?

The reasons for supporting gay marriage would include: fidelity is better than infidelity, monogamy is better than polygamy, committed relationships are better than multiple one night stands, strong families are their own good support and justification, strong families are a blessing to the society at large... for instance. I apologize for not stating that more clearly, I thought it was clear WHY marriage is a good thing, in general.

My view is NOT simply that it's not in the Bible, therefore, it's good. That would be a ridiculous position that no one at all supports. Rather, my position is, it's not in the Bible AND, I have good reasons to support it, because it is marriage and marriage is a good and blessed thing.

Now, please, my question to the traditional side is, WHY WOULDN'T I support gay marriage? What possible reason is there?

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

That being said and just to provide more clarity in how i'm reading your position I read your position statement as:

"My position is that gay marriage is not talked about in the Bible at all and, because it is not talked about in the Bible at all, I support it."


No, that is NOT, NOT, NOT my position (the repetition is for clarity's sake, not from frustration - I don't mind repeated attempting to clarify when the questions are as genteel and respectful as yours).

NO, I do NOT NOT NOT support gay marriage BECAUSE the Bible is silent on the topic.

I support marriage, period (gays and straights) BECAUSE I believe marriage to be a good and blessed thing, as detailed in my previous answer. SINCE I believe in marriage as a good and blessed thing, why would I NOT support marriage for both gays and straights?

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy, if I may clarify something else, where you said...

I think you could be consistant and say something like, "Since the Bible is silent on gay marriage, I have nothing to say about it. I don't condemn it, I don't support it. I'm fine letting God take care of that." You are not doing that

We ARE agreed, aren't we, that it's okay to have positions - even strongly held positions - on topics on which the Bible is silent, right?

That is, even though abortion or capitalism or drilling for oil are not mentioned in the Bible, you DO agree it is okay - even wise and maybe even pretty necessary - to have opinions on these and other matters, right?

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

Thanks for more detail on your position. So, my question based on your more detailed point number 4 "I believe marriage to be a good thing: Two people committing to love, cherish, be faithful to one another in a marriage situation is a good and positive, blessed thing for the people involved, for society at large and for the church." Where is the establishment Biblically for marriage being established as "Two people committing to love, cherish, be faithful to one another in a marriage situation is a good and positive, blessed thing for the people involved, for society at large and for the church".

We both agree that statement is Biblically justifiable for a man and a woman. Where do you find the Biblical justification of making the leap from the established man and woman to your two people?

You have asked again and again for a reason for why you should not support gay marriage. I would say that the answer to that is based on this fundamental point i've been pressing (and so depends a lot on your answer to the above question). If there is no establishment by God for gay marriage, then it is a supposition of yours that marriage relationships (which inherently include sexual relations) whether between a man and woman or any two people (with your additional clauses of love, fidelity, etc.) are both blessed by God. I think this is the particular flaw in your logic. You've already stated the Bible is silent on gay marriage, yet you say both marriage between a man and woman and marriage between two people what are comitted and faithful etc. are both blessed by God. Because you begin with the Bible being silent on gay marriage this is mere equivocation.

If you are OK with basing your position on silence from the Bible and your supposition of equivalence then there is no answer I can give that would satisfy your request for why you should not support gay marriage.

My point is that if you cannot provide some establishment by God of gay marriage that would justify a position of equivalence between a man and woman and two people (with love, fidelity, etc.) then a more consistent position would be to be completely ambivalent toward gay marriage, neither condemn it or support it because the Bible is silent and therefore there exists no Biblical basis to position gay marriage as equivalent to marriage between a man and a woman.

You have stated several times that you believe the Bible has nothing to say about homosexual behavior or gay marriage, so you cannot provide any Biblical support for the establishment of your point 4 that marriage between any two people who have love, fidelity, etc. are in a good, blessed relationship. That is why you shouldn't support it, to be consistant you should be completely neutral. You can still issue a strong disagreement with anyone who condemns gay marriage, but you could not endorse it yourself. That, it seems to me would be the most logical and consistant position you could take.

I hope that is clearer. And, by the way, you and I can still agree that marriage between a man and woman is blessed by God because we can both point directly to scriptures in which God has established that very covenant relationship.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

Sorry, I posted my response before your additional reply came up. You ask:

"We ARE agreed, aren't we, that it's okay to have positions - even strongly held positions - on topics on which the Bible is silent, right?"

The Bible doesn't cover myrid topics so it is necessary for us to hold positions not explicitly stated in the Bible. However, our priority should be glorifying God in whatever we think, say and do; which would necessarily lead to taking great care in moral issues.

So, if you ask about dumping toxic waste I would look to passages on stewardship that are clearly established in the Word to base my position.

Point is, in the case of moral issues I will always do my best to start with what is established and work logically and consistently from there (with fear and trembling).

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

so you cannot provide any Biblical support for the establishment of your point 4 that marriage between any two people who have love, fidelity, etc. are in a good, blessed relationship. That is why you shouldn't support it, to be consistant you should be completely neutral.

Which is why I asked the question: Do you think it is okay to hold positions on ideas that aren't in the Bible. Are you saying you hold no positions on topics that aren't covered by the Bible? You have no position about toxic waste, as to whether or not God would bless the dumping of it? I feel safe in saying that God would NOT bless the dumping of toxic waste in a neighbor's well, for instance. You hold no position on anything outside what the Bible explicitly says?

Then, you hold no position OPPOSED to gay marriage, I suppose, since the Bible does not condemn it? Is that your position?

If so, I disagree. I think it is a very good thing to form opinions about topics not covered in the Bible. However, to be consistent, if you think this AND you therefore say, "I hold no position about gay marriage since it is not in the Bible," I am okay with you doing that. It IS a consistent position to hold.

OR, even if you think, "Well, I'm inclined to think that God probably does not bless gay marriage," I think that's fine, too. In fact, that's JUST what I'm doing, saying that MY HUNCH about this topic that is not covered in the Bible, is that God blesses marriage, gay or straight.

BUT, I'm not insisting that this is the one and only view or that I speak for God, it is entirely my belief, my guess about a topic which we hold no authoritative source of opinion.

THAT is what I find problematic, those who presume to speak for God as if they know.

Dan Trabue said...

Jeremy...

Point is, in the case of moral issues I will always do my best to start with what is established and work logically and consistently from there (with fear and trembling).

Me, too. My position, exactly. And, having tried doing this, I have come to the conclusion that marriage is a good and blessed thing, gay or straight.

So, have you formed an opinion on the topic of gay marriage? Do you have any sound reason at all to be opposed to marriage, gay or straight?

Dan Trabue said...

Just to look at things one more way, consider this... You said...

You have stated several times that you believe the Bible has nothing to say about homosexual behavior or gay marriage, so you cannot provide any Biblical support for the establishment of your point 4 that marriage between any two people who have love, fidelity, etc. are in a good, blessed relationship. That is why you shouldn't support it, to be consistant you should be completely neutral.

What if we substitute some other topic not covered in the Bible with gay marriage?

"You note that the Bible does not talk about abortion, so you can not provide biblical support to oppose it, therefore, you should be completely neutral on the topic..."

"You note that the Bible does not talk about providing electric heaters to those who might otherwise freeze during the winter, so you can not provide biblical support to support it, therefore, you should be completely neutral on the topic..."

"You note that the Bible does not talk about dumping toxic waste, so you can not provide biblical support to oppose it, therefore, you should be completely neutral on the topic..."

I hope you see my problem. I DON'T think we ought to remain neutral on important matters, especially matters of life and death, of oppression and injustice. I believe we OUGHT to form opinions on important matters, even if they're not covered in the Bible. And judging by your last response, you agree.

And so, I have formed an opinion on the topic of gay marriage and YOU have apparently formed an opinion on gay marriage, even though both of us recognize it's not covered in the Bible.

And so, I still would ask those opposed to this, WHY? On what basis would we choose to oppose it?

I think we ought to support it because it falls under the category of "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable..." it is a good, self-giving, life-giving, community-supporting ideal, so why wouldn't we?

Mark said...

Dan Whines, "I hope you see my problem"

We all do, Dan. The trouble is, you don't.

Let me tell you what your problem is:

You are an idiot.

And, apparently, everybody but you knows it.

Dan Trabue said...

Mark, I understand that you think I'm an idiot. You've repeated the idea several times.

But IF that were true, do you think that the most Godly, reasonable thing to do with someone who is mentally challenged or just plain dumb, is to go around and call him names?

To go around and repeatedly say, "You're stupid, you're stupid, you're an idiot, you're a moron..."? Do you think that is a Godly or even simply humane way to behave towards those who are your intellectual inferiors?

Do you expect that Jesus went around repeating "you're an idiot," to everyone else (because, after all, he's Jesus, he's got to be smarter than everyone else, being God and all)?

I'd hope that if I ever run across someone who is dumber than even I am, that I would have the good grace not to repeatedly tell him or her that. Why would I do that?

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

~St Paul

Bubba said...

I think it's worth repeating a claim I made just a few days ago, that "This entire discussion comes down to the simple question, why did God make us male and female?"

The Bible is clear about the answer, in Genesis 2.

Jesus Christ Himself is clear about the answer, as recorded in Matthew 19.


I don't think the Bible is silent on "gay marriage" anymore than a thorough math book is silent on the subject of four-sided triangles or prime multiples of ten. A book can be quite clear about a subject that isn't explicitly addressed; all that is needed is to follow its clear teachings to their inevitable and inexorable conclusions.

In the beginning, God made man male and female so that a man (male) would leave his family become one flesh with his wife (female).

The ONLY biblical alternative to this expression of romantic love and sexual desire is the life of the eunuch, the denial and renunciation of such expression. There are those who are called to a one-flesh relationship between man and woman, and those who are figurative (and sometimes literal) eunuchs, either developmentally, environmentally, or sacramentally.

(To try to apply homosexual unions to the concept of a eunuch is even more ridiculous than to apply it to the concept of marriage.)


What Jesus pronounced is clearly a lasting principle rooted in God's will from "in the beginning."

Jesus applied to the first century a principle that was given AT LEAST three thousand years prior.

Between the principle's being given in Genesis 2 and Christ's affirmation of the principle in Matthew 19, a whole heck of a lot history passed by.

Between those two events, we had the Fall and the Deluge and Babel, Abraham and the first covenant, Moses and the Exodus, and Joshua and the conquest.

We had the judges, David and the other kings, the divided kingdom, the Babylonian exile, and the restoration.

We had the bronze age and the iron age: Egypt came to prominence, then Babylon, Persia, Greece and Alexander the Great, and then Rome -- first as a republic, then as an empire under Caesar.

Jesus evidently didn't think the new covenant He would inaugurate (see Mt 26:28) changed this principle, or else His comment on marriage would have resembled His comment on being defiled by what you eat (Mt 15:11). Matthew evidently thought the principle still held for the New Testament church, as we can see by the mere fact of the Evangelist's recording it.

So, the principle still applied after the Fall and the introduction of sin and death into the world; it still applied even after the Deluge and the near-total annihilation of humanity; and even the Incarnation didn't change things, as Christ Himself -- God Almighty Incarnate -- affirmed the principle's lasting validity.

I see no reason to believe that this principle has suddenly been made void just because some secular psychologists have decided to celebrate sexual deviancy by reassuring us that it's normal and healthy, and anyone who's genuinely interested in submitting to Christ's teachings shouldn't let their theories trump His word.

Dan Trabue said...

EXCEPT that Jesus had nothing to say about gay marriage. Nor does the Bible. It just doesn't.

I wholeheartedly agree we ought not let "experts" tell us NOT to live our lives in accordance with God's will. If the "experts" say that we NEED to drill in deep water in order to get oil - even though we quite likely might destroy a section of God's creation doing so - that does not mean we ought to go along with the "experts." We ought, instead, seek to be good stewards as we understand God's Word to teach us.

We agree on that concept.

Where we disagree is that the Bible does or does not teach anything about gay marriage.

And, while for some the question might come down to "why did God create us male and female," that's not the only question we might consider. We might consider, for instance, "Is there any good, logical, biblical, moral reason NOT to support marriage, whether gay or straight?"

Finding no good reasons not to, I'd suggest it's a good thing, then, because marriage is a good thing. Because commitment is a good thing. Because fidelity is a good thing. Because family is a good thing.

Just because the marriage and the family happens to include gay folk, I see no reason why it would suddenly be a bad thing.

Just as there is no logical or biblical reason to oppose masturbation or transgenderism, as we have abundantly proven here in this thread.

Bubba said...

It seems to me that the principle enunciated in Genesis 2 and affirmed by Christ Himself in Matthew 19 is universal, not just in time -- now and forever -- but also in terms of situation.

Take any random human male.

Why did God make him male?

In the beginning, God made man male and female so that a man (male) would leave his family and become one flesh with his wife (female), and there are those who are called to this life and those who are called to the life of a eunuch.

So, God made this individual man male so that he would would become one flesh with a woman, and if he is not called to that life, he is called to the life of a eunuch.

What if this man is attracted to other men?

The Bible is still quite clear that God made him male so that he would become one flesh with a woman or else live as a eunuch.

Because this principle is rooted in God's will from "in the beginning", it applies to all of us, JUST AS MUCH as it applied to the first-century Jews who were asking about divorce. The Bible is not only silent about exceptions for homosexuals, this principle excludes the possibility of any such exception.

What if the man does not self-identify as a man?

Doesn't matter, the Bible is still clear that God made him male so that he would become one flesh with a woman or else live as a eunuch.

(Or else the man's proclamations about his self-identity trumps what God clearly made him to be.)

The only biological exception to this principle -- the principle of lifelong heterosexual monogamy or nothing -- is possibly the tiny minority of those who genuinely cannot be classified as male or female, that is, chromosomal hermaphrodites, X or XXY.

Joe_Agnost said...

MA asks: "Do either of you know what 'sin of the flesh' means and why it might be a sin to begin with?"

I don't believe in "sin"... it's a perverse human construct invented to keep people in line.

I find it uttery ridiculous that you think it's perfectly fine for your wife to jerk you off - but if you do it to yourself it's "inappropriate" use of your equiptment... how does that make sense to you?

Stan said...

Making moral calls about who is in the military can get tricky. I get that. I have concerns about removing the DADT policy that are not based on morality.

Having served in the military, I can tell you that the first order of business in the military is to remove identity. We all wear the same clothes, have the same haircut, do the same things. We don't have first names and often not even last names. We are stripped of individuality for a common goal -- a new unity. The military runs best when individuals set aside their individuality to become a cohesive unit, setting aside their own needs for the needs of the unit.

Enter the "homosexual". The term is absolutely used as an identity. Whereas in the military today you have a bunch of guys working together, when DADT is removed, you will have individuals specifically identified as different. So while the military is doing everything it can to stip its people of their identities, the plan is now to literally out a group of people. Regardless of one's perception of morality, this will have to affect cohesion.

It will also have to affect religious liberty. Primarily that would be in the case of chaplains, I suppose, but others as well. If the military officially endorses the identity of "homosexual", a chaplain would be prohibited from calling it immoral. So much for freedom of religion.

The homosexual community isn't pushing this lightly. There is a goal here. You see, what is accepted in the military is typically carried over to the society. This is true of several social structures. Marriage and churches are a couple of other social institutions that determine what will and will not be acceptable. Is it any wonder that the military is a target (with, quite obviously, these other two)? What do I mean? Take the civil rights movement, for instance. The first official organization to actually require racial integration was the military. They made it a matter of rules. Discrimination for race was unacceptable. It was that institutional integration that led the way for the country to integrate. So now the military is planning to integrate for sexual reasons, and the country is sure to follow.

I am also concerned about what it will do to the homosexuals already in the military. Right now they're hidden, part of a cohesive group, doing their jobs without concern for "sexual orientation". They have successfully set that aside (or they've been kicked out). Now comes the removal of that "barrier". What will happen when the "buddy" this tough Marine had in the bunk next to him suddenly "comes out"? What will the rest do to them? It seems a lot like painting a target on your own back ... something that isn't very wise in a room full of armed men.

Bubba said...

The principle from Genesis 2 and Matthew 19 doesn't preclude other reasons for our being made male and female, but it surely precludes CONTRARY reasons.

I believe that God gave us speech so that we would praise and bless Him with our words.

It's possible (and I think likely) that God also gave us speech so that we would bless others with our words.

It's also possible that God would smile upon a vow of silence, taken as an act of devotion to Him.

But the idea that God gave us speech to praise and bless Him DOES seem to preclude the idea that God gave us speech to curse and blaspheme Him.

And if God gave us speech to communicate words of truth and love, that precludes the idea that He gave us speech to utter words of dishonesty and contempt.

In the same way, God gave us sexuality so that a man (male) would become one flesh with his wife (female), and I believe that precludes any other arrangement. God may have REGULATED other arrangements like divorce, because of human sin and stubbornness, but "from the beginning it was not so." (Mt 19:8)


Of course, Matthew 19 isn't the only relevant passage -- even if Romans 1 isn't about loving relationships between homosexuals, when has God ever had people "handed over" to even a MORALLY NEUTRAL behavior as the consequence of sin? -- but I believe it is the crucial passage.

If any self-described Bible-believing follower of Christ declares that God blesses "gay marriage," he should account for this passage and start his argument with something like this:

"I have a gay friend named Elton, and God made Elton male so that he would become one flesh with a woman or else live a life of celibacy. But I believe that God blesses what we call his marriage to another man, and here's why..."

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

It seems we're not getting anywhere. I asked you a specific question about gay marriage, which is the topic. I also made a statement of logical consistency for the issue of gay marriage. You have not answered the question or responded directly to the statement. You have presented other examples, asked about my position and written about opinions and us just believing differently.

I'm not sure that I can press the point much further. I'm not interested in going off on a tangent and getting into several different threads about toxic waste, abortion, electric heaters or anything else not related to gay marriage. I know you are trying to provide a lot of other general cases to talk generally about cases where the Bible is silent, but I have not agreed that the Bible is silent on homosexuality or gay marriage, i'm simply asking you to defend your position because you have said the Bible is silent on those issues. If you can follow this line of questioning of mine of your position i'd be glad to present my position and have you question me.

I thought that I was clear that i've been discussing the specific case of your position on gay marriage, but let me try once more to get you to address my main point about your position on gay marriage and my follow-up statement.

My specific question to you is, what Biblical support would you lend to your position that any marriage between two people (if they are loving, faithful, committed, etc.) is established and blessed by God in the same way that we are agreed marriage is established and blessed by God for a man and woman?

I will go ahead and assume you will admit to having none because you have already said in the first point of your position that the Bible is silent on gay marriage and therefore cannot say anything about it (good or bad). You may correct me if that is a wrong assumption.

So, the follow up statement is since you are equivocating on the marriage blessing position you cannot be logically consistent in taking the positive position that God blesses marriage between two people who are loving, faithful, committed, etc.

What say you specifically to that question and the follow-up statement?

Marty said...

Jeremy: "(if relationships of a sexual nature are assumed a priori)"

Not really sure what that means exactly.

Jeremey: "I think that is a pretty big assumption given there is no clear indication that it should be assumed anywhere else."

Why should it have to be assumed anywhere else?

Bubba said...

Dan, you write, "while for some the question might come down to 'why did God create us male and female,' that's not the only question we might consider. We might consider, for instance, 'Is there any good, logical, biblical, moral reason NOT to support marriage, whether gay or straight?'"

I see no good reason why you wouldn't go any further than to say that we "might" consider the question of why God made us male and female.

For one thing, the question has an immediate and obvious bearing on the issue of "gay marriage."

For another, Jesus Christ Himself answered this question, and you claim to be interested in Christ's "actual" teachings.


To raise the issue of "marriage, whether gay or straight" is like arguing over the death penalty by discussing punishment, whether financial or capital. It's like arguing about rape by discussing sex, consensual or compulsory. It's obfuscation, probably deliberate obfuscation.

The Bible clearly affirms marriage as the union of man and woman, and the point being argued is whether same-sex unions even qualify as "marriage."

No one should -- and I certainly won't -- allow you to frame this discussion as an all-or-nothing affirmation of "marriage, whether gay or straight," because that assumes precisely what is being argued, namely whether the two or equivalent.


You ask whether there is "any good, logical, biblical, moral reason" to oppose so-called gay marriage.

Of course there is, and it's the answer to the question that you find so uninteresting: it's because GOD MADE MAN MALE AND FEMALE SO THAT A MAN (MALE) WOULD LEAVE HIS FAMILY AND BECOME ONE FLESH WITH HIS WIFE (FEMALE).


You write:

"Finding no good reasons not to, I'd suggest it's a good thing, then, because marriage is a good thing. Because commitment is a good thing. Because fidelity is a good thing. Because family is a good thing."

Yes, marriage is a good thing, but it doesn't follow that something becomes good just because you call it a marriage. You could call a poison a salad, and it doesn't suddenly become healthy because salads are good for you. That was my point, way back, when I crafted a parallel argument for "compulsory charity," an argument you never did substantively address, one of a number of points that you've never addressed.


But let's grant that, of course, fidelity is good.

Homosexual fidelity is better than homosexual promiscuity, but doesn't follow that homosexual fidelity is AS good as heterosexual fidelity -- that it is morally equivalent, that it is blessed by God.

Non-violence is good, and so taking money by fraud is better than taking it by force, but just because embezzlement is better than armed robbery, it doesn't make the act morally permissible.

Avoiding outright lies is good, but that doesn't mean that there's a moral equivalence between material omissions and efforts to tell the complete truth.

(I think that last is problematic for you.)

Heck, divorce is probably better than a lifetime of cold contempt, and it's certainly better than murdering one's spouse to get to that bit about "til death do us part," but it doesn't mean that God blesses divorce.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

We know God doesn't bless divorce.

From Matthew 19, we know that God only PERMITTED divorce, on account of our sinful and hard hearts, and He regulated the practice to benefit and protect the weaker party.

"But from the beginning it was not so."

Divorce isn't God's will.

Why?

Because, in the beginning, God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.


Divorce and homosexual monogamy may be better than some of the alternatives, but for those who genuinely seek God's will, that's simply not good enough.

On the issue of marriage, God's will is clear: He intends for us to commit ourselves to lifelong, heterosexual monogamy or to lifelong celibacy. SOME other alternatives (not all) are allowed and regulated, but none are commended.


Really, you aiming lower than your real position. Your position isn't merely that "gay marriage" is better than a lifetime of anonymous orgies.

Your position is that it is equivalent to the biblical union of man and woman as husband and wife. You would never accept a two-tiered system where homosexual monogamy is recognized as better than some alternatives but still a deviation from God's will, so don't waste anyone's time by arguing the obvious point that it's better than orgies.

Instead, argue why God actually blesses the arrangement even though Jesus Christ Himself taught that God made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife.


That leads to a reiteration of another part of that earlier point:

Perhaps discussions like this should involve the recognition of degree: not only that X is bad but Y is good, but that, while Y may be good, Z may be better.

It's a very good thing for sex to involve the consent of one's partner: it's an obvious evil if consent is not given.

But it's better still to have the consent of one's partner AND THE CONSENT OF ONE'S CREATOR, in terms of God's intended purposes for His gift of human sexuality.

Once again that leads to the question, why did God make us male and female?

Marshall Art said...

Well, it took me quite awhile to catch up with all the blog postings on my email in-box. As I have two blogs (one's a team blog begun by another dude), there were a lot of comments to read. But I can't even get involved in the team blog for all the comments on this one. But now there's about ten minutes before tip-off of Game 3 of the NBA Finals and that's where I'll be spending my time this evening.

With what little time I have, I can make a few quick comments.

First, Dan, you have NOT shown how the Bible doesn't condemn ALL manifestations of homosex. You've only parroted the many debunked stretches of credulity that for you and other enablers passes for interpretation. As to the debunking, you fall back on "I don't find it convincing" without demonstrating why you don't. So to say to Jeremy "Is there any good, logical, biblical, moral reason NOT to support marriage, whether gay or straight?" is a stupid question. Why would anyone suspect there IS a reason to NOT support traditional marriage, while at the same time, how could any support homo marriage? There is nothing that suggests any manfestation of homosex is even tolerated by God, so how could there be any support for a union consumated by such abominable sexual behavior? To continue pretending there is a reasonable position when you've as yet never made the case for it is an example of what I meant by debating in a graceless manner.

Further examples of lacking grace is trying to equate other oranges to the apples being discussed, such as abortion (of course murder is addressed in Scripture so abortion is covered whether proponents choose to believe it or not), oil spills or electric heaters (neither of which is a behavior, so why would the Bible provide insight?).

I'd also like to say that this comment:

"Just as there is no logical or biblical reason to oppose masturbation or transgenderism, as we have abundantly proven here in this thread."

...is very much a lie as nothing has been proven yet one way or the other. Indeed, Bubba's commnents handles the transgenderism issue rather well. I thank Bubba for once again displaying what logic and common sense in a debate actually looks like. Jeremy also has shown this in his as yet unrequited queries.

Finally, a word to Stan:

How dare you comment on the actual topic when we have so arduously digressed to another topic!!! :)

Seriously Stan, your comments are worthy of copying and pasting as a second update to the post itself. Once again, logic and common sense that is lacking in the liberal side of our gov't and military on this very important and potentially damaging issue.

And now, the Game 3 is afoot! Later dudes (and Marty).

Bubba said...

Dan, I'm only now noticing that you're actually defending masturbation as biblically permissible.

It leads me to wonder what sexually deviant behavior you wouldn't defend.


It also makes me wonder just how ignorant you are, not only of the Bible you claim to love, but of the theologically conservative positions you say you once held.

You write that the story of Onan is the "one and only" passage invoked in arguments against masturbation.

That's simply not so.

Consider Jesus Christ and the Sermon on the Mount: the Messiah you claim to follow and one of the longer recorded speeches that you claim particularly to revere.

In Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus Christ taught that mere lust is as immoral as the actual act of adultery.

That teaching, which reveals the full implications of the Torah rather than overturns the law, isn't novel in Scripture.

(You still haven't addressed the substance of John Stott's arguments for why Christ didn't overturn the law in Matthew 5 -- at least, not so far as I can tell.)

In Job 31:1, Job defends himself by claiming to have made a covenant with his eyes not to look upon a virgin.

And then we have the tenth commandment, forbidding us from coveting that which doesn't belong to us.

While the prohibition of lust wouldn't preclude a sort of mechanical masturbation devoid of fantasy and the objectification of other human beings, we're still left with the issue I raised earlier.

In whatever we do, it's best to have the consent, not only of our partner but also of our Creator, consent "in terms of God's intended purposes for His gift of human sexuality."


You don't seem concerned about His purposes much at all, or the full implications of what His written word reveals about His purposes.

Because I'm now repeating myself, because I truly do have better things to do, because it's for my own good if I don't spend too much time arguing with you, and because I'm frankly tired of your pathetic attempts to make God's written word fit your radical politics, I leave the last word to you.


And, while I think Jeremy D. Troxler has made some great points, I must warn him that I've concluded -- after literal years of online discussions -- that Dan Trabue is a hypocrite and a liar who is more concerned with advancing his agenda than arguing in good faith.

To a degree that seems nothing less than pathological, Dan not only defends his beliefs by repeating incoherent arguments with no real recognition of their flaws, he even refuses to be clear about the content of his beliefs.

He has no core principles or even simple integrity. All he has is his agenda, and he will apparently say anything if he thinks doing so will serve that agenda.

Most despicably, he seems to have no qualms invoking his stated faith to advance that agenda. His radical collectivism is his true north star, and biblical Christianity is just a Trojan horse for him.

The charitable thing might be to give him the benefit of the doubt until you find out all this for yourself, but you risk wasting countless hours of your time doing so.

Craig said...

"We ARE agreed, aren't we, that it's okay to have positions - even strongly held positions - on topics on which the Bible is silent, right?"

Dan, I don't think that anyone would disagree with the above. Where I personally have trouble is when you move from "my opinion is..." to "God blesses gay marriage". We've all heard your explanations, and you are welcome to your opinions, but don't pretend like you can provide scriptural support for your opinions.

My problem with your substitution of abortion, providing heat and dumping toxic waste, don't address the fact that the underlying issues (the sanctity of human life, love of neighbor, and stewardship of Gods creation) are clearly addressed in the Bible. So it is no great leap to conclude that protecting innocent children should include protecting them at all stages of development or that loving your neighbor would include providing the means to keep the cold warm. It is a great leap to conclude that something (homosexuality) that is only addressed as a negative (it is never even referred in a way that could be considered neutral), somehow becomes something that is blessed in certain circumstances.

Beyond that Jeremy and Bubba are posing valid questions that you have equivocated in answering. So, I'll try to step back and only leave you to deal with Jeremy and Bubba. Maybe that will help.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Again, I know I shouldn't . . .

Bubba wrote: "Dan, I'm only now noticing that you're actually defending masturbation as biblically permissible.

It leads me to wonder what sexually deviant behavior you wouldn't defend. "

Masturbation is a sexually deviant behavior, Bubba? Really? A young person, usually quite by accident, discovers that certain actions are physically pleasurable, outside any moral or other context, and you without any warrant of which I'm aware, dare to declare that person deviant.

BTW - please spare me the treatise on how you're right and I'm wrong, because (a) I won't read it; and (b) since I have yet, in my forty-plus years of reading the Bible found anything close to a declaration that masturbation is sexually deviant, I think I'll just let it rest there; and (c) if any of you would actually read what you type - that masturbation is deviant; that gay folks don't love, just lust; that touching yourself violates the equipment manual, but having your spouse do it is fine; that two men marrying is a path to perdition - you might actually realize that anyone NOT of the same ideological bent as you (and some who are!) might just think you are quite out of your collective minds.

You are all far more concerned with sex in its various forms than I, we, and certainly God has ever been. Let us have our deviant sex in peace, and we can all go about our business here.

Dan Trabue said...

Well said, Geoffrey.

Dealing with Jeremy's questions to me...

My specific question to you is, what Biblical support would you lend to your position that any marriage between two people (if they are loving, faithful, committed, etc.) is established and blessed by God in the same way that we are agreed marriage is established and blessed by God for a man and woman?

My specific answer remains the same: There are no SPECIFIC biblical texts that say "God blesses gay marriage."

There are no SPECIFIC biblical texts that say "God opposes gay marriage."

Are we agreed on both points?

Jeremy...

I will go ahead and assume you will admit to having none because you have already said in the first point of your position that the Bible is silent on gay marriage and therefore cannot say anything about it (good or bad). You may correct me if that is a wrong assumption.

You are correct: there is nothing positive or negative found specifically about gay marriage in the Bible. Can I assume that we are agreed on that point?

Jeremy...

So, the follow up statement is since you are equivocating on the marriage blessing position you cannot be logically consistent in taking the positive position that God blesses marriage between two people who are loving, faithful, committed, etc.

What do you mean I am equivocating on the marriage blessing position?

What makes you say that I can't be logically consistent in taking the position that God blesses marriage between two loving, committed adults?

Could you please answer some of my questions so I can better understand your position, as I've tried repeatedly to answer your questions? Thanks.

One final question that I'm still seeking an answer to: Why WOULD I oppose gay marriage? What reason is there why I would oppose gay marriage, if the Bible is silent on the topic?

In asking that question, I'm not saying there is no good answer to it.

If someone said, "Dan, why WOULD you oppose dumping toxic waste, when the Bible is silent on the topic?" I would be able to answer with a very reasonable answer.

I'm looking for a reasonable answer to my oft-repeated question.

Thanks.

Bubba said...

Ahem.

--

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven...

"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.
" - Mt 5:17-20, 27-30

--

"You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." - Ex 20:17

--

These aren't obscure passages, and if a person has studied the Bible for forty years and hasn't noticed these passages or discerned the implications for the lust that accompanies all but the must naive and mechanical forms of masturbation, then he's beyond help.

Geoffrey concludes by revealing both his ignorance of God and an arrogance that borders on self-idolatry.

"You are all far more concerned with sex in its various forms than I, we, and certainly God has ever been. Let us have our deviant sex in peace, and we can all go about our business here."

God has made clear that He made us male and female so that a man would become one flesh with his wife. He prohibited both from committing adultery and even from coveting a neighbor's wife; if that wasn't clear enough, when He came down and dwelt among us, God Incarnate taught that mere thoughts of lust are as evil as adulterous acts.

To suggest that his sexual behavior is his own business beyond even the judgment of God Almighty, and to imply that God is apathetic about his sexual behavior is to clearly step outside Christian ethics and the Bible's clear teachings.


Geoffrey, about your wanting to be left in peace, no one's stopping you from doing whatever you want, certainly not in this debauched age.

We're just proclaiming what is to be found in God's written word, in the Scripture that Christ Himself affirmed to the smallest penstroke, and we just expect that those who claim to worship God would show some small sign of submission to His revealed will.

If that bothers you so much, maybe you should find a more libertine faith tradition.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, addressing me, said...

You write that the story of Onan is the "one and only" passage invoked in arguments against masturbation.

That's simply not so.


Of course, I'm sure there are OTHER passages even LESS related to masturbation than the Onan story that get cited, but I was talking about passages that were in the ballpark of even sounding like they are talking about the topic at hand.

It's like folk who point to attempted men-men rape stories in the Bible and try to use those stories as "evidence" of God's opposition to homosexuality. Those are stories condemning rape, not homosexuality, and we are all united in being opposed to rape.

Likewise, stories against lust are designed to point out the sinful problems of lusting. They are not talking about masturbation.

If you have any ACTUAL passages that deal with masturbation, feel free to show them, but we all know that there are NO biblical passages that deal with it.

In the meantime, are you saying that you never engage in "sexually deviant" behavior or what?

You remember that poll about this topic, don't you? They discovered that 95% of men engaged in masturbation at some point and 5% of men are liars...

Dan Trabue said...

For what it's worth, I get Bubba's concern that one can't engage in masturbation without engaging in lusting.

I'm just not sure that there's the definite and inescapable link that Bubba thinks exists and that's all I'll say about that.

Marshall Art said...

In the waning moments of my day, after a poorly played win by the Lakers (well done Derrick Fisher!), I will add a few brief comments.

First, what was well said by Geoffrey in his last comment? Nothing that I can see. The well said comments were Bubba's.

"A young person, usually quite by accident, discovers that certain actions are physically pleasurable, outside any moral or other context, and you without any warrant of which I'm aware, dare to declare that person deviant."

No. Not even suggested or hinted at. Such a person is ignorant of the law as you lay out the scenario, but still indulging in a lustful and impure act. No scholar is needed to see that the only permissable sex in the Bible is that which takes place between a man and the woman to whom he is married. That's it. Even a married man masturbating by himself is outside that definition because it is not between him and his wife. Thus, a man and his wife masturbating themselves together at the same time with each other is a married couple having permissable sex. (I can't believe I'm typing this, but one must spell out the obvious to those who wish to have things their own way, and not God's.) This surely seems wacky to the likes of you guys, but that "only with one's wife" thing is pretty much the extent of permissable sex. Don't blame me. Talk to the Boss. If you can find any Scriptural example of any other context wherein sex would be sanctioned by God that ISN'T within a marital situation (read: man and woman married to each other), I'll wait here while you present it.

Bubba touched on the angle upon which I was going to expound regarding masturbation. Indeed, he even mentioned the part about engaging in a purely mechanical manner without the usual attendant fantasies. I was not aware that anyone ever does that. I can't imagine that even if one tried, that one could refrain from lusting while being so aroused. But hey, if any of you libs insist you do it all the time, who am I to say you're lying?

As to who has or hasn't, that has nothing to do with the issue. The issue is whether or not it is appropriate. For the record, there are a plethora of sins I've committed in my lifetime. When you can ascertain when I've justified any of them as you do sexual sins, you'll be golden and I'll be a liberal, too. As a rule, however, I don't set out to re-write God's Will when I've failed to measure up to It. Instead, I own up and try to repent to the best of my humble abilities.

Anyway, it's not that the Bible says that masturbation is sexually deviant. It merely suggests, and more plainly than any hope for the legitimacy of any form of homosex, that it would fall within the parameters of impure, if not outright sinful, behavior.

cont---

Marshall Art said...

As I said to, I think it was Marty, I think it is funny that YOU guys would say that it is US guys who are obsessed with sex. We're not the ones defending all manner of sex in any form that might suit you. All we're doing is presenting what the Bible says about sex. All we're doing is defending what the Bible says against perversions of what the Bible says, perversions put forth as legitimate interpretations by folks like you guys. What's more, we've been really consistent with how we make our case for our understanding, whereas Dan (who is the only lib who tries to make ANY case for homo marriage) consistently fails to fill in the gaping holes of his arguments.

To that, Dan asks why what reason is there for opposing what the Bible does not explicitly mention, but he continues to put forth debunked interpretations. WE know that the Bible prohibits homosex in all its forms, but Dan pretends there are loopholes. For example: he believes the Sodom story to be an admonition against homo rape. But there's no indication the men of the town (all of the men of the town by the way) were hoping to rape anyone until after they're rejected. Then there's the nonsense about ritual sexual practices during pagan worship. But there is already a clearly stated commandment against the worship of false gods, so to suggest the homosex in question is wrong because of the pagan worship is goofy at best. The context of pagan worship is never mentioned as having anything to do with the prohibition of the homosex.

So there are plenty of reasons to KNOW that God would not bless a homo union if every mention of the sex that defines it is negative. Dan ignores these obvious and blatant truths about what the Bible does say and puts them through his filters of what it doesn't say to make his case. Then he calls it God-given reason and wonders why we give him a hard time.

The fact of the matter is that the Bible speaks often of purity, and except for the sex that takes place between a man and the woman to whom he is married, not of it is "pure". Every other manifestation is sexually impure. This is not something that requires any great study to divine. It's right there for everyone who is honest and truly looking to please God to see. It's not puritanism on my part. It's not being frigid. It's not being a product of any culture that is not formed by Biblical teaching. But YOU guys are definitely influenced by a very contemporary culture that seeks, either overtly or accidentally, to subvert Biblical teaching to fit worldly desires. To fit YOUR obsession with what YOU think human sexuality is or should be. What's worse is that you're willing to risk national security by foisting your agenda upon the military whether the military determines it's a negative or not.

Dan Trabue said...

I think this has gone about as far as we can reasonably take it (although I'm still glad to hear some responses from Jeremy), but I will address this one, as I think it gets to some of our differences...

We're not the ones defending all manner of sex in any form that might suit you.

I think that you misunderstand. I am not trying to defend any manner of sex. I'm trying to defend the Bible and reasonable interpretation.

You all claim with little or no support to be speaking for God, claiming all manner of stuff is found in the Bible that is not found in the Bible.

Marshall, you at least finally (!) admit that the Bible does not address masturbation, but only after being asked about it multiple times.

That's the main thing I'm saying.

The Bible does NOT address gay marriage, it does NOT address transgenderism, it does NOT address masturbation. It just does not.

Now, if you want to hold to a position, what would be most generous, most reasonable, would be to say, "While the Bible does not address X, it is my opinion that you can EXTRAPOLATE a position against (for) it because..."

Just being clear that you are speaking of YOUR opinion.

Instead, you all tend to say, "You CAN'T POSSIBLY reasonably hold that position" or otherwise suggest that yours is the one and only position that someone can reach and still be seeking God's will.

Obviously, that is not the case. Geoffrey, myself, my church, Marty, Alan and all manner of other Christians earnestly seeking God's will HAVE come to a different conclusion than you have, just as you have come to a different conclusion than we have, and that's just the way it is.

All I'm calling for is a bit of humility and a bunch of grace on matters where there is room for interpretation.

If someone wants to claim that it's good to hate your neighbor, or that killing the children of our enemies is a good and blessed thing, THEN in situations like that, it's reasonable to give pretty strong responses. But on matters like these that just aren't covered in the Bible, grace, humility.

That's all I'm saying.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

You said: "What do you mean I am equivocating on the marriage blessing position?

What makes you say that I can't be logically consistent in taking the position that God blesses marriage between two loving, committed adults?"

You are equivocating because the only Biblical support for the establishment and blessing of marriage is between a man and a woman. For you to then say, without any substantive Biblical support, that the establishment and blessing of marriage between a man and a woman can be extended to any two people who are in love, committed, faithful, etc. is assuming the two are equal. If you make two things equal that are not you are equivocating. (For example, if I were to say driving a car is legal, people drink alcohol when they drive, so drunk driving is legal; that would be equivocating because I am assuming without support that drunk driving is equal to non-impared driving.)

This assumed equivalence, or extension of what is established is what makes your position logically inconsistent. Your position is founded on the belief that the Bible is silent on gay marriage, and the assumption that marriage between a man and a woman is equivalent to marriage between any two people who are loving, comitted, faithful, etc.

I answered your question before, but i'll try again. For the reason that you should strive to be logically consistent, you should not support gay marriage because you have no Biblical basis for it. To be consistent, your position would have to be that you are neutral toward gay marriage. Neither condemning it, nor supporting it. If you take the positive step to support it, you would do so based on your own assumption (that marriage between a man and woman is equal to marriage between any two people who are loving, comitted, faithful, etc.). I hope that is clear.

You keep bringin up the issue of dumping toxic waste, and I really don't want to stray too far but I did want to at least address the example. In the time when the Bible was written there was no such thing as toxic waste, so speaking on toxic waste because God knew that someday his creation would generate toxic waste doesn't seem necessary. It is not required for the Bible to address any and all possible scenarios for all peoples in all times until the end of the world. For issues like toxic waste, we start with what is established (principles of man's dominion over creation and stewardship) and form a logically consistent basis for a position. You would still have to be logically consistent in your argument, so your position couldn't be "the Bible is silent on dumping toxic waste, and dumping toxic waste is the same as dumping water so it's OK to dump toxic waste anywhere I want". That would be equivocating and would be logically inconsistent. Gay marriage is completely different because marriage is specifically addressed by the Bible since it was a current practice when the Bible was written and has always been a strong moral concern, as seen from the coverage in the New Testament in particular and in all cultures since. That thinking would then apply to any other example you may have regarding logical consistency and how you form a Biblical position on contemporary topics that are not specifically addressed in the Bible. Hope that doesn't get us off topic and provides some clarity.

Dan Trabue said...

And so, because we are interested in seeking God's will and doing the right thing, we note that the one major time that Jesus has a chance to confront a "major sexual sin," that he uses it, instead, as a chance to chastise the religious folk for their hypocrisy.

Yes, he goes on to tell the woman to "go and sin no more," to quit sleeping with many men, but the major thrust of the story is that the religious were a bunch of hypocrites for focusing on that one sexual sin and ignoring more important matters of grace and justice (even though they were striving to live to the letter of the law by killing the "adulteress" as the OT commands).

Or, we might be reminded of that story of Onan, in which Onan refused to honor his obligation to provide Tamar with a child and, as a result, she turned to deceit and prostitution and you know what? ONAN is the one judged harshly in that story and the deceitful prostitute is the one lifted up as righteous! Why? Because she was seeking justice.

The religious right DOES tend to focus on sexual sins, they spend an inordinate amount of time preaching, condemning, judging these "sins," and way too often, they do so hypocritically and overlooking the "weightier matters of the law."

Just as Jesus confronted the religious in his day. There seems to be a misplaced priority on "sins of the flesh" and not enough interest in the "weightier matters of the law:" Justice, grace, mercy.

Does that mean that my "side" is defending sexual pecadilloes? Not at all. Just striving to keep a reasonable handle on such problems/issues, keeping such concerns in balance with what the Bible actually talks about.

In the meantime, I would just like to emphasize the need for grace in areas of disagreement.

"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."

"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.


Geoffrey and I et al are not against you and we're certainly not against our Lord. We simply have some disagreements on how best to seek God's will. Let's keep it in balance and strive to disagree with love and grace - much as Jeremy has done with me thus far. Isn't that our starting AND stopping place?

Dan Trabue said...

I'm out of time for now, Jeremy, but could you please address my questions to you, now?

Starting with: IF we ought to be silent on gay marriage since the Bible is silent, then do you hold a neutral position on it?

And there are many others I'd still like see addressed.

Thanks!

Mark said...

For the record, I, personally, am neutral on same sex marriage. I really don't care if these perverts want to pretend they are married. I believe they are not married in the eyes of God. Just because some laws here in the U.S. say they are, doesn't make it true.

I just wish they'd keep their mouths shut about it. I wish they'd just keep their perversions to themselves, and stop trying to convince normal people they their deviancy is natural and normal. I wish they'd stop flaunting their deviancy out in front of everyone. All they do by doing so is make normal people think they are sickos. And, of course, they are.

I wish they'd stop trying to force acceptance of their perversion on normal people.

I am a heterosexual, but, I don't feel it necessary to form associations and march in flamboyant parades and demand special rights for heterosexuals. I simply am a heterosexual, and I don't give a dang whether anybody knows I am or not.

They want to be homo, let them be homo. I don't care. But quit spreading that lie that they are born that way.

My God would never create something that is an abomination.

Mark said...

And, also, I wish they'd stop telling normal people that God blesses homosexuality.

God loves homosexuals.

Yes, He does.

But He doesn't love their sin, and He doesn't bless same sex unions, whether they claim to be married or not.

Perhaps He would bless homosexual marriage if the homosexuals involved in it never had sex. But, once they lie together as normal men would lie with a woman, all bets are off.

Jeremy D. Troxler said...

Dan T.,

As I have said before, I would be glad to lay out my position on gay marriage if you would kindly respond to my questions of you and the lengthy explanations i've given you. You commented on this blog with your position of gay marriage and I am questioning your position. As soon as you address my concerns to your position i'd be glad to present my position and respond to any questions you may have.

I'm not being evasive here, just trying to finish the one thread addressing your position (which I have kept to a single line of questioning) before moving to my position. I commit to giving your questions of me equal attention and doing the best I can to fully answer whatever you may present. But I do want to hear your responses to my questions of your view because they are (I feel) simple questions but absolutely critical to the foundation of your position.

Thanks.

Joe_Agnost said...

Some really reasonable back-and-forth here... it's interesting to see how theists of the same religion have such differing views and bible interpretations.

MA wrote: "a woman wearing pants is not a problem if the pants are made for a woman."

Wow. Do you not see how utterly ridiculous that sounds? What about uni-sex pants - is that OK? What is god's ruling on that one?

It really makes your religion look unreasonable when you make statements like that - what kind of a god would care if the pants were made specifically for a man or a woman? How could ~that~ be important?

bubba wrote: "God Incarnate taught that mere thoughts of lust are as evil as adulterous acts."

This is quite a scary comment. Whenever the topic strays into 'thought crimes' I get nervous...

MA wrote: "WE know that the Bible prohibits homosex in all its forms..."

and: "So there are plenty of reasons to KNOW that God would not bless a homo union..."

It's the certainty with which you make these statements that makes you dangerous. You claim to "KNOW" what god would or would not do... just reading the different interpretations of god's will that Christians can come to about the bible should tell you that none of you "KNOW". A little 'I think' would go a long way (if it replaced 'I KNOW').

Dan notices this too and wrote: "You all claim with little or no support to be speaking for God"

Yup. It's really scaring when people start "speaking for God".

Mark wrote: "I am a heterosexual, but, I don't feel it necessary to form associations and march in flamboyant parades and demand special rights for heterosexuals."

(aside: I don't like the pride parades any more than you)... but, there is a HUGE difference that Mark doesn't seem to understand.

1. Homos form associations and such because they are a HUGE minority!
2. They aren't fighting for "special rights", they're fighting for the same rights that hetros get.

Marty said...

Ok Mark, you think homosexuality is a sin but if they abstain from having sex, then it's ok.

Sin is sin. Right?

And there are different types of sexual sin. Adultery being one.

So if you are heterosexual, divorced, and remarried...should you abstain from having sex with your spouse? I mean, after all, you are continuing to commit adultery by doing so. Right?

Mark said...

"Ok Mark, you think homosexuality is a sin but if they abstain from having sex, then it's ok."

I didn't say that. I said, Perhaps God blesses same sex marriage if they never have sex.

Emphasis on the word, "Perhaps", cause I am not at all sure that He would anyway.

Since God has said (quite clearly) homosexual sex is a sin, a marriage may not be a sin in itself, but only when the marriage is consummated by the act of sex between the participants.

But, once consummated, marriage is only a sin if it is a marriage between any two (or more) people besides one male and one female.

If two people of the same sex get "married" but don't have sex, they have not committed the sin of homosexual acts. Of course, they are not married in the conventional sense of the word.

And neither are homosexuals married in the conventional sense. As Neil says, "same sex marriage is an Oxymoronic term".

Mark said...

"So if you are heterosexual, divorced, and remarried...should you abstain from having sex with your spouse? I mean, after all, you are continuing to commit adultery by doing so. Right?"

Right.

According to the Bible. And, I am guilty of this.

The difference between unrepentant homosexuals and me is that I acknowledge I have committed sin, and subsequently repent. They insist they are not committing a sin by ignoring God's explicit prohibition against homosexual sex.

Joe_Agnost said...

In describing his life as a newly married divorced man Mark wrote: "According to the Bible. And, I am guilty of this."

So you admit you are guilty of living each and every day in sin. Your very existance, as a divorced remarried guy, is a sin.

How do you live your life that way??

Mark cont'd: "I acknowledge I have committed sin, and subsequently repent."

Not quite. You haven't "committed sin", your whole life is sin (according to you). How much is your subsequent "repent" worth when you continue to live that way?

Marty said...

"I acknowledge I have committed sin, and subsequently repent."

Well what if the gay couple acknowledges the "sin" and "repent"? Is it ok then?

However, didn't Jesus tell the woman caught in adultery her sins were forgiven...BUT...to "go and sin no more"?

Seems to me you are putting restrictions on gay people that you don't put on yourself.

Marty said...

"As Neil says, "same sex marriage is an Oxymoronic term"."

Why should I care what Neil says? He doesn't speak for God any more than you do.

About the only thing I agree with you guys on is abortion. But even then I'm not near as rabid about it, nor do I condemn to hell those who peform one or have one.

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