Wednesday, June 22, 2005

texas: no place to be gay

i missed this speech by rep. senfronia thompson when they passed this bill. but it circled back to me today from a friend through email.

this weekend is pride weekend in chicago. reading thompson's speech reminds me why we still need gay activism.


LutheranChik said...

These days it seems Texas is no place to be human.

greg said...

Aw, LC, that's a little harsh. It's true that idiots make up a somewhat larger percentage of the population here than elsewhere, but it's only a matter of degree, not of type. Oooo, did I make that "elitest" comment out loud? Please let me apologize here to all those conservatives, like Gov. Perry, who show so much respect for me and my views; sometimes I'm just a rotten Christian.

jesus chick said...

god only knows why i'm venturing into this minefield. . . .
do you think that saying "i'm okay with gay marriage" translates into "i'm okay with the gay lifestyle"?

ding said...

does 'gay lifestyle' translate into 'being gay'?

if so, then, uh, yes.

jesus chick said...

i read the post. i sorta kinda get where you're coming from. evangelist paul, or whoever he is, though correct on biblical quotes didn't seem to pair up well with compassion.
i am not okay with the other sins you mentioned "anger, lying, lust, murder, blasphemy, greed, hatred, sloth" anymore than i'm not okay with homosexuality. i understand that james and tomas love each other (well, as much as i can understand). but i recognize something - the person who is engaging in lies and greed - god loves them but he wants them to stop lying etc. the person who is engaged in homosexual lifestyle - god loves them but he wants them to stop as well. as there is no real difference between sin there is also no difference in god's response. i want to be like jesus (doesn't every christian?) and i want to love the murderer and the homosexual, but i want to respond to the sin as would christ. i guess i think that saying okay to gay marriage is giving the lifestyle the thumbs up and i can't do that; not any more than i can give a greedy lifestyle the thumbs up.
now admittedly, i get a little fuzzy on the civic/state/federal side of all this. i don't understand how a state can open it up to voters, have the issue defeated, and then have a judge somewhere reverse the ruling. how does that work when the majority has spoken? i'm assuming that's why there's a push for a federal amendment. it seems as though a mentality has developed that as long as there is love and devotion - the activity is okay. even if it's contrary to god's word. then you get into the whole separation of church and state - i need to brush up on my stuff.
i say this with a big smile so PLEASE don't take it the wrong way: you have a tender heart but such an issue with authority - how do you make it through the day? ;)

Karis said...

Just a quick response to the civics issue raised by jesus chick - courts can intervene because one of their primary duties is to interpret the constitutions governing the US and the individual states - a majority decision can as easily be unconstitutional as constitutional, and it is when that question is presented as re a law (whether passed by legislature or by referendum) where the courts can get involved.
Oh, and to the congresswoman from Texas, I say - sing it sister.

greg said...

jesus chick - On what do you base you opinion that homosexuality is a sin? Certainly not on anything that Jesus said, since he never mentioned it. Paul mentions it twice, but he clearly took a much dimmer view of women speaking out on matters of religion than he did on homosexuality, so if Paul is your authority, then simply by participating in this blog you are sinning at least as much as someone "practicing a homosexual lifestyle." The only other place in the bible that homosexuality is mentioned is in the books of the "Law" or Pentatuch, and I know of no modern Christian; evangelical, liberal, or otherwise, who believes that we should adhere to every stricture laid down in those books.

In summary, if you are basing your belief that homosexuality is a sin on the bible, then you are picking and choosing which parts of the bible you accept as normative. If so, what are your criteria for this picking and choosing? If not, what is your source?

jesus chick said...

greg - a few top of mind thoughts.
some view prohibitions against homosexuality as just another OT law such as prohibition of eating pork. much has been written/discussed re dietary codes and purity laws. i'm no scholar nor have i checked the greek translations etc. it seems that type of reasoning could be used to dismiss literally every prohibition and commandment in the bible.

jesus may not have specifically used the word homosexuality; christ's recorded sermons never specifically condemned pedophilia or rape or kidnapping or any number of other sins but that doesn't mean he approved of these things. some say that since the jewish society already condemned homosexuality and these other actions there was no need to specifically condemn each one by one. jesus did mention quite a bit about marriage and sexual morality; and there is much written re marriage (matt 19:3; mark 10:5-9 et al). perhaps the reason the bible does not address homosexuality as an accepted lifestyle is because it is not. just as living as an adulterer, thief, alcoholic, etc. why not look at it from the perspective of what the bible doesn't say about homosexuality? there is never a mention of gay couples - why didn't god endorse that lifestyle if he was okay with it? if homosexuality were god ordained i would think he would have openly spoke of it. the bible says a lot about sexual sin (sexual sin is sexual sin whether it be sodomy or adultery). jude references sodom and gomorrah and the sins committed there (which were more than homosexuality but for this purpose) so i think it misleading to suggest that there is absolutely nothing in the NT re homosexuality. if i had to sift and comb the scriptures to find something somewhere that maybe potentially hinted that a behavior i was involved in was "okay" i'd be fooling myself.

as for paul - my understanding is that all scripture is god breathed and inspired, useful for teaching, correcting etc. oh that i would be able to chuck some of the stuff paul said, it would make life easier. and your assertion that "simply by participating in this blog you are sinning at least as much as someone "practicing a homosexual lifestyle" is nearly laughable. there are SO many things i fall short on - trust me, i am as imperfect as the next guy/gal. i have no desire to run through the scriptures trying to dodge loopholes and find a little place where i can squeeze through. the scriptures are not ala carte, pick and choose. god is sovereign. he does not put things to a vote nor does he change his mind because of what society says.
it is not my intent to single out homosexuality among all other sins as if it were more egregious than another. we ought to be just as purposeful in our condemnation of greed, sloth and self righteousness as we are re sexual sin. the NT is packed with grace and mercy which we would do well to show to others. bear in mind there is nothing loving in leading people to believe their behavior is acceptable when god says otherwise.

greg said...

JC - Thanks for the response. We are so very far apart on certain things. You seem (to me) to think that you know a whole lot more about what God wants and doesn't want than I think that I do. For me the list is very short, and it begins with the greatest commandment. From there it moves to the notion expressed in Mark 9:40 "He who is not against us is for us." It seems to me that if a person's behavior is loving, causing harm to no one, then Jesus probably didn't have a problem with it. In the same way, if a persons behavior is not loving, and does cause harm to others, then I assume that Jesus probably did have a problem with it. Slavery is a nice example of this: Jesus never explicitly prohibited it, but every modern Christian opposes slavery on the grounds of Jesus' teaching. Applying the same critera to homosexuality leads me to believe that Jesus would have no problem with two people of the same sex in a committed, loving relationship.

Finally, you say "the scriptures are not ala carte, pick and choose. god is sovereign. he does not put things to a vote nor does he change his mind because of what society says." Here we have another major disagreement. You are equating the scriptures with God. God is the mystery at the center of our existance (and at the center of everything else, of course). Scripture is the magnificent attempt by many people over many generations to gain some insight into that mystery. That is a good and wonderful thing, but at the end of the day God is still mystery, and our image of God is just that - OUR image of God. To confuse that image with God is idolotry, at least in my mind. So yes, I agree that "God is sovereign." The rest of you statement I do not agree with, since I don't know if God has a gender, nor do I know whether or not speaking of God as having a "mind" which God can change or not change makes any sense at all. All of our pictures of God look suspiciously like pictures of humans to me. At the end of the day I go with Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." This doen't mean that we can know nothing of God; on the contrary, it means that we can never stop seeking God, never stop reexamining our picture and adjusting it as we grow and evolve and move closer to God.

Note that the question of whether or not God is changing is beside the point, and anyway I leave that up to God. What is for sure is that our picture of God is always incomplete and partially incorrect, and therefore always in need of change - to think otherwise is idolotry in the most fundamental sense. IMHO, of course.

ding said...

So when we don’t approve of a person’s life we…deny them basic access to half the civil rights the rest of us enjoy.

This is my problem with this kind of argument. It collapses a civic right with a moral judgment; in other words, it basically says that only those we approve get to be citizens. But let’s play with that argument a bit. We don’t condone their ‘lifestyle.’ What else shouldn’t they get to do? If not enter civil unions, be one another’s beneficiaries, share checking accounts, get social security benefits from one another, enjoy workplace protections, be able to visit one another in the hospital like married people do and make decisions on their behalf, serve in the armed forces – when do they get to live a life?

Cuz that’s really all they’re asking for – to live the same lives we live.

MEP said...

I'm on board with Ding. I abhore the fact that so many states have institutionalized discrimination against people because of who they want to marry. And the fact that so many churches build that discrimination into their religious beliefs.

Anonymous said...

i am so sick in my heart of watching my gay son live with the horror that he may burn in hell for something he has no control over,,he has been told so many times that he can pray and be delivered from this evil///i say hogwash//i have green eyes but really want blue think i could pray hard enough to be delivered from my green so i can have blue..
i cant stand these self rightous bullys..