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  1. #1
    Patrick Guest

    Default Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Just another liberal-minded church to approve same sex marriage. I think I'll be staying at my conservative Southern Baptist Church that believes what the Bible says in Romans.

    -----------------
    ELCA Allows Gay Unions, Rejects Gay Clergy

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted Friday to allow the blessing of same-sex unions under certain circumstances but rejected a recommendation to ordain non-celibate gay clergy.

    Saturday, Aug. 13, 2005 Posted: 8:42:16AM EST

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted Friday to allow the blessing of same-sex unions under certain circumstances but rejected a recommendation to ordain non-celibate gay clergy.

    After hours of heated debate and discussion over the wording of the two controversial recommendations, members of the ELCA Churchwide Assembly voted 670-323 to approve the measure on same-sex unions.

    The recommendation does not officially change the denomination’s stance on gay marriage. Instead, it urges members to abide by a 1993 statement that prohibits same-sex unions and allows “pastoral care” to same-sex couples. The vague wording of this statement has been interpreted as allowing for exceptions to the prohibition.

    “The blessings door has been swinging back and forth in the ELCA, perhaps since 1993. This assembly has propped the door open firmly. By what authority can the ELCA bless homosexual relationships? Scripture clearly doesn’t authorize sex outside of marriage,” said Rev. Jaynan Clark Egland, president of the conservative WordAlone network, in a press statement.

    Both opponents and proponents of blessing same-sex unions tried and failed to get the resolution more specific. And after several hours of votes, assembly adopted one slight change that made the wording even more ambiguous; the amended recommendation dropped the reference to giving pastoral care to “same-sex couples” and in its place included “all to whom [pastors] minister.”

    Egland said this amendment does not change the recommendation’s openness to same-sex blessings.

    Later in the day, the assembly voted 490 to 503 against a resolution that would give exceptions to the no non-celibate gay clergy rule. It would’ve taken a two-thirds majority to pass.

    Conservatives applauded the vote.

    “Thankfully, at least the assembly didn’t disregard the authority of God’s Word concerning the standards for church leaders,” said Egland.

    However, pro-gay members, wearing rainbow sashes and white T-shirts, filed to the front of the ballroom and stood in front of the podium in protest.

    Both proposals came out of recommendations from a Studies on Sexuality task force that was assigned four years ago to find out the role of homosexuality in the church. The third recommendation that called for unity in the church despite differences passed nearly unanimously at 851 to 127.

    The debates on homosexuality were the most anticipated at the ELCA churchwide assembly, which is meeting in Orlando, Fla., from Aug. 8-14. Proponents of homosexuality hoped the church would follow in the direction of more liberal counterparts, such as the United Church of Christ that last month adopted a policy statement equating gay marriage to traditional marriage. Conservatives hoped the church would turn back to the traditional understanding of scripture that views homosexuality as sin.

    However, in essence, the votes made no real change in ELCA policy. Current policy expects ministers – both homosexual and heterosexual - to refrain from sexual relations outside marriage, which it defines as “a lifelong covenant of faithfulness between a man and a woman.”

    At a news conference after the voting, Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson said he knew “however the vote turned out, some would be disappointed.” But he added that he “hopes that those disappointed in the votes would not sever their relationship with the church or step back” from their involvement.

    I hope that "everyone hears it clearly -- all week as we have discussed publicly and clearly -- that gay and lesbian persons are welcome in this church,” he said."

  2. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    I bet Luther is "spinning in his grave."

  3. #3
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    I have no problem with gay people personally and I don' think they should be discriminated against, but at the same time I don't approve of gay marriage. And I don't approve of churches claiming to preach the Bible, disregard what the Bible says on the issue of homosexuality.

  4. #4
    Patrick Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Romans 2:

    God's Wrath Against Mankind

    18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.


    21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    I think "marriage" should not be the governments business. Marriage itself is a religious term that the government has assigned benefits too. I am for everyone getting domestic partnerships. As Dick Cheney said "people ought to be able to enter into any legal arrangement they want."

    Churches will always have the right to recognize the kinds of marriages they want too. The gay marriage debate is about the benefits associated with marriage. Those benefits should be open to all people, or none at all...thats how America is supposed to work.

    As for taking the Bible litteraly...I agree, but if everything the Bible says is to be taken at face value then there are a lot of things that don't sit well with me.

    For example....the famous open letter to Dr. Laura

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

    Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear prescription glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?


    I don't care what your personal values are regarding homosexuality. Gay marriage is about equal rights. If you don't agree with it on religious grounds...fine, thats your right. But hypocrisy in any form weakens arguments.

  6. #6
    Keith Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    I have no problem with gay people personally and I don' think they should be discriminated against, but at the same time I don't approve of gay marriage. And I don't approve of churches claiming to preach the Bible, disregard what the Bible says on the issue of homosexuality.
    Exactly. The Bible is so clear on homosexuality, yet there are those who seem to "overlook" those certain scriptures.

    "Gay marriage is about equal rights. If you don't agree with it on religious grounds...fine, thats your right. But hypocrisy in any form weakens arguments."

    Gay marriage is so unnatural, and it is wrong in God's eyes. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. This has nothing to do with equal rights, and I see no hypocrisy in Patrick's statement, nor the scriptures he used. The arguments against homosexuality are very, very, strong.

    I've always wondered about the Lutherans.

    Let's be very careful with this thread. Let's keep it civil:respect: .

  7. #7

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Exactly. The Bible is so clear on homosexuality, yet there are those who seem to "overlook" those certain scriptures.

    "Gay marriage is about equal rights. If you don't agree with it on religious grounds...fine, thats your right. But hypocrisy in any form weakens arguments."

    Gay marriage is so unnatural, and it is wrong in God's eyes. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. This has nothing to do with equal rights, and I see no hypocrisy in Patrick's statement, nor the scriptures he used. The arguments against homosexuality are very, very, strong.

    I've always wondered about the Lutherans.

    Let's be very careful with this thread. Let's keep it civil[img]images/Smailies%2001-28-08/respect.gif[/img] .
    With all due respect to all previous posts, it's with great care that I raise the following issues as a fellow Christian.

    How do some of these comments impact those members who have shared their homosexual orientation, something not easy to do in this Bible-belt state? With such a sensitive subject, would it not be better to show deference to those who may not believe the same as many Christians do but whom this issue is a fundamental part of their very being.

    If you believe that the Bible clearly "condemns" homosexuality, remember that this condemnation does not extend to the homosexual. Also consider that those who are not believers can't be expected to live or act like believers.

    Here's how Christian musician Steve Camp puts it:
    [Evangelicals] fault and accuse nonbelievers in society for living like nonbelievers. When [evangelicals] publicly fault nonbelievers for their failure to change their moral convictions in conformity to theirs; coupled with the use of legislative/political muscle, they end up alienating the very ones that need the transforming power of the gospel of grace. Apart from regeneration through Jesus Christ our Lord and His restraining grace any of us could be slaves to all matters of sin in our lives. Let me ask the [evangelicals] a question: if you didn’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, what would you be living like? And then, would you want someone to picket you, boycott you, petition against you, vilify you, strong arm you, coerce you, legislate against you – or would you rather someone had come to you with the gospel of grace and walked with you as your neighbor and explained how to have eternal life by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Christ alone?
    I think the discussion of gay marriage should be limited to why or why not gay marriage is acceptable and how gay marriage has or doesn't have a negative effect on traditional marriage. Telling people that the Bible says homosexuality is wrong bears little weight with someone who doesn't believe in the Bible or believe in that interpretation of scripture, especially in a discussion about civil unions — a government-based contract, where separation of church and state remains the law of the land.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    My point remains that you cannot pick a choose the parts of the Bible you want to believe in if you use the "it's in the Bible" argument to bolster your claims that something is right or wrong. That is hypocrisy, no disrespect intended.

    Okay let's personalize it a little bit...

    If you take religion out of the scenario what you are left with is the fact that my relationships (no matter what you think of it), and no matter how loving it is, is not equal in the eyes of the law.

    For example

    On the order of 1,400 legal rights are conferred upon married couples in the U.S. Typically these are composed of about 400 state benefits and over 1,000 federal benefits. Among them are the rights to:
    joint parenting;
    joint adoption;
    joint foster care, custody, and visitation (including non-biological parents);
    status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent;
    joint insurance policies for home, auto and health;
    dissolution and divorce protections such as community property and child support;
    immigration and residency for partners from other countries;
    inheritance automatically in the absence of a will;
    joint leases with automatic renewal rights in the event one partner dies or leaves the house or apartment;
    inheritance of jointly-owned real and personal property through the right of survivorship (which avoids the time and expense and taxes in probate);
    benefits such as annuities, pension plans, Social Security, and Medicare;
    spousal exemptions to property tax increases upon the death of one partner who is a co-owner of the home;
    veterans' discounts on medical care, education, and home loans; joint filing of tax returns;
    joint filing of customs claims when traveling;
    wrongful death benefits for a surviving partner and children;
    bereavement or sick leave to care for a partner or child;
    decision-making power with respect to whether a deceased partner will be cremated or not and where to bury him or her;
    crime victims' recovery benefits;
    loss of consortium tort benefits;
    domestic violence protection orders;
    judicial protections and evidentiary immunity, (From religious-tolerance.org)

    I pay taxes, I love my country, but these rights are not extended to me. My sexual-orientation is between me and God. But give me one good reason (other than religious) why I cannot be extended these benefits.

  9. #9
    Jay Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Did anyone see the Simpson’s episode where they dealt with gay marriage? They wrote the episode to where it addressed every point of view on gay marriage. The episode showed just how ridiculous both sides of the argument have gotten.



    The citizens of Springfield needed something to attract tourists to the town. Lisa suggests approving gay marriage. The town decided to go ahead approve Gay marriage to bring tourists to town.



    Rev. Lovejoy gets in argument with Marge over the biblical issues. As she is arguing her point he runs to the church bell and starts ringing it. The bell drowns out her side of the argument.



    Since Rev. Lovejoy refuses to marry the gay couples, Homer gets an Idea to become a minister. He becomes a minister through a website and sets up a chapel in the garage. He then proceeds to marry everyone he can to make a few fast bucks.



    Marge then finds out that Patty is gay and then has second thoughts about gay marriage.



    No matter what point of view you support, you will enjoy this episode.


  10. #10

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    It was indeed a funny (and insightful) episode.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    After posting yesterday evening, this matter continued to weigh on my mind. I've been puzzled as to why this issue has been elevated by the Religious Right to such a preeminent status. Is this really the most important thing we have to worry about?

    Consider this: How important was it to Jesus? Go back through the gospels and read the red letters. How much time did He spend talking about homosexuality or homosexual marriage? Overall, throughout the Bible, how much time is dedicated to this issue? Other than Levitical law and the brief mention in Romans 1 (not Romans 2 as previously cited), how many other references are there to it? I contend you will be hard pressed to find (m)any more references at all.

    In contrast, based on the number of references to it in scripture, what issue was highlighted to a much greater degree? Poverty. There are approximately 3000 verses that relate to issues of the poor. The only issue that receives more attention has to do with idolatry. To me, that means it must be an important issue to God.

    Why then has gay marriage taken center stage as one of the two most important issues facing our country today? Have we sufficiently addressed the poverty issue? Hardly. More families are below the federal definition of poverty than ever before (and many experts agree that the current guidelines are obsolete and that many more families should be included in these poverty numbers) — and that's if we are only supposed to care about people in our own backyard. Worldwide, poverty has crippled hundreds of millions. How, then, does this "gay marriage" issue rise above poverty — an issue that seems to be much more of a focus for God, based on scripture?


    Some Christians will contend that gay marriage threatens the very foundation of society — the traditional family. How, then, is a traditional family defined? One man and one woman, most Christians would say. But many Christians conveniently forget (or choose to ignore) that divorce would be a violation of God's original plan for marriage. "Until death do us part" is the vow (most of us) take in a wedding ceremony. Nearly half of all marriages never make it to the death part. So a vow (to God, in the marriages of Christians) is broken; go back and do a bible study on how seriously God treats broken vows. And yet, the divorce rate WITHIN the church is nearly identical to the divorce rate among the unchurched.

    Divorce has had a much more ravaging effect on the moral fiber and cohesive fabric of our country. Where's the great crusade to ban divorce? God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and forbids divorce and remarriage (Mark 10:7-10, Luke 16:18). And yet, it's as pervasive a problem among God's own people. Perhaps the evangelical crusade that is so passionate about the gay marriage issue should first clean its own house before cleaning the houses of others. Or better put...
    "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
    — Matthew 7:3-5
    Both my brother and sister have been divorced and subsequently remarried. Do I condemn them and pass constitutional amendments barring them from divorce or remarriage? If no, why not? For one thing, it's a religious issue. It's a vow between God and the married couple, and so an issue to be settled between them. In civil society, it's a contractual agreement and, in the case of divorce, a legal dissolution of that contract. Explain how a civil contract between two gay people, which affords the contractual rights and obligations under the law that any couple would want (as okieopus has adequately described), negatively impacts the traditional family (one man and one woman for life, by the Christian definition) — something that's truly rare in this country anymore.

    A civil union (or marriage) between gays does not affect my marriage. Not only do I have a government-recognized civil contract with my wife, I have made vows before God. It is my vows before God that guides how I relate to my marriage; not the divorce-ridden marriage standard currently in our churches and country today.


    Additionally, if you look at all the other sins that we're commanded against, leaving out all the Levitical laws that most Christians no longer adhere to — lying, gossiping, cheating, cursing others, neglecting the poor, selfishness, greed, gluttony, arrogance, boasting, disobedience, lack of faith, not loving your neighbors as yourselves, not loving the Lord your God with all your heart, not surrendering to His Lordship in every area of your life, etc. etc. etc. — there are much bigger problems that deserve our attention than gay marriage.

    I propose a constitutional amendment against lying. But, no, that hits too close to home for too many people. Deceit and mistrust do more to destroy the moral fabric of this country than any gay marriage could.


    Gays are an easy target. It takes the attention off of our own shortcomings and puts the focus on those who are different from us. The spotlight of outrage for sinful behavior conveniently shifts from our own sins to the sins of others. And, unfortunately for Christians, this crusade takes our eyes off our true mission as Christ's disciples of fulfilling the Great Commission. He did not call us to convert the world by passing more laws. Quite the opposite. Christ's message was one of grace, setting us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1). We will not win this world for Christ through crusades for more laws, by passing amendments, or by packing the court with more conservative judges. We, as American Christians, have lost focus.


    Just some things to think about.

  12. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    We will not win this world for Christ through crusades for more laws

    Nor will we win by harboring hatred and prejudice toward others who may make different life choices. I have seen first hand how Christians can change people just by being a living testament and showing love and acceptance. And I have seen people run in the opposite direction when judgemental hatred is spewed by 'supposed Christians'.

    The best testament from a Christian is loving others without passing judgement.
    " You've Been Thunder Struck ! "

  13. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Keith said, "and it is wrong in God's eyes. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."

    Aside from the fact that this is something I remember being taunted with in Jr. high, I have to ask if some of you actually listen to what a line like this says?

    Am I not of God? I was born, in flesh, made from my mother and father.

    I am a child of God. My gay friends are all children of God. And the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with is a child of God.

    I think that this all comes back to the same old tired argument that we keep encountering on this board.

    Why oh why can conservative Christians not just leave the Judgement of God to God, and allow the rest of us to live in peace. You may well believe that homosexuality in all it's many facets is an abomination before God and that all of us will burn in hell for eternity.

    However, you don't get to make that choice. You may get to interpret how you read scripture. But at the end of the day, you don't know what is in anyone's else's heart and you cannot define anyone else's relationship with God or with Christ. So STOP TRYING!

    I'm tired of hearing the "I don't have a problem with gay people personally..." statement followed by a hollow reference to Romans or II Cornithians or even Leviticus.

    Stop picking out the verses that you CAN use to condemn and persecute and instead read the words in scripture that are attributed to Christ.

    Stop using your beliefs to try and belittle other people.

    If the Lutherans choose, by whatever means, to allow gay marriage in their church, what is the individiual harm to you? Just simply remain steadfast in your beliefs, and THEY WON'T CHANGE!!!

    The world might change around you and it may bring forth the end of time. But if you truly believe that your way and your way of thinking is the only true and right way, then what are you so terrified about? If you are right and I am wrong, won't Jesus be there to grab your hand in the end anyway?

    Just let the lutherans do what they want. If you are a lutheran and you disagree, find another church. But (and I would presume that most of you arguing against this topic are So. Baptist) is you aren't , please tell me how you've been hurt by this?

    Every time a discussion like this comes up...it ends up in the same place.

  14. #14
    Todd Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Regardless of your position and beliefs I can assure you this debate will be around for decades to come. I commend you all for your participation. I think Underlings post had some good points for us to ponder.

  15. #15
    ColumbiaCowboy Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    I'm all for keeping it civil...but there is a lot here I find very outragious...

    I can sum it all up by picking on one or two lines, the most glaringly wrong and offensive is this from "Keith":

    "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"

    This is an outright falsehood. God made BOTH. God made all of us, and made some people gay. The notion that people just choose to be gay is ridiculous, we didn't choose to be straight, and they don't choose to be gay.

    A couple of others from Keith--

    "The Bible is so clear on homosexuality"

    A statement that leaves me stunned. This is absolutely untrue. The Bible doesn't say ONE WORD about homosexuality, ever. There is TREMENDOUS disagreement within Christianity about the Bible's statements on specific sex acts (most of which one finds buried within kosher food laws and laws about which crops one puts in one's fields, and other law totally abandoned) but at NO point does homosexuality itself, which is NOT an act but an orientation, get mentioned. Ever.
    And even if you want to argue that by mentioning these acts it's talking about homosexuality, saying that it's "so clear" is assinine. It absolutely is NOT.

    On the other hand, the Bible IS clear on "love one another." And you CANNOT tell a person you love "you're going to hell for being gay," you CANNOT tell a person you love "you're not welcome in the church," you CANNOT treat a person you love the way far, far too many in the church treat gays. It's wrong.

    "Gay marriage is so unnatural, and it is wrong in God's eyes."

    Hogwash. It is perfectly natural that some people are straight, and some people are gay. Has been since time began, although obviously at the time the Bible was written people didn't understand the nature of homosexuality.
    I don't believe for one SECOND it's wrong in God's eyes. Two people who love one another should be married. It promotes far healthier and more beneficial lifestyles (simply being gay isn't a lifestyle, that's another greatly overused word)

  16. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    In the 1st place, those of you who might be inclined to put "all Lutherans" in the same basket don't know much about Lutherans. The ELCA is what one might call one of the more "liberal" (meaning, scripture should not necessarily be interpreted literally) synods of Lutherans in America. A couple of the more "conservative", meaning, "yes, you do") are the Missouri Synod and Wisconsin Synod Lutherans. I'm not a Lutheran, but one of my brothers is a pastor in the Missouri Synod, and he'd be one who would be more like you who have identified yourselves as "Southern Baptists" in this thread (knowing, of course, that there are other shades of "Baptists" in this country, as well.

    When stereotyping, it is good to have some idea of what you are talking about.

    As to gay marriage, civil unions, etc., see an earlier thread that got into this quite deeply: http://www.okctalk.com/t1825-gay-marriage.html . So that I won't have to "think" again, and certainly be kind to my fingers, I'll copy what I said there in one or more parts of that thread:

    Doug Loudenback, 2nd set
    Like many, I've had mixed and different thoughts and feelings on the topic of gay marriage over my life's time. As a guy, I'm a heterosexual (as far as I know ... at least, judging by what I look at on the internet, I am!). But, that's just "me". While I'm not so inclined, is it my business to tell someone else who may be inclined differently that they are not just as equally entitled to his/her/their viewpoint and, more, be permitted to have the same sort of legal protections AND relationships, and the economic and other benefits of same, that I am?

    Although this thread focuses upon the marriage question, there are other issues, as well, e.g., the Philadelphia movie which was a powerful communicator to me, personally. I'm presently inclined to favor Midtowner's viewpoint, above, along the lines of civil union.

    Basically, I'm inclined to think that marriage is a religious issue as to which viewpoints will vary depending on one's religious community, denomination, etc.

    Civil union, however, involves state sanctions of particular types of relationships, and, as I recall, "marriage" does not necessarily involve any religious requirements at all ... well, I'm supposing that Oklahoma will not go so far as to prohibit marriage between heterosexual atheists, but who am I to say what the Oklahoma Legislature may do in its wisdom. I mean, this comparison may seem to be a bit of a leap ... but, is it that big a leap at all, when you think about it?

    It is only coincidental that priests, ministers, etc., perform marriages for "state" purposes, even though dual functions are involved ... those which satisfy the religious community's, and those which satisfy the state's ... as for the state's, judges and ship captains will do as well.

    Another issue is economics. I'm no student of this, but isn't it so that many business entities will not move into states which don't allow its/their employees the benefits of health insurance and other kinds of things that might require allowance to gay and lesbian partners? I don't have any statistics, but I'm sure I could get some if that were important to this discussion ... or anyone's consideration of the topic. And, isn't it true that gay/lesbian relationship per capita incomes tend to be higher, or is that just my mistake in repeating something I've heard elsewhere. The bottom line economic issue may be that if a community, e.g., Oklahoma City, would like to enhance its position to be attractive to businesses which are looking to relocate, that this type of thing could be a large factor.

    And, I'm not inclined to think that this is a "majority rules" issue. We only need to think about race, women's rights, etc., to have the eyes to see backward in history that the majority rules principle is not all that there is. Anyone want to go back to prohibiting marriage between whites/blacks? Anyone want to go back to forced school segregation? Or the right to vote?

    Off the topic? I guess that, fundamentally, that depends on one's perception as to what the rights of a PERSON, without any qualifying adjectives, either are or ought to be.
    Doug Loudenback, 3rd series
    Originally Posted by Sooner&RiceGrad
    Lovely.

    Now, gay enthusiests clearly do not understand marriage. Marriage is a blessed union between two people that love each other, and the lord. In fact, all marriages should be done in a church rather than anywhere else. Marriage is not for everyone. If you love someone, neither of you are Christian, marriage is not for you. Just b/c everyone is doing it does it mean it is your right, and your duty to someone else.
    Just to be sure, S&RG, you don't mean to say, do you, that unions (whether called marriage or something else) between non-Christian people such as:

    1) Jews;
    2) Muslims;
    3) Hindu;
    4) Universalists;
    5) Atheists;

    should not be entitled to recognition by the state are you such as the ability to file joint income tax returns, get health insurance benefits via their "spouse's" health insurer, etc.?
    Doug Loudenback, 3rd series
    Originally Posted by nurfe75
    Don't you realize, Doug, that only Christian heterosexuals have the right to get married?
    Uh, oh ... I'd missed that fact in my 61 years! :;

    Oh, well ... back to the drawing board!

    But, as to your other point, I've not noticed in the press (but I confess to reading very little about this outrageous episode in our country's most contemporary drama [Ed note: the reference is to the then scurring about of religious, even government groups, about the almost now forgotton Florida-life-support-case... do you remember the name?]) anything as to the religion/religiousness/or lack thereof of any of the personally involved combatants. But, then again, I've not been paying much attention.

    I'm taking the liberty of "pasting" into this message a "New & Improved Living Will " written by a good friend of mine whom I'll leave nameless since I didn't ask his permission before doing so. Enjoy!

    ------------

    If you were bothered bythe Schiavo case, which is a very sad story regardless of where your sympathies might lie, you might want to consider something like this:

    NEW AND IMPROVED LIVING WILL

    (Written for Residents of the State of Florida, Or Elsewhere)

    I, ______________ (fill in the blank), being of sound mind and body, unequivocally declare that in the event of a catastrophic injury, I do not wish to be kept alive indefinitely by artificial means.

    I hereby instruct my loved ones and relatives to remove all life-support systems, once it has been determined that my brain is longer functioning in a cognizant realm. However, that judgment should be made only after thorough consultation with medical experts; i.e., individuals who actually have been trained, educated and certified as medical doctors. Faith healers, snake handlers, witch doctors, shamans, tongue talkers, imams, gurus, holy rollers, rabbis, yogis, muftis, popes, priestesses, high holy muckety-mucks and all other like-minded snake oil salesmen should leave medicine to the medical professionals. Period.

    Under no circumstances -- and I can't state this too strongly -- should my fate be put in the hands of two-bit peckerwood politicians who couldn't pass 9th grade biology if their worthless excuses for lives depended on it.

    Furthermore, it is my firm hope that, when the time comes, any discussion about terminating my medical treatment should remain private and confidential. Living in Florida, however, I am acutely aware that the legislative and executive branches of state government are fond of meddling in family matters, and have little concern for the privacy and dignity of individuals.

    Therefore, I wish to make my views on this subject as clear and unambiguous as possible. Recognizing that some politicians seem cerebrally challenged themselves (and with no medical excuse), I'll try to keep this simple and to the point.

    1. While remaining sensitive to the feelings of loved ones who might cling to hope for my recovery, let me state that if a reasonable amount of time passes -- say, ____ (fill in the blank) months -- and I fail to sit up and ask for a cold beer, it should be presumed that I won't ever get better. When such a determination is reached, I hereby instruct my spouse, children and attending physicians to pull the plug, reel in the tubes and call it a day.

    2. Under no circumstances shall the members of the Legislature enact a special law to keep me on life-support machinery. It is my wish that these Bronze Age boneheads mind their own damn business, and pay attention instead to the health, education and future of the millions of Floridians who aren't in permanent comas.

    3. Under no circumstances shall the governor of Florida butt into this case and order my doctors to put a feeding tube down my throat. I don't care how many fundamentalist votes he's trying to scrounge up -- it is my fervent wish that he play politics with someone else's life and leave me to die in peace. Period.

    4. I couldn't care less if a hundred superstitious whack jobs and ten thousand inbred, mouth breathing hillbillies send e-mails to legislators in which they disingenuously feign a deep and abiding concern for me. I don't know these semi-literate, slack-jawed yokels, and I most assuredly have not authorized them to preach and crusade on my behalf. They should mind their own damn business. End of story.

    5. It is my heartfelt wish to expire quietly and without a public spectacle. This is obviously impossible once elected officials become involved. So, while recognizing the wrenching emotions that attend the prolonged death of a loved one, I hereby instruct my relatives to settle all disagreements about my care in private or in the courts, as provided by civil law. Had I wanted to be a public spectacle, I would have lived my life wearing underwear on my head and/or appearing frequently on The Jerry Springer Show.

    If any of my family goes against my wishes and turns my case into a political tempest in a teapot, I hereby promise to come back from the grave and make his or her existence a living _______ (fill in the blank).
    ----------
    I wish that I'd said that!
    Doug Loudenback, 3rd series
    Originally Posted by Sooner&RiceGrad
    OK. So Jews and Muslims have every right to marry ONE spouse. But besides that, marriage is exclusive.

    Now gov't benefits can be universal, I don't care particularly whether my money goes to a gay guy or a straight couple. Tax benefits same ways.
    I guess it would be OK, too, for the other groups I mentioned, and I'd suppose you would agree.

    As to the universality of benefits, some are not ... governmental (e.g., ability to file joint tax return) and non-governmental (eg right to include your "spouse" on your employer's group health insurance policy).

    But, as to the first point, about the "ONE" spouse, yeah, I remember learning about that one from poor ole Meat Loaf so many years ago ... remember the tune, as well as the truth? ... I SWORE that I would love her until the day I die - I SWORE - never break my promise, always keep my vow, but God only knows what I could do right so ... So now I'm praying for the end of time... to hurry on down the line ... 'cause if I've got to live another minute with you, I don't think that I can barerly survive! I'll always keep my promise, never break my vow ... So now I am praying for the end of time ... so that I can end my time with you ....

    Or, did you mean one at a time?
    Doug Loudenback, 3rd series
    Well, although I have very few opinions <grin>, one that I do have is that, even if there are NO other requirements, the state should REQUIRE any person desiring to enter into a marital relation (or whatever you want to call it) TO LISTEN to listen to Paradise By The Dashboard Light at least 10 times and write a 5 page essay as to what it means to them! What a great tune!

    And, then, there's always, "I want you ... I need you ... But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you but don't be sad ... 'cause two out o' three ain't bad! Whoops! Big time drift off the topic!
    Doug Loudenback, 4th series
    Well, I'm sorry, but the last couple of messages (if I read them correctly) seem to perceive that all Americans are 1) Christian, and 2) that they are of the same variety of them that speak from a scripture -quoting - and that's all there is perspective, and 3) that if they are not, they should be forced to be directly or indirectly, and that an umbrella of such person's religion-based morality should be the civil, as well as the religious, law.

    While it's natural, and expected, that any religious community would embrace its own perspective, it is not correct that the same community should expect, much less forceably demand and legislate even if they have the power to do so, their viewpoint on "non-believers" so that the rest of the citizens which comprise the totality of our society would be forced to have the same perspective.

    Oh, well, maybe they had it right in Salem, Mass., after all. Who can say, and maybe there shouldn't be freedom of religion. Perhpaps the Constitution needs amending, to abolish freedom of (and from) religion as a natural corallary to prohibition of gay marriage, etc. Is this a country based on individual liberties, right to choose (or not) religious values (study Thomas Jefferson's life if you're sure there is no historical seed in religious tolerance), or is this country, me included, gonna be forced to to think like someone else does, if they have a sufficient degree of political power.

    Sorry, but this is a very unAmerican point of view, at least, in the past tense perspective. We don't have to go back very far in American history to find comparisons, when the comparisons derive from beyond our shores, or when lack of tolerance was present within these shores vis a vis a certain Senator from Wisconsin. I'll leave it to you to guess which comparisons and analogies I have have in mind. Future tense, well, I suppose that anyting is possible, ala Orwellean drama and similar constructs.

    Now, let's see ... what kind of clothes am I permitted to wear to day ... is it Saturday or Sunday? Can I shop today? Or should we just do away with television, as the Taliban did, and other Muslim extremists still require.

    Relax, guys and gals, this governent, this country, or so I hope, is not a theocracy, and such a thing was not intended in the first place, I'd suppose. And, if it's to become one, what's your plan for guys like me?
    Doug Loudenback, 4th series
    Originally Posted by renffahcs
    Doug, in the end what matters is do you accept him or reject him. Even non homosexuals have the problem of sin. God is not a democracy and we will all stand before him and answer for our lives. We will all be asked the question of why he should allows us to be with him. In the end your final answer is what matters!!
    You are not alone in having an unblemished and crystal clear images of what "god" is, what his/her/its political makeup might be, and just who it is that "him" is. As far as the term "sin", and however it may be defined, you, me, everyone, including but not limited to hetero/homosexuals, is in the same boat, as far as not having any, and, as to those who would inhibit individual freedom based upon a relgious perspective (and whatever that perspective might be ... not just yours, but anyone else's), I'd personally say that what you said, "Even non homosexuals have a problem of sin" is an understatement, relatively speaking.

    But, still, all this is beside the point. Your reply has to do with religion. Religious communities are free to do what they will within their own body and membership. If they want to shun a person who does not comply with the community's values, that's their privilege, within the community. But, it is not their privelege, as I see it, to do so upon those beyond their community as a matter of establishing civil law, since, as I said, I'm not thinking that America is based upon any principles akin to theocracy.

    My notion is that that America, as a place which espouses individual liberty, needs and ought to be a place that embraces invididual liberty for all ... those who emigrated from England and elsewhere to escape religious persecution, but not in the sense of giving liberty/license for those who, like at Salem, Mass., consider they have status to impose their own form of religious persecution upon others, regardless of how "right and just" they may perceive their cause to be. Did you miss my point about Salem, about McCarthy, about Germany, or about any country or area which imposes its perceived moral code, whether that code be "right", "wrong", or something in between, as civil law upon the whole community, a state, a nation, or, indeed, the world, or do you just think that such things don't really matter.
    Well, of course there's much more in that (and other) threads here on the topic. So, rather than reinvent the wheel (my wheel, anyway), my views haven't changed since the above, and there you have it, "VINTAGE" Doug Loudenback, as in http://www.dougloudenback.com/downto...ge/vintage.htm ! :tweeted:

  17. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick
    I have no problem with gay people personally and I don' think they should be discriminated against, but at the same time I don't approve of gay marriage. And I don't approve of churches claiming to preach the Bible, disregard what the Bible says on the issue of homosexuality.
    Patrick, with all due respect, it is not YOUR place or MINE to tell ANY Christian or other religious grouping what they should, or should not, choose to believe ... assuming that you subcribe to the views of (1) separation of church and state at the political level, and (2), at the personal level, that each person ought to have the liberty to chosing his/her own religious viewpoints, if any, or none at all.

    So, in that sence, your, or my, approval or disapproval is wholly irrelevant, isn't it?

    And, taking it a step further, how far are you prepared to go in telling, approving, dissaproving what other churches decide they believe? For example, as a Southern Baptist, you might not be comfortable with the Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican view that, in the sacrament of Holy Communion, the Eucharist, or whatever label, bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ vis a vis the acts of the priest ... or maybe that is not something you'd be offended by these other churches believing?

    Where do you draw the line in your tolerance level to allow that other "Christians" have, or don't have, the privilege of having views different than your own or of your relatively small (numbers wise) portion of what is a part of what is called Christianity? I don't limit the numbers to those in this country.

    For example, from Wikipedia,
    The Roman Catholic Church, also called the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian body in the world. Over 1.2 billion people worldwide are members of the Catholic Church.
    The 2nd largest group consists of the various "churches" which generally are identified as being "Eastern Orthodox", e.g., Greek, Russian, etc.. I don't have a number, but it's not a few, and, but for the issue of the Pope and ethnic historical issues, they are not at all unlike Roman Catholics in the vast majority of their teachings and viewpoints.

    After the 1st 2 groups, the rest are dwarfish by size ...

    ... including the "Anglicans" ... 2 or so million Episcopalians in this country but I think about 77 million world-wide, who appear to be on the verge of a fracture over the issue of homosexuality ... you'd be more akin to the Southern Hemisphere (generally) Anglican Churches viewpoints who are VERY literalist in their interpretation of the Bible.

    Certainly, there are many others not mentioned so far ... for example (from Wikipedia), yours, the Southern Baptist Convention:

    The SBC is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, claiming 16 million members.
    So, please take care, SBC guy, about over-stating your turf in the world of Christianity! Or not ... as you prefer, having the protection of the 1st Amendment! I'm sure that we'd both say, "Yea! to freedom of speech and freedom of religion!"

    But, to be sure, if you want, let's talk about other things which I assume you'd adhere to, via Paul's letters, about the relative "place/role" whatever you want to call it, about men and women ... are you game to do this, my Southern Baptist friend? And, what about gambling ... is this OK with you? Or should we turn back the clock and do away with Remington Park ... and repeal of prohibition ... do you recall the stands taken by the Oklahoma SBC during those eras?

    This could be fun! :boff: I'm game if you are!

  18. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Addendum (since I missed my 60 minute editing window ... my son stopped by and I left this in favor of his company ... the 60 minute editing time period is something of a nuisance, by the way)...

    Wikipedia says about Christianity,
    It is the world's largest religion, with an estimated 2.1 billion adherents, or about one-third of the total world population.
    Let's see ... 16 million SBC US Christians / 2.1 billion worldwide Christians ... I think that equals about 0.76% of worldwide Christianity, not even 1% of the total. Is my math wrong?

  19. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith
    Exactly. The Bible is so clear on homosexuality, yet there are those who seem to "overlook" those certain scriptures.

    "Gay marriage is about equal rights. If you don't agree with it on religious grounds...fine, thats your right. But hypocrisy in any form weakens arguments."

    Gay marriage is so unnatural, and it is wrong in God's eyes. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. This has nothing to do with equal rights, and I see no hypocrisy in Patrick's statement, nor the scriptures he used. The arguments against homosexuality are very, very, strong.

    I've always wondered about the Lutherans.

    Let's be very careful with this thread. Let's keep it civil:respect: .
    I hope that I'm being respectful, though I obviously disagree with those who quote scripture literally as though it is "all that there is". I don't think you really mean what you say, if you mean that everything in the Bible is to be understood "literally", am I not correct?

    As to your emphasis on civility, do you think that ...
    I've always wondered about the Lutherans.
    ... fits the civility/respectful test?

    So, while you quip about "Adam and Steve" (very cute), you don't mention where Cain's wife came from ... if you are a literalist, and assuming that Adam & Eve just "popped here" with God's blink of an eye (I guess, 2 blinks of an eye ... e.g., didn't evolve to be here from some slimy stuff from the sea) where did Cain's wife come from, given that there was only one woman on the planet at the time, in a literal reading of Genisis ... dare I say, if Adam and Eve were "all that there were" and they had Cain & Able as their sole offspring, yet Cain still found it possible to take a wife ... dare I wonder who was his wife?

    On this, we probably agree that the Genesis text is not literal, right? Most every religion has a "creation story". But, are they to be taken literally?

    Skip foward ... New Testatment ... do you also subscribe as a tenent of Christianity that the women are to be subservient to men vis a vis Paul's Epistles? Hmmm ... are there any Amendments to the US Constitution that you'd like to repeal?

  20. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by okieopus
    I think "marriage" should not be the governments business. Marriage itself is a religious term that the government has assigned benefits too. I am for everyone getting domestic partnerships. As Dick Cheney said "people ought to be able to enter into any legal arrangement they want."

    Churches will always have the right to recognize the kinds of marriages they want too. The gay marriage debate is about the benefits associated with marriage. Those benefits should be open to all people, or none at all...thats how America is supposed to work.

    As for taking the Bible litteraly...I agree, but if everything the Bible says is to be taken at face value then there are a lot of things that don't sit well with me.

    For example....the famous open letter to Dr. Laura

    When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

    I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

    Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

    I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

    A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

    Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear prescription glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?


    I don't care what your personal values are regarding homosexuality. Gay marriage is about equal rights. If you don't agree with it on religious grounds...fine, thats your right. But hypocrisy in any form weakens arguments.
    What a hoot! Sometimes humor, and not plain "academic argument", makes the point ever so much better than the latter! Since I like shellfish SO VERY MUCH (lobster tails are God's special gift to humans, as far as I'm concerned) I think that I'm about to explode over the dilemma .... Arrg! ... I'll take the shellfish! Sorry, gay people, I've just abandoned you for my pallete!

  21. #21

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    You seem to have a lot on your mind, Doug!


    I would recommend that if we want to evolve into a deeper theological debate that perhaps a new thread can begin and allow this more specific topic to retire. Just a suggestion.

  22. Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by Scribe
    You seem to have a lot on your mind, Doug!


    I would recommend that if we want to evolve into a deeper theological debate that perhaps a new thread can begin and allow this more specific topic to retire. Just a suggestion.
    Well, I just had a little time on my hands! But, I think I've said my peices.

  23. #23
    kahloist Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Take a look back at the oh so Great Christian faith. A faith that has fulfilled wars, genocide, and hate all in the name of the Almighty God. Little do some actually read the Holy Bible (and has been translated from three different languages before King James). What interesting ideas are put behind a blind faith or "moral social standing". Isn't it ironic that King James loved his people and wanted all to know the word of God and all the while he had MEN, WOMEN & YOUNG YOUNG YOUNG BOYS pleasing him sexually. My how history laughs at the fundamentalists and sheep that follow organized gospel! By the way I'm a follower of American Indian traditions that have been around since long before the "Holy" Bible was even translated into Latin.

  24. #24
    Winterhawk Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Gay Marriage:

    Christian Church, go ahead and outlaw it, in your church. Do what you like, within the confines of your own religion. Don;t allow gays to marry, don;t allow them to be members of your church. That's fine.

    However, State of Oklahoma, do not use the teachings of a religion to form the basis for public law. Religion has no business defining the scope of Civil marriage and divorce.

    The bottom line is Christians have the right to not marry homosexuals in their churches. They do not have the right to use their religion to define law.

    People choose which religion they belong to, however people are all entitled to the same benefits and drawbacks under civic law.

  25. #25
    Winterhawk Guest

    Default Re: Luthern Church okays same sex marriage

    Quote Originally Posted by okieopus
    I think "marriage" should not be the governments business. Marriage itself is a religious term that the government has assigned benefits too.
    Sorry, wrong.

    Marriage is a social instrument which various religions have assigned their own rules and regulations to within their dogma.

    Partners in civil unions are not entitled to the same rights as a spouse as defined in civic law. There are civil marriages, meaning not everyone gets married in a church.

    People should be allowed to enter into any legal arrangement they want to as you stated, and this includes a civic marriage which will allow them to visist their spouse when ill in the hospital and be responsible for the others debts in the event of their death.

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