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View Full Version : Same sex marriage - elephant in the room for Christians (and maybe others)



TomF
12-07-2015, 01:02 PM
Conventional understandings of "Christian Marriage" hinge on monogamy, and the intention of a lifelong commitment to the spouse. Different religious groups parse the theology differently to describe why, but they agree at least on those behaviours.

Folks with even a passing acquaintance with LGBT activists are aware that the "Gay Lifestyle" is diametrically opposed to this. Randy Schiltz wrote back in the 1980s that as a young Gay man moving to New York, it was very clear that one's sexual identity in Gay culture was only partly about your attraction. It was also defined by having multiple partners; part of "being gay" was having a whole lot of sex, with a whole lot of people, even if you were in a relationship with one person in particular.

It hasn't changed much. A young gay friend here in Fredericton casually mentioned that he'd had 21 partners in the between January-April last Winter at university, here in my little town. A lesbian family member says that in her experience - living for 40 years in Montreal and Ottawa - what's true among gay men is an amplified version of what's true for lesbian women. LGBT culture continues to be defined by what would be promiscuous behaviour, whatever one's orientation. With the difference being that in LGBT activist culture, monogamy and lifelong commitment is explicitly rejected as "oppressive" and "hetero-normative." It's absolutely what they don't want.

That's the elephant in the room for traditionally minded Christians. "Christian marriage" won't be debased because same-sex couples marry and become "chaste" - but because they'll "marry" with no intention of doing so - and force the institution to accommodate that normative bit of LGBT culture. At which point, the key and defining behavioural element of marriage (the monogamous commitment) won't remain for anyone, whatever their orientation.

I think it's the elephant in the room for agnostics/atheists etc. too, whose notion of marriage hinges on monogamy. I've no objection to folks developing a different type of relationship, and calling it something different. Or to same-sex folks embarking on the kind of relationship which has been so positive and transforming in my life. I feel exactly the same way respecting folks of heterosexual orientation.

Peerie Maa
12-07-2015, 01:20 PM
I think that the idea of marriage is for life lost traction when we began living past middle age. When the conventions for marriage evolved in the Christian tradition we were lucky to live to see our children married. Now that we are living two "lifetimes" the imperative for a stable relationship is weakened.
As to your argument about gay promiscuity, ir smells of sweeping generalisation. With male gay behaviour becoming legal so recently, it may be that the behaviour and mores of that group will start to change. As for gay women, I think that there always have been examples of two spinsters living in stable monogamous relationships ever since women could own their own property.

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 01:26 PM
And what comes a long next, BIGAMY!:)

Norman Bernstein
12-07-2015, 01:29 PM
That's the elephant in the room for traditionally minded Christians.

'Traditionally minded Christians' can have whatever attitude and perspective they want.... it's no skin off my back.

To me, there are three kinds of 'marriage':

1) The kind which represents a mutual commitment between two people, irrespective of whether the mutual commitment is sanctioned by a religious affiliation or not.
2) The kind which is sanctioned by governmental license, which is necessary to resolve disputes arising from children and money. This can include #1 above... but it doesn't have to.
3) Any other arrangement in which people wish to associate themselves with one or more other persons, for permanent or temporary alignment.

Yeah, that last one will be offensive to many. I don't endorse plural marriage or polygamy, but only for practical reasons: there's no legal framework to resolve issues arising from such arrangements, and the possibility of fraud and/or abuse warrants legal restriction.

However, there are probably hundreds of thousands of highly unconventional multi-party relationships which never rise to the public surface, and which may be satisfactory to the participants. Like the Pope says, who am I to judge?

Keith Wilson
12-07-2015, 01:35 PM
Actually Tom, that isn't 'normative for GLBT culture', it's what's been common among gay men. There are excellent evolutionary reasons that males are wired to want a lot of sexual partners, whether they end up behaving that way or not. Lesbians in general tend to be a bit more monogamous than heterosexual couples, whatever 'activists' may do.

Joe (SoCal)
12-07-2015, 01:37 PM
Renee & I were married by an openly gay priest, who himself was married to his partner.
We were married in a beautiful gothic Anglican Church.
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/Wedding/L1007804_zps3fa59c36.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/user/fosterhere/media/Wedding/L1007804_zps3fa59c36.jpg.html)

TomF
12-07-2015, 01:43 PM
I have no trouble with 1, 2, or 3 as distinct, and for some fulfilling ways of living their lives. But they're not all the same thing, and are in fact intended to achieve somewhat different objectives.

One can say the same about different models of government, eh? Were the Queen to re-assert authority over America, allowing you to continue to call yourselves a "Constitutional Republic" so long as in practice the President was a Governor General representing the Crown .. well, you might raise an eyebrow. Nothing wrong with a Constitutional Monarchy, but it isn't a Constitutional Republic.

Norman Bernstein
12-07-2015, 01:46 PM
I have no trouble with 1, 2, or 3 as distinct, and for some fulfilling ways of living their lives. But they're not all the same thing, and are in fact intended to achieve somewhat different objectives.

Undoubtedly, Tom.

The problem lies in trying to jam-fit narrowly defined concepts onto situations that they just don't fit. Civil sanctioned marriages between gays just about fits... religious marriages for gays, with some exceptions, certainly don't.

TomF
12-07-2015, 01:46 PM
Actually Tom, that isn't 'normative for GLBT culture', it's what's been common among gay men. There are excellent evolutionary reasons that males are wired to want a lot of sexual partners, whether they end up behaving that way or not. Lesbians in general tend to be a bit more monogamous than heterosexual couples, whatever 'activists' may do.I've a family member who's lived in the lesbian community 'round Ottawa and Montreal for about 40 years.

It's very true that gay men are far more apt to have many partners - a young man I know managed to rack up 21 partners just in my little town in the second half of the Winter academic term a year ago. But it's also true that over that 40 years of my family member's involvement in the lesbian community .. she's been in probably 8-9 "marriages," and has slept quite literally with almost everybody she knows, within a certain age group. She's a bit extreme, but I suppose so are the folks she's been sleeping with, eh?

TomF
12-07-2015, 01:50 PM
Renee & I were married by an openly gay priest, who himself was married to his partner.
We were married in a beautiful gothic Anglican Church.
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m320/fosterhere/Wedding/L1007804_zps3fa59c36.jpg (http://s107.photobucket.com/user/fosterhere/media/Wedding/L1007804_zps3fa59c36.jpg.html)No trouble with that. I was in seminary with some openly gay men who went on to marry their partners, and live "conventional" lives according to the Anglican marriage canon. I can probably think of a dozen such folks I knew across the years who chose that, just within Church leadership positions.

Joe (SoCal)
12-07-2015, 01:51 PM
Ok I'm obviously a VERY heterosexual man and I have probably had well over 100 sexual partners. I haven't got the time or inclination to count them. What elephant in the room does that make me.


Fwiw I started young ;)

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 02:14 PM
Oversexed!:)

TomF
12-07-2015, 02:21 PM
Ok I'm obviously a VERY heterosexual man and I have probably had well over 100 sexual partners. I haven't got the time or inclination to count them. What elephant in the room does that make me.


Fwiw I started young ;)Not mine to define, Joe. But if you and Renee are expressly choosing to live according to the Marriage Canon (however it's written in the Episcopal church), together, you've chosen something different now. And if you haven't chosen something different, then you've chosen not to live according to the Marriage Canon. That's fine too.

I don't think marriage is for everyone - certainly I don't think that "Christian Marriage" is for everyone, straight or LGBT. But I think it can be for anyone, straight or LGBT.

Rum_Pirate
12-07-2015, 02:25 PM
Conventional understandings of "Christian Marriage" hinge on monogamy, and the intention of a lifelong commitment to the spouse. Different religious groups parse the theology differently to describe why, but they agree at least on those behaviours.

Folks with even a passing acquaintance with LGBT activists are aware that the "Gay Lifestyle" is diametrically opposed to this. Randy Schiltz wrote back in the 1980s that as a young Gay man moving to New York, it was very clear that one's sexual identity in Gay culture was only partly about your attraction. It was also defined by having multiple partners; part of "being gay" was having a whole lot of sex, with a whole lot of people, even if you were in a relationship with one person in particular.

It hasn't changed much. A young gay friend here in Fredericton casually mentioned that he'd had 21 partners in the between January-April last Winter at university, here in my little town. A lesbian family member says that in her experience - living for 40 years in Montreal and Ottawa - what's true among gay men is an amplified version of what's true for lesbian women. LGBT culture continues to be defined by what would be promiscuous behaviour, whatever one's orientation. With the difference being that in LGBT activist culture, monogamy and lifelong commitment is explicitly rejected as "oppressive" and "hetero-normative." It's absolutely what they don't want.

That's the elephant in the room for traditionally minded Christians. "Christian marriage" won't be debased because same-sex couples marry and become "chaste" - but because they'll "marry" with no intention of doing so - and force the institution to accommodate that normative bit of LGBT culture. At which point, the key and defining behavioural element of marriage (the monogamous commitment) won't remain for anyone, whatever their orientation.

I think it's the elephant in the room for agnostics/atheists etc. too, whose notion of marriage hinges on monogamy. I've no objection to folks developing a different type of relationship, and calling it something different. Or to same-sex folks embarking on the kind of relationship which has been so positive and transforming in my life. I feel exactly the same way respecting folks of heterosexual orientation.


Are they now to be mown as "hetero-normativephobics." ? :rolleyes:

Joe (SoCal)
12-07-2015, 02:27 PM
I have chosen something different and since I have enough experience behind me to know Renee is 100 time better than the last 100 ;)

Joe (SoCal)
12-07-2015, 02:27 PM
Oversexed!:)

Never knew there was such a thing as Over ;)

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 02:28 PM
I have no interest in living my "brothers" Life and I'm not sure why others feel they must.

skuthorp
12-07-2015, 02:44 PM
I have no interest in living my "brothers" Life and I'm not sure why others feel they must.
Control SV, just control.
But lawyers should celebrate, there'll be plenty of work for them in property settlement. The lawyers always win.

Nicholas Scheuer
12-07-2015, 02:47 PM
Let's drink to Bigamy, eh?

Rum_Pirate
12-07-2015, 02:47 PM
So what is the point in getting 'married' if you are going to act like you are single?

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 02:50 PM
So what is the point in getting 'married' if you are going to act like you are single?Taxes, illnesses that by not being married, have no say in treatment of their partners, health insurance, medicare benefit.. Is that enough?RM, look at the benefits you have share with your own wife.

BrianY
12-07-2015, 02:52 PM
Why should homosexuals be treated differently in this regard? If the fear is that gays will screw up marriage because they'll get married with no intention to be monogamous, why doesn't that same fear apply to heterosexuals? Heterosexual men, particularly those men in their late teens to late 20's are not known to be monogamous. Does it really matter if a person has slept with 10 or 100 partners in his/her life? Isn't what is important is what one does after one marries and commits to one person?

In any case, what one does within one's marriage is a matter for exactly two people - you and your spouse (as long as it's legal, of course). Regardless of their sexual orientation or religious views, if both spouses are OK with an "open marriage" situation why should anyone else be concerned about it? The thing that really bothers me about the whole gay marriage debate is that some people (the folks that are opposed to it) appear to feel that they have some personal stake in other peoples' marriages. That somehow what other married couples do affects their own marriages. I have never read or heard any explanation of how that can be - how my marriage affects yours.

The only "elephant in the room" as far as I can see is this rather disturbing interest in the private affairs of others of others and the unwarranted view that it is anyone's business how two people choose to conduct a relationship.

TomF
12-07-2015, 02:55 PM
I have chosen something different and since I have enough experience behind me to know Renee is 100 time better than the last 100 ;)The centuries-old Christian approach to sexuality has 2 bits to it; they're often confused:

chastity inside marriage;
celibacy outside marriage.


Lots of different spins to the theology - and it's never exactly been followed to the letter by 100% of the population in any age. ;) These days, the 2nd bullet is not so much society's practice anymore (Hey Joe - you too?), but strictly speaking it's not about marriage.

Rum_Pirate
12-07-2015, 03:00 PM
Taxes, illnesses that by not being married, have no say in treatment of their partners, health insurance, medicare benefit.. Is that enough?RM, look at the benefits you have share with your own wife.


Income tax is zero rated here so no benefit.
Illnesses, since my wife and I adhere to chastity inside marriage we won't get STD's that one would get by being promiscuous.
We each have our own Health Insurance policy.
Etc etc.

RonW
12-07-2015, 03:01 PM
I don't think same sex couple should be allowed to own guns.......in fact we should start a list and track these people.

Too Little Time
12-07-2015, 03:03 PM
The only "elephant in the room" as far as I can see is this rather disturbing interest in the private affairs of others of others and the unwarranted view that it is anyone's business how two people choose to conduct a relationship.

Well said.

David G
12-07-2015, 03:06 PM
I believe that 'alternative' sort of arrangement you mention, as perhaps being appropriate to call 'something else'... already exists. And it's called marriage. Open marriage.

I think perhaps you are putting too much weight on the 'traditional' definition of marriage - despite the fact that, even in the bible there was variation. And I agree that you are painting with the wrong brush(es)... the one with white paint and the one with black. My experience with knowing a range of homosexuals is that there is also a wide variation.... though there IS enough of a kernel of truth in your generalization to understand where it sprung from.

A couple of single datum. My own tally of partners - undertaken as the result of some idle marital chatter - stopped at 140 something. My sweeties... barely needed a second paw to tally. Though... I also started early, and she IS 6 years younger than I. My count got above 120 quickly, then random memories brought it above 140. Then I stopped tallying each further memory. I'd have to say that was unusual, historically, however. Having lived during the Sexual Revolution of the 60's & 70's, in the hippie town of Eugene, there was a lot of love being shared in general. From my kids experiences.... I'd think that has changed dramatically.

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 03:06 PM
So, forget cancer or any other illness. Good!
So, taxes are "0" for you, good. How do you check the box asking marriage status, single, married on your tax form? Did you check single or married? Married couples have more tax benefits. Usually, single coverage is greater if there are having two policies. Oh, I got it, your wife's health insurance is paid in part.

PS, you are also saying ONLY gay people get STD's, RIGHT. Have you looked at the major reason for divorce? Extra marital relationships.Whatever blinders you are wearing, I must say, they are very effective.

Phil Y
12-07-2015, 03:14 PM
The gay couples I know who have decided to get married have also decided to be monogamous. A bit like not all Muslims are terrorists, so not all gay people are sluts.

James McMullen
12-07-2015, 03:25 PM
If lifelong monogamy is your choice, then that's your business. But it's not your right to force that on others who do not feel the need to conform to this. That is not your business.

Personally, I think you'd be making a big mistake to make a lifetime commitment to someone before finding out if you are sexually compatible. I also think you'll do a much better job of figuring out your own compatibilities with plenty of practice and a statistically useful sample size. Only then can you really make an informed and conscious choice.

But hey, you do what you want to, follow my advice or not. It's not my business, either.

CWSmith
12-07-2015, 03:27 PM
Conventional understandings of "Christian Marriage" hinge on monogamy, . . .

Folks with even a passing acquaintance with LGBT activists are aware that the "Gay Lifestyle" is diametrically opposed to this. . .

The thing is, if you don't allow people to marry it is difficult to fault them for a lifestyle that lacks dedication to one person.

The question is whether the lifestyle is more likely to change now that marriage is an option.

Plus, of all the lifestyle choices that I tend to disagree with, this harms me the least. I would not recommend it for others, as if there really were a choice, but if they take precautions I really don't care what they do. They just need to take care of themselves and others in a responsible way.

Dumah
12-07-2015, 03:29 PM
I don't think same sex couple should be allowed to own guns.......in fact we should start a list and track these people.

WOW, I truely you need some serious theripy (sic) . What business do you have "in the bedrooms of the nation".

Dumah

George Jung
12-07-2015, 03:30 PM
What I've read in the literature (FWIW) suggests gay men tend towards promiscuous/multiple partners, much moreso than lesbians - but have to admit I've not been so interested as to pursue recent info/trends.

I've never understood that behavior, even when I was young; interesting how folk can be so different. Different strokes. Literally.

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 03:31 PM
Suggests?

LeeG
12-07-2015, 03:45 PM
No elephant

Kevin T
12-07-2015, 03:58 PM
Gay, Straight, Bi, whatever one's orientation the results of marriage are the same for every group and that is that marriage is a three ring circus.

1st comes the engagement "ring",

followed by

the wedding "ring" and ultimately concluding with the . . .




Suffer "ring" ;)

John Smith
12-07-2015, 04:01 PM
The centuries-old Christian approach to sexuality has 2 bits to it; they're often confused:

chastity inside marriage;
celibacy outside marriage.


Lots of different spins to the theology - and it's never exactly been followed to the letter by 100% of the population in any age. ;) These days, the 2nd bullet is not so much society's practice anymore (Hey Joe - you too?), but strictly speaking it's not about marriage.

Do you know of any church that's refused to perform a heterosexual marriage when the couple has already had a child?

JimD
12-07-2015, 04:05 PM
Gay, Straight, Bi, whatever one's orientation the results of marriage are the same for every group and that is that marriage is a three ring circus.

1st comes the engagement "ring",

followed by

the wedding "ring" and ultimately concluding with the . . .




Suffer "ring" ;)

Well, you know what Buddha said: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. And then of course there's always 'That which does not kill me...' Although I don't think that was Buddha :p

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 04:07 PM
I don't know but, Kim Davis or her mother gave her a marriage licence and she has at least one child. What is the reason for having a church service really? Yes, the obvious but, there is something like a Town Hall. The lic often is more important the ceremony.

TomF
12-07-2015, 04:08 PM
Why should homosexuals be treated differently in this regard? If the fear is that gays will screw up marriage because they'll get married with no intention to be monogamous, why doesn't that same fear apply to heterosexuals? ...It does. I think that the fear traditional Christians haven't known how to put into words, or haven't been willing to be not-PC-enough to name ... is exactly that. "Christian Marriage" the way it's defined in the Canon isn't about man/woman, it's about a discipline of commitment; a "rule of life." It's supposed to feel at times like asceticism, because it is.

That's worse than laughable to a growing part of society; a vast literature utterly rejects their validity. Defines them as anti-life, anti-individual. Structurally oppressive. It's a theme which first got real traction in "Queer" culture but migrated to the LGBT community and various gendered approaches to social theory. Where it developed huge traction among folks of whatever sexual orientation. To the point that the term to describe chosen promiscuity nowadays being "sex-positive," explicitly re-defining traditional chastity/commitment as fundamentally sex-negative.

So no, "Marriage" as an institution (even Christian Marriage") isn't threatened by a remarkably small LGBT proportion of the population which lives a different way. And it isn't threatened either by the sliver of LGBT folks who do want chastity/commitment, adapted to their plumbing and gender tastes. It's threatened when its intended virtues and products are re-defined as oppression. Why would any right-thinking person choose that? Especially when all that self-expression feels so goooooodd?

We know from everywhere else in our lives, that some things only emerge from choosing a discipline. A concert pianist, a superb engineer, a 4th Dan martial artist ... chose to go deep into a discipline, rather than broad. The concert pianist can't play all the orchestral instruments with the same skill; there's something different that can come from self-limitation and focus, which can't come from the opposite.

What's at risk if Christian Marriage is re-defined away from its core and ascetic commitment, even if it retains its "Christian" nomenclature, is the notion that the qualities which can only emerge from monogamy and lifelong commitment are even valuable. As opposed to pathological.

TomF
12-07-2015, 04:17 PM
And let me say it again.

People can, IMO, get into whatever type of relationships they want. Marriage isn't for everyone, let alone traditionally defined Christian Marriage, with that chastity/commitment thing. My sister-in-law? The young gay man I mentioned (who btw lived in my home rent-free for 2 years)? They're great people. They're family. They're welcome to bring their partners to my dinner table any time.

IMO, folks of other orientations are welcome to try their hand at the existing institution of Christian Marriage too, defined by chastity/commitment. I'm in one, and it's been wonderful for me.

What they're not welcome to do, IMO, is define away as "oppressive" the qualities produced through a discipline of life. And re-define the institution which is designed to help produce them, so that it won't really exist in a clear form for anyone else in the future.

Ian McColgin
12-07-2015, 04:18 PM
Most of my gay friends are like most of my hetero friends who passed through a period of enthusiastic promiscuity before settling into a long term and (at least mostly) monogomous relationship that at least lasts longer than the all too common serial marriage form of monogomy that seems only good for seven years or less.

I don't see gay people as introducing to marriage any more screwing around than has been common since the classical era.

Kevin T
12-07-2015, 04:21 PM
Well, you know what Buddha said: Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. And then of course there's always 'That which does not kill me...' Although I don't think that was Buddha :p

All great jokes with respect to marriage ( I'm a relative newbie with 21 years) but some of my favorites.

Congratulations on your 25th wedding anniversary!

You likely would have been out of prison 5 years already, had you just offed him following the vows.

And the classic, Marriage is an institution, but who wants to be institutionalized?

BrianY
12-07-2015, 04:23 PM
What they're not welcome to do, IMO, is define away as "oppressive" the qualities produced through a discipline of life. And re-define the institution which is designed to help produce them, so that it won't really exist in a clear form for anyone else in the future.

The only people that can redefine "Christian Marriage" are Christians working within Christian institutions. Others may make all the snide remarks and criticisms they want about it, but it's not really up to them, is it? If over time gay Christians are able to convince enough of their fellow Christians that the definition should change, then it will change, not because gay people insisted on the change, but because Christians did.

S.V. Airlie
12-07-2015, 04:24 PM
According to a recent survey of 191 CDFA professionals from across North America, the three leading causes of divorce are "basic incompatibility" (43%), "infidelity" (28%), and "money issues" (22%). "Emotional and/or physical abuse" lagged far behind (5.8%), and "parenting issues/arguments" and "addiction and/or alcoholism issues" received only .5% each.

Of course, there probably multiple reasons as often one issue is incorporated into some of the other reasons

TomF
12-07-2015, 04:30 PM
Most of my gay friends are like most of my hetero friends who passed through a period of enthusiastic promiscuity before settling into a long term and (at least mostly) monogomous relationship that at least lasts longer than the all too common serial marriage form of monogomy that seems only good for seven years or less.

I don't see gay people as introducing to marriage any more screwing around than has been common since the classical era.And they're welcome to their own flavours of relationship; more power to them, whatever their orientation. And if for whatever reason they're interested in trying on chastity/commitment, they're welcome to see whether the Anglican communion's description of the Marriage Canon fits their spirituality and ambitions. It might.

Conversely, if after looking they figure their preference lies elsewhere, they get to make a choice. That choice doesn't include agitating to amend the Canon to make it say that chastity/commitment is optional in Christian Marriage. It may include finding another word to describe a different kind of relationship which Christians want to be in, instead.

Peerie Maa
12-07-2015, 04:33 PM
Conversely, if after looking they figure their preference lies elsewhere, they get to make a choice. That choice doesn't include agitating to amend the Canon to make it say that chastity/commitment is optional in Christian Marriage. It may include finding another word to describe a different kind of relationship which Christians want to be in, instead.

That is the third post where you have alluded to Gays demanding changes. How wide an issue is that?

Tom Montgomery
12-07-2015, 04:45 PM
My experience, rubbing shoulders with younger people throughout my working life, is that heterosexual youngsters also tend to be promiscuous. We can disagree about the difference of the degree of promiscuity between homosexual and heterosexual. But the difference is only in degree, in my observation.

I don't see homosexuals being generally interested in the religious concept of marriage at all. They are interested in sharing the same rights as heterosexuals in civil marriage.

An elderly homosexual couple live in my building. Both are in their 80's. The fact of the matter is that if one were incapacitated the other COULD be denied any decision-making regarding the other's care should a spiteful relative interfere.

TomF
12-07-2015, 04:49 PM
That is the third post where you have alluded to Gays demanding changes. How wide an issue is that?

Recently, the Anglican Church of Canada released a report (http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/marriage-canon-report-gets-mixed-reviews-from-theologians)looking at the theological issues associated with same-sex marriage, and possible revisions to the Marriage Canon here. I think that the report was well and responsibly done, and raises exactly the kinds of issues which the Church ought to consider at Synod when thinking about amendments to bless same-sex marriages. They include a draft resolution to be taken to Synod to make this possible.

I completely support the perspective they bring, and hope that the resolution they've drafted is adopted. The mandate given to the committee, and the issues explored in the report are, quite simply, to do with extending the Marriage Canon's wording only slightly, to officially enable same-sex people to get married under the same model. I could hardly support that more.

That said, the United Church had a similar discussion back in the 80s, when I was a theological student. They dealt with the same issues, but to be frank, a few gay men I knew who were among the strongest proponents ... were really not interested in living by the model. And didn't before, nor after - even while holding positions of authority in the Church, and even after marrying their partners.

The OP was an attempt to describe the "elephant in the room," the angst which some Church folks feel and fear, but cannot name in a PC environment. That like the United Church folks I mentioned above, there's suspicion that some really don't want access to the Marriage Canon, they want the Marriage Canon adapted to incorporate not a different sexual orientation, but a different sexual lifestyle. The fact that the report did not even acknowledge this tension, IMO will lead to unclear and more hurtful discussion than is necessary.

I don't know how the issue emerged in the Anglican communion here, nor do I know the people who may be advocates one way or another. I am, if anything, far more connected into the secular LGBT community than 30 years ago, and far more aware of how in at least the slices of it I know, the issues of "hetero-normative" and "oppressive" structures are both theorized ... and taught in Gender Studies classes.

There's a genuine issue of LGBT people wanting access not only to civil institutions (which in Canada they have), but religious ones. I understand why, and recognize that exclusion involves pain. By the same token, access to an existing institution doesn't imply that the fundamental nature of the institution will or should change to accommodate. We have a gender-balanced federal Cabinet now, for the first time - and the most ethnically diverse one Canada's ever seen. Neither should change the way Parliament functions, the role of the Speaker, etc.

Peerie Maa
12-07-2015, 05:01 PM
Recently, the Anglican Church of Canada released a report (http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/marriage-canon-report-gets-mixed-reviews-from-theologians)looking at the theological issues associated with same-sex marriage, and possible revisions to the Marriage Canon here. I think that the report was well and responsibly done, and raises exactly the kinds of issues which the Church ought to consider at Synod when thinking about amendments to bless same-sex marriages. They include a draft resolution to be taken to Synod to make this possible.

I completely support the perspective they bring, and hope that the resolution they've drafted is adopted. The mandate given to the committee, and the issues explored in the report are, quite simply, to do with extending the Marriage Canon's wording only slightly, to officially enable same-sex people to get married under the same model. I could hardly support that more.

That said, the United Church had a similar discussion back in the 80s, when I was a theological student. They dealt with the same issues, but to be frank, a few gay men I knew who were among the strongest proponents ... were really not interested in living by the model. And didn't before, nor after - even while holding positions of authority in the Church, and even after marrying their partners.

I don't know how the issue emerged in the Anglican communion here, nor do I know the people who may be advocates one way or another. I am, if anything, far more connected into the secular LGBT community than 30 years ago, and far more aware of how in at least the slices of it I know, the issues of "hetero-normative" and "oppressive" structures are both theorized ... and taught in Gender Studies classes.

There's a genuine issue of LGBT people wanting access not only to civil institutions (which in Canada they have), but religious ones. I understand why, and recognize that exclusion involves pain. By the same token, access to an existing institution doesn't imply that the fundamental nature of the institution will or should change to accommodate. We have a gender-balanced federal Cabinet now, for the first time - and the most ethnically diverse one Canada's ever seen. Neither should change the way Parliament functions, the role of the Speaker, etc.

OK, thanks. I was puzzled as there has not been a wiff of anything similar in our media. It may be that the Church had to get their heads around the issues as the legislation went through the Lords. The Bishops produced this paper (https://www.churchofengland.org/media/1772772/marriage%20same%20sex%20couples%20bill%20lords%202 nd%20reading%20cofe%20briefing.pdf) during the process.

gilberj
12-07-2015, 05:16 PM
So I am wondering why we are talking about Christian Marriages, What about the Muslims, Hindu's, Sikh etc.

The Church presides over a lot of Marriage ceremonies, but the "Marriage" is a function of the State. The State grants the Minister/Priest the license to conduct Marriages. The Marriage is nothing more than a legal contract. Many people choose to Marry outside the Church using a JP or licensed Marriage Commissioner ( or whatever title they hold close to you). Certainly Christian Churches are pretty concerned with peoples sexual activities, but I suppose if you play in some ones pool you need to be mindful of the pool rules.

Sexual promiscuity???? I am not sure it qualifies as a moral issue to me unless a person is acting contrary to agreed behavior. The default position in marriage (as we have known it) is monogamy, so unless you have agreed to a different standard with your spouse, you are betraying the trust if you do play around.

Of course a great many folk never bother to do the marriage thing, but live in long term monogamous relationships, often with children. In BC in a Common Law relationship between two peopleof 2 years or more the participants have exactly the same rights and responsibilities as Married folk

I have friends who are Polyamorous, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual. Most (Not all) are more promiscuous( arguably getting layed more often in most cases to ) than my married friends. I am very hesitant to say they are less moral simply because they are less discriminating with the sexual partner choices. I might easily be less impressed if I was aware of anyone "betraying the trust" sexually or otherwise with regards to their significant other.

I am inclined to think our attitudes with regards to sex need to be updated; well they are of course but I think we have a long way to go.

I once knew an ex Priest who after a few drinks once 'pined with regard to the Roman Catholic Church and sex " you no playa the game you no mak'a the rules"

CWSmith
12-07-2015, 05:25 PM
My experience, rubbing shoulders with younger people throughout my working life, is that heterosexual youngsters also tend to be promiscuous. We can disagree about the difference of the degree of promiscuity between homosexual and heterosexual. But the difference is only in degree, in my observation.

My father once told me that if women wanted sex as much as men the world would be so overpopulated as to be impossible to live. I rather suspect that gay men, having removed women from the equation, are victims of their own male nature.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-07-2015, 05:28 PM
Nice thread.

Within living memory,K and I would have been guilty of miscegenation.

Now we can go shopping in a small English town, and discuss our marriage with the Rector of its 14th century church, and nobody bats an eyelid.

http://i535.photobucket.com/albums/ee352/acraigbennett/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/501234B8-FA0D-414B-9D02-4DBAA5220453_zpsxjkz5pyt.jpg (http://s535.photobucket.com/user/acraigbennett/media/Mobile%20Uploads/2015-09/501234B8-FA0D-414B-9D02-4DBAA5220453_zpsxjkz5pyt.jpg.html)

marshcat
12-07-2015, 06:06 PM
Tom -


I read your posts thoroughly, as you present thoughtful views on topics that interest me. However, this thread from you surprises me. Several people (#2, #27, #29, #42, now me) have commented that your initial generalization about gay culture is incorrect. While the label 'Gay Lifestyle' may include the behavior you suggested, you are simply mistaken that most gay people subscribe to the stereotypical 'Gay Lifestyle' for their entire life, or in many cases at all. You mention a few folks you know that fulfill the stereotype. I know several that don't, so we should probably eliminate anecdotal evidence when considering the accuracy of the stereotype.


If your argument is that gay folks should not be married in your church becasue marriage should be between a man and a woman, fine. I don't agree with that, but understand the theological source of the argument. If your argument is (as it appears to me) that gay folks should not be married in your church because they will eschew monogamy associated with christian marriage vows, you can relax, because they won't (or at least no higher rate than heteros).


It feels a bit like you are uncomfortable with gay marriage being recognized by your church, and are casting about for reasons to reject it. Again, this is different behavior than I have seen from you in the past.


Thanks.

James McMullen
12-07-2015, 07:00 PM
For goodness sakes, people, do NOT google "elephant in the bedroom" without first enabling SafeSearch! Yikes!

peb
12-07-2015, 07:06 PM
...In any case, what one does within one's marriage is a matter for exactly two people - you and your spouse (as long as it's legal, of course).
...



The fact that someone can write the above sentence and it gets no response at all tells you how far our society has gone off the rails.

Peerie Maa
12-07-2015, 07:10 PM
The fact that someone can write the above sentence and it gets no response at all tells you how far our society has gone off the rails.

Nope, it indicates a healthy dose of common sense.

gilberj
12-07-2015, 07:15 PM
The fact that someone can write the above sentence and it gets no response at all tells you how far our society has gone off the rails.

Exactly how does this indicate that society is off the rails. I can pretty safely say that it is absolutely none of your business what goes on in BrianY's bedroom unless of course you are married to him.
This is part of the problem, with churches and people thinking they have to control other folks mating habits. As long as no one is being hurt, or forced to participate, or one of the participants in unable to give informed concent....it is no-ones business but those who are participating.

James McMullen
12-07-2015, 07:39 PM
Am I to take that peb thinks it actually is his business what other people do inside their marriages?

That is incredibly disturbing, if it is true. Such intrusive arrogance. I hope it's just the fading influence of his failing religion that is talking, and not the man himself.

George Jung
12-07-2015, 07:42 PM
Tom -


I read your posts thoroughly, as you present thoughtful views on topics that interest me. However, this thread from you surprises me. Several people (#2, #27, #29, #42, now me) have commented that your initial generalization about gay culture is incorrect. While the label 'Gay Lifestyle' may include the behavior you suggested, you are simply mistaken that most gay people subscribe to the stereotypical 'Gay Lifestyle' for their entire life, or in many cases at all. You mention a few folks you know that fulfill the stereotype. I know several that don't, so we should probably eliminate anecdotal evidence when considering the accuracy of the stereotype.


If your argument is that gay folks should not be married in your church becasue marriage should be between a man and a woman, fine. I don't agree with that, but understand the theological source of the argument. If your argument is (as it appears to me) that gay folks should not be married in your church because they will eschew monogamy associated with christian marriage vows, you can relax, because they won't (or at least no higher rate than heteros).


It feels a bit like you are uncomfortable with gay marriage being recognized by your church, and are casting about for reasons to reject it. Again, this is different behavior than I have seen from you in the past.


Thanks.

Of course, TomF will/should respond himself - but your synopsis isn't how I read what is really a thoughtful, well-considered assessment. I don't see Tom refuting gay marriage within a church (subject to each denominations determination), so much as the idea that the tenets of each religion should be followed, rather than 'changed to accomodate', those currently not involved in those religions/ marriage. Want to participate? Follow 'the rules', same as everyone else.

Tom Montgomery
12-07-2015, 07:49 PM
...In any case, what one does within one's marriage is a matter for exactly two people - you and your spouse (as long as it's legal, of course).
...
The fact that someone can write the above sentence and it gets no response at all tells you how far our society has gone off the rails.
Your post indicates just how far your concept of American society over the past century departs from reality.
.

CWSmith
12-07-2015, 07:53 PM
. . . and has slept quite literally with almost everybody she knows,. . .

I am reminded of a graduate of a certain very small college who told me that most people in her class of a few hundred had slept with most other members by the time they graduated. That was primarily a remark about hetero classmates.

Not that it matters much. I'm happy with my life. I will leave it to others to figure out if they are happy with theirs.

marshcat
12-07-2015, 08:44 PM
Of course, TomF will/should respond himself - but your synopsis isn't how I read what is really a thoughtful, well-considered assessment. I don't see Tom refuting gay marriage within a church (subject to each denominations determination), so much as the idea that the tenets of each religion should be followed, rather than 'changed to accomodate', those currently not involved in those religions/ marriage. Want to participate? Follow 'the rules', same as everyone else.

George -

Tom made several statements that surprised me, and don't match my observations of gay acquaintances:

"...lifelong commitment to the spouse … the "Gay Lifestyle" is diametrically opposed to this ..."


"LGBT culture continues to be defined by what would be promiscuous behaviour ..."


"...monogamy and lifelong commitment …It's absolutely what they don't want."


"...they'll "marry" with no intention of doing so ..."


"...the sliver of LGBT folks who do want chastity/commitment ..."


"...agitating to amend the Canon to make it say that chastity/commitment is optional in Christian Marriage ..."

The characterization of gay folks as promiscuous and against monogamy seems to be central to Tom's argument that there is an elephant in the room. If promiscuous behavior is not the norm, but only gets more attention because its, well, promiscuous, then there is no elephant.

Tom Montgomery
12-07-2015, 08:47 PM
I have known a number of gay and lesbian couples who have been together for decades.

In my experience young single people tend to be promiscuous. It does not seem to have anything to do with sexual orientation.

Heck, in my experience married and middle aged people tend to be promiscuous. Most of the marriages I have known that ended in divorce involved the infidelity of one or both spouses. And 50% of American marriages end in divorce.

TomF
12-07-2015, 09:26 PM
Tom -


I read your posts thoroughly, as you present thoughtful views on topics that interest me. However, this thread from you surprises me. Several people (#2, #27, #29, #42, now me) have commented that your initial generalization about gay culture is incorrect. While the label 'Gay Lifestyle' may include the behavior you suggested, you are simply mistaken that most gay people subscribe to the stereotypical 'Gay Lifestyle' for their entire life, or in many cases at all. You mention a few folks you know that fulfill the stereotype. I know several that don't, so we should probably eliminate anecdotal evidence when considering the accuracy of the stereotype.


If your argument is that gay folks should not be married in your church becasue marriage should be between a man and a woman, fine. I don't agree with that, but understand the theological source of the argument. If your argument is (as it appears to me) that gay folks should not be married in your church because they will eschew monogamy associated with christian marriage vows, you can relax, because they won't (or at least no higher rate than heteros).


It feels a bit like you are uncomfortable with gay marriage being recognized by your church, and are casting about for reasons to reject it. Again, this is different behavior than I have seen from you in the past.


Thanks.Y'know, I am not making an argument that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. I don't think that - and like you, can give instances of both men and women in long-term same-sex relationships which I think are every bit the kind of marriage that I'm in. My wife's great Aunt lived for 60 years with her "companion," for instance. I've been to a bunch of same-sex weddings, and hope to be at more. And I count God only knows how many LGBT people in my circle of friends over the years - remember, I sang in Opera companies for a couple of decades; I think I was the only straight man in the Vancouver Opera Chorus in the early 1990s ;). Some of the most competent folks in my work environment just happen to be gay or lesbian - wonderful professionals in policy and senior management positions in key files like mental health, pharmacy, public safety etc. Some are in long term relationships; some of those routinely go with their partners to holidays designed around sexual experience. Sharing and celebrating and exercising their orientation alongside tens of thousands of similarly inclined gay and lesbian people.

This thread isn't about thinly veiled homophobia, but it isn't about pretending that public or academic or popular LGBT culture is other than it is either. My sister-in-law's been extraordinarily forthright and analytical about her 4 decades in Lesbian communities across Canada (with jaunts to America and Africa too), describing from an insider's perspective things which I'd never have known otherwise. It dovetails with what my neighbour across the street teaches as the head of Gender Studies, and what the university kids who major in her coursework (2 of whom eat supper with me every Thursday) describe in the currently very influential theory world they inhabit.

But please believe me that I really don't care about someone's orientation - it's irrelevant to how fine a person they are. This thread isn't about that; it's about how the self-generated images and texts by LGBT people defining LGBT culture, lived out by people trying to figure what it means to be authentically LGBT, have created fear among religious folks whose religious marriages are focused on monogamy and commitment. Because LGBT people are asking that the institutions of their religious marriages will open to same-sex couples, not just civil marriage. And it's not at all certain that many of the people wanting to engage in those religious marriages want the same thing.

Some undoubtedly do - you and I can each give examples. But others undoubtedly don't - and I can give you examples of religious people in same-sex marriages who are absolutely challenging the traditional Marriage Canon elements of chastity/commitment. On the basis that the requirements in the canon are culturally oppressive, and do not recognize and value elements of LGBT identity. Marshcat, I don't know if you're a member of a faith group or not - if not, you likely are unaware of how many LGBT people actually are people of faith. And who want the approval of the Church on their relationships, whether or not it seems likely to you.

Daniel Noyes
12-07-2015, 09:47 PM
Your post indicates just how far your concept of American society over the past century departs from reality.
.

http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by BrianY
...In any case, what one does within one's marriage is a matter for exactly two people - you and your spouse (as long as it's legal, of course).
...




http://forum.woodenboat.com/images/misc/quote_icon.png Originally Posted by peb
The fact that someone can write the above sentence and it gets no response at all tells you how far our society has gone off the rails.



I think Peb is spot on.

Marriage in America has traditionally been a community, public institution. definately NOT "a matter for exactly two people - you and your spouse"

Marriage is the way for the Community to ask for Gods blessing on and celebrate/ offer it's support to, the committed union of a Man and Woman. Joined with the intent of living together "till death do them part" and with the implied hope of having children.

when towns were isolated and consisted of as few as 60, 150, 250 people, committed, stable, productive, efficient house holds were essential to the very life and death survival of the Community as a whole. Families depended on each-other and families worked with other families over decades even centuries...

today... not so much

peb
12-07-2015, 09:47 PM
Nope, it indicates a healthy dose of common sense.

No common sense tells me that quite a often a marriage results in children. And as soon as that occurs, there are certainly things that occur in that marriage that matter for more than two people.

peb
12-07-2015, 09:49 PM
Am I to take that peb thinks it actually is his business what other people do inside their marriages?

That is incredibly disturbing, if it is true. Such intrusive arrogance. I hope it's just the fading influence of his failing religion that is talking, and not the man himself.

No you are not. You are to think that what people do in their marriage matters to others, at the very least their children. Are all of you truly that selfish.

Nicholas Carey
12-07-2015, 09:50 PM
Folks with even a passing acquaintance with LGBT activists are aware that the "Gay Lifestyle" is diametrically opposed to [life-long commitment]. Randy Schiltz wrote back in the 1980s that as a young Gay man moving to New York, it was very clear that one's sexual identity in Gay culture was only partly about your attraction. It was also defined by having multiple partners; part of "being gay" was having a whole lot of sex, with a whole lot of people, even if you were in a relationship with one person in particular.


I would argue that this is a side effect of being totally excommunicated from mainstream society because of your sexual orientation. If you're going to be discriminated against/persecuted/beat to a pulp/murdered/etc. because you like boys instead of girls..."Well...what violating a few more mores while your at it?" And if you're out of the closet...one more thing doesn't change things appreciably.

And if you read, for instance, Dan Savage's column Savage Love (http://www.thestranger.com/archive/columns,savage-love) or another similar sex-advice column, you'll pretty quickly come to the realization that the overall kink level in society as a whole is far higher than anybody is willing to cop to its being.

Self-defined "straight" people aren't any less kinky than gays: the proportion of closeted/in-denial folks is far higher than it is with out gays and lesbians. Hence the endless parade of right-wing, Christian and conservative politicians getting caught with their pants down, so to speak, with respect to same-sex dalliances.

Paul Girouard
12-07-2015, 09:53 PM
No you are not. You are to think that what people do in their marriage matters to others, at the very least their children. Are all of you truly that selfish.


Yes, they are truely that selfish. That wraps this thread up , or what little I could stomach to read!

TomF
12-07-2015, 10:14 PM
I would argue that this is a side effect of being totally excommunicated from mainstream society because of your sexual orientation. If you're going to be discriminated against/persecuted/beat to a pulp/murdered/etc. because you like boys instead of girls..."Well...what violating a few more mores while your at it?" And if you're out of the closet...one more thing doesn't change things appreciably.

And if you read, for instance, Dan Savage's column Savage Love (http://www.thestranger.com/archive/columns,savage-love) or another similar sex-advice column, you'll pretty quickly come to the realization that the overall kink level in society as a whole is far higher than anybody is willing to cop to its being.

Self-defined "straight" people aren't any less kinky than gays: the proportion of closeted/in-denial folks is far higher than it is with out gays and lesbians. Hence the endless parade of right-wing, Christian and conservative politicians getting caught with their pants down, so to speak, with respect to same-sex dalliances.
I read Savage for a while when we lived in Vancouver - he was carried in the Georgia Strait at that point. We lived in the West End in those days - was cheap (for Vancouver ;)), close to transit and the ocean, and safe. Also, of course, the Gay district.

I will only agree so far with the notion that promiscuity is a side-effect of being excommunicated from the mainstream because of sexual orientation. I think you're right that once a person is "out," then a bit more public display isn't a big change; I remember some of the Opera Chorus guys who periodically dressed in drag, for instance. But Shiltz (and Savage, at least back in those days) described how to be authentically gay, one needed to have a lot of sex. If your sexual identity is what you've chosen to define you ... I guess it stands to reason. But one would have thought that in an enclave of gay men, that pressure would ease. Didn't seem to be the case.

BrianY
12-07-2015, 10:16 PM
No you are not. You are to think that what people do in their marriage matters to others, at the very least their children. Are all of you truly that selfish.

Of course what parents do affects their children. I should have broadened my statement to include them. But not every marriage produces children. In those cases, how does the life choices of the married couple affect or concern anyone else (again assuming that their choices are legal)? Why does the fact that two people are married and chooose to live unconventionally affect anyone else?

TomF
12-07-2015, 10:28 PM
If lifelong monogamy is your choice, then that's your business. But it's not your right to force that on others who do not feel the need to conform to this. That is not your business....Sure. But it is my business if/when people ask to have access to an institution within a self-defined community which I find extraordinarily valuable precisely ... because of the core elements of it which they'd like to immediately amend. In such a case, who's meddling in whose business, and "forcing" something unwanted?

Please note that for decades, I've been a strong supporter of secular civil unions for all who want them, and religious marriages within the context of the faith groups which define them. Including, in my faith groups, religious same-sex marriages on the same basis as religious heterosexual marriages.

BrianY
12-07-2015, 10:29 PM
Tom -

It appears to me that you are objecting to people demanding that the church changes basic doctrine to accommodate their views. I can understand your objection. One one hand, people have no right to expect that institutions change to accomodate them. If they're going to join, they should agree to play by the institution's rules. On the other hand, this is how institutions grow and develop. It is also how humans have always acted (hello Martin Luther). But you most certainly know this already.

You seem to have a "how dare they?!" attitude ...objecting to the temerity of those advocating change rather than presenting a case for why such change is not wise. It seems out of character for you. Perhaps I'm reading this wrong.

TomF
12-07-2015, 10:40 PM
I started the thread to try to explain the sense of threat that religious folks feel - which is NOT in every case (like, the report of the Anglican Church of Canada's commission on the Marriage Canon, linked earlier) a conviction that marriages can only be heterosexual.

Deeply compassionate religious people are inchoately feeling and expressing angst - not just the vitriolic and loudly judgmental types. And I think it's because they're concerned that the very things folks who approach marriage as a sacrament find sacred, infinitely valuable, remarkably apt in developing certain kinds of virtue ... are being re-defined as pathological, oppressive, and "hetero-normative" exactly by some of the folks who want access to the institution of religious marriage. Monogamy is a form of asceticism, and asceticism is presently understood to be a variety of mental illness. Especially vividly described this way by "queer studies" theorists, when it applies to the core tenets of the Marriage Canon.

Keith Wilson
12-07-2015, 10:48 PM
Especially vividly described this way by "queer studies" theorists . . . Well, yes . . . but these are the same people who think that the idea that almost all human beings fit into two categories, one with a Y chromosome and testicles, and the other with two X chromosomes and a uterus, the latter distinguished by the ability to have babies, that these two categories are real, not 'socially constructed, and that they are shaped by evolution to behave somewhat differently - this is also supposedly pathological, oppressive, and 'hetero-normative'. Outside university humanities departments, most folks laugh at them, and for good reason.

BrianY
12-07-2015, 10:55 PM
Tom -

I think I understand what you're saying. Nobody likes to have their sincerely held beliefs denigrated as abnormal. Perhaps you can understand how atheists feel when they're told that their lack of faith is abnormal.

In any case, what should matter is what you and your faith community believes and not what others think. After all, we are all "abnormal" to somebody, right? Have faith in your faith.

TomF
12-07-2015, 10:55 PM
Well, yes . . . but these are the same people who think that the idea that almost all human beings fit into two categories, one with a Y chromosome and testicles, and the other with two X chromosomes and a uterus, the latter distinguished by the ability to have babies, that these two categories are real, not 'socially constructed, and that they are shaped by evolution to behave somewhat differently - this is also supposedly pathological, oppressive, and 'hetero-normative'. Outside university humanities departments, most folks laugh at them, and for good reason.My son's grade 12 social studies teacher recently wrote a list of 20 different genders on the whiteboard, and observed that anybody could inhabit any of those genders ... in succession or not ... I have no idea at all how you can get to 20 genders, but it's possible.

It's also more influential than you think outside simply universities. This same teacher mentors various groups about LGBT rights at the school, some of whose members made national news a year back. The most prominent of whom is now on full scholarship at a major university ... doing gender studies.

Joe (SoCal)
12-07-2015, 10:58 PM
I would just like to point out isn't it nice to have these open religious threads without Sam I am :D

Keith Wilson
12-07-2015, 11:02 PM
Perhaps I'm too optimistic about the ability of science to quash patently absurd 'blank slate' ideas about human nature. This kind of thing irritates me even more because I'm very sympathetic to LGBT rights and decent treatment of everybody.

George Jung
12-07-2015, 11:37 PM
Which is a different topic than what I'm hearing TomF discuss.

Keith Wilson
12-07-2015, 11:41 PM
Oh, definitely. Off on another tangent. We have a tradition to maintain, after all. ;)

Nicholas Carey
12-07-2015, 11:47 PM
The LGBT community, insofar as I am aware, a has not been lobbying for the right to a church/religious wedding. Aside from anything else, the government here in the US is constitutionally prohibited from this (1st amendment). What they ARE lobbying for is the right to a CIVIL marriage which is a legal contract that bestows, in the USA, a veritable raft of rights and benefits, many of which are monetary with respect to taxation.

It's also worth noting that the Calvinist Roundhead Pilgrims who came to this country in search of the theocracy that they were prohibited from back home in England, were the ones ( in the Massachusetts Bay Colony) who were responsible for intertwining religious marriage with the government. Prior to that marriage was strictly a religious institution...unless you were in line for the throne.

Andrew Craig-Bennett
12-08-2015, 12:10 AM
I think Tom should be congratulated for starting this thread.

The "world's longest running soap opera", the BBC radio series "The Archers" ("an everyday story of farming folk") actually covers the issue of infidelity and same sex marriage at this moment.

I think the other heffalump is children. Saint Paul makes it pretty clear, as I recall, that marriage is about children, and Cranmer, himself a married man, certainly does. May I suggest that the requirements about fidelity and commitment are there to make sure that any children have a stable and secure environment, and that once children are involved, regardless of the sex of the married couple, these rules should apply?

gilberj
12-08-2015, 12:46 AM
So I discussed this with my SO and she was not really sure what was there to discuss.....
I suggested, sort of on the fly that most of us discuss this only with people who more or less agree with our point of view... singing to the choir as it were....
Is this really about "Church" control of the message within the congregation????
So you want to belong to our church...eh...you must believe as we do... as the Lord does...
Sex is really a complicated thing for us all. We carry some baggage in this no matter where we come from in society. Our confusion extends to those of us who have left the traditional arbiters of our moral life for a more secular interpretation.
For the first time I see TomF having trouble expressing himself clearly.
Some of our Christian churches are evolving... the United Church of Canada and following the Anglican Church are well along that shift, but perhaps not to the obvious end of the journey.
For my part...I do not think sex is a religious issue. The moral ethical issues are in the way you treat those around you and how you make choices of on a daily basis for all those little moral choices from moment. To moment...

Peerie Maa
12-08-2015, 06:20 AM
No common sense tells me that quite a often a marriage results in children. And as soon as that occurs, there are certainly things that occur in that marriage that matter for more than two people.

That is a little off topic. Bryan was talking about the opinion of the curtain twitchers and busybodies, not of the children of the family.

Peerie Maa
12-08-2015, 06:23 AM
And if you read, for instance, Dan Savage's column Savage Love (http://www.thestranger.com/archive/columns,savage-love) or another similar sex-advice column, you'll pretty quickly come to the realization that the overall kink level in society as a whole is far higher than anybody is willing to cop to its being.

Self-defined "straight" people aren't any less kinky than gays: the proportion of closeted/in-denial folks is far higher than it is with out gays and lesbians. Hence the endless parade of right-wing, Christian and conservative politicians getting caught with their pants down, so to speak, with respect to same-sex dalliances.

People are no more or less "Kinky" than they used to be, it is just that we now have a publicised sex industry to tell anyone interested all about it.

skuthorp
12-08-2015, 06:32 AM
Marriage no longer necessarily equates with children, in fact many couples are childless by choice, ourselves included.
In Paul and Cranmer's day there wasn't much choice, there is now. It's not even about sex for some, quite a few family alliances and career moves are also in play. And then there's Hollywood and the women's mags. Pure business deals.

peb
12-08-2015, 08:36 AM
That is a little off topic. Bryan was talking about the opinion of the curtain twitchers and busybodies, not of the children of the family.



His statement was plain, and even he admitted he should have included the children.

But you miss my point. Any discussion on the nature of marriage should revolve around the impact on children. Why does society care about marriage? Because that's the way we raise our children.

BrianY
12-08-2015, 09:51 AM
His statement was plain, and even he admitted he should have included the children.

But you miss my point. Any discussion on the nature of marriage should revolve around the impact on children. Why does society care about marriage? Because that's the way we raise our children.

To clarify - I admitted that I should have included children in my original statement not because I believe that there is some sort of obligation/necessity connection between marriage and children but to acknowledge the obvious fact that when there are children, the actions of the parents have a significant affect on them.

Today, marriage is not necessarily children-centric. There are many married couples who do not have children (obviously). If there are no children in a marriage, there can't be any "impact on children", right? Additionally, in the past the social stigma connected with children born out of wedlock essentially meant that if you wanted to have kids you had to be married. That is no longer the case (again, obviously). Despite the insistence by some people that the two things are inextricably bound together - marriage and children, children and marriage - reality indicates otherwise. Any discussions about the nature of marriage should also take this reality into account.

I ask again, in a marriage that has no children, how does the life choices of the married couple affect or concern anyone else (again assuming that their choices are legal)?

Peerie Maa
12-08-2015, 09:59 AM
His statement was plain, and even he admitted he should have included the children.

But you miss my point. Any discussion on the nature of marriage should revolve around the impact on children. Why does society care about marriage? Because that's the way we raise our children.

It is the way that the followers of the Three Books raise kids (mostly but not universally), but it is not the only way. Try Google "Walking Marriage".

Peerie Maa
12-08-2015, 11:00 AM
Stumbled upon this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/zc3n39q

The most important figure in Western (Latin) Christianity was Augustine, a 4th Century theologian from what is now Algeria, who radically re-shaped Christian views on sex. Augustine argued that sexual desire - lust - had prompted Adam's agreement when Eve proposed eating forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.
For the first time Augustine was associating sexual desire with the origins of sin. His thinking was arguably responsible for a long legacy of confusion and anxiety about sex in the Western Church. For many ordinary Christians, Augustine's alliance of sex and sin brought a new sense of shame to sexual desire and practice.
<snip>

From 1517, Martin Luther, the instigator of the Protestant Reformation, rejected Augustine’s teachings that sex is sinful. Instead he declared sex between a man and a woman is a gift from God (as long as it is practised within the confines of marriage).
He denounced the Catholic tradition that all priests must be celibate, warning their sexual desires might end up being channelled in dangerous directions.

Luther encouraged priests to marry and he led by example. He took the radical step of denying that marriage was a sacrament of the Church. If it was not, then it was not necessarily indissoluble, and therefore divorce might be acceptable (if regrettable).
<snip>
With Anglican Churches all over the world, and no Pope to set the rules, it’s incredibly difficult to establish one clear voice on sexual ethics. Seeking to resolve differences, Archbishop Justin Welby has called a conference of Anglican leaders to meet in 2016 to discuss how the church responds to the changes of the 21st century.
<snip>
n 2011 the Independent newspaper reported that the findings of a YouGov poll revealed nine out of 10 Catholic worshippers in Britain support the wide availability of contraception. It suggested that Catholic leaders are out of step with many of their followers.

The Independent, 23rd October 2011

TomF
12-08-2015, 11:35 AM
The LGBT community, insofar as I am aware, a has not been lobbying for the right to a church/religious wedding. Aside from anything else, the government here in the US is constitutionally prohibited from this (1st amendment). What they ARE lobbying for is the right to a CIVIL marriage which is a legal contract that bestows, in the USA, a veritable raft of rights and benefits, many of which are monetary with respect to taxation...In Canada, for some time the law has explicitly supported same-sex civil marriage (I applaud that, btw). This thread is prompted by the Anglican Church of Canada being petitioned to amend the wording of the Marriage Canon to include same-sex marriages within the Anglican Church's liturgy, practice, and ethos, and releasing the report of a Commission providing advice on that to Synod. That is, it's exactly the issue raised in your first sentence.

So I discussed this with my SO and she was not really sure what was there to discuss.....
I suggested, sort of on the fly that most of us discuss this only with people who more or less agree with our point of view... singing to the choir as it were....Kinda why I launched the thread - which gives an opportunity to explore thoughts/concerns ASIDE FROM the civil marriage discussion, and also aside from the question of "marriage is only male/female, period." The first issue's been settled in law in Canada, and I've addressed my own views on the second part (and that of many others) squarely - I enthusiastically welcome same-sex Christian marriage, provided that we're all talking about access to the relationship described in the Marriage Canon, and the Anglican Church's report.
Is this really about "Church" control of the message within the congregation????
So you want to belong to our church...eh...you must believe as we do... as the Lord does...No. FWIW, I welcome folks into my Church whose sexual practices don't follow the Marriage Canon. Christian Marriage really isn't for everyone - not even for all Christians (whatever their orientation). I host about 30 university kids for supper every Tuesday, and I'd lay bets that maybe 2 follow the Church's traditional teaching about chastity/celibacy. Or intend to.

It's about whether the Marriage Canon should be revised to eliminate expectations of faithfulness to one person alone, with the intention of a lifelong commitment. They're welcome in my family and Church family either way, but they don't get to call their relationships "Christian Marriage" and have it seen as sacramental by the Church unless they seek to meet those disciplines.
For my part...I do not think sex is a religious issue. The moral ethical issues are in the way you treat those around you and how you make choices of on a daily basis for all those little moral choices from moment to moment...I agree with your second sentence, and see that how one handles sexuality is one of the vehicles to express compassion. To identify the impacts on the breadth on the community around you of what are individual and personal choices in your relationships. And depending on how one approaches the choice-making and the rationales, how one handles one's sexuality can be "sacramental." As a speaker I heard put it once, we are always "Living our Values;" the question is whether we're consciously choosing to live values we aspire to (and might put on a plaque on the wall), or are unconsciously living values we've internalized, for better or worse. FWIW, there are lots of other vehicles besides sex to express one's values, eh? I'm not convinced (as many religious folk are) that it oughta take "pride of place." After all, Jesus talked a whole lot more about money, and hypocrisy.

I also think that there ARE responsible, loving, compassionate ways to handle sexuality outside the Marriage Canon, and that Marriage isn't for everyone. It is a call to a discipline, an ascetic practice, and not everyone's called to that.
To clarify - I admitted that I should have included children in my original statement not because I believe that there is some sort of obligation/necessity connection between marriage and children but to acknowledge the obvious fact that when there are children, the actions of the parents have a significant affect on them.

Today, marriage is not necessarily children-centric. There are many married couples who do not have children (obviously). If there are no children in a marriage, there can't be any "impact on children", right? ....
I ask again, in a marriage that has no children, how does the life choices of the married couple affect or concern anyone else (again assuming that their choices are legal)?A friend in Vancouver talked about the marriage of a gay couple she knows and loves. These two men agreed that the Marriage Canon's disciplines together with parenthood really set the stage for the adults in the relationship to learn about habitual, year-in-year-out choosing to put the needs of an "other" first. And that part of the transformative power of the discipline is exactly that it's permanent - you're accountable for these lives, you're accountable to your partner, and that's never going away. The men looked for a way that their Christian Marriage could intentionally build in those permanent disciplines of self-sacrifice which are simply part-and-parcel of the hetero variety, but missing in the relationships of many of their gay friends.

They chose to adopt kids - kids with disabilities. Intentionally and fully entering into the spirit of the Marriage Canon, because they saw that their personal relationship, emotional depth, and spiritual growth depended on putting conditions in place which meant they had to live for someone other than themselves. Even when they got tired of it or bored. And that the Marriage was a tool to help produce those benefits, if treated fully and sacramentally.

BrianY
12-08-2015, 11:54 AM
Tom-

The "Christian Marriage" you describe is truly a wonderful thing and I understand your opposition to having your church change its position on it. It occurs to me that your signature line is somewhat ironic - or perhaps, perfectly on point - given the situation...but no matter. I respect that you feel that this particular aspect of your church's doctrine shouldn't be changed. I happen to agree with you, not that it's really any of my business...

However, the version of marriage you've described is not universally accepted. Shouldn't people be allowed to determine for themselves what marriage is? Churches are in no way obligated to accept or condone conceptions of marriage that conflict with their traditions, of course, but as long as the people involved meet the standards for civil marriage, what business is it of anyone's how the two adults involved behave? (Yes yes yes what about the children?! I'm not talking about marriages that produce children.).

xflow7
12-08-2015, 12:01 PM
I've been mulling over the OP since it was posted and something's been bugging me even though I generally find Tom's posts uniformly well-considered, well-posed, and well-argued.

I think what's been bugging me as I've done so is the implied assertion in this statement:



"Christian marriage" won't be debased because same-sex couples marry and become "chaste" - but because they'll "marry" with no intention of doing so - and force the institution to accommodate that normative bit of LGBT culture. At which point, the key and defining behavioural element of marriage (the monogamous commitment) won't remain for anyone, whatever their orientation.


which is that same-sex couples who marry are more likely to do so with a different set of values attached that institution than hetero-sexual couples.

I don't think one can assert that as a given, even if you accept that (unmarried) LGBT culture in the last several decades has been in general more promiscuous, kinky, whatever, than hetero culture.

And even if you say that you can, what's new about couples entering marriage, be it civil or religious, on their own terms with their own values? Values that may not even be consistent with the institution that performed the ceremony or the vows that they took?

Dave

George Jung
12-08-2015, 12:04 PM
I believe Tom has already stipulated that, Brian.

BrianY
12-08-2015, 12:11 PM
I believe Tom has already stipulated that, Brian.

I'm still trying to get an answer to the question - a question, btw, that I and many other have asked for a long time and no one has been able or willing to answer. But you're right, I shouldn't have posed it in a response to Tom. Mea culpa.

TomF
12-08-2015, 12:15 PM
Sure thing - folks can have whatever civil marriage they wish, and ultimately the process of being in any relationship is a process of working out with the other exactly what it is, in your lives. Perhaps part of why we have so many divorces, and an even higher number of non-formalized live-in relationships which break up, is that people don't "get" that. A relationship is something you define and develop with the partner ... it isn't only about you, or only about them ... or even only about the couple. Think of the impacts in your network of friends when a couple you know divorces.

As with many other things in the Church's life, a whole lot of folks don't presently address or understand their marriages within this kind of thinking context. Any more than they approach their prayer lives or their financial lives or etc. following the practices or ways of thinking traditions have developed within the church.

George Jung
12-08-2015, 01:43 PM
That's been the disconnect in this discussion, hasn't it? Recognizing secular marriage vs religious, and an expected conformity to that religious guidelines vs attempting to change those? That's how I read it, not as a recommendation against marriage for all.

TomF
12-08-2015, 03:46 PM
That's been the disconnect in this discussion, hasn't it? Recognizing secular marriage vs religious, and an expected conformity to that religious guidelines vs attempting to change those? That's how I read it, not as a recommendation against marriage for all.I think perhaps so, George.

The confusion we've seen includes:

Shouldn't everyone have access to civil marriage, regardless of orientation? It's a matter of human rights, and common decency.

Couldn't agree more. I've long supported civil marriage on exactly those grounds, and am happy that this is settled law in Canada.
I'd go further - and suggest that the State should be in the business of civil unions, whoever wants to get one. And that if a couple wishes to have a religious element to their relationship, to also become married within the Faith of their choice. But that faith groups should get out of the secular, legal end of the business nowadays.


Does anyone have the right to force a secular person to conform to specific religious practices about sexuality and marriage?

No.
If a religious person petitions to access their religious tradition's liturgical practices on sexuality and marriage, that's different. The faith group isn't "forcing" anything on outsiders, however they respond to the petitions.


How would same-sex Christian marriages affect anyone's heterosexual Christian marriage anyway?

Personally, I think the "Christian marriage is only for heteros" line is bunk.
A same-sex couple focused on the Marriage Canon (with trivial adjustments for plumbing and orientation) "degrades" exactly nothing about my marriage. In this I agree with the recent Anglican Church of Canada's Commission report, and their recommendations to Synod.
I support wording changes to the Marriage Canon to formally include same-sex marriages within the Anglican church's liturgy and religious life ... following the same precepts of chastity and the intention of lifelong commitment.
Folks of whatever sexual orientation can IMO be Christian, but live out their sexuality in a different way. Bearing in mind that the core tenets of Christianity (love of God, love of Neighbour) will have to be worked out, however you choose. The deeper you go in, the more one understands how our actions can have un-loving impacts which we'd not seen before. It's not so easy as it seems, but there's certainly more than 1 way.


Is there any risk that the Anglican Church's Marriage Canon would shift away from that?

Yeah, and it's mostly an un-named risk. It's hotly not-politically-correct even to mention it. That's why I launched the thread, eh? ;)
"Queer culture" reacted to the hetero mainstream's rejection by forcefully rejecting the core tenets of the Marriage Canon. Within influential gay communities, one's "queer" identity was suspect absent a "sex-positive" lifestyle. This dynamic became a theoretical cornerstone in the broader LGBT literature, and is increasingly influential in other genres.
There are 1-2 generations now which have been acculturated to think they cannot faithfully be LGBT while following the Marriage Canon. It would mean excising a key piece of identity and embracing the culture of their oppressor.
Some of these people are drawn towards a religious faith. They want to be fully in a faith community, while fully expressing their LGBT identity.
Traditionalists' unspoken fear is that reflecting these elements of LGBT culture, the folks asking for the Anglican Church's liturgical change don't really want or intend chastity/commitment. That what they want is to re-define the Marriage Canon to embrace sex-positive lifestyles with the apparent blessing of tradition.


Would that be so bad for the Anglican church? Times change, after all.

The world wouldn't end. :D
Christian Marriage is about choosing asceticism, about voluntary restriction. That asceticism also includes faithful parenting choices, if there are children.
There are some moral qualities which preferentially (and perhaps only) develop through conscious, daily, and protracted times of putting something else ahead of your own preferences and fulfillment. Marriage within the Canon provides widespread access to that opportunity - provides a venue to priorize the needs of the other, whether your adult partner, or children (if you have them). It is supposed to be painful sometimes, and it is supposed to be something you don't have the option to walk away from.
These moral qualities which can be cultivated in your private life ... are intended also to characterize your public life.
If they aren't cultivated in your family relationships you'll need to find another way ... if it's gonna happen at all.


Is it gonna affect me, either way?

Are you a Canadian Anglican? :D If not, maybe not.
Do you value the kind of moral qualities that seem preferentially developed through the kind of asceticism the Marriage Canon describes? If not, maybe not.
It's not a bad thing to examine your thinking regardless. Few of us methodically explore:

how we rank the practices/restrictions of different approaches to sexuality
how we value the intended positive outcomes of those approaches
how we priorize (or even identify) the risks we're willing to accept, when those approaches show negative outcomes
what our way of answering such questions indicates, in aggregate, about our own identity and values.

bobbys
12-08-2015, 05:42 PM
Ok I'm obviously a VERY heterosexual man and I have probably had well over 100 sexual partners. I haven't got the time or inclination to count them. What elephant in the room does that make me.


Fwiw I started young ;)
.

100?.

Well to be fair about it you lived in NY with a lot of liberal woman..

You might be talking soccer scores anywhere else.

gilberj
12-08-2015, 06:02 PM
Tom, perhaps I should read the paper you linked to better understand where you are coming from. I looked briefly yesterday but did not have time then.

Nicholas Carey
12-08-2015, 10:21 PM
In Canada, for some time the law has explicitly supported same-sex civil marriage (I applaud that, btw). This thread is prompted by the Anglican Church of Canada being petitioned to amend the wording of the Marriage Canon to include same-sex marriages within the Anglican Church's liturgy, practice, and ethos, and releasing the report of a Commission providing advice on that to Synod. That is, it's exactly the issue raised in your first sentence.

Ahhh. Something I did not know. If a religion elects to recognize same-gender marriages (or not), it's up to them. An internal discussion and choice made by the members of a private club. Just like the notion of women priests in the RCC.

More power to you.

Peerie Maa
12-09-2015, 05:32 AM
Ahhh. Something I did not know. If a religion elects to recognize same-gender marriages (or not), it's up to them. An internal discussion and choice made by the members of a private club. Just like the notion of women priests in the RCC.

More power to you.

My thoughts exactly. If you don't like the rules of the club campaign top change them, or change club to one that suits you better.

marshcat
12-09-2015, 12:28 PM
...This thread isn't about that; it's about how the self-generated images and texts by LGBT people defining LGBT culture, lived out by people trying to figure what it means to be authentically LGBT, have created fear among religious folks whose religious marriages are focused on monogamy and commitment. Because LGBT people are asking that the institutions of their religious marriages will open to same-sex couples, not just civil marriage. And it's not at all certain that many of the people wanting to engage in those religious marriages want the same thing.


As I noted earlier and several other people have challenged you on, these assertions you made are not representative of the whole of the LGBT community:

"...lifelong commitment to the spouse … the "Gay Lifestyle" is diametrically opposed to this ..."

"LGBT culture continues to be defined by what would be promiscuous behaviour ..."

"...monogamy and lifelong commitment …It's absolutely what they don't want."

"...they'll "marry" with no intention of doing so ..."

"...the sliver of LGBT folks who do want chastity/commitment ..."

"...agitating to amend the Canon to make it say that chastity/commitment is optional in Christian Marriage ..."

Instead of getting worried about what people might do to Canon Law, how about looking at what some already did. Here is the modification of the Canon of the Episcopal Church to allow same sex marriage:


"Sec. 4. Prior to the solemnization, the parties shall sign the following Declaration of Intention:

We understand the teaching of the church that God's purpose for our marriage is for our mutual joy, for the help and comfort we will give to each other in prosperity and adversity, and, when it is God's will, for the gift and heritage of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of God. We also understand that our marriage is to be unconditional, mutual, exclusive, faithful, and lifelong; and we engage to make the utmost effort to accept these gifts and fulfill these duties, with the help of God and the support of our community." (emphasis mine)

Source: http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/2015-resolutions/A036/current_english_text

I will say again that I think you are wrong in your assessment of the LGBT community. In addition, your insistence on lumping an entire community into your preconceived notion of how they will behave is at odds with how you have discussed other groups in the past.

Your view of the LGBT community seems to have formed based primarily (but not exclusively) on your interaction with the theater community and academic community.

My interaction is with a much more pedestrian, but probably more representative, segment of the community. My gay friends sit in the cube next to me, grouse about their bosses, and talk about what they did over the weekend. Think Oscar from The Office ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Martinez_(The_Office) ), rather than Freddie Mercury ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Mercury ).

Thanks as always for an interesting thread.

George Jung
12-09-2015, 12:42 PM
TomF's presentation seemingly arose from conversations he's had with those involved in these studies, as well as his own experiences; I didn't get the 'sense' of broadbrush so much as general assessment; and fwiw, my (gay) BIL's confirm Tom's assessment.

I didn't perceive it as confrontational, but more an acknowledgement of what may be challenges, now to base principles of his church.

TomF
12-09-2015, 01:30 PM
I don't mean to be confrontational, Marshcat. There are certainly LGBT folks whose bedroom lives look almost as boring as mine. ;) I suspect, BTW, that whatever amendment that may (and I hope will) occur in the Anglican Church of Canada's canon will have been drafted looking exactly at precedents like the one you've linked.

While I'm straight, I've a rather broad experience in the LGBT community, across about 35 years. Yes, many early contacts were through the performing arts world, but many others through the Church. What the Anglicans are doing now, the United Church did in the 1980s, when I was a United Church theological student and in the thick of it as a "justice issue." My sister-in-law's lesbian, sister of the Maid of Honour at our wedding (and still Herself's best friend) too, and very active in the LGBT community in Vancouver. Some of the comments you're questioning are virtually direct quotes from those two women, as they've reflected on their decades in LGBT circles. They may have exaggerated.

These days, 3 female and 2 male co-workers that are "out," my former houseguest of 2-years-standing, and a couple of the kids I see every week for supper. And my (straight) neighbour across the street's the Chair of Gender Studies at the university; much of the LGBT social theory I know comes from coursework she assigns.

Finally, I did a project last year with the Communicable Disease folk in our Public Health shop, as they wanted to re-invent the way they're running sexual health clinics. While the number of folks of any orientation with HIV/AIDS is very low in my province, the literature shows a marked epidemiological link between other STDs and the "sex-positive" lifestyle pioneered within "queer culture." That link is confirmed in our sexual health clinics' managerial caseloads.

George Jung
12-09-2015, 01:38 PM
One of the literature sources I read commented (quite some time ago) that, after a bit of a hiatus, prompted by HIV/ gay lifestyle, there's been a relapse/increase in the incidence of HIV, as better treatment options are developed - it's just not seen as prohibitive any longer. A read of the literature will confirm Tom's assertions. It's one thing to be PC and to ignore facts, rather than address these issues head on.

marshcat
12-09-2015, 04:03 PM
Thanks, Tom and George. I don't perceive Tom as being confrontational. If anything, my tone probably is. It is entirely possible that I have the same blind spot I am implicitly accusing Tom of - sample bias leading to faulty conclusions.

I have worked for Fortune 500 companies for the last 20+ years since finishing grad school. These companies have tended to be pretty LGBT friendly. I remember that two kids from my high school class (mid 1980s) later died of AIDS, as did my French teacher, but since then I am not sure I could even count the number of co-workers/friends that are gay. Not because I know so many, but just because it is not a metric I keep track of. I also can't tell you how many Italians, left-handers, or Seventh Day Adventists I work with. I don't think I am just being PC or ignoring facts. It is possible that I am just arguing for the fun of it. I also have a bit of a beef with organized religion, which doesn't help.

Tom is stating that he is concerned that gay folks may try to change his church's rules to expand the definition of marriage to exclude 'monogamy and life long commitment.' Regardless of how my gay-cred stacks up, I have provided objective evidence of at least one major U.S. denomination where that did not happen.

In addition to the Episcopal example I provided, the new Presbyterian version also stresses commitment:

"Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives."

The original relevant text read:

"In a service of Christian marriage a lifelong commitment is made by a woman and a man to each other, publicly witnessed and acknowledged by the community of faith."

Source: https://www.pcusa.org/news/2015/3/17/presbyterian-church-us-approves-marriage-amendment/

I have seen no similar examples that would support Tom's position. I am not sure what would that wording even look like.

gilberj
12-10-2015, 12:31 AM
Hi Tom, I have now read both the article and the actual paper.
I understand your feeling about gays and lesbians etc. Many of us have evolved over the years, thankfully.
I am still a bit unsure about your position though...(maybe I need to re-read the thread). Your talk about the 'gay culture' does not quite jive with your liberal position. Many gays are by our usual measure promiscuous. Many lesbians are as well. Are you worried that these sorts of sexually uncommitted folk will devalue the sanctity of marriage? I am guessing the LGTBQ folk in committed relationships do not actually bother you. What about the straight folk that swing through a series of short term relationships.....As I read it the Canon still is promoting the idea of life long relationships, and although the Anglican Church is not quite as stuck on the life thing as it was it is still in the thinking of most or at least many Clergy. ( there is an irony in the C of E being against divorce, seeing that was the original reason Henry VIII separated from Rome).
I was an Anglican with very deep roots in the Church, A bunch of family were/are Clergy...kind of family business) After some years of fairly intense spiritual work, I separated from the church. I could not resolve moral or ethical problems with doctrine, or even a clear assumption of what Jesus might have done....not 100% sure he existed, and more to the point what part of our story can we...do we trust if everything else is wobbly, assuming he probably did exist.
for me it comes down to how we treat each other. A short fling marriage seems a waste of everything, money, human effort, possibly damaging to children....etc. I think I agree that probably most/ perhaps all sexually promiscuous people probably should not fool themselves or those around them with talk of marriage. there is something special about committed relationships, and it is a disappointment at least when folk treat something which is serious to you as ...say a joke...
I note in the conclusions in the paper that there are a handful of conditions that need to be met...the paper is not recommending across the board liberalization.

bobbys
12-10-2015, 12:51 AM
In the Christian religion homosexuality is a sin..

I would ask TOM if he believes this is a sin.

However here's the rub( no pun) , If one is a homosexual that's practicing can one be a Christian or at least a good one..

If he or she was how would they make a choice.to go foward Im marriage.

If a Homosexual is not a Christian I don't see what difference it makes, a sin is a sin, , A sin is being apart from God in anything, could be greed, pride, drugs etched..

Now the state endoreses gay marriage.. If one disagrees one is labeled a "hater"" .

But being labeled a hater is asigning a sin to somebody .
Thus the state has taken a form of moral authority..

Tom with all due respect I sense a form of " Im more tolerant then you are" thus Im a better Christian then you are and my home boys Rock more in my church then others...

I'm starting this thread to bait and show em!

WX
12-10-2015, 02:07 AM
So what is the point in getting 'married' if you are going to act like you are single?

Many heteros do just that so why should some of the gay community be any different?

WX
12-10-2015, 02:07 AM
If two gay people want to get married why is it our business?

TomF
12-10-2015, 11:43 AM
Hi Tom, I have now read both the article and the actual paper.
I understand your feeling about gays and lesbians etc. Many of us have evolved over the years, thankfully.
I am still a bit unsure about your position though...(maybe I need to re-read the thread). Your talk about the 'gay culture' does not quite jive with your liberal position. Many gays are by our usual measure promiscuous. Many lesbians are as well. Are you worried that these sorts of sexually uncommitted folk will devalue the sanctity of marriage? I am guessing the LGTBQ folk in committed relationships do not actually bother you. What about the straight folk that swing through a series of short term relationships.....As I read it the Canon still is promoting the idea of life long relationships, and although the Anglican Church is not quite as stuck on the life thing as it was it is still in the thinking of most or at least many Clergy. ( there is an irony in the C of E being against divorce, seeing that was the original reason Henry VIII separated from Rome). I'm very happy to have LGBT committed folk inside the Marriage Canon - as happy as to have straight committed folk inside it.

I'm very unhappy to have people seek the Liturgical form of the Marriage Canon if in fact they have no intention of trying to live the way the Canon lays out. Whatever their sexual orientation. Lots of hetero- folks fall in that category too.

What I've been trying to say, terribly unclearly it seems, is that people I've known for decades within the LGBT community - who are active with the LGBT rights parts of that community - have strongly suggested to me that a big chunk of the community wants a Church wedding, but still rejects the model of marriage a Church wedding is about. They won't say so when talking to the Churches, because it will kinda rule out getting a Church wedding.

My SIL has described conversations with folks who bluntly say their objective is to blow apart the model of Christian marriage, from the inside. Such folks reject the model exactly because it conflicts with a normative discourse in public LGBT culture about how to be a "real" LGBT person. I dunno if there are derogatory terms for LGBT folks who've been co-opted by the values of folks they oppose - the equivalent slur as "RINOs," "Oreos," "Apples." I do know that in some LGBT circles, the attitude exists.

Traditional Christians are worried about that, and can't ever say so. It would accuse "oppressed" folks of lying about their intentions - and often would be absolutely false. Some LGBT people absolutely want access to the Marriage Canon for all the reasons I did. It would be hugely hurtful and unjust to deny it to them. But as my SIL's conversations flagged, others are lying. Their objective is to gradually change the Marriage canon (or its 'legitimate' observance) to align with "authentic" LGBT identity, which would gradually change the canon for everyone else too.

Some in the mainline churches feel that risk deeply, but it can't be named because it is so politically incorrect ... and mainline churches want to be so "inclusive." It would seem stupidly tinfoil-hat-like, were "sex-positive" polemics not fairly normative among Western secular folks of any orientation who care to theorize about sexual rights. That perspective says "Hey, they had it backwards. If there's 'sin' at all, forced monogamy really is the sinful bit. 'Sex-positive' living (with clear ideas about 'consent') is how to really be a modern, life-affirming, human-rights concerned person." I can think of 3 interviews I happened to hear on CBC radio just in the past several months, where that position was key.

An unspoken risk can't be managed - the debate inside the Church will be a lot hotter, a lot more hurtful, a lot more divisive ... because they can't acknowledge what they're fighting about! Traditional folks would have their blood pressure drop 50 points if they were more sure that people actually value and respect the guts of the Canon. The angst is that they don't know how to ask, and they aren't sure whether they'd be stupidly naïve to believe what they might hear anyway.

Gilberj, I am "liberal" on most things, and welcome sexually active folks into my Church and my home, whatever their marital status. I think maybe churches should actually go further, and pioneer both the theological content and the liturgical forms which would recognize and bless other forms of sexual expression, parallel to the Marriage Canon. Lots would disagree with me, and I figure that's 50 years away at best.


In the Christian religion homosexuality is a sin..

I would ask TOM if he believes this is a sin.

However here's the rub( no pun) , If one is a homosexual that's practicing can one be a Christian or at least a good one..

If he or she was how would they make a choice.to go foward Im marriage.

If a Homosexual is not a Christian I don't see what difference it makes, a sin is a sin, , A sin is being apart from God in anything, could be greed, pride, drugs etched..

Now the state endoreses gay marriage.. If one disagrees one is labeled a "hater"" .

But being labeled a hater is asigning a sin to somebody .
Thus the state has taken a form of moral authority..

Tom with all due respect I sense a form of " Im more tolerant then you are" thus Im a better Christian then you are and my home boys Rock more in my church then others...

I'm starting this thread to bait and show em!I don't believe homosexuality is sinful. It's an orientation, just like my heterosexuality is an orientation, and is a gift from God.

I think that physical sexual intimacy is a gift from God too, quite irrespective of the orientation of the partners sharing it. Same-sex intimacy is no worse or better with God than any other kind - and there's a risk for all of us that our sexuality can be expressed in sinful ways, as well as ways which are the opposite of that. People have intrinsic, infinite worth - and IMO sex verges on "sinful" when it degrades that value ... in any of the partners.

gilberj
12-10-2015, 01:13 PM
I think this is an important discussion that maybe should be happening within the Church, with a little less of a liturgy, doctrine, and Biblical focus.

I tried recently to bring up in conversation something about sexual promiscuity in the gay community, and was sort of shut down, by supposed liberal PC ......all sorts of folk are messing around, its not a gay thing arguments. But I have seen and talked to LGBTQ who are living that reality. There are others of course that do not. I have Lesbian Friends in their late 60's who have been together and exclusive ( I strongly suspect, but never asked of course) for many years.

Seeing the celebration of Marriage as a basis for recognizing the human importance of deep long term, committed relationship diluted to include "ships passing in the night" type of human connections certainly devalues the importance of recognizing the significance of the long term committed relationship. Put in those terms it is no longer a LGBTQ issue, or even specifically a sexual issue. After all a long term deep and committed couple could agree together to be sort of less exclusive sexually. It is more about valuing people in a deeper and more profound and permanent way. Fleeting intercourse and short term flings do not I think offer anything more than physical release. That is not altogether bad, but it is not the same thing.

The ancient Chinese Taoist teaching talked of an exchange of energy in the act of making love. In my experience you need to work on that, it does not always happen and it seldom happens with people that are not deeply familiar with each other. There is sex the physical thing, and there is sex that touches us on more than one level, emotionally, spiritually, energy etc.

There are of course lots of people who are looking for a long term deep relationship, but for various reasons are not able to achieve it, ending up with a series of interrupted long term relationships. Often interrupted for good reasons, abuse, incapability etc.

It is like eating cake and ice cream every day because you can, but it is no longer special.

Too Little Time
12-10-2015, 06:39 PM
What the Anglicans are doing now, the United Church did in the 1980s, when I was a United Church theological student and in the thick of it as a "justice issue."

I never thought that religion was a justice issue.

I must be reading your comments improperly. I would never participate in a religion where the doctrine was determined by the members. It seems an affront to one's god.

But then I don't belong to any religion. I do what I think is right. And I change my opinions on right from time to time - without regard to what any god might think. I don't think I could do that and be a church member.

Osborne Russell
12-10-2015, 06:46 PM
If two gay people want to get married why is it our business?

If two people get married, we say that one may incur debt that is an obligation of both.

If we say there are state benefits accruing to marriage, they get them.

We say that each owes a duty to support the other.

If they get tired of it, they end it our way or they remain married.

We say who is married.

Osborne Russell
12-10-2015, 07:02 PM
There's a genuine issue of LGBT people wanting access not only to civil institutions (which in Canada they have), but religious ones.

That's a private matter. They and the churches can say what they like. The state says what marriage is, for legal purposes. Monogamy and promiscuity are no part of it.

George Jung
12-10-2015, 07:10 PM
I don't believe the 'religious ones' comes under 'private matter' - the gist of Tom's argument.

Ian McColgin
12-10-2015, 07:23 PM
Gay people who remain in an antigay church have issues that come well before getting married in their church.

Osborne Russell
12-10-2015, 08:58 PM
I don't believe the 'religious ones' comes under 'private matter' - the gist of Tom's argument.

"Private" as in "not government". Churches don't tell the state what marriage means to the state and vice versa. A beef between a group of gays and a church is a private matter in that sense.

A church could require you to be homosexual to join. Don't like it? Don't join. Seems that church is not for you. You can go in there and argue with them if they let you but you have no other right. No right to walk in the door. Private property.

In the moral realm, I smell an equality of dignity effort shaping up. Long as the proposals only concern the private realm, OK.

What if Kim Davis came out as gay, joined the gay equal dignity church, refused to issue marriage licenses to straight people and got thrown in jail for contempt?

This:


"Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny," [Senator Ted] Cruz said. "Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America."

would go like this:


"Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny," [Senator Ted] Cruz said. "Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a gay equal dignity church woman for living according to her faith. This is wrong. This is not America."

:rolleyes:

George Jung
12-10-2015, 11:17 PM
Haha....

The split is between the secular (govt) marriage license, vs a church-sponsored wedding, no?

ShagRock
12-10-2015, 11:26 PM
Gay people who remain in an antigay church have issues that come well before getting married in their church.

Or the church had issues before the gays joined them.

TomF
12-11-2015, 12:06 PM
That's a private matter. They and the churches can say what they like. The state says what marriage is, for legal purposes. Monogamy and promiscuity are no part of it.Spot on - the civil law doesn't give a rat's patootie if we sleep with anything that saunters past in a skirt or britches. The person we've bound ourselves to in marriage may decide they want to divorce us as a result, of course, but maybe also because we persist in cooking our chili too hot, or bad-mouthing our MILs, or have left the toilet seat up one too many times. In terms of the legal contract it's irrelevant, unless it's relevant enough to the partners to make them want to change their legal arrangements. Kinda why I'd prefer that in law, we all had "civil unions" rather than "marriages," because faith communities' religious understandings of marriage add layers on top of the state's baseline of "civil union."

While I agree with what you mean, Osborne, the terminology of "private" vs. "public" is misleading. Faith communities are public communities, in the sense that what we do, we do out in the open ... and Churches occupy an ambiguous area between private and public space. It's why non-church folk still come to churches for weddings/funerals, because there's a sense that our buildings are "public space" much like an Art Gallery or Museum. A recent City of Fredericton civic plan treats the Cathedral and its grounds rather like an embedded Heritage Village which provides "character" and "tourist value" to the city, the upkeep of which is obligingly funded by the otherwise irrelevant re-enactors who make it a hobby.

They were bewildered and flustered to learn that maybe our active community wanted to use the extensive grounds in other ways ... perhaps community gardens, or redevelopment to support the social supports to homeless etc. which we offer. They have 4 times refused permission to convert some of our property into parking - even using the province's leading Heritage building and landscape designer. Cars on the Cathedral Green would interfere with the City's aesthetic experience, the mystical and "sacred" vision of the neo-gothic stone building rising from a still, green, hallowed and unvisited oasis of grass and trees.

Of course over half of our congregation is 60+, and don't want to break a hip trundling along winter sidewalks from the nearest public parking garage 4 blocks away. The city's response is to ease street-side parking restrictions on Sunday mornings, but that doesn't much help the volunteers doing stuff every day of the week. If people can't actually come to church to do what a church is supposed to do, the place is gonna die, and the city will have to look after a $20M stone heritage building on its own dime.

But I digress.

A faith community isn't an institution of the state, public in the sense that every citizen receives public education or is liable to be fined for discharging toxic stuff into the storm sewers. But it is public in the sense that there is deep public attachment, frequently to outdated and "ancillary" things which don't have much to do with the actual faith as it's lived by people today. I wish that the attachment wasn't to the trappings - the stonework or carved wood - and was instead to the actual service provided over centuries to the surrounding community by the people who incidentally also pay for the upkeep of the stonework and carved wood.

Dad used to say that what the Church needed was a dedicated arsonist. Church members could then get on with being the faithful rather than heritage preservationists ... and the secular community could finally have an opportunity to actually see what the faith is for.

Osborne Russell
12-11-2015, 01:30 PM
While I agree with what you mean, Osborne, the terminology of "private" vs. "public" is misleading. Faith communities are public communities, in the sense that what we do, we do out in the open ... and Churches occupy an ambiguous area between private and public space.

If they like. They could be entirely or mostly secret, like the Masons. Ain't nobody's business if they do.

BTW, I should have said "fidelity and promiscuity" rather than "monogamy". Monogamy is kind of implied in the sense that you can't be married to more than one person at a time. Some religions mean additional things by "monogamy". Whatever.

Not to beat a dead horse, because it clearly isn't dead -- this is why the slippery slope argument against gay marriage fails. We don't have to allow polygamy because "logic demands". We don't offer polygamy to anyone. OTOH, we offer marriage [B]as we define it /B] to some, therefore we can't deny it to any. That's logical, but more importantly, it derives from the right to equal protection of the law.

If anyone ought to give up the word "marriage" it ought to be the churches, I would say. People remain confused about the distinction between state and public marriage; many are unaware that there is a distinction. This makes them vulnerable to demagogues. Our culture needs to move past this. People stockpile guns and ammunition on account of it.

As for the cathedral and the civic plan, care is needed to keep church separate from state, is all I can say. With care, it can be done.


A faith community isn't an institution of the state, public in the sense that every citizen receives public education or is liable to be fined for discharging toxic stuff into the storm sewers. But it is public in the sense that there is deep public attachment, frequently to outdated and "ancillary" things which don't have much to do with the actual faith as it's lived by people today.

Again, that's for them to say, for them to deal with. In calling it "private" I mean to indicate respect for their freedom to exercise their religion. Their opinions, associations, and property are theirs. The public is invited to share -- maybe.



I wish that the attachment wasn't to the trappings - the stonework or carved wood - and was instead to the actual service provided over centuries to the surrounding community by the people who incidentally also pay for the upkeep of the stonework and carved wood.

Dad used to say that what the Church needed was a dedicated arsonist. Church members could then get on with being the faithful rather than heritage preservationists ... and the secular community could finally have an opportunity to actually see what the faith is for.

During the heyday of Chinese Zen Buddhism a monk was on a journey to a distant monastery. Along the way, on a dark and stormy night, he came upon a temple, but it was locked. He broke in. As the night progressed, he worried that he might fall asleep from the cold and not wake up. He spotted three wooden statues of the Buddha on the altar. He smashed one up and built a fire with it.

Around midnight, the temple caretaker came in and angrily denounced the monk as a burglar and a vandal. The monk said nothing, but began madly pawing through the coals. The caretaker said, "What, are you crazy too? What are you looking for?"

"The virtues of the Buddha!" exclaimed the monk.

"You are crazy!" said the caretaker. "Don't you know you can't find the virtues of the Buddha in bits of wood?"

"Well, in that case," said the monk, "can I burn the other two?"

TomF
12-11-2015, 02:18 PM
FWIW, for hundreds of years in the West, the state had no interest in doing "marriage" at all. They didn't define it, the religious dudes did, and in those days most everyone called it a Sacrament. The state had an interest, of course, because of successions and inheritances and etc., but they were a "stakeholder" in the marriage business, not the "business owner."

There's a real and pressing need to have the legal aspects consistent, equitable, etc. To do that, the state can get their own word for the legal and secular stuff, and leave the historic language of the Sacrament of Marriage to the faiths.

I'm all for keeping Church separate from State, particularly when it comes to things like what property can be used for. But when the civic authorities restrict the ongoing use of a building primarily to preserve its function as privately funded street art for the admiration of folks who never step inside, they might find themselves eventually holding the deed.

Osborne Russell
12-11-2015, 03:55 PM
There's a real and pressing need to have the legal aspects consistent, equitable, etc. To do that, the state can get their own word for the legal and secular stuff, and leave the historic language of the Sacrament of Marriage to the faiths. [

Perhaps you're right. To change the word in the narrower context might be more efficient.



I'm all for keeping Church separate from State, particularly when it comes to things like what property can be used for. But when the civic authorities restrict the ongoing use of a building primarily to preserve its function as privately funded street art for the admiration of folks who never step inside, they might find themselves eventually holding the deed.

Obviously. If the state had any sense they wouldn't do anything without not just the approval but the enthusiastic participation of the owners. If they had any sense.

TomF
12-11-2015, 04:16 PM
... If the state had any sense they wouldn't do anything without not just the approval but the enthusiastic participation of the owners. If they had any sense.I think it's actually understood by the planners etc. as an attempt to be "respectful." Many non-church-goers apparently revere the Cathedral and its surrounding green as a "holy space," and the city planners apparently figure it's their duty to protect the aesthetic "mood of sanctity" the space lends to that end of town.

In contrast, Cathedral goers figure that the space would be "holier" if more of what Jesus cared about was enabled to happen out of it. As opposed to what he preached against, respecting how folks in his day viewed the Temple in Jerusalem.

Osborne Russell
12-12-2015, 12:22 PM
Not sure I understand the conflict, but I would say, the church people go out in public and do their thing by right; the government comes into the church by invitation.

George Jung
12-12-2015, 12:28 PM
Ah yes - two of my favorite bilgerats, nice exchange!

Thanks.

bobbys
12-12-2015, 12:55 PM
I'm very happy to have LGBT committed folk inside the Marriage Canon - as happy as to have straight committed folk inside it.

I'm very unhappy to have people seek the Liturgical form of the Marriage Canon if in fact they have no intention of trying to live the way the Canon lays out. Whatever their sexual orientation. Lots of hetero- folks fall in that category too.

What I've been trying to say, terribly unclearly it seems, is that people I've known for decades within the LGBT community - who are active with the LGBT rights parts of that community - have strongly suggested to me that a big chunk of the community wants a Church wedding, but still rejects the model of marriage a Church wedding is about. They won't say so when talking to the Churches, because it will kinda rule out getting a Church wedding.

My SIL has described conversations with folks who bluntly say their objective is to blow apart the model of Christian marriage, from the inside. Such folks reject the model exactly because it conflicts with a normative discourse in public LGBT culture about how to be a "real" LGBT person. I dunno if there are derogatory terms for LGBT folks who've been co-opted by the values of folks they oppose - the equivalent slur as "RINOs," "Oreos," "Apples." I do know that in some LGBT circles, the attitude exists.

Traditional Christians are worried about that, and can't ever say so. It would accuse "oppressed" folks of lying about their intentions - and often would be absolutely false. Some LGBT people absolutely want access to the Marriage Canon for all the reasons I did. It would be hugely hurtful and unjust to deny it to them. But as my SIL's conversations flagged, others are lying. Their objective is to gradually change the Marriage canon (or its 'legitimate' observance) to align with "authentic" LGBT identity, which would gradually change the canon for everyone else too.

Some in the mainline churches feel that risk deeply, but it can't be named because it is so politically incorrect ... and mainline churches want to be so "inclusive." It would seem stupidly tinfoil-hat-like, were "sex-positive" polemics not fairly normative among Western secular folks of any orientation who care to theorize about sexual rights. That perspective says "Hey, they had it backwards. If there's 'sin' at all, forced monogamy really is the sinful bit. 'Sex-positive' living (with clear ideas about 'consent') is how to really be a modern, life-affirming, human-rights concerned person." I can think of 3 interviews I happened to hear on CBC radio just in the past several months, where that position was key.

An unspoken risk can't be managed - the debate inside the Church will be a lot hotter, a lot more hurtful, a lot more divisive ... because they can't acknowledge what they're fighting about! Traditional folks would have their blood pressure drop 50 points if they were more sure that people actually value and respect the guts of the Canon. The angst is that they don't know how to ask, and they aren't sure whether they'd be stupidly naïve to believe what they might hear anyway.

Gilberj, I am "liberal" on most things, and welcome sexually active folks into my Church and my home, whatever their marital status. I think maybe churches should actually go further, and pioneer both the theological content and the liturgical forms which would recognize and bless other forms of sexual expression, parallel to the Marriage Canon. Lots would disagree with me, and I figure that's 50 years away at best.

I don't believe homosexuality is sinful. It's an orientation, just like my heterosexuality is an orientation, and is a gift from God.

I think that physical sexual intimacy is a gift from God too, quite irrespective of the orientation of the partners sharing it. Same-sex intimacy is no worse or better with God than any other kind - and there's a risk for all of us that our sexuality can be expressed in sinful ways, as well as ways which are the opposite of that. People have intrinsic, infinite worth - and IMO sex verges on "sinful" when it degrades that value ... in any of the partners.
.

I'm not sure how you define sin in Yer church. No matter how uncomfortable the truth is , sins are listed, You cannot pick and choose according to the political leanings of the day. .

No sin, no sacrifice, , no grace, no need for Christ.

I do not know the theology of the church you attend or adhere to but it would lean more towards a cult then Christianity..

Seems more of a ego thing, look how tolerant I am and look at those bad people saying there's sin about.

Michael D. Storey
12-12-2015, 12:56 PM
Wow talk about legs on an issue, and of course it would have to be sex.

1. If you are going to speak definitively about someone else and their sexual preferences and tactics, you are either in the room (assuming that it happens indoors) or you are reacting to hearsay.
2. I noticed that someone defined themselves as 'VERY' heterosexual. Is there any other trait, politics, fave sports team, religion, whatever, that requires a capitalized 'very'?
3. If there is an elephant in the room for Christians, they invited it there.
4. Personally I am VERY surprised that someone would bring an elephant to a discussion about other people's sexual tendencies and practices.
5. If you are in your sixties, 100 sexual partners could be an average of one every six months. I would suggest that there are a good number of readers here who developed a sexual relationship with someone that did not last even six weeks. I mean it's just arithmetic.

George Jung
12-12-2015, 01:25 PM
Seems appropriate...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qqE_WmagjY&feature=player_detailpage

Osborne Russell
12-12-2015, 02:24 PM
Ah yes - two of my favorite bilgerats, nice exchange!

Thanks.

Very good of you to say so.

Too Little Time
12-12-2015, 09:24 PM
FWIW, for hundreds of years in the West, the state had no interest in doing "marriage" at all. They didn't define it, the religious dudes did, and in those days most everyone called it a Sacrament.

Perhaps you are wrong on this point.

Marriages in the West were originally contracts between the families of two partners, with the Catholic Church and the state staying out of it.

History would suggest that "marriage" has evolved over time. Originating prior to government, religion, or written history. Prior to the concept of a contract. Originating as an agreement - permanent or temporary, between individuals.

I think that most in the world can distinguish between the contexts of religious and civil in terms of marriage. You even seem to be able to do so. But you object to doing so. That I do not understand.

Osborne Russell
12-13-2015, 11:53 AM
Perhaps you are wrong on this point.


History would suggest that "marriage" has evolved over time. Originating prior to government, religion, or written history. Prior to the concept of a contract. Originating as an agreement - permanent or temporary, between individuals.

You are unquestionably wrong. Continuously, from Day One, it has been a matter of what recognition the group decides to afford to individuals. And that recognition has overwhelmingly to do with property, who can own, who can inherit, on what terms. As a corollary of that: who is a member of the family, and on what terms.


I think that most in the world can distinguish between the contexts of religious and civil in terms of marriage. You even seem to be able to do so. But you object to doing so. That I do not understand.

You seem to be suffering under the common delusion that the first humans, in their solitary wanderings, stumbled upon each other, started talking, and constructed society out of an accumulation of arms-length bargains. The Libertarian Creation Myth.

Not so. Humans have always depended on group strength, based on group discipline, for survival itself. To the extent that discipline couldn't be achieved by cooperation, it was achieved by coercion. Still is, and always will be. That is the fundamental factual premise of conservatism.

In accordance with which, marriage is, always was, and always will be a social construct that regulates society in the interest of society, not individuals, just like all law and all institutions, until the advent of liberalism. People have never been free to make any deal they want and demand it be recognized as marriage. Property relations would disappear, production would decline, and the whole thing would start over, and develop to the point of facing the same necessity, if the process weren't interrupted by defeat and enslavement by a more disciplined competitor.

Too Little Time
12-13-2015, 01:05 PM
You are unquestionably wrong. Continuously, from Day One, it has been a matter of what recognition the group decides to afford to individuals. And that recognition has overwhelmingly to do with property, who can own, who can inherit, on what terms. As a corollary of that: who is a member of the family, and on what terms.

I told TomF he was wrong to make the claim that the church not the state was entitled to use the word marriage. Since I don't think you even know when day one was, I will tell you you are also wrong.




You seem to be suffering under the common delusion that the first humans, in their solitary wanderings, stumbled upon each other, started talking, and constructed society out of an accumulation of arms-length bargains. The Libertarian Creation Myth.

Not so. Humans have always depended on group strength, based on group discipline, for survival itself. To the extent that discipline couldn't be achieved by cooperation, it was achieved by coercion. Still is, and always will be. That is the fundamental factual premise of conservatism.

In accordance with which, marriage is, always was, and always will be a social construct that regulates society in the interest of society, not individuals, just like all law and all institutions, until the advent of liberalism. People have never been free to make any deal they want and demand it be recognized as marriage. Property relations would disappear, production would decline, and the whole thing would start over, and develop to the point of facing the same necessity, if the process weren't interrupted by defeat and enslavement by a more disciplined competitor.

I told TomF that everyone can distinguish the meaning of "marriage" by the context. And that he is wrong in his claim that the government should have chosen a different word to avoid the confusion.

It seems you suffer from the delusion that your comments are in any way related to my comments, this thread, biology, history, or any other component of reality.


But you do bring up a good point - regulation of others. I could never be part of a religion where members told that gay marriage is wrong one day and right the next. A church is wrong to do so. The members are hypocritical.

TomF
12-13-2015, 01:29 PM
TLT, we simply disagree. Among other things, the various loops this very thread has taken several times shows that even among very thoughtful people, there's quite a lot of confusion over distinctions between civil and religious marriages. And in society more broadly, IMO there are a number who actively cultivate that confusion.

George Jung
12-13-2015, 01:42 PM
Good observation. We have quite a few 'cultivators' (nice euphemism) in the Bilge, too. But I'd have to say my thinking/perception of the issues more closely aligns with Tom and OR; argument to the contrary isn't particularly convincing.

Norman Bernstein
12-13-2015, 01:58 PM
I'm very happy to have LGBT committed folk inside the Marriage Canon - as happy as to have straight committed folk inside it.

I'm very unhappy to have people seek the Liturgical form of the Marriage Canon if in fact they have no intention of trying to live the way the Canon lays out. Whatever their sexual orientation. Lots of hetero- folks fall in that category too..

Here's my problem with this: Many people, if not MOST, probably violate whatever 'liturgical form of marriage' their faith prescribes. We presumably take their word for their faith or intentions, but we all know that it's virtually meaningless.... the very faithful will comport themselves according to religious law.... and the rest? Not so much.

I recall, that when we decided to get married, the marriage was going to be performed in a synagogue in Long Island, to which, my in-laws were not congregants. This is very common down there; the synagogues partially support themselves through the rental of their facilities for things like marriages. The officiating was going to be by the rabbi of the temple, which was their requirement; personally, I didn't care who did the deed.

However, that rabbi demanded that we visit with him, two weeks before the ceremony.... it was mandatory, and we had to make a special trip down from Boston to do it. The purpose of the meeting was to give him the opportunity to make the pitch for us to keep a kosher home, have lots of kids, become congregants of a synagogue, light candles on Friday night, attend temple on Saturday mornings.....

....to which, we nodded in assent, having no actual intention of doing ANY of that. (In actual practice, we did a little of it...)

My point is simply that the comportment of those who choose to marry isn't something that can be dictated or determined aforehand. If some LGBT couple declared publicly that it was their intention to violate all of the specifics of the liturgical canon, it would be reasonable for the spiritual leader to refuse to perform the ceremony.....

....but beyond that, it's simply an issue of faith. Theirs, not yours.

TomF
12-13-2015, 02:22 PM
Norm, there's an old truism that an officer ought not give an order unlikely to be followed; similar truism about passing a law which is unenforceable. Either brings the law into disrepute - think of Prohibition.

We can argue, as you have, that it's silly to assume that an unenforceable Marriage Canon really has much impact; people will live as they please. That worry of bringing the Canon into disrepute is almost precisely why some are concerned about LGBT folks and the Canon, of course. It's one thing to expect what you've described, but it's another to assume only the same degree of deviation from the rule among a population which has, uniquely in modern Western times, based its cultural self-understanding on the opposite behaviour.

I have no suggestions (or appetite!) To monitor compliance, with anyone. But it seems not entirely foolish to expect a difference, eh? Or for some to wish to manage the risk of increased disregard for the Canon in general by denying access to folks they figure more apt to view it as a "voluntary guideline" :)

Please note from earlier posts my own firm view that people, of any orientation, who wish access to the Canon as it's now written should have it. IMO the cost of exclusion is far more hurtful than the likelihood of more Canon "scofflaws". But others disagree.

Osborne Russell
12-13-2015, 04:43 PM
I told TomF that everyone can distinguish the meaning of "marriage" by the context.

What context?


It seems you suffer from the delusion that your comments are in any way related to my comments, this thread, biology, history, or any other component of reality.

How lame.


But you do bring up a good point - regulation of others. I could never be part of a religion where members told that gay marriage is wrong one day and right the next.

Why not?


A church is wrong to do so.

Why?


The members are hypocritical.

Why?

bobbys
12-13-2015, 05:57 PM
Norm, there's an old truism that an officer ought not give an order unlikely to be followed; similar truism about passing a law which is unenforceable. Either brings the law into disrepute - think of Prohibition.

We can argue, as you have, that it's silly to assume that an unenforceable Marriage Canon really has much impact; people will live as they please. That worry of bringing the Canon into disrepute is almost precisely why some are concerned about LGBT folks and the Canon, of course. It's one thing to expect what you've described, but it's another to assume only the same degree of deviation from the rule among a population which has, uniquely in modern Western times, based its cultural self-understanding on the opposite behaviour.

I have no suggestions (or appetite!) To monitor compliance, with anyone. But it seems not entirely foolish to expect a difference, eh? Or for some to wish to manage the risk of increased disregard for the Canon in general by denying access to folks they figure more apt to view it as a "voluntary guideline" :)

Please note from earlier posts my own firm view that people, of any orientation, who wish access to the Canon as it's now written should have it. IMO the cost of exclusion is far more hurtful than the likelihood of more Canon "scofflaws". But others disagree.
.

The State " canon" just replaced the church taking over moral authority by legislating sin..

pay Yer tithes to the state and Go to the state for forgiveness and salvation...

Forget about trying to figure it out or defend it .

You have a new master..

You just don't know it yet.

CWSmith
12-13-2015, 06:19 PM
I've been trying to figure out what is really important in this whole "lifestyle" discussion.

Years ago there was a wife swapping club in my childhood neighborhood. I was young and unaware until all of a sudden there were divorces all around me. An adult in the know told me about it. Wow! I never thought anything that exciting happened where I lived.

The thing is, I cannot see any difference between the promiscuous gay activity described in the OP and this activity participated in by straights. Both are equally outside the Christian model of marriage. However, if we weigh promiscuity before marriage against infidelity within marriage, it's a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. Not many Christian churches banish adulterers and not many admit gays. It really does not add up.

Peerie Maa
12-13-2015, 06:41 PM
Not many Christian churches banish adulterers and not many admit gays. It really does not add up.

You got to put it into context. When the relevant bit of the Testament was being written the Jewish tribes were at war with all and sundry. So they needed every one to breed new Jews. So hetro sex good, homo sex bad.

Too Little Time
12-13-2015, 06:55 PM
TLT, we simply disagree. Among other things, the various loops this very thread has taken several times shows that even among very thoughtful people, there's quite a lot of confusion over distinctions between civil and religious marriages. And in society more broadly, IMO there are a number who actively cultivate that confusion.
It does appear that a large number of people do cultivate that type of confusion. I have mentioned to others that their statements about my words ignore the context my words appeared in. But they are not what I would call thoughtful.

But we don't disagree, you are wrong. The English language has modifiers. One could write civil marriage, religious marriage, or marriage, when it is necessary to make the meaning clear. But you made a claim that religion had a prior right to the word marriage.


Please note from earlier posts my own firm view that people, of any orientation, who wish access to the Canon as it's now written should have it.

As I have said several times in this thread: It is hypocritical to participate in a church that changes its mind about who can and can not be married. It is certainly hypocritical to participate in a church that does not allow gay people to be married while professing that it is ok for them to be married.

I am willing to accept responsibility for the change in my beliefs about marriage, but I am not going to hide behind a church doctrine.

Norman Bernstein
12-13-2015, 07:05 PM
Norm, there's an old truism that an officer ought not give an order unlikely to be followed; similar truism about passing a law which is unenforceable. Either brings the law into disrepute - think of Prohibition.

We can argue, as you have, that it's silly to assume that an unenforceable Marriage Canon really has much impact; people will live as they please. That worry of bringing the Canon into disrepute is almost precisely why some are concerned about LGBT folks and the Canon, of course. It's one thing to expect what you've described, but it's another to assume only the same degree of deviation from the rule among a population which has, uniquely in modern Western times, based its cultural self-understanding on the opposite behaviour.

I would argue that the divorce rates contradict your presumption. Holy matrimony seems to have a less than 50% chance of being all that 'holy'.


I have no suggestions (or appetite!) To monitor compliance, with anyone. But it seems not entirely foolish to expect a difference, eh? Or for some to wish to manage the risk of increased disregard for the Canon in general by denying access to folks they figure more apt to view it as a "voluntary guideline" :)

An expectation of a difference is called 'hope'.... that thing which cares not whether the hope is fulfilled.


Please note from earlier posts my own firm view that people, of any orientation, who wish access to the Canon as it's now written should have it. IMO the cost of exclusion is far more hurtful than the likelihood of more Canon "scofflaws". But others disagree.

If the significance of the Canon is lost on some people who don't care to observe it in their marriages, it has NO effect on the faithful. Meaning no disrespect, how is this different from those who oppose gay marriage, in general?

TomF
12-14-2015, 07:50 AM
I would argue that the divorce rates contradict your presumption. Holy matrimony seems to have a less than 50% chance of being all that 'holy'.First hit on Google for "divorce rate Anglican" gives this article (http://www.virtueonline.org/christian-divorce-rate-myth)... which gives a few different researchers' stats saying something different. One 60% divorce rate for folks who nominally identify as Christian but rarely attend, 38% regular attenders. Doesn't say if those folks started regular attendance before or after the divorce. Another notes, interestingly, that Conservative protestant nominal attenders have a 20% higher divorce rate than secular Americans, but folks who claim a serious attachment to their faith a 35% lower divorce rate.

Yet another sociologist quoted in the article observes that couples with a strong faith commitment tend to show more of the couple-qualities needed for long term relationships to work. I'm not gonna argue chickens and eggs, but I will observe that the individuals' discipline involved in taking the marriage canon seriously tends to reinforce the couple-qualities which help the thing stay together.

Full disclosure - as I've mentioned before, I had a very brief, horrible marriage as a young man. Divorced within a year, I've been in my 2nd marriage for 25 years now. In my case, the willingness of each partner to take the Canon seriously was rather a huge factor, and correlated well with individual faith. Wife #1 wanted a Church wedding, wife #2 wanted a "Christian Marriage." In my study n=2, it mattered.

If the significance of the Canon is lost on some people who don't care to observe it in their marriages, it has NO effect on the faithful. Meaning no disrespect, how is this different from those who oppose gay marriage, in general?We're a social species, and our behaviour is strongly influenced by trends and expectations within our identity group, particularly when such behaviours haven't yet been established through habit or history. My behaviour in my marriage won't be shifted by the folks who live next door, but we've been married 25 years. OTOH, Herself and I lived together before getting married, which would have been unthinkable for my parents, and scandalous for my grandparents. What was marginally acceptable in my social context as a young man in a faith community was quite different from what was acceptable in theirs.

The Marriage Canon is under similar pressure, and IMO the consequences of having it evaporate into "guidelines" for religious folks are far more significant - because of the virtues described a page or so back which the Canon provides a context to develop. So again, Norm, the issue isn't particularly important for secular folks who fully intend to nod and wink to the gatekeeper for their preferred wedding location (your rabbi, many other clergy too) then do what they want. You lied to your rabbi about the intention to keep kosher etc., to get access to the synagogue you guys wanted for your wedding; the lie didn't much bother you, because the religious thing was secondary.

It probably wasn't secondary to the rabbi though, and one wonders whether he'd have been justified in not performing the ceremony, if he knew he was being lied to. He'd likely have been a lot less receptive had I, a practicing Christian, came asking for his venue; with good reason, he might suspect I had little intention to keep kosher or etc. It would be a good bet I wouldn't turn out a very good observant Jew, and just wanted his location for convenience.

Again, I'm not arguing for some kind of policing - I am noting that liturgies and religious forms (e.g. marriage) exist to promote particular virtues which matter to that community. And it's reasonable, I think, for that community to want to continue to promote those virtues, by how they think about enabling access to their own liturgies.

Ian McColgin
12-14-2015, 08:27 AM
Much of this discussion is missing the point of diversity and change. Today's "marriage cannon" is itself a massive change from the biblical understandings (plural, there are several) of marriage.

In our colonial history, my Pilgrim ancestors in their religious and intolerant community for some decades rejected any other than civil union. Jesus never performed, never solemnized, a marriage and thus to radical Protestants marriage is not a sacrament, just a property contract and a nice chance to have a party if you were of the Strangers and if you had a guy who could make more wine.

As an aside, Brehon Law of ancient Ireland took legal notice of at least ten levels of legal relationship including the notion of marriage as in essence a renewable contract with a year and a day term. Iron Dick discovered this when he turned up a day late for his anniversary with Granuaile.

Today we have a sort of compromise system where religious organizations can perform marriages according to their rites and, as a convenience to all concerned, have that marriage registered with civil authority. Not all religions perform marriages that will be recognized by civil law. For example, US law does not recognize plural marriage.

Religious organizations can set whatever standards they choose, including standards that change either in dogma (divorce in Protestant churches) or practical reality (divorce for most Roman Catholics).

In the US today any legally capable couple may obtain the contract and property advantages of marriage. They don’t have an automatic right to get those advantages through any and all religious organizations.

George Jung
12-14-2015, 09:49 AM
Now, that's a bit of interesting history, Ian.

Too Little Time
12-14-2015, 09:58 AM
In the US today any legally capable couple may obtain the contract and property advantages of marriage. They don’t have an automatic right to get those advantages through any and all religious organizations.

It is worthwhile to note that for some groups in the US and in many areas of the world marriage consists of a celebration and a public announcement. There is no need to involve either the government or a religion.

Norman Bernstein
12-14-2015, 09:59 AM
Yet another sociologist quoted in the article observes that couples with a strong faith commitment tend to show more of the couple-qualities needed for long term relationships to work. I'm not gonna argue chickens and eggs, but I will observe that the individuals' discipline involved in taking the marriage canon seriously tends to reinforce the couple-qualities which help the thing stay together.

I have no reason to doubt that there is a correlation between a faith commitment, and more secure marriages.... but that is a correlation, and not a causation. There are plenty of very long term 'faithful' marriages in which the participants aren't particularly happy, but due to a number of reasons (faith would be one of them, but you might include family pressure, the fear of social ostracism, etc), the marriages continue. This falls into the definition of 'obligation', which can be a powerful motivating factor to continue what might be an unsatisfying marriage.


We're a social species, and our behaviour is strongly influenced by trends and expectations within our identity group, particularly when such behaviours haven't yet been established through habit or history.

...and perpetuating an unsatisfying marriage is certainly one of those behaviors. There may be 'degrees' of love and commitment; long term marriages in which one partner feels less in love or committed, but due to all the external factors mentioned, wouldn't consider anything like divorce. Commitment to children might be stronger than commitment to a mate.


OTOH, Herself and I lived together before getting married, which would have been unthinkable for my parents, and scandalous for my grandparents. What was marginally acceptable in my social context as a young man in a faith community was quite different from what was acceptable in theirs.

I did, likewise, and personally, I think living together before marriage ought to be mandatory, not optional.


The Marriage Canon is under similar pressure, and IMO the consequences of having it evaporate into "guidelines" for religious folks are far more significant - because of the virtues described a page or so back which the Canon provides a context to develop. So again, Norm, the issue isn't particularly important for secular folks who fully intend to nod and wink to the gatekeeper for their preferred wedding location (your rabbi, many other clergy too) then do what they want. You lied to your rabbi about the intention to keep kosher etc., to get access to the synagogue you guys wanted for your wedding; the lie didn't much bother you, because the religious thing was secondary.

Absolutely true, but then again, I've never lost a single night's sleep over it.... and we've been married 42 years.... clearly, lack of faith hasn't been deleterious to my marriage.


It probably wasn't secondary to the rabbi though, and one wonders whether he'd have been justified in not performing the ceremony, if he knew he was being lied to. He'd likely have been a lot less receptive had I, a practicing Christian, came asking for his venue; with good reason, he might suspect I had little intention to keep kosher or etc. It would be a good bet I wouldn't turn out a very good observant Jew, and just wanted his location for convenience.

The rabbi's involvement was purely for the sake of the parents, not us.... we would have been perfectly happy with a simple civil ceremony... at the time, we might not have been full-bore 'hippies', but we were certainly counter-culture. Instead, the wedding was, for the most part, my mother-in-law's opportunity to host a big party and, to a certain extent, 'show off' to her friends. Wife and I had NOTHING to do with the arrangements, the selection of the venue.... we didn't even choose our own honeymoon, that was my mother-in-law's idea (the honeymoon was a week in Jamaica, in what turned out to be a really crappy hotel with lousy food and too much danger to wander outside the hotel grounds... it was NOT what we would have picked, but was a concession to her mother, who wanted control over the entire affair).

For the most part, we both felt like pawns in a game. We were living in Boston, going to school, and the wedding was little more than a 'week down in NY, with a detour to Jamaica'.... and we were both glad to get back to Boston. The wedding didn't affect our relationship, which was strong before, and strong after.

So, when it comes to lying to the Rabbi, I certainly didn't feel like I had the slightest bit of control over the situation... it was a 'set-up'.


Again, I'm not arguing for some kind of policing - I am noting that liturgies and religious forms (e.g. marriage) exist to promote particular virtues which matter to that community. And it's reasonable, I think, for that community to want to continue to promote those virtues, by how they think about enabling access to their own liturgies.

Well, good luck in devising your 'sincerity' test. I'm not sure I see that it's even possible.

RonW
12-14-2015, 10:54 AM
Gotta agree with my buddy norm's post #152......

But back to TomF, a faith based organization ? Good christian, that performs same sex marriages, and you approve ? And all this rambling boils down to what ?
Maybe you had better go back and look up a few things in this christian faith that you want to be in good standing with.....such as....

----Leviticus 18:22 ESV / 2,349 helpful votes

You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV / 1,696 helpful votes

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Romans 1:26-28 ESV / 1,266 helpful votes

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

Leviticus 20:13 ESV / 1,211 helpful votes

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

1 Timothy 1:10 ESV / 793 helpful votes

The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,

Mark 10:6-9 ESV / 754 helpful votes

But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

1 Corinthians 7:2 ESV / 639 helpful votes

But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.

Jude 1:7 ESV / 574 helpful votes

Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

1 Timothy 1:10-11 ESV /

The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Romans 1:27 ESV /

And the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Romans 1:32 ESV /

Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Romans 13:8-10 ESV /

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Hebrews 13:1-25 ESV /

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” ...

Leviticus 20:13-15 ESV /

If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them. If a man takes a woman and her mother also, it is depravity; he and they shall be burned with fire, that there may be no depravity among you. If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal.

Genesis 19:1-38 ESV /

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant's house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” ...

2 Timothy 4:3 ESV /

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,

1 Kings 14:24 ESV /

And there were also male cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

Acts 5:29 ESV /

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.


http://www.openbible.info/topics/homosexuality

George Jung
12-14-2015, 11:02 AM
Well, good luck in devising your 'sincerity' test. I'm not sure I see that it's even possible.

Learning to appear sincere - if you can 'fake that', you can fake anything! :p

Norman Bernstein
12-14-2015, 11:03 AM
Learning to appear sincere - if you can 'fake that', you can fake anything! :p

I suppose it's the primary skill required of Presidential candidates :)

TomF
12-14-2015, 11:55 AM
TLT, I refer you to post #18 in this recent thread (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?200234-The-Bible) for my approach to the authority of scripture, and frankly the approach which was normative at the ecumenical seminary of IIRC 6 mainline denominations where the professor I referenced taught. Feel free to disagree, but understand that it's not just Crazy Tom who's "wrong." :D

Norm, I agree that correlation isn't causation; there may be some regression analyses in the primary sources cited in the article I linked which show causal links, but I haven't gone looking for them. I didn't launch the thread to claim that Christian Marriage is linked to fewer divorces. There are lots of bad marriages which last interminably long, and IMO ought not to. "Religious" perhaps more than secular ones, if the only reason folks are staying together is to follow a rule.

That isn't what the thread's about; it's actually more closely related to what you'd described regarding your own wedding. Many congregations don't perform weddings for folks who aren't somehow connected to the congregation anymore. A church isn't a backdrop, and a worship service which happens to include a wedding is a worship service. If the couple doesn't want to worship, and doesn't actually intend to have a marriage of the type the church's liturgy envisions ... I hear they host lovely events and receptions at the Art Gallery. They're even constructing a new wing just now partly to capitalize on this growing demand.

You don't have to meet with the curator and lie about your admiration of the Dali in the main foyer before they'll take your booking either. ;)

Norman Bernstein
12-14-2015, 12:12 PM
That isn't what the thread's about; it's actually more closely related to what you'd described regarding your own wedding. Many congregations don't perform weddings for folks who aren't somehow connected to the congregation anymore. A church isn't a backdrop, and a worship service which happens to include a wedding is a worship service. If the couple doesn't want to worship, and doesn't actually intend to have a marriage of the type the church's liturgy envisions ... I hear they host lovely events and receptions at the Art Gallery.

You don't have to meet with the curator and lie about your admiration of the Dali in the main foyer before they'll take your booking either. ;)

It's a reasonable point, Tom... but I don't see it as being particularly significant. Your clergyman has no way to judge the sincerity of the participants, so he depends on.... wait for it... faith. Furthermore, if he's a reasonable guy, he clearly understands that not all of the marriages he performs will result in a 'liturgically-correct' union... in fact, many of them will not.

Besides, the liturgical canon which addresses marriage is an invention of Man, not God. Who is to say that any deviation from the proscribed arrangement isn't every bit as good, holy, or whatever you'd like to call it?

I have said many times that I respect people of faith... I do, indeed. However, from my personal point of view, I don't connect 'worship' with faith. For one thing, the very idea of 'worship' offends me.... no matter how you spin it, it still is a remnant of an epoch when people believed that there was a God who was incredibly vain, and unless he was praised, a lot of bad things would happen to them. We're not that disconnected from the era when faith required slaughtering an animal to give 'burnt offerings' to God.

If there is a God, the 'human' concept of vanity certainly can't apply, and God needs no 'worship'.... if anything, God looks to the individual behavior of his flock to see if they live righteous lives. Whether married couples live a married life which is 'liturgically correct' or not, no one knows whether God is 'pleased' (there goes another anthropomorphic projection).

TomF
12-14-2015, 12:26 PM
Norm, with respect, of course you don't see my point as "particularly significant." :D Folks shouldn't lose sleep over blandly telling stories to a rabbi or priest to get access to a venue either. That's kinda the issue, eh?

In a similar vein, you've an atheist's/agnostic's view of what worship is, or why. That's fine, but I'm really not going to be able to explain it to you. Again, the place I'd send you to start (as I did with TLT) is my post #18 in the other thread. Folks like Amos and assorted psalmists had quite a bit to say about worship, and that whole burned sacrifice thing.

Too Little Time
12-14-2015, 12:27 PM
TLT, I refer you to post #18 in this recent thread (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?200234-The-Bible) for my approach to the authority of scripture, and frankly the approach which was normative at the ecumenical seminary of IIRC 6 mainline denominations where the professor I referenced taught. Feel free to disagree, but understand that it's not just Crazy Tom who's "wrong."

I don't think you are crazy. At least, not to the extent that you would be abnormal for here. I will agree that the bible is a bunch of stories rather than immutable facts. I am wiling to accept that any religion is free to adopt any doctrine it wants.

But, marriage existed prior to the bible, religion, or government. So to make a claim that marriage belongs to the church and government should have chosen a different term is to ignore that individuals had use of the word prior to both government and the church.

RonW
12-14-2015, 12:33 PM
So why worship at all, and then call yourself a christian if you do not uphold the christian belief, as pointed out in post # 153..Or do you doubt the word ?

Norman Bernstein
12-14-2015, 12:40 PM
Norm, with respect, of course you don't see my point as "particularly significant." :D

Well, this IS the place where we express opinions, is it not? :)


In a similar vein, you've an atheist's/agnostic's view of what worship is, or why. That's fine, but I'm really not going to be able to explain it to you.

Careful there.... you wouldn't want to presume that my opinion is invalidated because I don't 'understand' worship like you do, right?

TomF
12-14-2015, 02:28 PM
Well, I figure that pretty much the definition of an invalid opinion is whatever I might say about on circuits, Norm. :D Somebody actually in the game is a better source of meaningful input, I'd suggest.

TomF
12-14-2015, 02:36 PM
I don't think you are crazy. At least, not to the extent that you would be abnormal for here. I will agree that the bible is a bunch of stories rather than immutable facts. I am wiling to accept that any religion is free to adopt any doctrine it wants.

But, marriage existed prior to the bible, religion, or government. So to make a claim that marriage belongs to the church and government should have chosen a different term is to ignore that individuals had use of the word prior to both government and the church.Marriage in one form or another has been around for a long while, in different models in different cultures. I'd dispute that it predated religion or government - because it is a "social institution" which functions within a broader context of social norms, practices, and institutions. Usually those things are the constituent bits of how a society creates government, or religion, or both.

But in the West, which is how I situated my point a while back, the starting point for "marriage" for well over 1000 years was the Church, in the quasi-legal role it assumed from the time of the fall of Rome. It's got a better genealogical claim to originating the way "marriage" is defined in our culture than anyone else still standing.

TomF
12-14-2015, 02:38 PM
So why worship at all, and then call yourself a christian if you do not uphold the christian belief, as pointed out in post # 153..Or do you doubt the word ?What would you know about how a Christian can authentically approach their faith, or scripture? On what basis does your opinion have more "standing" than, say, mine ... or the community of Christians I'm part of?

RonW
12-14-2015, 02:44 PM
What would you know about how a Christian can authentically approach their faith, or scripture? On what basis does your opinion have more "standing" than, say, mine ... or the community of Christians I'm part of?

Does the community Christians that you are part of condone and even perform same sex marriages ?

TomF
12-14-2015, 02:50 PM
Do the community Christians that you are part of condone and even perform same sex marriages ?That's exactly the question they're studying. In the Episcopal Church in the United States, yes. The Anglican Church of Canada (sister church) is discussing recommendations and theological underpinnings, which will lead to a decision by Synod respecting the whole of the Canadian body. The report I linked early on in this thread is an official Commission report, to provide a measured analytical background document. It's almost a foregone conclusion that they'll say "yes."

Kinda like how "states rights" work, some individual dioceses (like New Westminister) have been doing this in Canada for decades. Others not.

The United Church of Canada, which I grew up in, has officially blessed same-sex marriages since the 1980s.

RonW
12-14-2015, 02:56 PM
That's exactly the question they're studying. In the Episcopal Church in the United States, yes. The Anglican Church of Canada (sister church) is discussing recommendations and theological underpinnings, which will lead to a decision by Synod respecting the whole of the Canadian body. It's almost a foregone conclusion that they'll say "yes."

Kinda like how "states rights" work, some individual dioceses (like New Westminister) have been doing this in Canada for decades. Others not.

The United Church of Canada, which I grew up in, has officially blessed same-sex marriages since the 1980s.

Are Christians the ones who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ ?

Is Jesus Christ the son of God ?

Is the holy bible the word of God ?

Do you read and follow the word of God ?

TomF
12-14-2015, 02:56 PM
Does a bear shyte in the woods?

Have you any wee notion how to responsibly parse those apparently simple questions?

RonW
12-14-2015, 03:02 PM
Does a bear shyte in the woods?

Have you any wee notion how to responsibly parse those apparently simple questions?

Those simple questions are the root to it all......either you do or you don't.......and that is what determines a true christian from the false prophets..

TomF
12-14-2015, 03:35 PM
Though the answer is "yes" to all of your rather deceptively simple questions, I am pretty sure that in your book I'm one of those false dudes anyhow. Beware, or I'm gonna drag you down to perdition. So dangerous that if I were you, I'd put me on ignore.

Why should you care anyhow, Ron? Have you had a conversion experience since we were talking about Syrian refugees?

gilberj
12-14-2015, 03:52 PM
Those simple questions are the root to it all......either you do or you don't.......and that is what determines a true christian from the false prophets..
I think those questions are nearly irrelevant. The assumption, by asking those questions in that way defines a very narrow range of Christianity. Most of my Christian friends do not perceive the Bible as the immutable word of God. So what about all those Christians who do not take the Bible literally? are they not really Christians in your view?
I'd say that you, or anyone for that matter are not qualified to judge another persons faith or lack of faith. You have a responsibility to chose your path, and under no obligation to follow someone else's recommendations or path.

RonW
12-14-2015, 03:55 PM
Well, I guess in your book I'm one of those false dudes. Beware, or I'm gonna drag you down to perdition. So dangerous that if I were you, I'd put me on ignore.

I put no one on ignore, that is childish and you never know what you are depriving yourself of, some good info or pure unadulterated laughter.You are entertaining as well..

But now you are struggling to answer my simple and basic questions, which is exactly in my opinion why you have this thread with this subject.

If it doesn't pass the basic sniff test and walks and quacks like a duck then it must be a duck. Are you struggling to admit your doubts and fears, and thus looking for those that will give you reassurance ?

Well you ain't gonna get any reassurance from me, you was right long time ago when you said I ain't religious and don't have much use for those that claim to be.
Every time I see someone that has to proclaim that they are a good christian, guess what, those are the people you can't trust and they are the biggest hypocrites of all..

Go back and read my post #153 and try and figure it out for yourself, it is rather plain and simple.....

Then go and find yourself a christian church to belong to instead of a faith based group that are willing to sacrifice their beliefs for more members.

RonW
12-14-2015, 04:00 PM
I think those questions are nearly irrelevant. The assumption, by asking those questions in that way defines a very narrow range of Christianity. Most of my Christian friends do not perceive the Bible as the immutable word of God. So what about all those Christians who do not take the Bible literally? are they not really Christians in your view?
I'd say that you, or anyone for that matter are not qualified to judge another persons faith or lack of faith. You have a responsibility to chose your path, and under no obligation to follow someone else's recommendations or path.

I say, those of little faith.......they want to pick and chose what they do or how they believe ........

I say they need to throw that book in the trash can and move on with their lives instead of trying to play a self righteous hypocritical game for others.

Osborne Russell
12-14-2015, 04:20 PM
But in the West, which is how I situated my point a while back, the starting point for "marriage" for well over 1000 years was the Church, in the quasi-legal role it assumed from the time of the fall of Rome.

Before that it was entirely civil for nearly 1,000 years, in Rome. Including property ownership, legitimacy, inheritance, everything, including adoption. With the state's authorization, it was legit. Without the state's authorization, not.

So when people say marriage in western civ has always meant what the Bible says, they're flat wrong. Flat . . . dead . . . wrong.

George Jung
12-14-2015, 04:24 PM
Well if we're talking folks from 1000 years ago, isn't 'flat' and 'dead' a given?

It's not fair when you 'give' yourself the first two outta three!

TomF
12-14-2015, 04:26 PM
Ron, you quite simply have no idea what you're talking about when you pronounce on my faith life. But I'm not here to justify it to you, eh?

You are aware, aren't you, that there are quite literally theological libraries stuffed to overflowing with a small sampling of the books written over the past couple of thousand years exploring those simple little questions, eh?

TomF
12-14-2015, 04:33 PM
Before that it was entirely civil for nearly 1,000 years, in Rome. Including property ownership, legitimacy, inheritance, everything, including adoption. With the state's authorization, it was legit. Without the state's authorization, not.

So when people say marriage in western civ has always meant what the Bible says, they're flat wrong. Flat . . . dead . . . wrong.Oz, I'm not gonna die on that hill. Yes, Roman law (and before that Greek, and before that I dunno) addressed marriage before Christendom was given the role for 15-1600 years or so. I'm sure the Mesopotamians and Aztecs had older versions yet. The model we've used in the West seems pretty grounded in Christian context to me; possession of a term that long confers a bit of ownership.

If you'd rather the state re-appropriated the "marriage" word from Religious communities in the West, that's fine. If a couple wants a religious liturgical rite alongside the civil one, or just to use the faith group's building to hold their thing, I figure it's within scope for the faith group to say "yeah, you can be married as one of us if you understand it this way, but not that way. And if you want to be married by one of us, in our building, using our rite ... we interpret that as 'as one of us.'"

RonW
12-14-2015, 04:42 PM
Ron, you quite simply have no idea what you're talking about when you pronounce on my faith life. But I'm not here to justify it to you, eh?

You are aware, aren't you, that there are quite literally theological libraries stuffed to overflowing with a small sampling of the books written over the past couple of thousand years exploring those simple little questions, eh?

Yep, well aware of it being nothing more then a compilation of a bunch of small books that no one can actually be sure of who and when they was actually written.

And when king james told the church to translate it into english, they left out a few that they didn't want us to read.......so what ?

I like the book of judas the best.......how about you what is your favorite ? ..........

But that changes nothing, either you believe and follow or you are thee of little faith ... now don't make excuses..what's your decision ?


http://www.nationalgeographic.com/lostgospel/_pdf/GospelofJudas.pdf

just for you tomf.......

Osborne Russell
12-14-2015, 04:42 PM
Well if we're talking folks from 1000 years ago, isn't 'flat' and 'dead' a given?

It's not fair when you 'give' yourself the first two outta three!

|;) Well, you got me there.

The third one, "wrong", is interesting, however. Marriage was civil before the grafting of Judeo-Christianism onto western civilization. And it's civil now. The church part was an interlude.

Even at that, much civil law, and even church law, was derived not from the Bible or the Christians but from the pre-Christian Romans and, here and there, some of the more advanced "barbarian" tribes.

Reds like to say western civilization is rooted in Judeo-Christianity but it isn't. It's rooted in Hellenism. JC is a graft, if not a parasite.

TomF
12-14-2015, 04:51 PM
...But that changes nothing, either you believe and follow or you are thee of little faith ... not don't make excuses..what's your decision ?These Pharisaical details matter to you so desperately because ...?

Sorry to disappoint, Ron, but my faith life's just fine. Thanks ever so much for your concern.

S.V. Airlie
12-14-2015, 05:06 PM
Tom F, as is the usual case, RonW doesn't have a clue about much.

Norman Bernstein
12-14-2015, 06:11 PM
Well, I figure that pretty much the definition of an invalid opinion is whatever I might say about on circuits, Norm. :D

Well, when it comes to circuits, there are unquestionably absolute truths, and 'opinion' doesn't apply. When it comes to religion.... not so much :)


Somebody actually in the game is a better source of meaningful input, I'd suggest.

One advantage of being an agnostic is that the 'holier than thou' approach falls flat on its face. I never said I could speak to whatever religious liturgy or canon one might subscribe to... but having been married for 43 years, I'm not a novice when it comes to what we call the institution of marriage.

As for me, I'm a acolyte of that great 20th century philosopher and theologian who said "Whatever gets you through the night... is all right... is all right."

(That would be john Lennon, by the way)

TomF
12-14-2015, 06:28 PM
Norm, what would happen to a piece of iron, if it was bathed in a heavy magnetic field? That's kinda what worship is supposed to do. It's not about pacifying a deity by saying sycophantic things, it's about what happens to you when you spend time in the presence.

Desmond Tutu talked about "wasting time in the presence of God."

If I might, it's not surprising that as an atheist/agnostic, you figure there's nothing reasonably firm which can be said about the practice or experience of religion. If your experience was other than that ... you wouldn't be atheist/agnostic. ;) A whole lot of people's experience is otherwise, and a whole lot of it is consistent with each other, across cultures, creeds, and time periods. That's not being "holier than thou," it's parsing the described experience of a practices' user group, rather than the assumptions of a non-user group. If I wanted to know about surfing, I'd ask surfers. And I wouldn't assume that surfers didn't exist because I'd never been to an ocean.

Norman Bernstein
12-14-2015, 07:31 PM
If I might, it's not surprising that as an atheist/agnostic, you figure there's nothing reasonably firm which can be said about the practice or experience of religion. If your experience was other than that ... you wouldn't be atheist/agnostic. ;)

But it's not, so I am. I see absolutely NO reason to be dissatisfied with NOT having had that experience.

Of course, it's one thing to talk about one's religious experiences inside a 'respectable' religion.... but you've got a problem with devotees of the bizarre and seemingly implausible religions.... like Scientology. Would you feel comfortable having Tom Cruise telling you that you don't believe in Scientology principles because you simply haven't had 'the experience'? Is there a difference between what you are representing to ME, regarding Christianity.... and what Tom Cruise might represent to YOU, regarding Scientology?

I have absolutely NO reason, whatsoever, to disparage Christianity.... OR Scientology... on the basis of whether their believers actually believe or not. I DO disparage Scientology on the basis of its implausiblity. Notice the difference.... I'm referring to the religion itself, not the faithful.


A whole lot of people's experience is otherwise, and a whole lot of it is consistent with each other, across cultures, creeds, and time periods. That's not being "holier than thou," it's parsing the described experience of a practices' user group, rather than the assumptions of a non-user group. If I wanted to know about surfing, I'd ask surfers. And I wouldn't assume that surfers didn't exist because I'd never been to an ocean.

That works, as long as we discount 1.8 BILLION Muslims, who don't share that experience... but have their OWN experience to tell you about.... have you sought them out to see what their experience is all about? Let me see... is the validity and respectability of the religious experience depend upon which religion one is referring to? I'd say that willing to martyr one's self for their religion is a clear demonstration of a vastly deeper commitment, wouldn't you? (As I recall, martyrdom was an element in early Christianity.... and Christ himself was the original Christian martyr).

Sorry if I've unleashed my 'snark' animal rather severely here.

RonW
12-14-2015, 08:05 PM
TomF .-
orm, what would happen to a piece of iron, if it was bathed in a heavy magnetic field? That's kinda what worship is supposed to do. It's not about pacifying a deity by saying sycophantic things, it's about what happens to you when you spend time in the presence.

Desmond Tutu talked about "wasting time in the presence of God."

Well if that ain't interesting and revealing, which leads to the obvious question of why do you profess to be a christian.
1- for the lifestyle, association and respect from others ?
2- To serve a supreme being (aka GOD ) for the purpose of being rewarded ?

TomF
12-14-2015, 08:44 PM
Again, Ron, why do you care? Have you a religious experience of your own you'd care to juxtapose against Desmond Tutu's?

TomF
12-14-2015, 08:47 PM
Norm, your snark doesn't trouble me. But I expect that in return, my support of rabbis and priests who restrict their services, their buildings' use, and their religious "legitimation" of a marriage to folks they feel some minor amount of certainty might not be abusing the privilege doesn't trouble you...

RonW
12-14-2015, 09:42 PM
Again, Ron, why do you care? Have you a religious experience of your own you'd care to juxtapose against Desmond Tutu's?

Well Tom, now that you mention it, it was last tuesday when I fried a couple of eggs, and there he was, his face on the eggs and the toast, but I ate them anyhow.

And I thought we had an elephant in the room, but it looks more like a little itsy bitsy mouse. And here I was afraid to say anything for 3 pages (remembering memphis mike)
but no such thing ..

So as marshcat asked, do you have a problem with same sex marriages in christian churches ? Or are you trying to promote the act of ?

Hey you created the thread ..

TomF
12-15-2015, 07:07 AM
...That works, as long as we discount 1.8 BILLION Muslims, who don't share that experience... but have their OWN experience to tell you about.... have you sought them out to see what their experience is all about? ....As I've said countless times, Norm, and as folks even including the past few Popes have also affirmed ... God doesn't only work through Christianity. I've no doubt at all that God also works through Islam, through First Nations' spirituality, through various other religious traditions. And through various ways entirely outside of religious traditions. A religious tradition is something humans have developed, but God pre-dates and overflows them all.

Jesus' comments about the "greatest commandment" are pertinent - they're the touchstone for authenticity in a tradition. Love God, love your neighbour, and don't worry so much about the rest. What you'll find is that digging into what that requires will usually entail sacrifice, some degree of chosen discipline on one's own wants, etc.

TomF
12-15-2015, 07:12 AM
...So as marshcat asked, do you have a problem with same sex marriages in christian churches ? Or are you trying to promote the act of ?

Hey you created the thread ..So read it, and find out how I answered marshcat.

Norman Bernstein
12-15-2015, 11:12 AM
As I've said countless times, Norm, and as folks even including the past few Popes have also affirmed ... God doesn't only work through Christianity. I've no doubt at all that God also works through Islam, through First Nations' spirituality, through various other religious traditions.

Are you equally as sanguine about something like Scientology?

TomF
12-15-2015, 11:40 AM
Are you equally as sanguine about something like Scientology?The very little I know of Scientology is that it's mostly about how rich celebrities can remain rich, and retain control over their families. There's that interesting bit about aliens out there watching, too.

The sniff-test for me is: Love God, love your neighbour. I don't see Scientology passing.

Interestingly, I do see varieties of avowedly atheistic humanism passing.

RonW
12-15-2015, 01:00 PM
TomF .
Interestingly, I do see varieties of avowedly atheistic humanism passing.

Are you predicting that the non believers are going to come back to thy fold ?

Does this mean the rejection of the non provable theory of evolution ?

TomF
12-15-2015, 01:18 PM
What is this "thy" stuff, Ron? I don't have a "fold," etc. Kinda making a fool of yourself.

Look, it's up to God, not me.

RonW
12-15-2015, 01:32 PM
What is this "thy" stuff, Ron? I don't have a "fold," etc. Kinda making a fool of yourself.

Look, it's up to God, not me.

Well now that you want to bring the subject up of who is making a fool of themselves, your whole thread of same sex marriage in the christian church is obviously and blatantly against the teachings of christianity, as I plainly proved in post # 153...

So you are doing what ? trying to find a way to defend your faith based christian organization that is marrying gays for the sole purpose of allowing more members in to keep the donation plate a little heavier.....

Oh by the way, when you said --
Look, it's up to God, not me. Did by any chance he give you any instructions ?

TomF
12-15-2015, 01:38 PM
You could hardly be more mistaken, Ron. What is your agenda, eh?

RonW
12-15-2015, 01:42 PM
You could hardly be more mistaken, Ron. What is your agenda, eh?

Wrong, it ain't my agenda, it seem rather obvious that it is your agenda, and it looks like that agenda is to promote same sex marriage inside of the christian church as if this is O.K. and God approves of it..........What utter nonsense and a totally hypocritical agenda.....

George Jung
12-15-2015, 01:44 PM
TomF, why? Why? Why would you enter a 'discussion' with ol' RW? He's wackadoodle, and the angry variety, at that. His entire messed up, conservative world is crumbling around him; he's an 'angry' sort, not given to niceties (such as being civil) or facts. He's just a bit too twisted; surprised he's not been permanently banned.

It's saintly to turn the other cheek - but don't become a whirling dervish!

TomF
12-15-2015, 01:58 PM
Wrong, it ain't my agenda, it seem rather obvious that it is your agenda, and it looks like that agenda is to promote same sex marriage inside of the christian church as if this is O.K. and God approves of it..........What utter nonsense and a totally hypocritical agenda.....Haven't really read the thread, eh Ron? You've scanned a few words here and there, and decided what you imagine it must have said.

My agenda (as in the OP) was to highlight where the Anglican Church of Canada's discussion is going these days, and tease out some of the issues that it's not PC to name these days but which undergird some of the fear within the Church. But yeah, I support the direction the Episcopal Church went in your country first, and where I think the Anglican synod will go in mine soon. And yeah, I figure God has no problem with sexual orientation differences; he created them, after all.

OTOH, it sure looks like your agenda is to put my head on a pike as a pretend Christian. I'll save you the trouble. You've sneered before at the whole notion of Christianity - but maybe you call yourself one these days, and are representing some denomination or other.

I'm not that kind. I've already failed a whole bunch of their rules, and will going forward. That's between me and God, and we'll sort it. Draw a line under it.

RonW
12-15-2015, 02:06 PM
TomF . says --
And yeah, I figure God has no problem with sexual orientation differences; he created them, after all.

Well you can throw that holy bible in the trash can, because it obviously doesn't apply to the new interpretation of the new world order of Christians.....

Maybe we can check out the Koran. I see where george wants to limit the discussion to only, like thinkers. It does save on how to defend the undefendable.

TomF
12-15-2015, 02:13 PM
TomF . says --

Well you can throw that holy bible in the trash can, because it obviously doesn't apply to the new interpretation of the new world order of Christians......Actually, TomF said:
Recently, the Anglican Church of Canada released a report (http://www.anglicanjournal.com/articles/marriage-canon-report-gets-mixed-reviews-from-theologians)looking at the theological issues associated with same-sex marriage, and possible revisions to the Marriage Canon here...Feel free to dispute the Commission's level of scholarship, biblical literacy, faithfulness, etc. I'm sure they'd welcome your deeply reasoned input.

RonW
12-15-2015, 02:17 PM
Actually, TomF said: Feel free to dispute the Commission's level of scholarship, biblical literacy, faithfulness, etc. I'm sure they'd welcome your deeply reasoned input.

I already did......and backed it up in post # 153.....so I guess you and the commission have decided to reject the bible and write your own rules....What a joke...continue on...

TomF
12-15-2015, 02:21 PM
I already did......and backed it up in post # 153.....so I guess you and the commission have decided to reject the bible and write your own rules....What a joke...continue on...Well that clinches it. Despite my #156 reply, I guess I'm doomed to eternal barbeque. As Twain wrote, "Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." :D

RonW
12-15-2015, 02:26 PM
Well that clinches it. Despite my #156 reply, I guess I'm doomed to eternal barbeque. As Twain wrote, "Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." :D

You post #156 does not address my post of #153. or what the scriptures say as to the christian viewpoint of the act of homosexuality....

TomF
12-15-2015, 02:31 PM
You post #156 does not address my post of #153. or what the scriptures say as to the christian viewpoint of the act of homosexuality....Hmmm. Well, it does actually. ;)

But you'd have to read it, and read post #18 from another thread that I linked there.

Osborne Russell
12-15-2015, 02:47 PM
Oz, I'm not gonna die on that hill. Yes, Roman law (and before that Greek, and before that I dunno) addressed marriage before Christendom was given the role for 15-1600 years or so. I'm sure the Mesopotamians and Aztecs had older versions yet. The model we've used in the West seems pretty grounded in Christian context to me; possession of a term that long confers a bit of ownership.

Tricky word. Ownership implies legal and moral right against the world. I don't recognize any such right in any religion. If you're using the word metaphorically, as in they "own" the right to define what marriage means within the practice of their religion, fine.

As to the Greeks and Romans, marriage was emphatically a state business. The family exists to feed the state. Go forth and multiply was the law.


Rome's survival required that citizens produce children. This could not be left to individual conscience—the falling birthrate was a marker of degeneracy and self-indulgence, particularly among the elite who were supposed to set an example. The Augustan Lex Julia maritandis ordinibus compelled marriage upon men and women within specified age ranges, and remarriage on the divorced and bereaved within certain time limits.

-- Wikipedia, Paterfamilias

The Ancient Greek legislators considered marriage to be a matter of public interest. This was particularly the case at Sparta, where the subordination of private interests and personal happiness to the good of the public was strongly encouraged by the laws of the city. One example of the legal importance of marriage can be found in the Spartan governing laws, the laws of Lycurgus of Sparta, which required that criminal proceedings be taken against those who married too late (graphe opsigamiou) or unsuitably (graphe kakogamiou), as well as against confirmed bachelors, i.e. against those who did not marry at all (graphe agamiou). These regulations were founded on the generally recognised principle that it was the duty of every citizen to raise up a strong and healthy progeny of legitimate children to the state

-- Wikipedia, Greek wedding customs



If you'd rather the state re-appropriated the "marriage" word from Religious communities in the West, that's fine.

Like I said before, I will argue the history who appropriated what from whom; as to current policy, what's important is that people understand that the state defines marriage.


If a couple wants a religious liturgical rite alongside the civil one, or just to use the faith group's building to hold their thing, I figure it's within scope for the faith group to say "yeah, you can be married as one of us if you understand it this way, but not that way. And if you want to be married by one of us, in our building, using our rite ... we interpret that as 'as one of us.'"

It's within the scope of their rights, for sure. Have a party with tea and cakes, and have a good time !

My church could say, within our church, you're not married until both spouses have done volunteer work in Mexico. Legal effect? Zero. If you apply for a credit card, you better check "married" as marital status, Mexico or no Mexico, or you've committed a crime.

TomF
12-15-2015, 02:52 PM
"Owned" as metaphor, of course; nobody trademarked the word. As I said, not a hill I'm gonna die on. But within the context of folks asking for the use of a building, priest, rite, and what they somehow apparently view as liturgical "legitimacy" ...

IMO let the state handle the legal aspects, whatever it's going to be called. And let the faith groups do the faith thing, for those who want it ...