Same Sex Marriage Debate (1 Viewer)

CM_Tutor

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There is to be made a helpful distinction between homosexuality and homosexualism.
Homosexuality: a condition of personal identity in which a person is sexually oriented toward persons of the same sex.
Homosexualism: explicit and overt homosexual practice.

The latter is what a lot of people object to; not the former.
Mind you, since the government doesn't legislate against adultery,ergo it shouldn't do so against homosexualism; even I would disagree with both.
I can only recall having this distinction be made as part of "hate the sin, love the sinner" perspectives. Perhaps the argument is advanced by other groups or in other contexts, but I don't recall have seen that.

IMO, the underlying notion has some utility, in that a person's thoughts, ideas, fantasies, etc, can be separated from their actions. A person who declares a biblical belief in loving their neighbours and charity for the needy while selfishly and greedily seeking to live a lavish lifestyle, refusing to help others, and advocating racist rejections of others should be judged y their actions rather than their professed ideals. Similarly, a person who imagines or dreams of violence but does not act of those thoughts is to be commended for their restraint.

However, there are also circumstances where there is no utility in a thoughts and desires v. actions distinction. Homosexuality is a normal variation in sexual orientation, seen in many species other than humans, and to suggest to a gay person that it is ok to feel same sex attractions but it is wrong to act on the very human needs for affection and intimacy is not acceptance, nor love, nor support or understanding. It is, perhaps, profoundly ignorant to suggest that acting one should not act in line with one's nature in such a fundamental part of human existence, or perhaps callous, or (in some cases) it is a manifestation of hate.

Sexual orientation may evolve over a person's lifetime but there is no legitimate medical or scientific evidence that it can be changed. To suggest (as some do) that same-sex attracted people have equal access to marriage as they are free to marry a person of the opposite sex makes a mockery of what the institution of marriage means. To suggest that same-sex attracted people can only be acceptable to a religious community through celibacy and the denial of a core aspect of their nature is not only judgemental but also hateful - an insistence on suffering over something natural, normal, and out of their control.

Objecting to homosexual actions, undertaken consensually and privately by adults, is not a manifestation of acceptance or a value-neutral perspective on homosexual orientation. The logic is akin to saying that living in water is fine but breathing under water us not, and so accepting whales whilst condemning fish, unless the fish learn to breathe only at the surface and never underwater.

Humans are sexual animals, with an urge to express themselves sexually. As a society, we lay down laws to protect vulnerable groups (like children) from harm. We should punish those who force sexual encounters on the unwilling , rape being a violation regardless of the sexuality or behaviours of the perpetrator towards their victim. We also recognise that sexual behaviour is not solely about procreation and the desires and actions of consenting adults in privacy are areas that society should not, in general, regulate. Religious groups (of whatever faith and belief system) have the right to express views on matters of personal behaviour and even to exclude members from their groups should they wish... but they don't have the right to impose their views on non-members. They can advocate and then abide by societal decisions. Sadly, it still happens that groups or their members believe that their right to their own beliefs extends to a right to judge others, to act as if their values extend everywhere except inside the bodies of those who disagree. Telling someone who does not share your faith that they will be judged and punished for being who they are is often an unwelcome intrusion. Telling a young person struggling with their understanding of themselves that they face rejection and even damnation for express how they feel is not an act of love; it is a brutalising strategy used in an attempt to force them to compliance, one that has done massive harm to many who struggle to achieve a level of peace and self-acceptance.

@dan964, you are free to hold your beliefs and to express them. Unfortunately, I see the distinction that you raise as unhelpful and harmful. I do not accept that there is a meaningful separation between "I accept person X as a gay man, but only so long as he never acts on that orientation" and "I don't accept person X because he is a gay man." The former is not a statement of tolerance or an expression of love for one's neighbour. Rather, it is a demand that someone suppress their nature to be acceptable in your eyes. It is as unreasonable as expressing acceptance for an immigrant so long as they set aside their cultural heritage and background and be a "true" Australian, or of acceptance of a person from a different faith. so long as they convert. Acceptance of a person's homosexuality (or bisexuality or gender identity or ...) is not meaningful if it comes with a requirement that that person not express their identity in ways that you disapprove (or object to, as you put it above).

I can accept that it was not your intention to offend in making your statement, and I know that your perspective is one shared by others. However, it is offensive, in my view. Given the size of the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, I suspect I am not alone.
 

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it is clear that dan has a naïve or possibly non-existent understanding of the psychology of sexuality (and even if it exists, it is heavily clouded by religious puritanicalism), so i would take anything he says about it with a molecule of salt.
 

CM_Tutor

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it is clear that dan has a naïve or possibly non-existent understanding of the psychology of sexuality (and even if it exists, it is heavily clouded by religious puritanicalism), so i would take anything he says about it with a molecule of salt.
I was contemplating more like a mole of salt...
 
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it is clear that dan has a naïve or possibly non-existent understanding of the psychology of sexuality (and even if it exists, it is heavily clouded by religious puritanicalism), so i would take anything he says about it with a molecule of salt.
what is it that you disagree on, can you summarise it in 2 sentences
 

dan964

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@dan964, you are free to hold your beliefs and to express them. Unfortunately, I see the distinction that you raise as unhelpful and harmful. I do not accept that there is a meaningful separation between "I accept person X as a gay man, but only so long as he never acts on that orientation" and "I don't accept person X because he is a gay man." The former is not a statement of tolerance or an expression of love for one's neighbour. Rather, it is a demand that someone suppress their nature to be acceptable in your eyes. It is as unreasonable as expressing acceptance for an immigrant so long as they set aside their cultural heritage and background and be a "true" Australian, or of acceptance of a person from a different faith. so long as they convert. Acceptance of a person's homosexuality (or bisexuality or gender identity or ...) is not meaningful if it comes with a requirement that that person not express their identity in ways that you disapprove (or object to, as you put it above).

I can accept that it was not your intention to offend in making your statement, and I know that your perspective is one shared by others. However, it is offensive, in my view. Given the size of the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies, I suspect I am not alone.
and
To suggest that same-sex attracted people can only be acceptable to a religious community through celibacy and the denial of a core aspect of their nature is not only judgemental but also hateful - an insistence on suffering over something natural, normal, and out of their control.
Thanks for your response. Whether or not it was my intention, I understand perfectly well that my view is offensive to some, and some see as 'hateful' (I'll address that later).

Where we find agreement and common ground in recognising things like forcing someone to have sex (e.g. rape) or not to have sex (e.g. suppression) are wrong and harmful. You've also identified the examples to both show how actions and desires can be distinct or intertwined, which is helpful. These things are complex to address here, so maybe another time.

But apart from that there is a lot of difference between me and you and our assumptions and understanding are very different. We are yes, operating from different assumptions and that is important to understand when engaging with me (on this or any topic mind you).

1. I do think the distinction is necessary*, mainly for Christians to be clearer on what we mean and believe; and it is mainly for pastoral contexts that the distinction is helpful in application (which is actually the purpose of the document I took it from). It is not merely another way to say 'love the sinner, hate the sin' because sin is something that is pervasive in all of our lives; it is something that affects the person, and is more fundamental to a person's nature than even their sexual orientation; that is something that all people of all sexual orientations share. Sin is not something we can remove from a person or separate from their identity. If we are all to be judged by that standard, we all stand condemned.

But the good news is there is forgiveness for sinners (in Christ dying in sinners' place) - so God shows mercy to the heterosexual, the homosexual, even if that have committed that which is considered a misdeed; and Christians likewise forgive and accept in God's family such people (although we sometimes also fail to do, which we also need forgiveness in Christ for). And I do think this (what Christ has done), Christians need to be louder on this point both in speaking and in actions. (If all you hear is that first bit, then I can understand why you might think that Christians are judgmental and hateful)

It is worth noting Jesus himself ate with tax collectors and "sinners" (including prostitutes), yet at the same time taught very clearly on marriage and sexuality, by affirming the pattern established in the Old Testament; showing that logically you can hold both.

2. I think it is naïve, harmful and foolish to equate encouraging abstinence with 'suppression' which is what is what the section you tagged me in directly assumes/implies. It is worth noting that abstinence from sex is not something that is unique to a homosexual person.
An unmarried man for instance is encouraged to abstain from overt and explicit sexual relations; as much as a homosexual person would be. A married man is encouraged not to be promiscuous even if he may not find his spouse meeting his sexual needs, not to look elsewhere. A Christian is called to be prepared to give up all their ambitions, desires to follow Christ.; and that may involve suffering or opposition in the process. It is hard ask and not everyone can accept it. Some Christians (irrespective of sexual orientation) it means they will be always a virgin or never marry.

I do agree there are bad ways to go about this (encouragement), and unfortunately all Christians have been characterised as such, just for simply expressing their views. The reality is a lot more complex and personal, and needs both clarity and delicacy.

This is where we find great disagreement. "The very human needs for affection and intimacy" as you mention are not exclusively met in explicit acts of a sexual nature, nor do they have to be, but can met in other and greater ways such as within a community, with great friendships and family. In general, for Christians there are greater things to pursue and seek then just sexual fulfilment or marriage. Christians need to be clear in the public sphere on these points :)

3. I agree it is unfortunate and harmful that homosexuality has seemed like singled out (or even homosexualism), and Christians have erred when it comes to overemphasising this over others (which is unloving), when the reality is that all non believers, regardless of whether you sleep with a man or a woman, everyone is damned without Christ. It is not unique to a particular sexual orientation; as said before (see (1))
(If that was a true reality, which the Christian is convinced it is, then it would actually be hateful and unloving not to tell them. If you genuinely believed that people were driving into an impending natural disaster, you would be unloving not to warn them).

However yes in terms of singling people out and judging people on particulars like homosexualism as a church, yeah I agree that is harmful and unhelpful, even Paul says "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside."
And when fleshing out what the latter (judgment) looks, the distinction distinguishes between something that is not a choice, and something that is.

4. Observation when it comes to judgement there is really appears to be a double standard sometimes on all sides of this debate.
An observation on how quick the label of naive or hateful or as having no understanding of the psychology of human sexuality was thrown out (unsubstantiated). CMTutor has discerned correctly my intent was not to offend (but to inform).

Objecting to homosexual actions, undertaken consensually and privately by adults, is not a manifestation of acceptance or a value-neutral perspective on homosexual orientation.
No one or no perspective on this issue is 'value-neutral', even when you say 'acceptance' there a particular understand of acceptance that necessitates that all (consensual) sexual expression* is morally good which is a value statement/judgement (not universally shared) of which is a value of humanism or hedonism for example.; amongst other values like sexual/gender equality, certain view of marriage etc.
*The 'all' is qualified though by your examples not to include for instance pedophilia; hence avoiding the bad slope argument which I agree is fallacious.

The moral bad and evil if sexual expression is a moral good, then abstinence must be evil, and therefore Christians must be hateful/evil to encourage it. Obviously it is not merely that 2D, people have nuances differences within a group, and some values are even personal not collective; and even then people aren't always consistent, you get the point.

With this debate, I think we all need to take each others words with many grains of salt and grace.

(edit: bold added for key points if you hate reading large text blocks)
 
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CM_Tutor

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Reply... Part 1 of 2

Thanks for your response. Whether or not it was my intention, I understand perfectly well that my view is offensive to some, and some see as 'hateful' (I'll address that later).

Where we find agreement and common ground in recognising things like forcing someone to have sex (e.g. rape) or not to have sex (e.g. suppression) are wrong and harmful. You've also identified the examples to both show how actions and desires can be distinct or intertwined, which is helpful. These things are complex to address here, so maybe another time.
Let me offer my thanks, also, for responding thoughtfully and demonstrating that discussions of topics with strongly-held views, opinions, and beliefs can be conducted in this forum in ways that remain civil and respect the forum guidelines. I am sure we both have strong views on these topics, and will likely not alter each other's perspectives... but that doesn't mean there is no benefit in an exchange of ideas.

But apart from that there is a lot of difference between me and you and our assumptions and understanding are very different. We are yes, operating from different assumptions and that is important to understand when engaging with me (on this or any topic mind you).

1. I do think the distinction is necessary*, mainly for Christians to be clearer on what we mean and believe; and it is mainly for pastoral contexts that the distinction is helpful in application (which is actually the purpose of the document I took it from).
Adopting Christian beliefs as a basis for dealing with other Christians who share your beliefs is reasonable and understandable... but it does not follow that those beliefs are as applicable a basis for those who don't. For those with different beliefs, religious or not.

There was a time when people with various religious and even non-religious perspectives felt comfortable judging LGBTQIA+ people on the grounds of "choice"... that people "chose" their sexual orientation and so could be judged as bad for "choosing" something of which they disapprove. In fact, it is not that long ago that such "choices" were taken as evidence of a mental disorder. The majority view is now that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice. And that's where "love the sinner, hate the sin" comes in... it moves the goalposts so that discrimination is still made acceptable by declaring that LGBTQIA+ are bad / wrong / sinners not for being LGBTQIA+ but instead for acting on their orientation. They can choose to suppress their orientation and try to pretend to be straight and act that way, even while suffering depression and anxiety for lying to their partners and trying to be someone that they are not. They can choose to be abstinent and forgo the support and intimacy that goes with having a partner. They can try to push away the anger and resentment at seeing others happy in relationships and knowing that they are denied the ability to experience such relationships. They can suffer the shame of failing to fulfill others expectations, the fear of rejection if their secret is uncovered. And, in the case of LGBTQIA+ individuals who do have strong religious faith, they have the fear of being ostracised from their community of faith in life and eternal damnation in death - all from an orientation that is not within their control. I don't see how this is loving. I don't see how this approach can be seen as reflective of a deity being merciful or benevolent. I see it as little different from demanding that LGBTQIA+ people deny their natures or be seen as inferior / unwell / evil.

It is worth noting Jesus himself ate with tax collectors and "sinners" (including prostitutes), yet at the same time taught very clearly on marriage and sexuality, by affirming the pattern established in the Old Testament; showing that logically you can hold both.
Jesus advised slaves to obey their Masters and submit, yet we now recognise that slavery as an institution is wrong.

Ephesians commands wives to obey their husbands for the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the Church - hardly an enlightened view of equality between spouses, which is preferred today.

Even if biblical texts were the final word on values and morality, modern perspectives follow some passages while disregarding or ignoring some others, and also find ways to excuse or reinterpret biblical words. And, as citizens in a secular society, our governance is not dictated by biblical texts. Marriage long ago ceased to be a solely religious institution and so denial of marriage to same-sex couples was discriminatory and needed to end. We allow different religious denominations and belief systems to formalise marriages within their own beliefs while also complying with the legal structures mandated under the law that governs us all. Allowing religions to practice discrimination within their communities on strictly religious topics is one thing, but allowing those discriminations to interfere with the lives of people outside those communities is unacceptable.

2. I think it is naïve, harmful and foolish to equate encouraging abstinence with 'suppression' which is what is what the section you tagged me in directly assumes/implies. It is worth noting that abstinence from sex is not something that is unique to a homosexual person.
An unmarried man for instance is encouraged to abstain from overt and explicit sexual relations; as much as a homosexual person would be. A married man is encouraged not to be promiscuous even if he may not find his spouse meeting his sexual needs, not to look elsewhere. A Christian is called to be prepared to give up all their ambitions, desires to follow Christ.; and that may involve suffering or opposition in the process. It is hard ask and not everyone can accept it. Some Christians (irrespective of sexual orientation) it means they will be always a virgin or never marry.

I do agree there are bad ways to go about this (encouragement), and unfortunately all Christians have been characterised as such, just for simply expressing their views. The reality is a lot more complex and personal, and needs both clarity and delicacy.

This is where we find great disagreement. "The very human needs for affection and intimacy" as you mention are not exclusively met in explicit acts of a sexual nature, nor do they have to be, but can met in other and greater ways such as within a community, with great friendships and family. In general, for Christians there are greater things to pursue and seek then just sexual fulfilment or marriage. Christians need to be clear in the public sphere on these points :)
The law mandates abstinence for any situation where the other part(ies) are not freely and willingly consenting to engage in sexual activity. As a society, we encourage young people coming to understand their sexuality and desires (of whatever orientation) to not act until they are sure about what they want and what the other person wants. Recent publicity of behaviour that ranges from poor to manipulative to outright criminal demonstrates that young people coming of age are struggling with understanding consent, with managing their own urges and desires, with being assertive over their lack of consent, and with some frankly horrible beliefs about entitlement. The US provides clear evidence that advising "just say no" and not teaching about safer sex is failing our younger people. There are certainly times when abstinence is appropriate, whether it be because an individual does not want to have a sexual encounter with a particular person or because they do not feel ready for engaging in sexual activity with any person. Abstinence is equally appropriate (at whatever age) when one person's desire is not shared by another. These are not equivalent to suppression.

Some religious teachings promote abstinence in all circumstances outside of marriage, and adherents to such beliefs are free to follow such teachings. Sadly, the recent Royal Commission findings point to the dangers that this abstinence can lead someone to suppressing desires and ultimately becoming a sexual abuser as a consequence. The dangers of lifelong-abstinence are a live issue in those communities.

In the case of LGBTQIA+ people, the religious instruction that abstinence is the only option available, possibly coupled with demonstrably damaging conversion therapies, means that abstinence is effectively mandating suppression of the urge towards sexual expression that is found in most animals on the planet. I agree that relationships come in many forms and with varied rewards and can contribute to satisfying needs for emotional support, respect, love, intimacy, fellowship, etc. However, I do not agree that this means these other relationships with friends, family, colleagues, etc, can satisfy all such needs. The intimacy, trust, support, understanding, etc, that can exist in a deep partner-style relationship (that generally includes a sexual component) is something that is deeply missed when lost or absent. Religious teachings celebrate heterosexual marriage precisely because this type of relationship can be uniquely valuable and satisfying, and so it cannot be easily treated as replaceable with other connections. It is unfortunate that prejudice appears as the basis for denying the term "marriage" to same-sex couples by stating that LGBTQIA+ couples are unable to form relationships of this strength and character as a consequence of being inferior / wrong due to LGBTQIA+ orientation and (now) activities.
 

CM_Tutor

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Reply... Part 2 of 2

3. I agree it is unfortunate and harmful that homosexuality has seemed like singled out (or even homosexualism), and Christians have erred when it comes to overemphasising this over others (which is unloving), when the reality is that all non believers, regardless of whether you sleep with a man or a woman, everyone is damned without Christ. It is not unique to a particular sexual orientation; as said before (see (1))
(If that was a true reality, which the Christian is convinced it is, then it would actually be hateful and unloving not to tell them. If you genuinely believed that people were driving into an impending natural disaster, you would be unloving not to warn them).

However yes in terms of singling people out and judging people on particulars like homosexualism as a church, yeah I agree that is harmful and unhelpful, even Paul says "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside."
And when fleshing out what the latter (judgment) looks, the distinction distinguishes between something that is not a choice, and something that is.
Religious institutions accumulate power and support by creating an "in" group and an "out" group. The "out" group is both a potential source of new members as a group that can be judged / seen / treated as inferior by virtue of characteristics not shared with the "in" group. Homosexuals and LGBTQIA+ individuals in general suit being an "out" group and singling them out is a natural choice when they are a mistreated minority even within the "out" groups. As society has come to recognise that LGBTQIA+ people are essentially the same as everyone else, that their sexual orientations are a normal part of the spectrum of human sexuality, and as prejudice against them comes to be seen as wrong, then the religious views have come to be seen more as biased / prejudiced and unfair. Trying to recruit people by sharing anti-LGBTQIA+ prejudice is rendered less effective.

Dan is being quite open in saying that "Christians have erred when it comes to overemphasising this over others (which is unloving), when the reality is that all non believers, regardless of whether you sleep with a man or a woman, everyone is damned without Christ." Unfortunately for religions in general (for this is shared by many), recruiting from the "out" group by emphasising eternal damnation because of non-belief is not an effective approach to seek common ground. It is especially ineffective when the person holds a different religious belief and may view the Christian (say) as equally damned for not holding an alternative belief. The main recruiting ground for religions is amongst the children of existing members, trusting that parents will teach their child to adopt their religion.

For society, this actually points to a danger of religious communities in general. We don't want to interfere with parents and their children, but at the same time we need to support the children growing into responsible adults who can function in modern society. Unfortunately, some religious views and groups are harmful to children and their development. As an example, children growing up believing that scientific knowledge is flawed and that the Earth was created by some God 6000 years ago are not well prepared to function in a society where scientific literacy is helpful. The difficulty extends beyond religion, as well - children being taught that there was no slavery in Australia, that white colonisation was a peaceful process that benefited native peoples, and that health and education deficits of ATSI peoples are due to stupidity or laziness are being taught racism.

4. Observation when it comes to judgement there is really appears to be a double standard sometimes on all sides of this debate.
An observation on how quick the label of naive or hateful or as having no understanding of the psychology of human sexuality was thrown out (unsubstantiated). CMTutor has discerned correctly my intent was not to offend (but to inform).

No one or no perspective on this issue is 'value-neutral', even when you say 'acceptance' there a particular understand of acceptance that necessitates that all (consensual) sexual expression* is morally good which is a value statement/judgement (not universally shared) of which is a value of humanism or hedonism for example.; amongst other values like sexual/gender equality, certain view of marriage etc.
*The 'all' is qualified though by your examples not to include for instance pedophilia; hence avoiding the bad slope argument which I agree is fallacious.
There certainly is a distinction to be drawn between warning and judging. As Dan noted, "if you genuinely believed that people were driving into an impending natural disaster, you would be unloving not to warn them." Unfortunately, if this "warning" comes religious assumptions that the other person does not share, and if it is accompanied (covertly or not) with the view that you should change sexual orientation (which is not possible) and that to do otherwise is stupid, then the warning has a truckload of judgement in its wake.

The moral bad and evil if sexual expression is a moral good, then abstinence must be evil, and therefore Christians must be hateful/evil to encourage it. Obviously it is not merely that 2D, people have nuances differences within a group, and some values are even personal not collective; and even then people aren't always consistent, you get the point.

With this debate, I think we all need to take each others words with many grains of salt and grace.
I do not suggest that sexual expression is a "moral good". I do suggest that it is a natural part of human behaviour.

Now, sexual expression can occur in ways that are morally bad and in which case abstinence is a positive good. To take an example, consider a true pedophile who has a sexual attraction to pre-pubsecent children (by "true", I am referring to the psychological sense of the term "pedophile" which looks at attractions and desires irrespective of whether they have resulted in actions). If that person engages in conduct in line with those desires and attractions, then that is unequivocally morally bad as it is necessarily harmful to the child, not to mention unlawful and properly punishable with a heavy gaol sentence. Abstaining from that behaviour and suppressing the desire is then morally and legally desirable. This is a case where an actual, recognised medical / psychological disorder exists and where treatment is needed. This is an area where I expect most would agree that a distinction between thoughts and actions is important - anyone struggling with these thoughts needs help, but those who also act on them need to be confined to protect children and society from their actions.

The above discussions have highlighted other cases in the legally and / or morally bad territory where there is a lack of informed consent, etc. There can also be sexual behaviour which is legal but which might be a source of regret. Whether that has a moral perspective - "am I bad person? did I just make a bad decision? should I have not agreed to XXX?" etc - is more a personal decision than a situation with a universal "right" answer. So, I do agree that there are nuances and individual perspectives, which is why I didn't take a view on morally right or wrong. I certainly don't view Christians (or other religions) as morally wrong for having teachings and applying them within their communities. I do think it is wrong to try to force those teachings to bind those who aren't part of their communities, however, or even to judge when there is only a religious basis for that position. And, sadly, I do think that religious views and actions (even if well intentioned) can be reasonably perceived as hateful.

The LGBTQIA+ community have been persecuted by both religious and non-religious groups over time. Acceptance is growing and same-sex marriage being legalised was an important step towards genuine equality. I can see valid arguments against it, though I confess to being surprised at how rarely I have heard an argument against it that is coherent and extends logically to its conclusions.
 

dan964

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... The majority view is now that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice.
Despite what people may think, you will find that I agree with you on a lot of points. I agree that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice; but I also don't think that it is as fixed as people make it out to be.

They can choose to suppress their orientation and try to pretend to be straight and act that way, even while suffering depression and anxiety for lying to their partners and trying to be someone that they are not
While you do eventually address this, again and this is a major point of difference; that I don't think churches should be encouraging 'conversion' therapy which is I feel a big assumption in a lot of what you said, that the goal is for everyone to be straight. Thats not the goal of Christian living, the goal is to be like Christ.

While abstinence for moral reasons is legitimate. And you can bring a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink. So yes there are things (and it is an 'in-house' discussion) for Christians to work out how to best support those in their group who may be same sex attracted.
These things are difficult because sexuality is so personal.

But again, I think as a society we've undervalued community, families, friendships that can serve as ones needs for intimacy and closeness. This is where I think as a whole society is lacking. We have tended to sexualise every relationship, and that is certainly not helpful either.

Sadly, the recent Royal Commission findings point to the dangers that this abstinence can lead someone to suppressing desires and ultimately becoming a sexual abuser as a consequence
This is perhaps a problematic example, because at time of writing, paedophilia is viewed (across all viewpoints) as fairly universally wrong. So for someone with pedophilia, the better option afforded to them is abstinence (which you later agree on, and mention in detail)

Jesus advised slaves to obey their Masters and submit, yet we now recognise that slavery as an institution is wrong.
Ephesians commands wives to obey their husbands for the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the Church - hardly an enlightened view of equality between spouses, which is preferred today.
Even if biblical texts were the final word on values and morality, modern perspectives follow some passages while disregarding or ignoring some others, and also find ways to excuse or reinterpret biblical words. And, as citizens in a secular society, our governance is not dictated by biblical texts.
Your are right to comment that our government is secular and not bound to Biblical or Christian values. Although some of that which is in common law has in previous generations borrowed some of the 'more palatable' aspects of Christian values.

In terms of the specific examples, only a brief comment on each.
(1) I'm thinking you mean Paul or Peter, as I couldn't find where Jesus was quoted as thus. Nevertheless, godly conduct for slaves is obedience in their masters (and there are examples of other passages where slaves are encouraged to seek their freedom etc.). Probably another topic though.
(2) Ironically you say 'enlightened' view, which carries the notion of the Enlightenment, which is fundamentally opposed to Christian thought for the most part. On a more serious notes, Christian like myself would stress that the husband is called to love like Christ (who lay down his life for us), that is a big responsibility and a big shoes to fill, and the submission follows on from that.
(3) For evangelical Christians they (the Bible) are the first word on values and morality. But to unpack that is a whole discussion on Christian ethics; probably another topic for another thread.

Religious institutions accumulate power and support by creating an "in" group and an "out" group....
One of the marks of a true Christian is humility, and that however imperfectly shown not to see others who are outside as inferior. Christians aren't called to be separatists but rather to engage in the world. The ones that are to be judged harshly are those who claim to be a Christian yet persist without change in doing what is against the core values of what Christians believe.

Trying to recruit people by sharing anti-LGBTQIA+ prejudice is rendered less effective.
Agreed!

It is especially ineffective when the person holds a different religious belief and may view the Christian (say) as equally damned for not holding an alternative belief.
There is obviously more that is said. And this is probably more of a "does God exist" kind of topic, so I won't discuss it further than that.

The main recruiting ground for religions is amongst the children of existing members, trusting that parents will teach their child to adopt their religion. For society, this actually points to a danger of religious communities in general. We don't want to interfere with parents and their children, but at the same time we need to support the children growing into responsible adults who can function in modern society. Unfortunately, some religious views and groups are harmful to children and their development. As an example, children growing up believing that scientific knowledge is flawed and that the Earth was created by some God 6000 years ago are not well prepared to function in a society where scientific literacy is helpful.
This is probably not something we will ever get right 100%. Future generations will look back on us and think we were foolish for teaching something which might be so fundamental to society today. There is a lot of loaded assumptions in the example provided, particularly if I encountered someone like that, it is worth fleshing it out, their rationale behind it.

The difficulty extends beyond religion, as well - children being taught that there was no slavery in Australia, that white colonisation was a peaceful process that benefited native peoples, and that health and education deficits of ATSI peoples are due to stupidity or laziness are being taught racism.

I do not suggest that sexual expression is a "moral good". I do suggest that it is a natural part of human behaviour.
Clarification: It was a more general comment on society's view of sex as a whole, not on your specific view. Obviously there are other values that play into it; such as protecting the innocent.

I do think it is wrong to try to force those teachings to bind those who aren't part of their communities, however, or even to judge when there is only a religious basis for that position. And, sadly, I do think that religious views and actions (even if well intentioned) can be reasonably perceived as hateful.
You won't find much disagreement, although the word 'judge' is loaded sometimes, with simply voicing opposition to same sex marriage seen as 'judging' or 'hateful'; I think because 'hate' is a matter of an intent, you need to assess both ones intent and actions.

The LGBTQIA+ community have been persecuted by both religious and non-religious groups over time.
Yeah it is more of a general societal thing, not specific to religion.

Equality is a funny thing though, because I don't believe you cannot really achieve it in this circumstances.
 
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dan964

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And that's where "love the sinner, hate the sin" comes in... it moves the goalposts so that discrimination is still made acceptable by declaring that LGBTQIA+ are bad / wrong / sinners not for being LGBTQIA+ but instead for acting on their orientation.
Its probably not a helpful phrase for Christians to use because 'hate' means something very particular in this culture/day & age.

There are other several loaded words that get dropped such as 'discrimination' (can there be such a thing as good discrimination? - I think yes and I can explain what I mean) or 'acceptance' or 'equality' in people's arguments. Terms that are assumed we all agree on what they mean or their moral value (they are not moral neutral concepts).

And even concepts like 'sin'. You probably have a very different understanding of it (say as merely a morally bad action), while the view of sin that most Christians have is a lot broader, deeper and comprehensive (to be expected since it is a Christian buzzword).

And also with regards to Christianity (and I suspect the same for Judaism and Islam) that there is a particular understanding of what 'marriage' is; and typically sex is something within that one marriage. It is from that context, that everything outside of that is not in line - which does not mean the sexual orientation one has. I refer back to what I said earlier about the nature of sin being a lot more than about this.
 
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oh i'm not here to participate; i'm here to cast judgement on dan as he is casting on the entirety of the non-straight population.
but what is your judgment based on, for example dan is basing it off an another accord a set example of what is good and bad, whereas your moral judgment is based on what you believe to be is true, so what's to say that he's in the wrong and your in the right
 

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but what is your judgment based on, for example dan is basing it off an another accord a set example of what is good and bad, whereas your moral judgment is based on what you believe to be is true, so what's to say that he's in the wrong and your in the right
empathy
 

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but what is your judgment based on, for example dan is basing it off an another accord a set example of what is good and bad, whereas your moral judgment is based on what you believe to be is true, so what's to say that he's in the wrong and your in the right
Part of the point of Western Democracy is to try and separate religion and state. Which is why arguing something is bad or good from a religious standpoint rather than an objective one doesn't really get you anywhere and is also why stuff like gay marriage and incest are destined to be legal, one of which already is.

Granted there are still Laws based on religious morality, as western society progresses into the future I would expect to see less and less illogical reasoning. Though I could be wrong lol, because I can see lots of illogical arguments being made by people who don't particularly believe in a religion.

Now all this doesn't mean I have to think for example that incest or gay marriage should be legal because it's good, but rather me finding it disgusting does not justify it being illegal. Nor does the impact that incest leads to a higher chance of babies having conditions, as I outlined before by the use of contraception or incest between two people of the same gender.
 

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@Drdusk, granting marriage rights to non-heterosexual couples is about extending rights granted to the majority to a minority as a part of achieving equality under the law.

Incest is not lawful for any couples so the situations are not directly comparable. And, placing the together invites comparisons between them, which the LGBTQIA+ community really doesn't need (or deserve). In fact, making the comparison appears to strengthen the fallacious "slippery slope" argument made against SSM. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are share the same range of views / feelings as the straight community. I do not think it likely that they (or any other substantial group in society) will be arguing for legalising incest, polygamy / bigamy, bestiality, pedophilia, or any other extreme fringe belief that are held by very few in our society.

Now all this doesn't mean I have to think for example that incest or gay marriage should be legal because it's good, but rather me finding it disgusting does not justify it being illegal.
I know that some feel disgust about homosexual activity, and I hope that your comment was directed at your opinion of incest rather than both incest and homosexuality... but the ambiguity in the wording permits an interpretation that equates the two. :(
 

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@Drdusk, granting marriage rights to non-heterosexual couples is about extending rights granted to the majority to a minority as a part of achieving equality under the law.

Incest is not lawful for any couples so the situations are not directly comparable. And, placing the together invites comparisons between them, which the LGBTQIA+ community really doesn't need (or deserve). In fact, making the comparison appears to strengthen the fallacious "slippery slope" argument made against SSM. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are share the same range of views / feelings as the straight community. I do not think it likely that they (or any other substantial group in society) will be arguing for legalising incest, polygamy / bigamy, bestiality, pedophilia, or any other extreme fringe belief that are held by very few in our society.
I think you misunderstood because I am not against Gay marriage, rather I'm all for it. I was simply stating an observation that I can not logically defend incest being illegal similarly to how I can not defend Gay marriage being illegal, and that one day incest will be legal because just like Gay marriage it is not harming anybody when done between two consenting adults.

I know that some feel disgust about homosexual activity, and I hope that your comment was directed at your opinion of incest rather than both incest and homosexuality... but the ambiguity in the wording permits an interpretation that equates the two. :(
As for disgust. Yes I feel disgust at the thought of incest and at the thought of homosexual activity in the sense that I can never comprehend myself engaging in activities with another guy, just like I can never comprehend myself engaging in such activities with someone that is related to me. That is all I meant by disgust because it would disgust me to do something like that with someone of those categories. It doesn't at all mean I find gay people themselves disgusting. The point that I was making is me finding it disgusting in the sense that I would never engage in it does not justfiy it being illegal.
 

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@Drdusk, granting marriage rights to non-heterosexual couples is about extending rights granted to the majority to a minority as a part of achieving equality under the law.
Except there already was equality under the law. Everyone had the right to marry somebody of the opposite sex, regardless of sexuality. What was actually done is an expansion of the definition of marriage to include different pairings.

Incest is not lawful for any couples so the situations are not directly comparable.
Okay, but why not? Why should same sex marriage be legal but not incest? How can you claim that gay marriage is about "equality under the law" but think its wrong that a type of consensual adult relationship should be made illegal? Homosexuality wasn't illegal before gay marriage, so really incest represents a much more grave example of inequality under the law than

And, placing the together invites comparisons between them, which the LGBTQIA+ community really doesn't need (or deserve).
what the fuck do 'asexual' people have to do with anything lmao

In fact, making the comparison appears to strengthen the fallacious "slippery slope" argument made against SSM. Members of the LGBTQIA+ community are share the same range of views / feelings as the straight community.
This is an empirical claim for which you have not provided evidence.

I know that some feel disgust about homosexual activity, and I hope that your comment was directed at your opinion of incest rather than both incest and homosexuality... but the ambiguity in the wording permits an interpretation that equates the two. :(
It is only right that we should feel disgusted by that which is Haram.
 

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Except there already was equality under the law. Everyone had the right to marry somebody of the opposite sex, regardless of sexuality. What was actually done is an expansion of the definition of marriage to include different pairings.
Equality isn't neccessarily 'do what you want as long as it's the one option I like'. I would rather say it's allowing people (within reason) to choose what option they want. It really depends how you're defining it.
 

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Equality isn't neccessarily 'do what you want as long as it's the one option I like'. I would rather say it's allowing people (within reason) to choose what option they want. It really depends how you're defining it.
Everyone had the same rights.
 

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I think you misunderstood because I am not against Gay marriage, rather I'm all for it. I was simply stating an observation that I can not logically defend incest being illegal similarly to how I can not defend Gay marriage being illegal, and that one day incest will be legal because just like Gay marriage it is not harming anybody when done between two consenting adults.
Actually, I thought that you were / are in favour of legalisation of same-sex marriage. Rather, my point was that your juxtaposition of words admits the interpretation that same-sex marriage and incest are similarly disgusting and hence (arguably) moral unacceptable.

As for disgust. Yes I feel disgust at the thought of incest and at the thought of homosexual activity in the sense that I can never comprehend myself engaging in activities with another guy, just like I can never comprehend myself engaging in such activities with someone that is related to me. That is all I meant by disgust because it would disgust me to do something like that with someone of those categories. It doesn't at all mean I find gay people themselves disgusting. The point that I was making is me finding it disgusting in the sense that I would never engage in it does not justfiy it being illegal.
I invite you to consider why something that you would never consider / comprehend doing leads you to feeling disgust. There are a range of activities (sexual and non-sexual) that I would never consider doing, nor do I comprehend why others would, but that does not mean that I necessarily feel disgust about them. Some do evoke such feelings, but many don't. There are groups (religious and non-religious) who express disgust at same-sex sexual activities and then extend that view to those who engage in such activities being disgusting. Perhaps you might consider whether the word "disgust" is entirely accurate for what you feel, and whether its use has the potential to create an impression that is inconsistent with your intent?

I share your view that something that I personally find unappealing or even disgusting is not a valid basis for arguing for it being illegal. I find the idea of any kind of sexual activity with a child disgusting but argue that it should remain illegal because of the enormous harm that it does to the child rather than because of my feelings of disgust. I find the practice of conversion therapy objectionable for the same reason, that it does great harm to those subjected to it. Those who practice / advocate for it know, or should know, that it is harmful and ineffective and yet, motivated by religion or whatever other factor, they continue. I find this behaviour difficult to comprehend and I do see reasons for it to be illegal, especially when undertaken by medical professionals. I feel frustrated by their actions, angry about the harm done, and a variety of other feelings... but I am not sure that I would use the term "disgust."
 

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