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On blessing same-sex marriages. Login/Join 
posted
OK forum, let's talk about this one.

Today I received an email from Espiscopal Shield, requesting that I join in the outcry against blessing same-sex marriages and the appointment of a bishop who apparently favors this. This is a hot potato now, and one that's here to stay given recent Supreme Court rulings.

The position that seems to be gaining momentum is that if, a.) homosexuality is a natural phenomenon rather than a moral perversion, and b.) two homosexuals want to commit their lives to each other in marriage, then c.) state and Church should recognize this union just as they do heterosexual marriages. Add to this the point that d.) this social recognition could help to discourage homosexual promiscuity and reduce the incidents of AIDS--and you see why this movement is gaining momentum.

Most mainline Protestant Churches are very sympathetic to this line of thinking, as are a significant number of Catholic theologians. The official position of the Catholic Church is that there is no sin in having a homosexual orientation, but that homosexual sex is gravely disordered. IOW, the Catholic Church teaches that if you're a homosexual, then you must be celibate--a position which has influenced no small number of young men to join the priesthood (estimates are that as many as 50% of seminarians are homosexuals, depending on the seminary, of course). But gay rights groups within and outside the Church have argued that this is blatantly unjust--that homosexuals have just as much right to sexual relationships as heterosexuals do.

Obviously, homosexuals cannot breed children, and with procreation so strongly emphasized in Catholicism, it's not likely that such unions will ever be blessed. But we bless the union of infertile couples and elderly couples, knowing that they cannot have children. Besides, adoption and other procreative options are available to homosexuals. Assuming (as most biblical scholars concede) that the prohibitions against homosexual sex are based on natural law and are not part of divine revelation, then by what stretch of logic or principles can homosexual marriage and sex be condemned?

Just throwing the question out there, dear forum, and acknowledging from the start that I'm homophobic and can't understand for the life of me why a man would prefer another man to a woman. My children have much better acceptance of this than I do, btw, which shows that it's conceivable that future generations would vew homosexual unions as no big deal.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Those theologians who invite a more existentialistic perspective to complement their essentialistic interpretation of the natural law seem more accomodating to such unions.

The chief counterpoint against reinterpreting the traditional natural law understanding, in general, seems to be that all deontological approaches to morality will be placed on a slippery slope, that moral absolutes and an objective moral order will be tossed aside and/or weakened. For instance, what then becomes of incest taboos or of age limits for consent, etc etc etc?

It is my belief, however, that, paradoxically, these slippery slope arguments lose some of their force when an existentialistic perspective is invited in, for there are strong teleological arguments that can be made in support of many of the existing natural law interpretations that proscribe many sexual activities. The existentialist/teleological perspective can, therefore, be an ally to the traditional essentialistic/deontological approach, actually bolstering our traditional arguments for proscribing certain sexual activities even as, in some cases, it will do away with certain other outdated moral codes. That's because teleological perspectives date back to Aquinas, along with the essentialistic.

We know the traditional essentialistic argument: sex must be heterosexual, conjugal, procreative, unitive, consensual, etc What's the telological argument for this or that activity? Which codes are outdated? That could make for a very, very long thread!

pax,
jb
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The existentialist/teleological perspective can, therefore, be an ally to the traditional essentialistic/deontological approach, actually bolstering our traditional arguments for proscribing certain sexual activities even as, in some cases, it will do away with certain other outdated moral codes.

JB, I follow this line, but it might be a good idea to not assume that people know the meaning of terms like "existentialist, teleological, essentialistic and deontological." Even a run to the dictionary won't reveal their meaning in a philosophical light or as used by professional moral theologians.

Would it be too much to request a rephrasing of your perceptive take on this? (Yes, yes, I'm asking you to "dumb it down" a little. Wink ) This is a topic where I'm sure lots of people have strong opinions one way or another and I'd like them to be able to understand what's being written so they can reply, or at least not feel intimidated.

Merci mon ami Smiler
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Deontological ethics refer to moral absolutes and laws. Teleological ethics refer to consequences. Those who take an exclusively teleological or consequentialistic approach are often charged with being moral relativists, as nonauthoritative. Essentialistic arguments are grounded in principles while existentialistic are mostly grounded in concrete, lived-out experience.

I can't think of a better introduction to these distinctions than as set forth by Arraj, below. One does have to do at least a little brainwork to engage these issues more than superficially. Without these distinctions, I find most folks argue past one another in forums such as this. By Arraj:
Is There a Solution to the Catholic Debate on Contraception? , with particular attention to the chapters: 5: The Two Dimensions of the Church's Tradition on the Use of the Conjugal Act ; 8: The Meaning of Existential Morality ; 13: Bringing the Two Aspects of the Tradition Together .

Also, I wrote this on another forum and it is a tad better in translation:

quote:
What I am suggesting is that we consider why the Church should or should not supplement its essentialistic approaches with existentialistic approaches. Can we look to Thomas Aquinas, for instance, to defend the use of teleological approaches in addition to deontological approaches? Also, does consequentialistic ethics have a role in our moral deliberations?

Below are mostly paraphrases from folks like Fathers McBrien and McCormick:

Our approach presently is one-sidedly philosophical. How can we make it more Christocentric, more "anchored in charity"? It is a narrow, parochial approach. Could it be more universal [catholic] in its appeal? It is biologistic and physicalistic. How can we make it more personalistic, emphasizing the centrality of the human person? It is presented as infallible. How could it be more "modest and tentative" in its appeal? Could it be more ecumenical, drawing on other sources outside Catholicism for ideas? It is so exclusively deductive. How could it be more inductive, using the insight of laypersons? It seeks universal conformism. How can it be more pluralistic, allowing for differences according to individual cases? It has been so manualistic and minimalistic. How can it be more aspirational, "appealing to the spiritual hungers of people" vs. setting forth merely basic obligations?

My challenge to the conservatives is to answer why things must be so one-sidedly philosophical, essentialistic, minimalistic, physicalistic, biologistic, parochial, deductive, infallibilistic?

The case to made by the progressives is how we can better aspire and give witness to the complementary values that I juxtaposed above.
I don't have time to delve more into it by way of simplification but maybe upon my return.
 
Posts: 2881 | Registered: 25 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well...I'll stick my toe in the water at least. First, I don't consider myself homophobic ...however, I also don't consider myself to be accepting of certain aspects of the homosexual lifestyle.

Coming from a biblical standpoint, it just seems very obvious to me that God intended for male and female to be in union as one. He did create Eve to be Adam's helpmate and partner...He did tell them to go forth and multiply. The church (Catholic and non-Catholic alike) has been infiltrated by so much tolerance (and I'm not saying tolerance is a bad thing), that it seems the obvious is often either overlooked or seen as restrictive. Um..okay..God WAS pretty restrictive about some things and there are good reasons why.

What bugs me the most, I think, is that we have a number of elderly couples who are forced to consider divorce in order to get any kind of federal help with medical expenses and we have some goofballs wanting to add to the already over burdened system (and yes these people WILL be old some day....and probably have failing health, to boot!) by sanctioning marriages that are questionable, at the very least, and downright immoral, at the worst.

And another thing that keeps whispering in the back of my head is that the whole push to have homosexual marriages sanctioned doesn't have a THING to do with love or partnership...it has to do with financial, governmental, and occupational bennies.

I think it's wrong. I think it's one of those things that the more we pay attention to it, the worse it will get. I think we'd better step back and look at some things before we get caught up in a trend that could essentially further destroy the family foundation as a whole.

Okay...lol...I'll stop there. It is indeed a hot potato and I'm not real sure how to truly address it without coming across as judgmental or closed minded. Things are nuts these days!

Blessings,
Terri
 
Posts: 609 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: 27 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Terri, some of the practical issues you raise do need to be considered. And, yes, it's good to see where the "push" for this issue is coming from, and why.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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JK said: And another thing that keeps whispering in the back of my head is that the whole push to have homosexual marriages sanctioned doesn't have a THING to do with love or partnership...it has to do with financial, governmental, and occupational bennies.

And those bennies come about because of a legal definition: marriage. I suppose I could lobby for some of those bennies if I were to marry my car or a goat. What would be wrong with this picture? Right. Marriage is a unique partnership and is given special legal status (and bennies) because one of its fundamental functions is the raising of children. This is considered such an important function of society that it is given special consideration. These types of situations are not unique. Heck, corporations also have special laws that are designed to facilitate capitalism. How ridiculous it would be if the corner lemonade stand demanded the right to support from The World Bank.

What gays want surely are some of the bennies. Because they can raise children (through adoption, artificial insemination or not-so-artificial insemination in the case of lesbians) you can make a case for legal gay marriages. That still leaves me paying a higher share of taxes but that difference isn't so great that I should get married just to save a few bucks. The same with gays.

What gays really want is legitimacy and acceptance. The best way to do that in this day and age is through governmental action, aka, legal acceptance. That's why we see some of those truly grotesque "gay pride" parades will all the weirdoes. They're not so concerned about how gays are perceived by Mr. and Mrs. America. They're more interested in making an impact � a legal impact down the road. It's working.

What this all boils down to then is whether gays should adopt children or not. If they can (and I believe they already do) then marriage can hardly be denied them. They knew this when they were pressing for these kind of things.

The true conservative view should give much respect to equal protection under the law and with keeping government out of the lives of people as much as possible AND for allowing law to reflect the moral character of the people via the legislatures. Courts should intervene ONLY when clear violations of the Constitution occur. If society, through their elected representatives, wants to legalize marriage for gays then so be it. If the courts get involved then I will lobby for the right to marry my car. It would make as much sense. In the conservative view it's not the outcome that matters nearly as much as the process (good processes should naturally lead to good outcomes).

Given all this, I would vote for a different, yet special, legal status for gay couples who are the co-habitational equivalent of normal married couples. They should not get the bennies of married couples but would have the legal status for such things as inheritance from a deceased spouse, insurance, etc. That, of course, would require a clarification of many of the laws that now exist. They would have to be shown (or simply declared) to be for the benefit of families. Of course, many married couples never have children or their children have grown up and no longer are dependents. Hmmm. This leads me to a simple thought: Get rid of ALL these exemptions and loopholes and special cases and give us a flat tax of some kind. That reduces government interference in our lives. Let gays be married but get no tax breaks. That gives us equal protection under the law.

Or we can continue to hand out privileges and benefits to as many victim groups as we can find until we run out. Of course, we'll never run out. I think I'll take my car to the drive-in tonight.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Or we can continue to hand out privileges and benefits to as many victim groups as we can find until we run out. Of course, we'll never run out.

Ain't that the truth! BTW, how was the date with your car Big Grin

Reading your post made me think of something else. Do common-law married couples have the same bennies and rights as legally married couples? I know that they didn't years ago...but I'm not sure about now. And if they don't, then what kind of question does THAT raise?

I have a young male friend...he's white, not disabled, obviously not female, obviously not of a particular ethinic group, not gay....guess what?....he's the last one on the list that potential employers will talk to. Now let me see here, where does discrimination start?

Nice to see ya Brad!

Blessings,
Terri
 
Posts: 609 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: 27 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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a.) homosexuality is a natural phenomenon rather than a moral perversion

It could be both. Murder is also a natural phenomenon. Giving marriage status to gays seems to tug at the strings of fairness. But giving special status to married couples, gay or otherwise, is, to a single guy like me, also unfair in the strictest sense. Giving legal status to gay marriages might be a case of two wrongs not making a right. Another victim group is elevated while the whole notion of fairness is tread upon.

Society has said it is in its best interests to promote the family. You�ll hear no complaints from me. (Although if this really was the case then why have such burdensome taxes and regulations that make it so hard for families to make ends meet?). I think this gay marriage issue presents an opportunity to take a look at ALL the little social incentives that government has gotten involved in. Generally all you get is unintended consequences � just as happens with another pillar of our society: capitalism. When government gets involved they tend to make things worse.

b.) two homosexuals want to commit their lives to each other in marriage

Gays exist. That�s a fact of life. Oh, I�m not buying for a moment the notion that there is absolutely no choice involved in being gay. I think sometimes there is. Sometimes there isn�t. And sometimes it�s a little of both. Sexuality is a continuum and not just a black and white either/or. How else can you explain prisons! Wink I�m very much in the Barry Goldwater camp on this: government has no business sticking its nose in our bedrooms. If gays want to get together in long-term relationships and be able to pass on property to one another and take advantage of other spousal benefits then what the hell. That seems only fair to me. After all, as much as we�d like to think that gay sex is so unique � it isn�t. It may be wrong in God�s eyes to have anal sex, oral sex, and a whole bunch of other things that even make me blush, but it�s something that heterosexuals are involved in as well. I will not single out gays because of the particular way in which they have sex. It�s not the government�s business.

c.) state and Church should recognize this union just as they do heterosexual marriages.

I don�t think the Church has to recognize them if they don�t want to. If the state wants to (through their elected representatives) then that�s another thing.

d.) this social recognition could help to discourage homosexual promiscuity and reduce the incidents of AIDS--and you see why this movement is gaining momentum.

I can�t buy that argument for a moment. That�s how liberals justify everything while conveniently denying the wreckage that their policies leave behind. If I were a gay advocate I would be VERY wary of the government (particularly liberal legislators and judges) getting involved in my life.

Just throwing the question out there, dear forum, and acknowledging from the start that I'm homophobic and can't understand for the life of me why a man would prefer another man to a woman.

You obviously haven�t dated some of the women that I have. Anyway, long live diversity and that ALSO means respecting the right of religious groups to have their beliefs. If we decide as a people that homosexuality is nothing to get freaked out about (and I think it isn�t) then fine. What we SHOULD freak out about is being ruled by courts.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Terry said: Ain't that the truth! BTW, how was the date with your car

Aha! Lest you think I was joking, I will point out that I love my car and have been in a monogamous relationship with it for over ten years. We exchange fluids very time I change the oil (them cans are so messy). As to whether there has been sex in the �back seat��well�that�s just getting a little too personal.

Do common-law married couples have the same bennies and rights as legally married couples?

Have I impressed you so little, Terry, with my friendly personality that you think me a lawyer? Wink Actually, I�m pretty sure there are some common-law legal ramifications.

I have a young male friend...he's white, not disabled, obviously not female, obviously not of a particular ethinic group, not gay....guess what?....he's the last one on the list that potential employers will talk to. Now let me see here, where does discrimination start?

Any type of affirmative action should be colorblind or it is inherently racist. Setting aside a few spots for economically disadvantaged people is a much nobler goal and can be completely colorblind. If there indeed are societal prejudices that lead to an economic disadvantage then there�s your solution without all the racial profiling which leads to nothing but envy, hatred, and society�s continued fixation on race. I thought the goal was to judge people by the content of their character.

Nice to see you too, Terry.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi all....

Ok...will weigh in on this one...albeit a wee bit late.
The first thing I would like to say is that I am thoroughly disgusted with the politics behind/around/through this issue in the church.
Both sides seem to be more concerned with having their own way than in engaging in much discussion and discernment on the issue and it is a difficult issue...
Homosexuality in Biblical times seems to have been more a power and control issue than a sexual/relational issue. To put another man in the role of a woman was incredibly demeaning... and for a man to willingly take that role well....what would that say about the man and his self-image?
If a person is born homosexual...how can they be held responsible for that? Certainly they can choose celibacy which is what most in the conservative camp are advocating... but is that a realistic or compassionate demand on the part of the church?
The question I keep hearing in all of this is who are today's outcasts... today's Gentiles...today's lepers... untouchables?
Somehow I think in the end we will be judged not on how we love but on how well.
Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If a person is born homosexual...how can they be held responsible for that? Certainly they can choose celibacy which is what most in the conservative camp are advocating... but is that a realistic or compassionate demand on the part of the church?

Well, that's one side of the question, for sure, and if one is a homosexual person seeking social/religious legitimacy in a committed love relationship, it's an urgent question. They can have the relationship without the blessing of society, but there's always something of a stigma to that, not to mention the issue of sin.

The other issues were raised by JB in his post above. One which stands out, for example, is what do we mean by marriage? Traditionally, this has been in relation to an eventual family, which implies heterosexuality. Would it be possible to formally recognize committed homosexual relationships without calling it a marriage? What word would be used?

Then there is the sin issue. Although some exegets have pointed out some of the cultural issues Wanda calls to our attention, there's little doubt that Jewish and Christian moralists considered homosexuality "unnatural" and even "perversion." OTOH, if homosexuality is "natural" for some, then what are the implications for moral theology? Much has already been written about these issues, of course, but it seems to me that much more dialogue about all this is still needed before any kind of social consensus can be expressed in laws and rituals which purport to bless and sanction homosexual relationships. Just my opinion here, of course.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi

I am new to the boards but this subject caught my eye. It is my understanding that the evidence suggesting that people are born homosexual is inconlusive at best. I know their is a lot anedotal stuff floating out there and a lot of studies pro and against the idea. Over the years I have come accross individuals who claim to be exhomosexuals and ministries such as courage and exodus international who treat Homosexuality as a sexual addiction. Many of thier members say they struggle with it on a daily basis but belief that through the help of Christ they are able to be celibate or go straight. Many that I have talked to have said they cannot remember when the same sex attraction started but believe that it was due to addictive personality and environment. Some of them tour the country talking about the destructiveness of the lifestyle. Both Courage and Exodus International have websites that can be found using a search engine such as Yahoo or Google.
One of the reasons I left the Episcopal Church was due to thier exceptance of homosexuality and loosening of morality by the Bishops in the US.
 
Posts: 205 | Location: McHenry Illinois | Registered: 01 July 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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brjaan said:
quote:
It is my understanding that the evidence suggesting that people are born homosexual is inconlusive at best.
The gay lobby would have us believe that people are born gay and that is that. End of story. I�m pretty sure that the truth is that it is much more a choice than they are letting on. And I think this �choice� or �lifestyle� is rebellious and counter-culture in nature just as much as dying one�s hair blue or wearing a nose ring. And I can�t help thinking that ultra-feminism itself has lead to the choice of lesbianism. After all, if you�re taught to hate men then the logical thing to do is�

Of course I understand the politics of all this. If homosexuality is truly a �choice� then they could be faulted for their choices. If it�s as built-in as being left-handed (like yours truly) then how could anyone condemn it? Thus we have such PC resistance to even talking about the possibility that homosexuality is a choice for some and that, for some, it can be cured. Of course, to �cure� something is to admit that there is something wrong and the gay lobby just can�t have that.

And there�s the danger of blind acceptance of homosexuality that could lead to the screwing up of a lot of young people�s lives. I think that�s the danger of not facing the knowns and the unknowns of homosexuality head on. The other side of the coin is that I believe fully that some people are just born as queer as a three dollar bill. It�s the challenge of religion and society to put away their prejudices and just accept them. It�s the challenge of the gay lobby, if they want others to acknowledge the truth of their gayness, to not play so fast and loose with the truth themselves.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The gay lobby would have us believe that people are born gay and that is that. End of story. I�m pretty sure that the truth is that it is much more a choice than they are letting on. And I think this �choice� or �lifestyle� is rebellious and counter-culture in nature just as much as dying one�s hair blue or wearing a nose ring.

That might be true for some, but I'd say only a minority, Brad. A couple of homosexual men I know say they've always felt more attraction for men than women; one even married a woman and "tried" to force his life to conform to heterosexual norms. It didn't work any better for him than if I married a man and tried to make that work out.

My daughter dated a guy for awhile who finally confessed to being gay. He liked her so much that he hoped he could develop the right feelings about her, but they just wouldn't come. Today they're best friends and he's still more interested in men than women.

I think there are probably all sorts of reasons why homosexuality exists, but I'm not sure that rebelliousness is high on the list. If one is really heterosexual, there are plenty of ways to exercise rebelliousness in that context and have a much better time doing so than feigning a sexual orientation. Ask parents around the country if heterosexual rebelliousness pushes their buttons. Maybe some of us even pushed a few in our time. Wink
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Ask parents around the country if heterosexual rebelliousness pushes their buttons. Maybe some of us even pushed a few in our time. Wink
Ha! I suppose you're right. But if sexuality is more of a continuum, and let's say that certain people might be hovering on the midpoint, then the counter-culture aspect of it surely can come into play. No, I don't have numbers on this. But it's the attitude that you see in a lot of "Chick Flicks." Attitudes of the culture, particularly pop culture, are known to have an effect. Of course, this is based on the premise that this is a bad thing because, given a choice, all things being equal, heterosexuality is the desired state to ensure happiness.

If acceptance of gayness allows gay people to confortably live their lives without prejudice - fine. I'm all for it. But I see and smell "recruiting" aspects to a whole lot of the PC talk concerning homosexuality.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi everyone,

Brjaan I have heard of those organizations... and have heard from a person who tried that route as well... he didn't succeed.

I've also talked to several gays and lesbians about the issue of choice... and they all said that they didn't know anyone who would choose to be homosexual. It's not an easy road.

Brad I can remember when being left handed was considered a handicap and people actively tried to switch their children to right... some succeeded actually... after a fashion anyhow.

This June I took a class on Pastoral Care in Matters of Human Sexuality. In the class were straights and gays.... liberals and conservatives on this issue... and everything inbetween. I wish I could say I learned some definitive answers but I can't say as I did... only came up with a lot more questions....

Did you know that there are people born of indeterminate sex? Most are given reconstructive surgery and raised as girls because that most often the only option. When they followed these people into adulthood it seems that in many cases neither the surgery or the nurture was successful in their being able to live as women... so...are they homosexual?

As to calling these unions marriages I don't think that is possible ... at least not in the church because it simply does not fit the definition - either Scripturally or traditionally.

"given a choice, all things being equal, heterosexuality is the desired state to ensure happiness."
Brad.. I think St. Paul would disagree.. he seemed to think celibacy the ideal state... and considering the messes we get ourselves into at times.. I have to wonder if maybe he isn't right.... Big Grin

Of course.. if everyone would have listened to him... we wouldn't be here to have this discussion at all. Eeker

I do think there is quite a bit of "political manuvering" being done by some in the gay community but then there is a lot of that going on period.... on the part of all minorities. Rather than celebrating our common humanity, we seem to be spending more time pointing out our differences. I'm not sure I would call it recruiting though, Brad..maybe more a call for acceptance.
Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
I've also talked to several gays and lesbians about the issue of choice... and they all said that they didn't know anyone who would choose to be homosexual. It's not an easy road.
Wanda, I'm sort of talking the politics of the situation, which often gets in the way of the truth. There are cases (perhaps rare, perhaps not) of people being turned straight. I've heard too many gay advocates deny this and deny a whole bunch of other things - anything that conflicts with their stated views on homosexuality. There's a psychological/physiological issue here (which is by no means completely understood) and they've tried to PC the death out of it so that it becomes hard to even talk about. If you mention some of this stuff then you�re a homophobe, etc.

quote:
Did you know that there are people born of indeterminate sex? Most are given reconstructive surgery and raised as girls because that most often the only option.
There was a good show on PBS recently (Nova?) that dealt with this. I don't remember the doctor's name, but he was very influential for decades (still is in some places) on how this was handled. His thoroughly believed that there was no real difference between men and women and that therefore you need only raise one of these indeterminate sex children as male or female � whatever best matched the surgery possibilities (usually women, as you stated). He was dead wrong and never would admit it. In fact, he doctored his own research (lied) in an attempt to prove his social theory. This is the danger I see in the current discussion of homosexuality. We have the "cause" and we have the truth. I've always thought that the truth is the best way to find justice in this world and ultimately the best way to help people.

quote:
Brad.. I think St. Paul would disagree.. he seemed to think celibacy the ideal state... and considering the messes we get ourselves into at times.. I have to wonder if maybe he isn't right....
Ha!!!! You got me, Wanda. Smiler

quote:
Rather than celebrating our common humanity, we seem to be spending more time pointing out our differences. I'm not sure I would call it recruiting though, Brad..maybe more a call for acceptance.
It's power politics mixed with sincere calls for acceptance. The former taints the latter.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I really enjoyed the exchanges on this topic. I certainly don't have any answers, but then I never see anything in black and white!! But many of you voiced thoughts that I have often had on the topic. Thanks for sharing!!

Anne
 
Posts: 172 | Location: Missouri | Registered: 10 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
...but then I never see anything in black and white!!
Them are my favorite colors. Wink

Anne, I see some absolute rights and wrongs in this issue (such as the truth being intentionally distorted - by either side), some absolute political rights and wrongs (equal protection under the law and the rights of other groups, such as heterosexual married groups) and then those areas where right and wrong doesn't seem to apply as much as habits, customs and social norms.

I think where we run into problems (but where we can also right some existing wrongs such as slavery) is when we try to force-feed things to society that it doesn't want, doesn't quite need, and/or isn't quite ready for. Do we need gay marriages? Does that phrase even make sense? Or is the bigger issue really about equal protection under the federal hand-outs? I vote for the latter.

Mark my word, as soon as gay marriage is allowed we will see further benefits handed out to heterosexual couples (or to avoid any bias problems) any couples with children.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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As I'm sure most of you know, the Vatican has released a statement condemning same-sex marriages and encouraging Catholic politicians to oppose this. USA Today has a good write up on it today ( click here to access; it might not work after today, but you can find the statement all over the net).

Now here's the part of the article that gets me:
The document outraged gay rights groups. ''For the Vatican to try to impose its moral viewpoint on the democratic process of countries around the globe is totally inappropriate,'' said Marianne Duddy, who's the director of 3,000-member Dignity/USA, a group based in Washington that represents gay Catholics. In the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal, Duddy added, for the church ''to now claim that same-sex couples pose a threat of violence to children is beyond outrageous.''

I have great respect for Dignity/USA, but can they really be saying that the Church has no right to try to persuade the democratic process through its moral teaching? Huh? Confused Eeker Doing precisely this is an agenda of Dignity! So they can do it but not the Vatican? I wonder if they'd be singing the same song if the Vatican had come out with a favorable statement?

Then the comment about abuse to children. What a crock! The Vatican statement emphasized concerns about raising children with same-gender parents, pointing out the role that male and female play in helping to form children. To take that statement and twist it to something else, then to link it with the clergy abuse scandal is reprehensible.

It seems to me that the gay rights lobby does itself more harm than good in such exchanges. Instead of rationally considering and responding to the points raised by the Vatican, they choose to denigrate the Vatican's right to form consciences, and they mud-sling in pointing to the clergy abuse scandal--as though this vindicates their position, somehow. Pathetic, whiney, brats! Such responses leave me more doubtful than ever of the wisdom of according moral and legal legitimacy to gay unions.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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''For the Vatican to try to impose its moral viewpoint on the democratic process of countries around the globe is totally inappropriate,'' said Marianne Duddy, who's the director of 3,000-member Dignity/USA, a group based in Washington that represents gay Catholics.
Now, I don't happen to agree with the Vatican on a couple things here. But I do hear them stating their positions truthfully and without a lot of B.S. The above statement is just chock full of B.S. though � but it's carefully crafted B.S. and more than a little sinister (or at least off the deep end as far as self-righteousness goes).

As Phil said, Dignity/USA is condemning the Church for doing exactly what they are doing. This is a typical liberal ploy. Don't argue the merits of your opponent's points; simply try to stick the label of illegitimacy on them. That's easy to do when you are so infused with you own sense of righteousness. There is a veneer of totalitarianism behind such thinking if you ask me. A veneer of true intolerance. They sound like spoiled brats to put it bluntly.

That's a very weak argument, Ms. Duddy, and does not show much sincerity or reasonableness. And you're the director? Well, of course. That's the way things are done these days and it can't be denied that the liberal technique of bullying hasn't worked beautifully the last twenty years. But will it be a pyrrhic victory if they should succeed? I think you would find that a majority of people in this country are of the "live and let live" variety and if some kind of legal civil arrangement was allowed between gays that they'd have no problem with it. What reasonable people are having a problem with is the B.S. coming out of the gay lobby. I think some of the ideas that they express should and must be opposed. This is a group that commonly says that sexual orientation doesn't matter and should be a private matter � and then proceeds to try and make all of us as conscious of people's sexuality as they can, in all places and in all manners and ways. This is promotion, not tolerance. I guess I can admire a good promoter but along with that promotion comes an awful lot of half-truths and downright lies.

This whole gay marriage thing reminds of a great scene form Monty Python's movie, "The Life of Brian." In it there's a man who is going on an on about wanting to be a woman. Well, his friends are telling him, he was born a man and that's really nobody's fault and there's nothing much he can do about it. This man goes on a bit more and finally comes to his big point: The reason he wants to be a woman is because he wants to have a baby. The others point out to him that he can't have babies. He's a man. He hasn't got a womb, etc. Well, says the man, then he thinks he should at least have the RIGHT to have babies.

Gays want the right to marriage because it's a sign to them of all the things they've supposedly been denied in the past. The gay lobby should probably remember (I doubt that they will) that heterosexual couples have some rights as well. Maybe gays deserve some rights that they're not getting now. But do we need to redefine the language (a PC tendency) to do this? Do we need to redefine, say, a skateboard as a "motor vehicle" so people can ride them on the freeway?

Leave it the left to try and get what they want in some extraordinarily "unique" ways.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Excuse me for saying, but you all sound like a much of back-slapping Nazis - the day before Krystall Nacht.

They blamed the Jews for ruining the educational system, the financial system, for stealing, for degrading German culture, for negative influence on society, for wanting legal status, etc., etc.

We humans always need a bogeyman.

If it's not the "Jewish problem", it's the "gay problem". What next!
 
Posts: 218 | Registered: 03 November 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi everyone...

Yikes, we are getting a little "hot". Wopic... I don't think this is as much a problem specifically addressed to gays as much as to all liberals in general. It's a rather conservative group here.... myself excluded.... sorry guys..
You're right in that we seem to need a bogeyman...someone to blame all our frustrations on.
Brad, I agree that the gay promoters have gone way overboard... but then I hear echos of the fear that was around when John Kennedy was running for President ... would he simply be a figurehead for Rome.. would the separation of church and state hold?
The thing that distresses me most about the demand for the rights that come with marriage is that they aren't also pledging to live the responsibilities that also are a part of marriage.
I can't see granting one without the other. What I hear from many is a want the cake and eat it too mentality. Rights and responsibilities go hand in hand... can't have one without the other...
Actually... if there is a bogeyman here.. it just may be the Episcopal church... bunch of troublemakers... hehehe
Peace,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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They blamed the Jews for ruining the educational system, the financial system, for stealing, for degrading German culture, for negative influence on society, for wanting legal status, etc., etc.
Actually, wopik, in one respect I agree with you. I find ridiculous this idea that gay marriages would wreck the whole idea of marriage. Heterosexuals could still get married. Nothing will have changed except in their own minds. The adoption of children is another matter and gay marriage could have an effect. I think the role of both the male and female in a child's life should not be underrated. I think that's a legitimate concern. I don't happen to think it's an insurmountable obstacle because a child needs love, guidance and acceptance and those qualities could easily overcome any objections of the loss of a male or female role model.

What can tend to have a deleterious affect on society are overstatements of the truth or rash characterizations of people as fascists - or simply ratcheting up the language to evoke an emotional response far in excess of the facts.
 
Posts: 5413 | Location: Washington State | Registered: 21 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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