Gay “Marriage” is Stupid

Gay couples all over California are getting married this week…and for now it’s legal. But I think it’s stupid. Hear me out.

First, let me be clear on this… being gay is not a sin. (When I refer to gays in this article, I am also including lesbians and bisexuals). I also don’t think that sexual acts between homosexuals are sins in and of themselves. This is my viewpoint and it’s not my intent to debate it here so let’s not go there. I am writing about marriage, specifically gay marriage.

Sure, go ahead, get married…if it’s something you want to do. However, I am of the opinion that having the state recognize something legally does not validate a couples private commitment to one another. Nor does it enhance it. In other words, just because me and another person get married should not altar the basic essence of our relationship or commitment to one another. I think we have been convinced that it does, but it shouldn’t.

Committing to someone for the rest of one’s life is a decision that is made in private. Having a ceremony with friends and family celebrating that commitment (i.e. wedding) is purely optional, however, affirming. Going to the courthouse and getting a marriage license to call each other husband and wife (or wife/wife or spouses), that’s a legal step binding each other into a contractual relationship…nothing more or less in actuality.

So maybe you see where I am going with this…

Some have said that gays being given the right to marry weakens the long-held traditional idea of marriage. They say that, now, marriage between a man and a woman has been dishonored.

I say just the opposite.

The gay couples that I have read about this week who have been together 5, 10, 15, 20 years or more who are now getting married are actually weakening and dishonoring the long-held commitments they have shared. It is my opinion that the gay community has missed an opportunity to broaden the church and governments understanding of relational commitment by saying, “we don’t want your idea of marriage as the only legal means with which we can express our commitments to one another. Traditional marriage in it’s current form is flawed and it has failed.”

It seems gay people, in this instance, have become the traditionalists that they tend to avoid. The gay people I know have a unique perspective on life. But in conversations with a few, they have this idea that now that they can get married “validates” them to their families and friends. That although they have always been seen as “less than” and “abnormal”, that getting married would give them at least some sort of “normalcy” to parade to those that think this way.

I say that sort of thinking is short-sighted. Instead, I think, gays can lead those of us that are straight to understand a better idea of love. Through them we might learn what it means to love someone even though you have to hide to do it. Through committed gay couples we might learn to love someone in the face of persecution, ridicule or the possible loss of career and family. Maybe if straight couples had to face this type of daily struggle, they would appreciate each other more and less marriages would end in divorce.

To be fair though, I don’t think gay couples have stronger relationships than straight couples or that less gay couples will get divorced than their straight counterparts. I would venture to guess that eventually the statistics will bear out that the gay divorce rate will most likely be the same as it is for straight people. So, my question is why do it? Why let the straight world “define” you now when you have spent so many years not wanting to be under their labels?

If I was gay, I would let straight people have marriage. Men and women (not gays) have ruined that word by not respecting the commitments and trust it implies. In the meantime, I think gays should continue to demand that the government recognize their partnerships so that they can have all the benefits and rights that straight couples do. If the current policies aren’t strong enough, let’s change them.

But, in my opinion, gay marriage is stupid. They really deserve something better than marriage in its current state. Actually, we all do.

74 thoughts on “Gay “Marriage” is Stupid”

  1. <><>I guess I should have recognized the smooth stylings of good ol’ EddieF. I think it is clear that you are not interested/capable of civil dialouge.<><>If you say so – seriously, I am not losing sleep over that statement. I tend to get snarky with people who are judgmental towards others who don’t sing from their songbooks. <><>I will revise one satament however, in the interest of peace and harmony…My use of the word ignorance was poorly chosen. <><>So it was, which is why I reacted to it. You think now that you have “revised” it that it magically makes it go away? You picked that word deliberately, so you shouldn’t cry foul when you are taken to task for it.<><>What I was trying to convey was based on my perspective/understanding of God’s design. <><>Which is all fine, and I am happy for you, but don’t assume that 2 thirds of the planet agrees with your particular understanding of what you call god. I suppose I am saying, believe what you feel comfortable with, but leave room that others might not share your convictions when you talk to them, or about them. <><>And as such, since I believe that this IS the truth, those not living in that truth are, from my perspective, ignorant. <><>There you go again – and saying that makes YOU the ignoramus. It’s YOUR truth, and yours alone.<><>Not stupid, not less deserving of love, but holding true to my beliefs, they are ignorant of God’s love. <><>Can’t you see that that statement is condescending to people who don’t believe in your god?<><> You may call it judgemental, but it really is no different than being a Democrat and pointing out the that the Republican over there is wrong. <><>Yes, it IS judgmental if you pause and think about it, and there IS a difference. Politics for the most part a based on issues which we can debate with data, unlike said deities for which there is no evidence. One is a “faith” issue, and the other is not. And as far as I can tell, your lord didn’t call you to be the judge, but to leave it up to him.<><>With that, I will gracefully step aside and let EddieF either talk to himself, or anyone else who feels randy enough. <><>You are what a call a hit-and-run Christian – yeah – fun times!

  2. “but I believe that many of the bibles truths are found through a slightly more abstract/contextual approach.”so, the interpretation is left up to the reader then? if that’s the case, why is the Message a bad translation? many of the truths? why some and not others? how can you pick which are “literal” and which are “contextual”? and why is your “contextual approach” more valid than shelly’s? read your comment again, l.e.a., and see how many contradictions you just wrote.

  3. Your honor, if I may:Exibit A:<>“You <>seem<> to live in an increadibly boring world…” – lowendaction<>Exibit B:<>“All your “relationship” bullshit is all made up in your head. God is dead – deal with it! – nomail<>Do I really need to continue? I present my position as best I can, as do you, through this limited medium. Then we respond and sometimes ask for clarification. I pretty sure I’ve ever accused you, demeaned you, and most definitley not judged you. I may given my interpretation as I understood something, but never have I made a judgement over your person or belief. If you feel threatened by what I believe than that <>might<> mean your belief system may not be that stable, but again, I can only go off what you present to me in this little box. My belief statement is just that…MY BELIEF. I’ve never forced it down your throught nor asked you to accept it. I unfortunately can not say the same about your methods.I certainly am not/have not been above emoting via comments, but I most often will appologize if I have crossed the line.<>“You are a hypocrite and a lair.”<>What do you hope to accomplish by this sort of behavior? If it’s not anger, BTW my response was posted far more out of cynicism than genuine concern, then what? To say that I have much to learn is a very true statement, but it does put you in the akward position of proving to me/others that you in fact have a diminished need to learn and are therefore somehow superior. Congratulations and good luck with that.ian

  4. Everybody has his own opinion, but opinions don’t matter. The only thing that matters is what God says. So what does God say?“(9) Don’t you know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived:neither fornicators [modern parlance: ‘living together’, ‘pre-marital sex’, ‘one night stand’, ‘hook-up’, etc.],nor idolaters [remaking God to fit our liking; forming our own opinions about God; saying: ‘I think God is…’ or ‘I don’t think God is…’],nor adulterers [sex with one who is not our spouse, ‘pornography’, incest, etc.],nor effeminate [men pretending to be women or vice versa],nor abusers of themselves with mankind [‘homosexual relationships’, ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘bisexual’, etc.],(10) Nor thieves [stealing, robbing, conning, fraud, deceitful gain, etc.],nor covetous [setting our hearts on the things of this world rather than on Christ; loving & desiring money, possessions, spouses, children, houses, lands, etc.],nor drunkards [getting ‘intoxicated’, ‘stoned’, ‘buzz’, ‘hammerred’, etc.],nor revilers [‘gossip’; starting, repeating, or delighting in rumors, whether true or false; slander; openly or secretly reproaching another person; etc.]nor rapists [could be hetero- or homo-, physical overpowering or mental/emotional coersion, e.g. adult men coersing boys or girls],shall inherit the kingdom of God.(11) And such were some of you: but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”–1Corinthians 6.9-11This is a list of sins against God. God sometimes gives lists of sins; other times he simply adds: “and anything else which is contrary to sound teaching.” That’s because our hearts are so wicked that as soon as God lists a sin, our hearts devise 10+ ways that we can do evil, and still tell ourselves we haven’t disobeyed God. And our wicked hearts are the source of all the evil we do (Matthew 15.18-20). It’s not what goes into us (our circumstances, upbringing, teaching, treatment from others, parents, family, co-workers, etc.) that corrupts us, but what comes out of our hearts.God makes it plain in His Word that some heterosexual acts are sin, and all homosexual acts are sin. In fact, even having thoughts of delight or pleasure in our heart concerning anything sinful is itself sin (Matthew 5.27,28). We sin continually against God in thought, word & deed. That is why the only way to God is thru the perfect righteousness of Christ. We need Jesus to save us from ourselves!Jesus saves sinners who sinned in heterosexual ways & sinners who sinned in homosexual ways. And He delivers not just from the penalty of sin, but also from its power. In other words, Jesus frees us so that we don’t have to sin: so that we are no longer held captive by our own sinful nature, leading us to do evil. That’s why it says above, “Such <>WERE<> some of you.” That is, they once had been those things but were no longer because Christ had freed them. Jesus makes men righteous, he doesn’t leave them in their sins. You can’t compromise with any sin; as Israel of old had to kill all of the Canaanites in the land, and not make a treaty with a single one, so too we must kill every sin within us by the power of Christ, taking no prisoners, making no treaties! If Christ is not making you more holy, then you don’t have Christ.There is something in this list to condemn every single one of us, including me. The answer is not to deny that these things are sins, or deny that God will judge us for these things. “Because of these things the wrath of God comes upon men.” (Ephesians 5.6; Colossians 3.6) The answer is to do exactly what God tells us to do in His Word: cast ourselves upon the mercy of Christ, and cry out for Him to save us from our sins. Believe these are sins, believe God will judge you for them, and believe that Jesus is the only one who can save you from your sins. Flee to Christ, and he will deliver you from yourself, and give you a new heart which hates sin, and loves righteousness.But make no mistake, you who call yourselves Christians but continue in sin, tho God’s justice tarries & He with great longsuffering endures your evil, yet He will not spare you but bring you into judgment for your sins, and cast you into hell, saying: “I never knew you; depart from me you workers of iniquity!” (Matthew 7.21-23) “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2Timothy 2.19)

  5. duffle,I would have to disagree with you on that one. When I say that something/someone “seems” to be a certain way, then that is me stating my <>perception<> of said subject. Whereas me saying that something/someone “is” a certain way it’s really me saying I <>know<> this thing to be a fact.IMO those two are quite different both by their nature of intent, and the dynamic direction of the dialogue. Even if I claim to “know the truth”, it would be ludicrous for me to expect anyone else to accept it out right. I might outline my position and then attempt to carify through retorts, but my truth is always going to be just that…My Truth.Fianl attempt at clarification. My truth is actually based on what I believe to be God’s truth. And according to Him (based on my understanding) no one will enjoy eternity with Him without first believing in Him through Christ. Now, I am in no position to judge, only God does this (again IMO), so you might say that I am judging by proxy…but not really. I truely wish for every person to discover “a truth” that they can firmly stand on. Do I personally believe that this truth should be God’s truth? Sure, but that doesn’t give me the right to judge/condem anyone who doesn’t. That’s the beauty of free will. I happen to believe that this is in fact part of God’s plan. He gave each and every one of us the ability/opportunity to make our own free choice in this regard.< HREF="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Phelps" REL="nofollow">Fred Phelps<> does a pretty good job at portaying himslef and his followers in a certain light, so it would be very easy for me to “judge” him. But since I don’t know him, nor have I ever had any direct dialogue with him or any of his people, I can only assume what he is all about. Do I have some pretty strong opinions about the guy? Sure, but never would you hear me saying that I “know for sure” where his heart lays and his motivations come from.That’s the difference…IMO. BTW this is not an attempt on my part to somehow paint myself in a “better” or “righteous” corner…Laaawwwwd knows I’ve opened my big-ass trap way to many times before using the old thinker first…but these are the guidelines that do try and apply.

  6. I like how you belittle EddieF with such a rude statement at the very beginning of your comment, and then go on to explain how you don’t judge people and if they have a problem with it, maybe it’s because they’re “insecure in their beliefs.”Nice. Real nice.

  7. <><>without submitting to the Holty Spirit “is what” confirms “atheists” views.<><>What even IS the Holy Spirit? Can you define it, can you make it real without subjectivity?<><>The Holy Spirit is the decoder ring (to use a silly metaphor) that allows for true understanding of scripture.<><>Is that why you Christians have so many flavor to pick from? Let’s be honest, if there was such a thing, then you would have had a universal message, as Jesus prayed you would have. Prayer failed.<><>This is the self-proclaimed message of the bible that I happen to believe.<><>And just WHERE does it proclaim this message?<><>I realize how crazy and unprovable that sounds…<><>You have no idea how crazy that sounds …<><>but no more so than the idea of a Godless world sounds to me.<><>Notice how you have said “sounds” – still reality is a bitch.<><>To each their own, by which they might stand strong.<><>EXACTLY – some choose to have imaginary friends, other don’t – besides, arn’t you a little too old for imaginary friends?

  8. duffle, no. I do not believe that the Holy Spirit would cause all to believe the same thing. I believe there are certain universal core truths that will align, but there are many areas that can have varied interpretations without impacting the foundational truths. This, IMO, is what seperates Chritianity from most other organized religions.“i guess some people just hear the holy spirit better than other people [/sarcasm]”…actually…that’s not far off, though I believe is has nothing to due with privelege or “being special/good”. Just like any relationship, the more we invest in it, the more we get back.

  9. <><>Great talk buddy.”<><>I wish I could say the same, but talking to cowards is never really productive. And I am not your buddy, never will be.<><>This concludes our lesson on “How to kill productive dialogue 101”.<><>Exactly, talking to fundamentalists is never really productive in my experience – I should have known better.<><>BTW, to point out what another persons view “seems to be” or “looks like” is not judging. <><>You are a hypocrite and a lair. You didn’t address my point of view, you started to JUDGE who I am, and what my world supposedly looks like. You have a habit of judging, and then cowardly runs away when you are called on this with “it’s only my opinion” – bullshit! You are a judgmental coward – deal with it!

  10. zeke, I’m afraid I’m not capable of leaving seeker-friendly comments. I believe that marriage started with Adam and Eve by God’s design.I believe the purpose/design marriage has been distorted and misused. BTW, I’ve never said anything about traditions, needing a pastor, church, or some sacred words/serimony…the only original ingredients where a man, a woman and God. I am fully aware that this might offend people, but I can only speak what is truth to me: IMO a marital union that isn’t founded in God, is no more than a glorified secret-pinky-shake arragement amongst friends.Am I saying that those who marry under God are better…superior? No. But I must stand by what I believe, and when it comes to right and wrong…well I’m not here to judge. I’m just trying to be a good husband myself, and I know for a FACT that without God as the core fo my marriage, I would be a statistic now.

  11. OK, I watched the 30 Days episode, and what stuck out for me was how–to put it bluntly–<>petrified<> that woman was of having her beliefs challenged. Think about it: if she were to allow her direct observation of a functional, healthy gay family or her compassion for unwanted foster children to overcome her belief system, it would mean putting her in direct conflict with her church, her family, and even potentially undermine her faith. I think her fear belied that reality, though she never admitted it.I tried to remain compassionate for her amidst her obvious fright at the prospect, but the fact remains that if she had her way that family she lived with would be dissolved. Makes it tough to be patient and understanding with her.I’ll never forget an episode of Rush Limbaugh’s tv show from back in the 80s (who still remembers that?) where the taping was disrupted by an ActUp! activist in the audience, who at one point cried out in exasperation, “WHY WON’T YOU PEOPLE JUST GO AWAY?!”I think if I were gay I would wonder the same thing: why won’t evangelicals just leave gays be and let them pursue happiness the same as the rest of us? Seriously, why?

  12. <><> I have also been listening to the audio book: “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Ehrman. Great stuff, though I still haven’t figured out whether he is/was a Christian when he wrote this<><>He isn’t a Christian any longer, he is agnostic, and wrote this after he deconverted. By studying the Bible, he realized it’s FULL of holes, and that we don’t even have copies of copies of copies of copies of the orignals, and the copies that we DO have contains more discrepencies than there are words in the New Testament. This book was one of the books that helped me to see Christianity for the sham it is. I have a great deal of respect for Ehrman, and he is regarded as one of the best New Testmanet scholars today, and are often quoted by people like WIlliam Lane Craig who is a Christian apologist. Reading the Bible objectively is what makes atheists.

  13. absenceofmail, can you define love? How about beauty? Music?Am I really that childish for choosing to look past what I can touch, smell, and see?Here are just a few of the bibles self-proclamation regarding the Holy Spirit:< HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john%2016:%205-15;&version=49;" REL="nofollow">John 16:5-15<>< HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=I%20Corinthians%202;&version=49;" REL="nofollow">I Corinthians 2<>< HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=II%20Cor.%203;&version=51;" REL="nofollow">II Corinthians 3<>The irony if this of course, is that many of these truths will not be revealed to you, as you will be reading these with the sole purpose of validating your position. I honestly believe that you feel threatened by the idea that there might be some meanings that are hidden to you. The fact that there isn’t a united army of unified christians does unfortunately not prove your position.< HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2025:1-13;31-46;&version=49;" REL="nofollow">Matthew 25<>< HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207:13-23;&version=51;" REL="nofollow">Matthew 7<>Only very few will actually enjoy eternal fellowship with God.I would like to challenge you to watch Rob Bell’s < HREF="http://youtube.com/watch?v=-jzR_zKvAik" REL="nofollow">Everything is Spiritual<>. Rob is far more educated and well spoken then I will ever be, and I consider him to be one of the most prolific Christian teachers we have right now.thanks

  14. Not to quibble, but the NASB is widely regarded by scholars as the most literal of the English translations (from the original texts not the Vulgate) while also desiring to be a smooth reading translation. The YLT is very very literal, this is true, just not reader friendly, so that’s why I always point people to the NASB when they are wanting a study Bible, over the NIV for example.This from biblegateway.com:<>The original NASB has earned the reputation of being the most accurate English Bible translation. The NASB update carries on the NASB tradition of being a true Bible translation, revealing what the original manuscripts actually say–not merely what the translator believes they mean.<>Shelly, I agree whole-heartedly about The Message. Eugene Peterson is one of my heroes… and years ago in CO, one of the parents of a kid in my youth group was his book agent. This was prior to any of The Message being published and I got to see some advance stuff. Pretty cool. Also, the highlight of my year there was being invited to have dinner with Peterson and the agent. He was as down to earth and humble as they come.

  15. steve, First of all…what’s with the fat joke about my thick skin? …jkI find it increasingly more difficult to express my personal beliefs in comment form without being percieved as pompus/righteous/judgemental/blahblahblahwhatever… We all believe what we believe, so why should anyone be threatened by an opinion? Radical Muslim Fundamentalists believe that I am an infadel not worthy of breathing…but I don’t. So as long as they don’t blow me up…and trust me, they’ve tried!!!, what do I care? In fact, I respect their beliefs and would love some open dialogue with them. But if I fly off the handle everytime someone suggests that I’m not even worthy of being dog food, how can any productive dialogue ever exist? True, this is an extreme example, and they would have to upgrade me to AT LEAST a Happy Meal before I sit down with them…But seriously…anyone can believe whatever they want about me and what path they think I’m on, as long as I’m grounded in my truth, and they are willing to have a civil conversation, that’s where love has a chance.I am far from perfect, and if I’ve ever led anyone to believe this, allow this ex-smoker, foul-mouthed, porn-addicted, over-weight, beer-loving, struggeling Christ follower to pop that little illusion. Yes, I do believe that the God I have come to know IS the only way. Does that mean word for word or only those who read the same bible I do? NO. I point in a direction. How one gets there, at what pace, and via what methods is totally and completely up to them.If my comments come across as bristling or rough around the edges, then that’s because I have become completely sick and tired of the watered down birthday punch that most pass for Chrsitianity these days (I still remember Rick Muchow vetoing certain worship songs because the had the words blood or death in them). If I step on a few toes while trying to spike that punch, in hopes that just one person gets a little taste of the real stuff, then so be it. I’m fascinated by the repulsion to this idea that I might be trying to turn people on to MY God. You know what, He IS my God. Just like the God you believe in is yours (and we are His…of course). He has created us in His own image, so that when we walk with/in Him, people should see Him through us. Now, if we get in the way, and people can’t see Him in spite of us…well that’s not so great. And LAAAAWWWWD knows I’ve done that more times than I’d like. That won’t stop me from trying to carry out the ONE THING He asks of me.steve/shellyI quickly and humbly retreat back to my corner regarding the scriptual matter. Shelly, I guess I just reacted because it seems as though you were usuing the message exclusively. As much as I loved the message whe it first came out, I just wish that Eugene had sat down with a guy like Rob Bell who has a command of the “modern” English langue…but whatever. Though I am…or I should say, because I am an MK, I consider myself bible damaged. I “know” so many of the stories, but I’ve spent embrassingly little time in scripture, and now that I’ve just recently started the slow dig in, I find my NASB to be almost unreadable. I haven’t gotten my copy of the NLTB yet, but I defintely appreciate your comments about it. I will try to use them in tandom. I have also been listening to the audio book: “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart Ehrman. Great stuff, though I still haven’t figured out whether he is/was a Christian when he wrote this.

  16. Do you think Christians would be better Christians if their religion – all the flavors of it – were made unlawful? That they would be seems to be the logical conclusion, given that you think gays should not marry.

  17. Eddie pwns, as usual. 😀Meanwhile, let’s look at that Romans passage with a little more context (yes, a favourite word of some of us theists ;)). Here are a few verses before that, via The Message…<>But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. <>What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.<><> (Romans 1:18-23, The Message, emphasis mine)The full passage (starting at verse 18), IMO, has virtually nothing to do with sexual immorality at all. It is Paul telling the Roman Christians what happens when people don’t acknowledge God for who he is, reducing him to virtually nothing but a statue. God “leaves” them to, if you will, reap what they’ve sown–filth, discord, anarchy (sexual and moral), etc.; and he was doing so using cultural references the Romans would understand. (In Ancient Rome, homosexual behaviour was quite common.)The last verses of Romans 1 read this way…<>Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!<> (Romans 1:28-32, The Message)And then, at the very beginning of the next chapter, Paul tells the Roman ecclesia, “Who are you to judge people like this? You know full well that when you point one finger, there are three more pointing right back at you. While you may think you’re getting away with whatever you’re doing, God isn’t fooled. He knows what you’ve done.”Eddie:<>It’s a social practice we have accepted through a long history of the Church and State, but let’s not pretend that said “god” declared marriage should only be between ONE man and ONE woman – that’s a fallacious statement.<>Exactly. Nowhere in the Bible does it say this. Again, there were allowances for polygamy (let’s also not forget Jacob, Leah, and Rachel). Not to mention the entire concept of the wedding ceremony is man-made, no basis in scripture whatsoever. Let’s also note Adam and Eve never had a formal marriage ceremony. 😉

  18. i thought the life long mission for those who follow Christ was to say that “Jesus loves you. Regardless.”maybe i just have a different bible.

  19. Morgan Spurlock had a really interesting episode on his show < HREF="http://www.fxnetworks.com/shows/originals/30days/" REL="nofollow">30 Days<> about a christian stay at home mom who lives with a Dad/Dad couple with four kids. Very interesting. I won’t go in to the whole thing, but a few things really struck me. Though this woman was not really that strong in what and why she believed what she did, and struggled with realizing this, she attempted to remain open. What was interesting was that she never once tried to convince any of the gay people she interacted with to “change their ways”. Yes she was for changing/enforcing the no gay marriage laws, though she stuck to doing through our democratic process, not shoving it down peoples throughts. Her hosts, and many of their friends however, could not seem to accept that fact that she, while trying to maintain open dialouge, would not back down from her base beliefs. To the point where she felt personally attacked. I’d love to hear some of your guys feedback. I think you can get this episode on itunes.The other thing that just stood out clear as day, was the simple fact that we as christians can never and should never expect Christ-like behavior from those who do not believe/accept Him. We are called to love them/everyone completely, but we musn’t hold them to the same standards we might our fellow brother and sister. Having said that, I really only have one reservation when it comes to gay marriage, and that is the potential impact that this might have on the children. Now, I think we are a little to early in to same-sex house holds to have any real sufficient data which might give us any clear indication on the matter, and as such I now choose to rest my case, reserving my own theories until we can get a clearer picture.

  20. <>If I wasn’t a believer, why the eff would I sign up for what passes as marriage these days. I’ll tell you what, if God wasn’t the very center of my marriage…this thing would have been over a long time ago. The whole idea that I love God first and my wife second is huge. Without that foundation, what REALLY keeps to people together…love? What the crap is love when it’s not God’s love? Sex? ‘Nuff said.<>I don’t believe in God anymore. Neither does my wife. Our marriage is better outside of the church! I actually feel sorry for you and your wife that you say that you would divorce her if your didn’t have god. That is SO sad. Because the days of your marriage are now numbered. What happens if you change what you believe? (Trust me, it can happen and I hope it does) My marriage to my wife is grounded in our love for each other. (www.iloveyouashley.com) We were married in a church, lived a loving life involved in the church, left the church together and now still love each other. My point is this….My wife and I don’t need god to qualify our love and marriage. You said you do. That sucks.

  21. <><>So, my question is why do it? Why let the straight world “define” you now when you have spent so many years not wanting to be under their labels?<><>Excellent points Steve, and I agree with your premise. As a gay atheist (the last minority) I have to say, this is about more than just the legality of it. Societies adopt certain words, and their meaning varies from place to place. The word “marriage” is such a loaded word in America, which stands for so much, and which stands in the way of so much as the political debate rage on between left and right. So, co-opting the word in its current state is as far as I am concerned more about the whole civil rights issue for gays, which extends beyond just the legal aspect of this debate. Having this word is merely a springboard to have so many other injustices towards us corrected, not only in this country, but in many others. It’s a necessary step towards the evolution of that, and hopefully in time, the word and its meaning will change, and then this whole debate will become a footnote in the civil rights struggle that we have waged. <><>I believe that marriage started with Adam and Eve by God’s design. <><>What you believe and what happened are two different things. I see no reference in Genesis for this idea, and if you are for “traditional” biblical marriage, then you should support the rights of Mormons to marry as many women as they want. That IS in the bible, but then again fundaMENTALists like you always love to cherry pick the verses you do and don’t support.

  22. nomail, thanks for the info. I guess that’s the magic of perspective. Your last line works similar for me, in that <>“Reading the Bible objectively”<> without submitting to the Holty Spirit <>“is what”<> confirms <>“atheists”<> views.The Holy Spirit is the decoder ring (to use a silly metaphor) that allows for true understanding of scripture. This is the self-proclaimed message of the bible that I happen to believe. I realize how crazy and unprovable that sounds…but no more so than the idea of a Godless world sounds to me.To each their own, by which they might stand strong.

  23. Zeke – Yeah I know but I also believe that in this state, the domestic partnership agreement entitles same-sex (and other) couples to receive the benefits of marriage without it being called “marriage”.<>Family Code 297.5 states: Registered domestic partners shall have the same rights, protections, and benefits, and shall be subject to the same responsibilities, obligations, and duties under law… as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.<>So again I ask why?? Why the need to redefine marriage… let’s just roll with the new and be done with the old. I’d like to see how many domestic partnerships have been terminated (i.e. divorce) vs marriages over the same period. My gut feeling is that it is far less, since domestic partnerships are probably entered into less friviously than marriages because they are viewed as “legal” whereas marriage is viewed as “romance”. But that’s just a hunch.

  24. Steve, I think you gave short shrift to the legal benefits of marriage given their importance in the gay marriage debate. I think they are what the whole debate is really about! Gays can always have the friends & family ceremony and all the trappings of a wedding but without the power of state recognition, you don’t get the legal benefits.Your other points made sense to me.

  25. <><> Of course I can not expect this of non-believers, but yes you are right, in their ignorance (from my side of the truth) people who do not found their marriage on God are missing out. <><>It’s insulting that you state that those who don’t choose to worship your deity is <>ignorant<>, but furthermore, missing out on WHAT exactly? The divorce rate among atheists is lower than among Christians, and they have happy fulfilled marriages – so what are they missing? <><> (though I would love to see some solid non-biased data on this) <><>Here is some good information for you: http://tinyurl.com/4jnflaFurthermore, this is a very natural occurrence in many different animal species, and we can speculate about the evolutionary need for it, but I suspect you don’t really want to hear that. Did these animals also “choose” or how would you explain that? And exactly at what age did you “choose” to be heterosexual? <><>The rest fall under choice or a psychological disorder due to childhood trauma (abuse, neglect, abandoment, etc.). <><>That argument is so tired, and has been thoroughly thrashed – google it. There is no such a link – perhaps you should do more research on the issue before you parrot the normal fallacious and worn out arguments. <><>I would venture to say that you might be standing on shaky ground regarding your own scriptual knowledge<><>Right on, let’s test that one out:In Exodus 21:10, a man can marry an infinite amount of women without any limits to how many he can marry.In 2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, 14:3, King David had six wives and numerous concubines.In 1 Kings 11:3, King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.In 2 Chronicles 11:21, King Solomon’s son Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines.In Deuteronomy 21:15 “If a man has two wives, and he loves one but not the other, and both bear him sons….”There are a lot more verses from the Old Testament that allow polygamy, but I think that the above are sufficient enough to prove my point,and see this article as a counter argument to the article you provided: < HREF="http://www.answering-christianity.com/ntpoly.htm" REL="nofollow"><> Personally I don’t have time for multiple partners, but that’s just me, I am merely telling you that “traditional” Biblical marriage is not the claptrap that the talking heads on right-wing radio babbles about all day long. It’s a social practice we have accepted through a long history of the Church and State, but let’s not pretend that said “god” declared marriage should only be between ONE man and ONE woman – that’s a fallacious statement.EddieF

  26. Steve, very nice post…extremely relevant!For me I equate marriage with God. How often is marriage referenced in the bible to discribe God’s design for our relationship with Him and the church? As soon as the “state” got involved, any and all Godly desinged left the building.What most people call marriage today has little to nothing to do with God’s original design. Honestly, if two people do not get married with God as their foundation…what’s the point? Seriously. Why bother? Is it so we don’t forget who we’re supposed to be faithful to? Or is “marital status” a social label we can’t do without?If I wasn’t a believer, why the eff would I sign up for what passes as marriage these days. I’ll tell you what, if God wasn’t the very center of my marriage…this thing would have been over a long time ago. The whole idea that I love God first and my wife second is huge. Without that foundation, what REALLY keeps to people together…love? What the crap is love when it’s not God’s love? Sex? ‘Nuff said.

  27. Great link shelly. I particularly love that last statment about judging.I would also add that love and acceptance does not equate tolerance. Meaning that if one is inclined to believe/follow the moral code, than we must love undcontionally first, but that does not negate the sin. In that respect it’s almost like loving your alcoholic son (I’m not trying to make any comparisons between alcoholism and homosexuality!). You love him completely, but you also want help him fight his addiction. Just because I love a friend or family member that is gay, doesn’t mean I’m going to suddenly pretend like I don’t believe he/she is sinning…though if they aren’t a believer to begin with there might be other issues at hand.Pride has been the church’s achilles heel since day one. Tony is absolutley right on.

  28. I was being a bit sarcastic. We gotta do something about them there HOMO-SEXUALs before we get fire and brimstone rained down on us.I think its headed to an abyss. My own personal opinions about homosexuality are uncertain but not in line with most churches anymore. I sure as hell dont think many Church people have the right to judge.I get fed up with Church people wasting all the time and energy to stop something like gay marriage which in no way hurts them. I honestly think some would believe the fire and brimstone statement.For most evangelicals to get fired up about gay marriage would be like me fighting against the rights of aboriginal people in Austrailia. Leave them the hell alone

  29. Lowend: To a couple of your earlier comments, I just must respond…First, are you really suggesting that “God’s design” in the beginning is his only design for today? There are plenty of logical problems with that being God’s design…namely, plenty of inbreeding that followed as the brothers, sisters, cousins must have had sex to allow for the population to increase. Certainly that’s not “God’s design” for today is it??Also, in not so many chapters further in the book, it appears that God certainly was pro-polygamy. Is that also his design for today?Second, <>“Am I saying that those who marry under God are better…superior?<> It appears you are based on your comments prior to that and following. So just say it…. you don’t think any marriage not founded in the Christian God are valid or good or even, in your opinion, right. You are making a judgement here. Own it man.Third, did you even listen to Campolo’s video that Shelly sent?? He said that homosexual acts did not fall under the moral code but were under the purity code, which we are no longer living under. If homosexual acts are a sin than, as he stated, so is eating shellfish. Finally, you say <>“I’m not trying to make any comparisons between alcoholism and homosexuality!” <> I beg to differ, but I think you are…simply because you just did. See, the difference here is that I think you really do believe that homosexuality is just like alcoholism…that at best it’s a choice and at worst it’s a disease. I don’t think you want to think you think that, but I think that’s what you think… deep down. And I understand that way of thinking. It’s embedded in us church people types. And I truly believe you don’t want to think that way…but honestly it comes out in your language time and again. That being said, I appreciate you putting yourself out here and working through these issues with us.

  30. from wikipedia“In many jurisdictions, a civil marriage may take place as part of the religious marriage ceremony, although they are theoretically distinct. In most American states, a wedding may be officiated by a priest, minister, rabbi or other religious authority, and in such a case the religious authority also acts as an agent of the state. In some countries, such as France, Spain, Germany, Turkey, Argentina, Japan and Russia, it is necessary to be married by the State separately from (usually before) any religious ceremony, with the state ceremony being the legally binding one.”i can see why marriage is a state thing, and separate from a religious thing. why gay couples cannot be “spouses”, or that the original definition was so defined, seems to be the stupid thing to me. i’m with the countries that keep the state and religious events separate. if priests and pastors were taken out of the role of “agent of the State” in the U.S., this would probably be a non-issue.

  31. ugh…you’re like that impossible little hair that gets stuck at the back of your throught, and no matter what you do…it never goes away…Here’s the difference between my world view and yours. Your world view is pretty much all about you. Meaning, you justify your moral code and outlook on life based on what makes sense to you and the rest of the world can just go fly a kite…basically. Whereas my world view compells me to not only love those around me, to the extent that I am concerned not only for there temporary earthbound well-being (physically & spiritually), but also the here-after. So, standing firm in my personal belief, if I say that I believe that those who do not see the same truth as I do are not going to reap the benifits as I have come to know them, then this is merely concern for my fellow man. I do not look down on them, nor do I consider myself elevated. I am grateful to have discovered this truth for myself, but it is a truth that is not designed to merely satisfy my own wellbeing, but causes me to want to share with those who might listen. If they don’t want to here…fine…go to another blog and harrass someone else! I have never tried convert anyone here, or dismiss them for their beliefs. I will honestly share how I view things from my perspective, but assuming that people are secure in their own belief, this should either come across as something interesting, or simply bounce off. If you feel judged, then maybe you aren’t that sure about what you really believe. What possible judicial powers do I posess…does anyone posess for that matter? I tell you what I believe to be the truth and how I believe it may or may not affect you…but guess what?!?!….it’s just my opinion. If you don’t believe or accept it, fine…so be it. No sweat off my sack. You tell me I came from a monkey. I don’t believe in that, but you don’t hear me getting all pissed off because you claim to know the truth. Good for you. I don’t share your belief, let’s get on with it shall we?You obviously don’t hang out here much to call me a hit-and-runner…

  32. <>The gay couples that I have read about this week who have been together 5, 10, 15, 20 years or more who are now getting married are actually weakening and dishonoring the long-held commitments they have shared. It is my opinion that the gay community has missed an opportunity to broaden the church and governments understanding of relational commitment by saying, “we don’t want your idea of marriage as the only legal means with which we can express our commitments to one another. Traditional marriage in it’s current form is flawed and it has failed.”<>I’ve never really thought about it this way. There are also straight couples out there who’ve been together for years and have never married for whatever reason (it seems like, for most of them, they just don’t see the need to).<>I say that sort of thinking is short-sighted. Instead, I think, gays can lead those of us that are straight to understand a better idea of love. Through them we might learn what it means to love someone even though you have to hide to do it. Through committed gay couples we might learn to love someone in the face of persecution, ridicule or the possible loss of career and family. Maybe if straight couples had to face this type of daily struggle, they would appreciate each other more and less marriages would end in divorce.<>I always thought that this whole debacle was/is teaching straight people about stuff like commitment. I didn’t really consider the “love amidst persecution” aspect. However, it seems to me that a lot of Christians don’t seem to look at this issue beyond the surface. They’re just seeing “The gays wanna get married! Oh noes! Traditional marriage is doomed!” Never mind that, IMO, “traditional marriage” has done the most damage to itself (even within Churchianity). Something’s happening that they don’t like, that they can’t do anything about, and rather than pray for guidance and wisdom about this, or seeing if there’s something to be learned here, they act like a bunch of spoiled brats because they’re not getting their way.<>So, my question is why do it? Why let the straight world “define” you now when you have spent so many years not wanting to be under their labels?<>A want for acceptance, probably. But that’s just my guess.

  33. I think “marriage in its current state” is relative. Like church, marriage is only as durable as the people in it. If a gay couple found themselves in a marriage like mine, I could not imagine a more secure and satisfying place for them to be. It has nothing to do with the institution of marriage. Much like christian (or ANY kind of) community, it’s the commitment and choices of the people involved.

  34. ninjanun, touche…a great example of why one should never leave reactionary comments. I just don’t understand why he can’t just share in a normal civilized manner without being such an antagonist. I’m definitley flawed, and I appreciate you keeping me honest.Josh, I totally respect what you’re saying, and I must say again, I passing judgement over anyones elses marriage. From my stand point I might believe that a marriage outside of God is counter to its original design, but that should not take away ANY of the true love and devotion you obviously share with your wife. And I am geniunly happy for you, and I wish the same for EVERY couple. However, I’m not going to adjust what I believe just because you guys gave defied the odds.I believe in one who far greater and more loving and consistent than any human could ever be, and thus putting one of my most prized treasures (my wife/family) in His hands first, versus my stupid flawed ass, is what I call a wise investment.I completely respect your descision to ignore God, however one could make the arguement that just as you grew tired and disallusioned of God, could not the same happen with your wife? I’m not sure how my days would be any more numbered than yours? You have put your faith in the longevity of your reltionship in the hands of your wife and you, in the hopes that this will not fade or be disrupted. Human history unfortunatley has proven how weak we are when it comes to this.I’m not sure if I understand you statement about me having to “qualify” my marriage…my wife and I are daily investing in eachother and strive to grow closer and stronger everyday. God is the foundation and mesh that interweaves all of that. When one or both of us fail to respect eachother or muster the patients required to climb and obstical it is our foundation that gives us streangth and focus to cut through our emotions and flaws and find that place of love.When I was in Iraq, I was able to spend some times with some of the locals and we had many discussions about the difference between western and Iraqi households/marriages. It was so easy for us to judge the men and how it appeared to us as foul treatment of their women. But we understood so little. Their ways are different and I now would never pretend to say one is better or worse, but they believe that theirs is right, and I believe mine is. Mutal respect and love for one another still remained.

  35. Wow what a topic.I have decided that gay marriage is a waste of time. If they want to get married, let them get married.

  36. nomail,So you can explain to me why certain types of music makes some people cry and others scream? You can explain what happens “inside” us when we watch a breath-taking sunset? You seem to live in an increadibly boring world that has somehow been completely figured out by a bunch of pocket protectors. I love and respect scientific discoveries as much as the next guy, but I also choose to submit to the fact that there are certain mysteries that abound in our world.The Holy Spirit wouldn’t be much of a ‘Holy Spirit’ if I or anyone could hand you a nice easy/lazy bite-sized packaged explanation. However, the lack of physical evidence is hardly reason enough to disprove its existance and power. The scriptures is the ONE thing that helps me understand what it is, so how would you have me explain it without? Surely you must admit that there are events and happenings that simply defy human understanding. If you are satisfied with the thought that you are here by pure coincidence (origin), and that your life is really no more valuable or meaningful that that of an ant…great…good for you. I happen to see a deeper meaning/purpose in our existance here. I wonder if you are able to distance yourself from whatever negative Christian/Religious/God-freakish experiences you’ve been exposed to and explore a God who is not bound by religiosity and human rules/traditions, but seeks a personal relationship with you? Just last night I was talking with some good friends of mine who are atheist…agnostic at best, and they told me that before our conversation, they had NEVER heard anyone claiming to be a Christian and at the same time denounce much of what the modern christian church is spewing forth as “truth”. They had always connected the idea of God with rules, traditions, organized religion, and all that other crap. What if there is a God…the God of the Bible, who is really way beyond all of those human confines? What do you know about THAT God?I’m just curious, if you do not recognize my Bible as a credible reference for my belief system, what may I ask is yours?<>But IT does prove Jesus’ prayer failed – undeniably.<>I’m sorry…which prayer would that be? You mean the one where He took everyones sin upon Him? Just because He enabled grace/forgiveness for EVERYONE, does not mean that all will except it…unfortunately.My God has NOTHING to answer for…He created me for Pete’s sake, what could He possibly owe me? Just because not all choose to recognize Him? I believe He has made His presence quite obvious in this world, it’s just that we have put so much effort in to distracting oursleves and pretending as though He weren’t there. We’ve actually gotten quite good at it, and yes, the church has contributed to that in no small part.Seriously…you suffered through Rob Bell? Honestly, you strike me as an extremely close-minded person who is threatened by concepts that counter your views in any way. I don’t expect you to be “converted” or even agreeing with what he has to say, but surely he has more to bring to the table than…well, I guess I just assumed you would be able to approach him with the same open mind/heart as I do with our dialogue here….oh well. Guess I’m just an ass then.

  37. “…aaaaand scene. Great talk buddy.”This concludes our lesson on “How to kill productive dialogue 101”. Thank you for participating, and please take a minute to fill out a survey on your way out.BTW, to point out what another persons view “seems to be” or “looks like” is not judging. To call someone elses intelligence and personal integrity in to question is…well…“That’s a wrap folks. Great job.”

  38. <><> I just don’t understand why he can’t just share in a normal civilized manner without being such an antagonist.<><>Because you make such spectacular antagonist remarks – I have three words for you: pot, kettle, black

  39. I guess I should have recognized the smooth stylings of good ol’ EddieF. I think it is clear that you are not interested/capable of civil dialouge.I will revise one satament however, in the interest of peace and harmony…My use of the word ignorance was poorly chosen. What I was trying to convey was based on my perspective/understanding of God’s design. And as such, since I believe that this IS the truth, those not living in that truth are, from my perspective, ignorant. Not stupid, not less deserving of love, but holding true to my beliefs, they are ignorant of God’s love. You may call it judgemental, but it really is no different than being a Democrat and pointing out the that the Republican over there is wrong.With that, I will gracefully step aside and let EddieF either talk to himself, or anyone else who feels randy enough.fun times.

  40. Lowend… You put your neck out by commenting just as much as I put mine out when posting, and I know your skin is thick enough to handle it…. so with that said, I will be gentle as always…First, I agree with you in your critique of “the Message” as a source for reliable study of the Bible. However, I almost fell out of my chair laughing when you re-directed us to the New Living Translation as a more accurate version. The New Living Translation is an improved version of the Living Bible (aka The Message from the 70’s). While it is now an acceptable translation as opposed to a paraphrase, it is not recommended for serious study, even by it’s editors. I just wanted to clarify that there are plenty of Bible’s to choose from, yet it is my understanding that the most literal translation remains the New American Standard (NASB).Since I didn’t want to debate the issue of whether being gay is a sin or not, I will not… there are vast amounts of discussions and writings online and other places that offer both pro and cons towards the passage that has been quoted here. I tend to think that a quick glance at the New Living or the Message will not offer much help. However just a reading of the more literal translation of the NASB accompanied with a Greek New Testament shows how vague and unclear the passage (Romans 1) can be. Second, EddieF certainly does know how to get a rise out of people (pun intended and I had to laugh when I wrote it). I think it was Zeke that pointed out to you Lowend how some of your comments might come across to those who do not share the same beliefs as you. Your response was that you weren’t trying to be seeker friendly. Therefore, and IMO, you invited a bit of a “fight” with one who wished to challenge your beliefs. Of course, I challenge them with my style of writing and EddieF challenges them with his… he just happens to be a bit more straight forward. Your statement leads me to believe that if its something you believe strongly enough you aren’t trying to win friends with your arguments. Well, neither is EddieF.Finally, (always a pastor – 3 points)… one of the things I read in your use of analogy (i.e. telling someone they are going to hell, smoking, alcoholism) is that you believe it is your purpose to assist people in finding a way to a better life than what they might have. Just a quick glance back at what you write, you seem to suggest that your view of Christianity is that what you have is the best and if others believe differently they are in need of “fixing”. It’s US (non-smokers, non-alcoholics, heaven bound, good guys) vs THEM (smokers, alcoholics, hellbound, bad guys). That’s just the mindset I see that can also be a form of antagonism… even if you perceive it as being done in “love”.

  41. Shelly,Please allow me to respond to your comments.I would fist suggest that using “the Message” as a satnd-alone reference source can be dangerous. Though I appreciate what Eugene Peterson has put together with the Message, I think it is modern paraphrasing at best, a loose commentary at worse. Helpful for sure, but fuzzy on accuracy.Here’s what I would consider to be a more < HREF="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%201&version=51" REL="nofollow">< "accurate" translation><>.I’m not sure that just becuase sexual behavior is not directly referenced before or after that selection this nullifies it…You are absolutely right that we are not to judge ANYONE. So what’s the difference between recognizing/talking about someones sin and judging it? I’m not sure that pointing out certain behavior and identifying it as a sin is the same as judging them. Though I realize that they are almost indistinguishable. I wish no ill for anyone. It’s like watching ones yonger less wiser friend walk head-first in to a disastrous relationship. You see it coming a mile away, but they have not yet learned to see the signs. Do you have the “right” to intervene and try to avert their course? You may see the errors of their ways, but they must make their own decisions. However, would it hurt to lend a few well-meant suggestions? Probably won’t do much good, but it sure makes us feel better, right?I think there’s a difference between telling someone: “You’re going to hell.” versus : “Based on whay I believe, I think you might go to hell.” I might as well have said: “Your new hair-do sucks.” versus “I see you got a new haircut, I’ll be honest that wouldn’t have been my first choice, but good for you.” Both might land you on the couch for the night, but as far as judgements go, I do think they are distinct.I would caution you when looking to the bible for direct quotes or verbatim rules/laws (re: your polygamist response). That’s not to say that the bible does not make such direct references, but I believe that many of the bibles truths are found through a slightly more abstract/contextual approach. IOW you could take a single event from my life and draw a clear conclusion from them, but would that be a complete representation of me? I know many people go to the bible for quick and concise answers to their questions (not directing this at you…general statment), but I believe that God wishes us to put forth a little effort and find the deeper truths that often do not reside on the surface.

  42. <><>can you define love? How about beauty? Music?<><>Well yes, as a sentient being I can define those things for myself, but that in itself doesn’t prove anything about a god. Not sure what you were trying to say with this?<><>The irony if this of course, is that many of these truths will not be revealed to you, as you will be reading these with the sole purpose of validating your position. <><>I was asking you WHAT the Holy Spirit is, not to spew Bible verses at me – it’s meaningless. Can you define slkjdfldj? See, it’s just a word to me, in itself it means nothing unless you can prove and define it.<><>I honestly believe that you feel threatened by the idea that there might be some meanings that are hidden to you. <><>Believe what you must …<><>The fact that there isn’t a united army of unified christians does unfortunately not prove your position. <><>But IT does prove Jesus’ prayer failed – undeniably.<><>Only very few will actually enjoy eternal fellowship with God. <><>Some loving god – yeah? If god is willing and able, why is there evil?If god is able but unwilling, then he is malevont;If god is willing but unable; then he is not omnipotent;If god is unwilling and unable, why call him god.God, your God has a lot to answer for.And Rob Bell is supposed to tell me what? I suffered through ten minutes of his nonsense, that was enough to tell me that he doesn’t have a clue about the universe, or how it was formed. He conveniently gloss over the two creation stories found in GenesisAgain, I will make this simple: What even IS the Holy Spirit? It’s not a trick question – just tell me, without quoting bible verses.

  43. <>What I found interesting, was that it was the homosexual couple that basically admitted that they could not remain friends with her as long as she held those beliefs, though she clearly said that she loved them and would continue to do so.<>Try looking someone in the eye, telling them that you believed that God was going to judge them (and rightly so), and then pretend that they can set that aside and have a nice relationship with you. Especially since Christians throw the word “love” around like it’s a penny in a bankvault–never stopping to imagine that their words are not what people are really interested in.This isn’t a mystery; we each want to surround ourselves with people who, at their core, understand, accept and love us. It may be interesting and challenging to spend time with those who rub us the wrong way or who provide a counterpoint to a key belief about ourselves or the world, but trust me–nobody wants to live with one. So I don’t blame the gay couple for wanting their Christian “friend” to find somebody else to hang out with.

  44. nomail,I’ve never really been called a fundaMENTAList(I wonder if that is some kind of mental disorder?)…but whatever. I do take offense to you accusing me of cherry picking scripture. I would venture to say that you might be standing on shaky ground regarding your own scriptual knowledge, based on the comment you left, though I don’t know you well enough to accuse you as such. Please reference < HREF="http://www.gotquestions.org/polygamy.html" REL="nofollow">this article<> for some insight on polygamy in the bible.I love scriptures that do not easily jive with my current view. It’s the very reason I continue to study the bible, because everytime I go deeper more mysteries are revealed.I agree with you that this is an unfortunate and misused practice by far to many Christians, but please don’t accuse me of doing this when you don’t even know me much less have a strong understanding about what it is you are referencing. I do my best to share my views and opions as I’ve come to understand them…I have no interest in attacknig anyone! I welcome open and honest dialogue any day.

  45. <><>You seem to live in an increadibly boring world that has somehow been completely figured out by a bunch of pocket protectors.<><>IF you must justify MY world for yourself in that way, then please go ahead, but matter of fact, you have NO idea how boring or not my world is. You simply choose to filter it through your dogma … You should learn NOT to judge someone else as your said lord and savior told you to do.<><>I love and respect scientific discoveries as much as the next guy, but I also choose to submit to the fact that there are certain mysteries that abound in our world. <><>Such as?<><>The Holy Spirit wouldn’t be much of a ‘Holy Spirit’ if I or anyone could hand you a nice easy/lazy bite-sized packaged explanation. <><>You are STILL avoiding the question!<><>However, the lack of physical evidence is hardly reason enough to disprove its existance and power. <><>I asked you before, and I will ask again: then give me a tiny example of how it’s true, without spewing scriptures or subjective evidence.<><>Surely you must admit that there are events and happenings that simply defy human understanding. <><> No, I don’t admit to that – maybe you do!<><>If you are satisfied with the thought that you are here by pure coincidence (origin), and that your life is really no more valuable or meaningful that that of an ant…great…good for you. <><>Where even did you get that idea from? It’s not the basis for evolution; you have been reading the wrong books.<><>I happen to see a deeper meaning/purpose in our existance here. <><>So do I, but it doesn’t involve any gods.<><>and explore a God who is not bound by religiosity and human rules/traditions, but seeks a personal relationship with you? <><>Spare me the “relationship” crap – if only there was such a thing, then maybe I could agree. All your “relationship” bullshit is all made up in your head. God is dead – deal with it!<><>What if there is a God…the God of the Bible, who is really way beyond all of those human confines? What do you know about THAT God? <><>What if you were born in the Middle East? Then you would have been a Muslim. The bible is a meaningless book written by goat herders.<><>I’m just curious, if you do not recognize my Bible as a credible reference for my belief system, what may I ask is yours? <><>Why exactly do I need a reference for my disbelief? Your Bible isn’t credible for all the fallacies it contains, that’s why – just being consistent here … Besides, by what means do you know you have picked the right god from the thousands there are to pick from?<><>I’m sorry…which prayer would that be? <><>The one where he prayed you all might be ONE – just look at yourself, such a divided sect.<><>My God has NOTHING to answer for… <><>Of course not, not for killing babies, raping women, keeping slaves, flooding the world and all the other atrocities he committed in the name of “love:<><>Honestly, you strike me as an extremely close-minded person who is threatened by concepts that counter your views in any way. <><>Tell me ONE thing that Rob Bell said that is revolutionary? Just one? Again, stop judging and be intellectually honest to your beliefs.<><>Guess I’m just an ass then. <><>YES, you are a BIG ass for Jesus!

  46. subtlebear,You mean “them” like “those people”? Or are you treating this like a run-away train heading straight downhill towards a hairpin turn next to an abyss? Or am I projecting my latent church-programmed homophobia?hmmm…loving people can be a bitch (applyng statement to self first!)

  47. shieldsy, I think the code expires after a period of time–usually longer than it takes one to read the other posts and write a response. But not so long as to expire before you try the second time… that’s my theory.

  48. duffle, what i meant to by that, was that I view “the message” as more of an accessory than a main scriptual reference. And yes, each reader will glean their own interpretation from the bible, having said that, I believe there is an interaction between the sincere reader, the Holy Spirit and God, which will reveal the truth. By sincere I mean those who are truely looking to understand God versus those mearly seeking written validation to support their belief (or non-belief)…that was directed at both Christians and non-christians by the way.zeke,true true…but isn’t that precisely what Christ-likeness is all about? I believe we can truely love someone beyond mere words who’s belief system is opposite of ours. Is it easy or straight forward? No, but unatainable it is not. One could make a vague comparison to living with a smoker. You know that there is a very good chance they are killing themselves with cigarettes, but does that cause you to love them less…and vice versa? You may not want to make it a daily topic, because that could really drive a wedge. So too would one not want to remind their friend/loved one daily that they are on an express train to hell, but maybe through the very actions of love, and perhaps inspite this stated knowledge, that love could speak far louder and deeper than any heart to heart.Can’t wait to hear your review. Last season also had a similar scenario. They also had one with this corn-fed white church-raised dude who went to live in a muslim community for a month. Good stuff. I think far to few of us (general statement…self included) really venture out of our comfort groups to really get some face-time with other belief systems…other than the safe haven of SCP of course!!!

  49. <>I love and respect scientific discoveries as much as the next guy, but I also choose to submit to the fact that there are certain mysteries that abound in our world.<>This is one of my beefs with evangelicalism/fundamentalism–its discomfort with mysteries. To put it another way, mysteries are for non-believers. For believers, “Mystery solved!” Just ask the Bible Answer Man.How else to explain evangelicals’ lack of intellectual curiosity and scientific inquiry into the question of homosexuality? Why? Because like our friend Sovereignlove has pointed out, the Bible makes it clear that homos are homos because they have perverted God’s ordained sexual practices for men and women. No mystery left there. Why have there always been homosexuals, why are there now, and why will there always be homosexuals? Because they don’t say No to their wicked desires, such desires being a matter of their own choice anyway, no matter what they say. They may say it’s not a choice, but the Bible says otherwise.Mystery solved![/sarcasm]

  50. <><>A friend (agnostic) was just sharing this theory with me, and it’s had my head spinning since.<><>Another evolutionary theory suggests that homosexuality brings culture into society – no matter how you look at it – it’s evident across species, and undeniable as such – maybe a decade or so from now we might understand the evolutionary reasons for it.<><>I wonder if any self-proclaimed homosexual would admit that they could be part of natures way of curbing our over-population? <><>If that’s why I am gay, then so be it, I have no issues with that, just an issue telling me that I “chose” this “lifestyle” if you would. I have absolutely no control over who I am attracted to.<><>If this IS in fact natures doing, and I believe in God’s design in nature, could this somehow fall in to that design? <><>It could, and if you look at nature, then it’s clear that there is “design” in this, because how else would you explain faggotry popping up all over nature?

  51. steve, your points regarding God’s design are valid. I don’t really have an explanation. I honestly tend to look at those as exeptions…but I obviously don’t know, nor does anyone else. I have to compare anything that challenges my understanding of God to the mosaic of Him that I try to piece together daily (okay…as often as I can, sometimes it just collects dust, other times I’m taking a huge dookie on it).marriage superiority – this really ties in to my last comment I left. For those who believe in God and the design/purpose of marriage this standard holds true. Of course I can not expect this of non-believers, but yes you are right, in their ignorance (from my side of the truth) people who do not found their marriage on God are missing out. Does that mean that they can’t still be happy and all that? Of course they can, but God’s design for marriage is far more than just two people being happy together (and yes, I realize there’s a little more to it than just being happy…but you and I both know far to many couples who can’t even achieve that), considering that God uses marriage to describe what His church should look like.Purity vs Morality Code: So I listened to him again, and yes it does sound like he is putting it under the purity code (I just assumed it was under the morality code…give me a break, I’m at work here you know!). However, this does not seem to be a clear cut issue, there are many who would argue the opposite. To me though, this is quite clear: <>“24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.” Romans 1 14-27 NLT<>It can be so hard to condense ones views and belief stystems in these small stupid text boxes. Having said that, I believe that there is a very small (though I would love to see some solid non-biased data on this) percentage of people who are born with a chromosome disorder that can cause sexual identity disorder, this can also then be passed down genetically. The rest fall under choice or a psychological disorder due to childhood trauma (abuse, neglect, abandoment, etc.). There might also be the possibility that there are those who might simply have a particualar sexual urge towards same sex (not unlike being preferable to S&M or redheads). There you have it…and I didn’t even mention God…dough I just did it.The last scene of that episode of 30 days has the woman and her two hosts basically deadlocked (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) over how to reconcile loving someone dispite having a polar opposite moral view. What I found interesting, was that it was the homosexual couple that basically admitted that they could not remain friends with her as long as she held those beliefs, though she clearly said that she loved them and would continue to do so. I know that this can be such a knee-jerk come-back for christians to say, but what does it REALLY look like to do just that? I think this right here is one part of it, and I thank you Steve for providing the loving and accepting platform for just such a journey.great times.

  52. <>If I wasn’t a believer, why the eff would I sign up for what passes as marriage these days.<>Lowend, can you go back and re-read your post and try to imagine what a non-believer might think if they read it? Seriously, dude, marriage was around before Jesus and remains a popular institution for Christians, Buddhists, and totem-worshippers alike.

  53. Listen, this horse is dead – I have absolutely nothing further to say to you, other than what follows – genuinely my last comment to you: I don’t wish to know or interact with Christians like you – it ultimately leads nowhere – you claim love, but your words don’t match your actions. I have said what I needed to you about your myopic dogmas and judgments about other people’s lives – and I have judged you for who you are! See, that wasn’t so hard, I could actually admit that I have judged you, and the fruits of your life – but unlike you, I don’t have to pretend to love you, because I don’ subscribe to unconditional love. I don’t have to pretend to like you, because you look NOTHING like the Jesus some of my friends on this site embodies (shelly, steve, ninjanun, and many others). I actually quite happen to like some of the stuff he Jesus had to say about life – even though I think the Jesus of the Gospels is a myth – I am still capable of appreciating the metaphors as light for my life. Love and respect is earned, not given because you say “Jesus loves you” – it’s meaningless vapid ramblings to me. IF you really WANTED to understand where I was coming from, then two things would have happened:a) I would have given you the necessary respect, because your questions would have indicated that you were genuinely interested in understanding the other side of the argument without making it fit your dogma. I have always returned respect with respect to Christians in my many discussions with them about my lack of belief.b) I would have glossed over some of your talking points, as I really do understand where you source these from – I WAS once you! I would have seriously attempted to get to know you – like I have many on this site – who I consider friends. Funny how our different points of view never brings out antagonism towards each other like it did between you and me. It’s called respect; you have shown none towards me as a human being. You said so yourself. You are incapable of leaving “seeker friendly” comments, and you don’t really give a damn if you offend others. Scroll up!Lastly, I am not angry, I just don’t agree with your point of views, especially as they relate to your “facts, truths” and “understanding” of what my life as a gay man is supposed to be like – the merely annoys me. If anything, I should be offended about your narrow minded views – but I am not, because I honestly don’t give a damn what you think about my life – it’s just your “opinions” as you so zealously recoiled behind. How I was supposedly abused as a child, how I “choose” my sexuality as if it’s like choosing to wear a pink shirt for the day. You haven’t walked in my shoes, so STFU!

  54. Personally, I think ALL marriage should be abolished. Instead, civil unions for everyone; and leave it to the couples to decide what they want to call their union. *nods*

  55. seriously, the “holy spirit trump card”?and this is where the debate goes “wouldn’t the holy spirit get everyone to believe the same thing?” which you will respond “yes” which someone else will respond “then why are there so many religions and denominations?” and it will go round and round and round . . . same argument that’s been in the world. i guess some people just hear the holy spirit better than other people [/sarcasm]

  56. “stating my perception of said subject” how is that not judging?using the word seems is trying to make the speaker’s opinion the other person’s problem. it’s lazy research.

  57. <>…yet it is my understanding that the most literal translation remains the New American Standard (NASB).<>The NASB isn’t all that literal, actually.The two most literal translations I’ve come across are Young’s Literal Translation and the Concordant Literal (concordant.org), as they go straight to the sources: the original Hebrew and Greek texts. (From what I’ve read, most of the mainstream English translations are based on the Latin Vulgate.)Meanwhile, believe it or not, I don’t really use The Message for study purposes; I use it mainly when I want to read passages in present-day English to help me understand what is being said. I suppose I could go to another translation like the NLT, the NIV, or the NASB; but…somehow I’m more drawn to The Message in that regard. However, my main go-tos are the aforementioned Young’s, the Concordant Literal NT (which you can read online), the Darby Translation, and–sometimes–the NKJV (I read them through the Bible Gateway website). Plus, I have a copy of Strong’s Concordance handy.

  58. zeke,thanks for the response. I couldn’t agree more that Morgan’s straight/Christian/anti-gay-marriage representative choice was poor, in that she was grossly undereducated and insecure about her own belief system.However, I did find her to be receptive to those who offered civil dialouge. Plus, I do applaud her restraining her efforts to our judicial system…you didn’t see her out there with placks…which begs the question: who should leave whom alone?My whole point however centered around that final interaction at the kitchen table. Every American is entitled to their own belief system, and thus we have a somewhat functional democracy that lets us try and work all of them out. She reached out her hand in love/friendship and it was rejected. That surprised me. Though the couple said early on that they hoped to “change her mind” by living with them. I don’t think loving another person equates changing their mind. I might hope to, but I should never force or will it…especially if it might cost that relationship.EddieF and I obviously stand on polar opposites, but that will never hinder me from loving him. I may not enjoy loving him all the time, and I might find a million other things to do before hanging out with him, but that’s my personal challenge to live out.And to your question “why”…well as long as there are those who believe in God’s eternal love and that we are compelled to share that love, it would be like letting someone drive down a steep hill without any breaks and not saying something (really weak example…best I could do for a monday). It should always be that persons prerogative as to what they do with said information, but it will be a life-long mission to proclaim it for those who follow Christ.

  59. I think you make some good points about where there is oppression, love and commitment can thrive. And while I agree that the current political institution of marriage has it’s flaws, it is our system. And even if you have a big “FUCK YOU” for the system, I think there’s something deep in all of us that wants to be affirmed, or at least recognized. So, with that, to those who don’t care for state recognition – but do care about equal rights- about their commitment to their spouse, all my best to them. But for those who have been battling for recognition, I think it’s a victory to be celebrated.

  60. < HREF="http://student.bmj.com/issues/07/04/life/159.php" REL="nofollow">Evolution of Homosexuality<>A friend (agnostic) was just sharing this theory with me, and it’s had my head spinning since. Could this be a “necessary evil” both in moral and biological terms (from my perspective)? I wonder if any self-proclaimed homosexual would admit that they could be part of natures way of curbing our over-population? If this IS in fact natures doing, and I believe in God’s design in nature, could this somehow fall in to that design?hmmm

  61. using the word “seem” is judging. it’s an opinion and by definition an opinion is “a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.”.here’s an example: “you seem to be a stupid church person” has the exact same meaning and connotation as “you are a stupid church person”

  62. Wow! Lot of different issues tackled in that one. Where to begin?!I actually agree with you on the majority, but think you’re overlooking some very important principles which make marriage such an important social function.Luckily for you, it’s very late here in the UK and I’m too tired to write them down in any articulate way … but i’ll be back![How come word verification NEVER seems to get accepted the 1st time?]

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