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Thursday, April 23, 2009

You gotta read it all...

I would add some commentary, but she kinda says it all. The last paragraph is absolutely beautiful...


Nicole Lamarche, Miss California 2003 and now an ordained minister at Cotuit Federated Church in Cotuit, Mass, is speaking out.

She says:

"As a pastor and a former Miss California, I am often asked to interpret what the Word of God has to say on a particular subject. I am quite confident that God prefers that we human beings stick to speaking for ourselves. And yet there are occasions when God’s Word is used as a weapon, and I feel compelled to speak.

In the past few days, much has been made of the words of Miss California USA, Carrie Prejean. She stated that marriage is between a man and a woman. I write not in response to her opinion, but rather about her comments that followed: that the Bible condones her words. She said, 'It's not about being politically correct, it's about being biblically correct.' While this sentiment is shared by many who seek to condemn gay people and gay marriage, citing pieces of the Bible to further one’s own prejudice fails to meet the Bible on its own terms.

Most people seeking to condemn gay people point to the Book of Leviticus, where we read that men lying with men is an abomination. However, we rarely hear of other verses found in the book of Leviticus that are equally challenging. For example, Leviticus also tells us that eating shrimp and lobster is an abomination. And that a person should not wear material woven of two kinds of material—an impossible mandate for a pageant contestant!

In Paul’s letter to the community in Corinth we read, ‘For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church….’ And yet these words have not prevented Christian denominations from ordaining women, such as myself. Sadly, the Bible has been used to further prejudice throughout history. We have used it to permit ourselves to enslave people; to conquer and kill; and to denigrate the earth.

The truth is that it is difficult to know for sure the intentions of the biblical authors, but we do know something about God. Those of us who know God through Jesus of Nazareth know that he went to great lengths to express God’s love to people who were labeled as outcasts. He spent time with children, prostitutes, and lepers, all of whom were labeled as outside of the grasp of the Holy. As we continue to seek God’s vision for us as a nation grounded in a love for justice, I pray that we might move closer to the cause of grace.”

(HT: Perez Hilton I know, I know. But its still a great article and I gotta give credit as to where I found it.)

33 comments:

Jeremiah said...

The same logic that the juxtaposition of both dietary (and some other laws) and sexual laws mutually invalidates both, would result in the validation of not only homosexuality, but also incest and bestiality.
Christ never abolished the Old Testament Law, but fulfilled it. The NT clearly abolishes (fulfills) OT dietary law, but it clearly affirms the OT's view on homosexuality.
The thought that people cite the Bible about homosexuality to further their own prejudices is not completely ridiculous, but close. It would probably be an equal statement to say that people go to extravagant lengths to ignore what the Bible says so that they can maintain their (post)modern world view.
Personally, I have absolutely nothing against homosexuals. I work with them; and they are very nice, thoughtful people. But several passages from the Bible compel me (not the other way around)to believe that homosexuals should repent, just like everybody else. While I don't think Jesus would run around carrying 'God (I) hates homosexuals' signs at gay rallies, I do think that he would calmly and lovingly tell them that they need to repent of their sin.

johnperry said...

I wonder how this minister would respond to 1 Timothy 1:8-11.

"Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, in accordance with the glorious gospel of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted."

That said, I think it is very important remember 1 Timothy 1:5-7. If I may:

"The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law without either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions."

(By citing the above verse, I mean no accusation to either side of this discussion... I'm just sayin'.)

Furthermore, if we move to 1 Corinthians Paul seems to have said more on the subject.

In 1 Cor. 6:9-11 for instance...

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

He goes on to discuss marriage in the next chapter but seems never to mention even the thought of a homosexual union. In his description of marriage and it's procedures he not once even suggests that there is another option (other than not being married at all). 40 verses on marriage and never entertains the idea! Granted, I could understand Paul failing to mention gay marriage because it was not a pressing issue among the people, but homosexual activity was clearly accruing within Corinth, and Paul did have something to say about it (verse 9 Ch. 6).

I've also noticed that Jesus, in no instance I have found, refers to marriage in any other context. If I'm mistaken, please correct me but my logic still stands... If there were no homosexuals around, obviously Jesus would not mention it, but there were.

Now, for my own opinion. If you wanna be gay, be gay. If you wanna marry a dude, marry one. If you wanna invite me to the wedding, I'll be there. If you wanna believe that turtles can fly, cool. I'm just curious as to what this minister, or anyone that agrees with her, would have to say about these verses and arguments.

Love you, JD.

JD said...

I've written plenty of posts on the subject matter. You are welcome to go back and read them.

I totally disagree with Jeremiah's logic--and I've responded to thoughts like his in my previous posts. You can search for them and find them easily--I think there's three that I've written and posted on here. I find his logic (pretty)stupid. But thanks for the post-modern jab. That's another buzzword equal with "emergent." Most people that throw it around in a bad way don't have a clue as to what it means and simply assign it to those they deem "liberal" and want to label as being heretical in their thinking.

As to John, I'm certain Paul didn't deal with the issue of homosexuals marrying because it wasn't a big deal is his day. In ours, it is. America is not a freaking theocracy. It is not run by the/a church. Homosexual Americans deserve all of the same rights that heterosexual Americans do. If you disagree, fine. But don't use the Bible to support such a view. Be careful of taking a translation at face value, by the way. Especially on a subject like this.

johnperry said...

Whoa, whoa. You'll never hear me disagree with the fact that homosexuals (American or otherwise) deserve the same rights as other people, for one.

Two, I don't think you answered my actual question, (which is fine, you don't have to) which was "How would this minister, or others like her respond to said arguments?"

And three. Perhaps I should have made myself and my opinions more clear (since that is clearly what you'd really like to talk about). I was simply trying to expose the Bible for being sort of homophobic. Am I? No. Do I think Jesus was? No. But do I think it is intelligent to assume that the Old AND New Testament authors didn't show these tendencies? Absolutely not.

emmavelez. said...

right on.

JD said...

You think the Bible is homophobic, John?

johnperry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
johnperry said...

That's not what I said, John David... (and you're still avoiding the question).

Jeremiah said...

Are you denying that the promotion of homosexuality is a component (or at least a result) of post-modernism?
And you don't need a good translation to know that the Bible says homosexuality is sin, you just need to not have a terrible one. In Romans 1:26, you find a description of homosexuality (clearly labeled as sin) the meaning of which is completely independent of liberal translations of individual words.
"For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error"
The Christians who first read these passages clearly understood what was meant by those greek words; and if they thought that homosexuality was sin, then I think I would rather go with them than with theologians sitting in their offices in America while its undergoing a sexual revolution.
(BTW homosexuals in America have the exact same rights that heterosexuals do.)

JD said...

quoting John's second comment: "I was simply trying to expose the Bible for being sort of homophobic."

Sorry, Perry. Maybe you just didn't read what you wrote before you posted it, but it sounded to me like that's what you were saying. I'm not trying to avoid your question, I just don't understand what you're asking. Could you clarify for me? Also, did you read my three other posts on the Bible and homosexuality?

To Jeremiah: No (sigh), I don't think post-modernism promotes homosexuality. And no, I don't think any Biblical text says being gay is a sin. There are some texts that say homosexual intercourse is a sin--I think that's clear. But, like I've said before, I dealt with this in my earlier posts (I attached the links below for both you and John.) And finally, no, homosexuals do not have all the same civil rights as heterosexuals do. If you believe that, then you are being sorely misled. Though I'm not proud of it at times, I am American; I believe that all Americans should share the same civil rights. Denying a certain demographic civil rights is a shame and sorely misrepresents everything this country should be about.

Post 1: http://johndavidryan.blogspot.com/2007/10/homosexuality-part-1.html

Post 2:
http://johndavidryan.blogspot.com/2007/10/homosexuality-part-2.html

Post 3:
http://johndavidryan.blogspot.com/2007/11/homosexuality-part-3.html

Post 4:
http://johndavidryan.blogspot.com/2007/12/its-finally-been-asked.html

JD said...

PS- Sorry the links didn't work. If you'll copy and past them, they'll work that way.

Joe said...

First of all I agree with both Jeremiah and JD. Sounds weird but here is what I think. First I think Jeremiah is right in saying the article you posted has extremely inconsistent logic, which he aptly brought out. JD I think you are right in the way that you have described what Romans is speaking of namely Homosexual behavior. Though I think we have to in the same way look at what is appropriate for both people with same sex inclination and opposite sex inclination with regards to lust. The feelings that are driven by our hormones is not innately evil but the behavior that usually is driven by them. We have to have a better understanding of what this "behavior" is. We can't just define them as sex between the same sex but also lust between the same sex. Also I think JD that you would even disagree with the writer of the post because you seem to agree with what Romans would say. the writer of this post is basically advocating for a full Homosexual lifestyle from the bible and not just "being gay". Lastly I think both sides have to think if we define "being gay" as some propensity towards the same sex if they deny themselves from lusting and fulfilling lustful desires would they continue to be seen by the gay community as "being gay". I think that on the first post you made on Homosexuality Josh made a good comment about the subject as well.

In Christ
Joe Hussung

Jeremiah said...

Wooh,

I never said that I think being gay is a sin.
When I was referring to homosexuality, I mean the act of homosexuality. And when I refer to homosexuals, I've been referring to people who practice such acts.
Sorry for the confusion - my fault.
So I completely agree. I was really confused how anyone could read so many verses without realizing that homosexuality (homosexual sex) was sinful.
Glad that we can agree, but I still think that homosexuals have the exact same rights that I do. What's a right that they don't have?

td shoemaker said...

I think much of this conversation revolves around what one thinks that "sin" is. I know that many people will say that it is "what separates us from God," and I totally agree with that, but probably not the same way that many people who comment on here would.

I take sin more as that which keeps us from living an abundant life now, therefore, we can't be fully human therefore we can't be the glory of God.

So, if being homosexual is a "sin" then, somehow it keeps us from having an abundant life now. I don't know if this is because it keeps people from procreating or ...?

I do know that the passage in Romans, says that "God gave them over." Would it be fair for God to give someone to these actions and then judge them with eternal hell?

JD said...

Thanks for the thoughts guys. Clarity is always a benefit to these types of conversations.

Joe, I posted it because I thought her words were beautiful. Regardless of whether or not I agree with her viewpoint on "the Bible and homosexuality," I agree with her point that we should move closer to the cause of grace.

We could all use a little more of that.

Jeremiah, here's just a quick run-down of things I know: gay marriages aren't recognized/legal in all states; gay civil unions aren't recognized in all states; gay couples can't adopt in all states; since marriages aren't legal and civil unions aren't always recognized, gay couples can't enjoy the same insurance and work benefits of heterosexual couples. For instance, if one person is injured and hospitalized, the other wouldn't be allowed to visit them in the hospital room (dying or not). I mean, "homosexual acts" were just made legal in all US states in 2003. I'm sure there's plenty more issues that I don't know about.

Prejudice lingers, my friend.

PS- Have you watched the film "Milk"? If not, I'd highly recommend it.

Jeremiah said...

Well still though, they have the exact same rights we do. Its just that the rights that we all share are in heterosexual's favor. One homosexual can't marry another, but neither can I. Neither I nor a homosexual can see a loved one if we are not legally related or married.

BfH said...

If they have the same rights we do, then the phrase "Its just that the rights that we all share are in heterosexual's favor" is a logical fallacy. That implies inequality.

JD said...

quoting Jeremiah: "One homosexual can't marry another, but neither can I. Neither I nor a homosexual can see a loved one if we are not legally related or married."

Seriously??!?!? Aren't you married? So yes, you can marry another adult woman of your choice. Gay people can't get married. So your argument is ridiculous.

The point about "not being able to see a loved one in a hospital" is: they can't see a life partner that they haven't been allowed to marry. You have the legal right to marry whom you choose. You can then visit them in a hospital. A gay person is denied that right.

You can keep putting up whatever argument you wish, but you are simply refusing to see the obvious because of your religious preference. This kind of thing certainly doesn't push us towards ending the prejudice that is so prevalent in America and in the church.

Joe said...

JD

Not to throw fuel on the fire but the same thing goes both ways. You claim that Jeremiah is being subjective based on his religious preference but obviously you are bringing biasis to the table as well. Miah's critique is a legitimate one. This seems to spring that we treat people that have homosexual preference as we treated African Americans and so to coin a phrase "Gay is the new Black" but it just isn't the case. People that have a homosexual preference can get married just not to someone of the same sex. A restriction that goes across the board for all people. I think that it is at the least legitimate. The argument that I don't understand is the one from someone who claims to think that Homosexual intercourse is amoral is willing to promote the sanctioning of it and not only that but reward those participating. That I don't understand. This is why I can't support it. It isn't that I think someone with that sexual preference is less than human it is that I don't think we should reward amorality.

In Christ
Joe Hussung

JD said...

The thing is, this is YOUR view of morality. I know that this can easily lead to a "where do you draw the line" discussion, but let's be honest: we're talking about giving all legal adults the right to marry. Not more than 2. Not an adult and child. Not an adult and animal. Just two adult humans. So while I personally think that homosexual intercourse is outside of God's intent for humanity, I'm not going to parade around telling gay people they can't share the same civil rights that straight couples do.

I don't have a problem with supporting gay marriage/civil rights because (thank God) I don't live in a theocracy. This is a democratic nation. We may have been founded on some Judeo-Christian ideas, but we are by no means a "Christian nation." Therefore, as an American, I support the idea of all consenting adults being able to marry and enjoy the benefits thereof. Take that for what you will...

BfH said...

To those who are unwavering in their opposition to gay marriage/unions, I ask the following:

Why does it matter to you? Will it fundamentally affect your lives should gay marriage become legal nationwide? Can you make any credible argument against gay marriage without directly involving your non-nationally sanctioned religion (as has been pointed out numerous times, America is not theocratic)? What (aside from religious texts) gives you the right to marry ANYONE?

What's the problem with live and let live?

I don't care what anybody does as long as they don't harm anybody else. I think that's a reasonable way to look at the world.

johnperry said...

To clarify:

My question is: How would this minister and those who share her sentiments address the arguments I posted earlier?

Ok, now. If you'd really like my opinion on the matter, here goes.

To Jeremiah and Joe,
The Idea is to see gay people as human beings capable of making their own moral decisions and personal choices in their private lives (so long as no one is harmed in the process, of coarse). If 2 gay people were to marry, how would you be effected? Would it inconvenience you to have 2 very happy individuals sharing their lives with one another? Why would you attempt to stand in the way of two people who love each other? We cannot demand that people share our own religious persuasions/morality and still consider ourselves loving people. We cannot govern this nation based on what we would like people to be or do with their freedom, me may only offer it to them, otherwise it is not freedom.

JD said...

I'd love to hear a response from Joe or Jeremiah pertaining to BfH's question.

Any thoughts, guys?

Joe said...

To BfH's question my response is no. But the thing is that I try my hardest not to regard thinking on things that are rooted in scripture in any other terms other than how scriptures speaks to them. So if that sounds illogical or whatever so be it. All of my postings and thoughts hopefully are rooted in what I believe about the bible and rooted with those presuppositions that go along with that. The other thing is that the government is not restricting anyone from being married. Even in the most basic way. All the government is doing is not acknowledging those unions in the same way as they do heterosexual unions. You could go somewhere and get "married" it just isn't with all of the tax benefits etc...
As to the letting people make their own moral decisions. They can make their own moral decisions. No one is throwing people in jail for sodomy any more. The thing is that most of us on here agree that this is a moral decision. The government can only take 1 of three stances on this issue. They can either 1) give rewards for it and state by that action that they regard it as moral and a benefit to society. 2) they can make it unlawful and punish those who participate in this behavior. or 3) they could remain neutral by not punishing or rewarding the behavior. So what does the government need to do?

BfH I don't think that our concerns for immoral behavior can be boiled down into black and white terms like "if it doesn't hurt me directly it isn't that bad" The example that Jeremiah gave at the beginning Bestiality is good. Someone who does that is hurting no person so is it moral or amoral? Should it be rewarded by tax benefits? Lastly live and let live seems to fly in the face of the political leanings of MOST people that advocate same sex marriage. The Democratic Party is and has historically been not into the whole live and let live idea of society.

My question back would be is this all about equal "Marriage" or equal benefits associated with marriage? Because it seems that if it was all about the benefits (taxes, visitation, insurance etc..) then there would be a much easy way around it. Instead the push is for government recognition. I find it hard not to see some sort of moral acceptance of the lifestyle involved.

In Christ
Joe Hussung

Jeremiah said...

I really don't think its a 'live and let live' thing. Its not like we are hunting down homosexuals and throwing them in jail. We just aren't promoting their life-style on the same level as heterosexual marriage. The same thing could be said of non-married heterosexual couples.
I don't see how society is going to benefit from government acknowledgment of homosexual marriages. Especially considering the changing demographics in our society, I would think that promoting any life style that doesn't produce children would be a bad idea.

BfH said...

To Joe:

First, you say "the government is not restricting anyone from being married. Even in the most basic way. All the government is doing is not acknowledging those unions in the same way as they do heterosexual unions."

Absolute rubbish. No merit whatsoever to this statement. Did you forget about Prop 8 in California, or the "legal definition of marriage" amendments to numerous state constitutions?

Second, you are NOT rewarding amoral behavior by granting gays the right to marry, you are GIVING THEM THE SAME STATUS IN SOCIETY THAT YOU ENJOY. It is NOT the government's place to intrude into the personal life of a legal adult.

Third, stop comparing homosexuality to racism (previous comment "gay is the new black") and bestiality, it proves how shallow your arguments are.

Fourth, I am NOT a Democrat, I am a registered independent with Libertarian leanings.

Last, this is ALL about equality for every single American. We are all equal under the law and as such should have EQUAL RIGHTS.

To Jeremiah:

I plan on marrying someday, but do not plan on having children. Does that make my marriage less valid than another married heterosexual who has children within the confines of marriage?

And what do you even mean by this?

"Especially considering the changing demographics in our society, I would think that promoting any life style that doesn't produce children would be a bad idea."

The world population is exploding. It's expected to hit 7 BILLION by 2016.

Ben said...

Joe wasn't saying that homosexuality is comparable to bestiality. He was simply asking if it makes sense to say that "if it doesn't hurt me directly it isn't that bad." I think that we can all agree that bestiality is wrong even though it doesn't directly affect us.

Jeremiah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeremiah said...

http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/zero.htm

There's a link about negative and zero population growth that is occurring all over the Western World (including Japan.) You can also read Why Geography Matters by Harm de Blij:A Future Geography of Human Population.
Although some regions of the world are growing at rapid rates, countries like ours (the context in which I was speaking) are going to be in economic trouble. In Europe, right now there are 35 pensioners for every 100 workers. By 2050 there will be 75 (In Spain and Italy it will be 1:1).
The problem is not the total world population. Its the ratio of children (future working population) to future people relying on that working population for support. Principally,government support for homosexual lifestyles would contribute to this demographic problem.
(BfH, no it would not in any way make your marriage less valid. I was just saying that children are a great benefit to society and children are one reason why marriage is promoted by the government.)
So there is non-religiously backed con for homosexual marriage. Can anyone tell me what would be a pro? And not just a pro, but one for which we are going to be willing to suffer higher tax rates and further economic problems.

Joe said...

I never compared Homosexuality to racism or bestiality. Homosexuality is being compared to a civil rights issue like Racism. I didn't coin the phrase "Gay is the new black" google it. It is a catch phrase for the homosexual marriage campaign. The comment on bestiality if you go back and read is only talking about your idea of "it doesn't hurt somebody" so let's leave them alone. And lastly again no one is restricting anything. They are simply not giving the same benifits. Homosexuals can co-habitate and do. All the government is doing is not doing anything.

In Christ
Joe Hussung

JD said...

I think its a waste of my time to type much more at this point. Some of the commenting has passed the point of ridiculousness, in my opinion.

Long story short: I think you guys only perpetuate the stigma that Christians are homophobic. I'm not trying to be mean, only trying to point out what you may not see.

BfH said...

I'm sure that I could find various websites that invalidate your demographic-economic claims. People tend to seek out information that backs what they already believe, and you guys seem to be pretty set in your ways.

For that reason, I'll withdraw from this conversation. I don't think any of us are getting anywhere; the only thing that this "discussion" is really doing for me is galvanizing my resolve to avoid church because of the self-righteousness and politicization that I witness when I go or when I talk to many people who do. (Could things like this possibly be a part of the reason for the shift away from Christianity in America? )

Anyway, have a good day. Enjoy life. Enjoy your rights. I mean it, too. I'll do the same.

Take care, guys.

Sheffield said...

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