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On homosexuality, history and interpretation (formerly The Family Research Council is lying again)
Skeeve


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Today's FRC newsletter led off with this:


Share with Friends | | March 25, 2010 | Permalink

"Don't Listen, Don't Enforce"

The Clinton Administration compromise policy known as "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is bad enough, given that it conflicts with the actual statute passed by Congress (which says that allowing homosexuals in the military "would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion"). But today, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced new regulations that leave the Pentagon tiptoeing even further around enforcement of the statutory law. The new guidelines will sharply narrow the kind of evidence that can be used to begin an investigation of alleged homosexuality, while raising the rank of those authorized to initiate such investigations to general and admirals--who have no time to deal with disciplining individual service members.

The net effect will be to add a "Don't Listen, Don't Enforce" approach to the already unacceptably weak "Don't Ask Don't Tell" compromise. Unless and until Congress changes the law--which would be a serious mistake--the President and Secretary of Defense should live up to their oath to "faithfully execute" the law, instead of seeking out ways to evade it. Over eighty percent of the world's countries--including the ten largest military forces in the world, ones designed to actually fight and win wars, not just march in parades--still exclude homosexuals from the ranks of the armed forces. National security, not political correctness, should determine our military personnel policies.


Of the current 217 or so countries with armies, the size varies from 75 members(Antigua and Barbuda) to over 2 million(China). So using every single army in the world, regardless of size, I suppose 80% may be possible, but it's not relevant.

Here is a list of countries that DO allow gays and lesbians to serve openly*:

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bermuda
Brazil
Canada
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Peru
Philippines
Romania
Russia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States(*under DADT only)
Uruguay

Quite a list, no?

Now, here is the top 10 military forces in the world:

China
India
North Korea
South Korea
Pakistan
United States
Israel
Iran
Turkey
Russia

Notice that 3 of the 10 largest military forces in the world allow gays/lesbians.

Also notice that another 3 of the 10 have repressive regimes that are either theocratic or communist.

Is this what FRC is wanting for the United States?
Edited by Skeeve on 03/21/2011 20:02
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
Doubting Thomas
Is this what FRC is wanting for the United States?


Do you really want me to answer that for you?
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
 
Skeeve
WTF? Do they ever not lie in their newsletter?

The Other Side of Tolerance

In the final hours of the health care debate, much was made over insults which were hurled at those members of Congress responsible for the massive government takeover. There was a clear effort to make the Democratic members, who supported the President's health care takeover, seem like "victims" who were taking principled stances for the people. The media was also quick to report word from Democratic leaders that 10 of their members had been victims of threats and acts of vandalism, which are inappropriate and have no place in civil discourse.

Meanwhile, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and his family were the targets of a death threat for which a Philadelphia man was arrested on Monday. While the media reported the threat against Rep. Cantor, they didn't point out that the suspect, Norman Leboon, claimed on his YouTube website that he is the "Messiah" of "gays and lesbians" and asks his homosexual "children" to leave the armed forces so that he might "smite" those remaining. This was not an insignificant omission. There is a clear pattern of intimidation that comes from many homosexual activists.

In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue next month in a case that springs from the Washington State ballot measure to protect marriage. As they have in Massachusetts, California and elsewhere, homosexual activists in Washington State resorted to civic terrorism to intimidate those who signed the ballot measure. The question in this case is whether or not those who sign can do so without their names being publicly released. The evidence is mounting that those who are trumpeting the call for tolerance, have little tolerance for those they disagree with.


A clear pattern of many that want to kill straight people...?

Making public records public is terrorism.

How I would hate to live in their world.

eta: And notice the word "victims" in quotes. Pitiful.
Edited by Skeeve on 03/30/2010 21:59
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
 
catman
It is said that the best defense is a good offense, and they are clearly attempting to be as offensive as possible.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
 
Robert
I've always believed that it is unconstitutional to forbid gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military. I am mystified why certain Christians and conservatives believe that our armies will implode simply because a few dudes don't like chicks and enjoy shooting guns. Ancient Sparta practiced homosexuality on a regular basis and produced superb warriors without fail. There really is no justification for the "don't ask don't tell" nonsense. My cousin was actually dishonorably discharged from the Marines for being gay--an absolute travesty.

As a Christian I believe that homosexuality is a path that people should not take (yes I hear your booing and hissing), but no American should deny another American of his or her right to defend and make sacrifices for their country. I really don't understand how the Family Research Council can justify their conclusions on this particular issue.
 
catman
Robert: My late brother was gay, and I recall asking him years ago whether he 'chose' that path. His response was that since gays were looked down upon by society (this was 20-30 years ago), it would be ridiculous to freely choose to be gay, but it was who he was, that it was 'built in' and that he couldn't do anything about it, aside from denying what he was which he wasn't willing to do. (He did quite well with the ladies, too, before he 'came out'.) So how can a person be condemned for something that is natural, occurs in the animal kingdom, and is not a choice?

I realize that your religion teaches that it is an abomination, but that is unjust. Would it have all homosexuals pretend to be hetero for their entire lives? After all, they were 'made' that way.
 
Bob of QF
Robert wrote:
As a Christian I believe that homosexuality is a path that people should not take ....


Then, you really ought to take that up with your god-- for homosexuals are born that way....
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
Robert
Hi Catman,

Catman wrote: "Robert: My late brother was gay, and I recall asking him years ago whether he 'chose' that path. His response was that since gays were looked down upon by society (this was 20-30 years ago), it would be ridiculous to freely choose to be gay, but it was who he was, that it was 'built in' and that he couldn't do anything about it, aside from denying what he was which he wasn't willing to do. (He did quite well with the ladies, too, before he 'came out'.) "

I believe that your brother had no more choice in choosing to be gay than I have in choosing to be straight. It appears to me that humans have very little control over who they are attracted to sexually or romantically. I totally understand where your brother is coming from.

Catman wrote: "So how can a person be condemned for something that is natural, occurs in the animal kingdom, and is not a choice?"

What is good for the rest of the animal kingdom is not always best for humans. For example, would you recommend that parents eat their own offspring or devour their mates after sex?

I believe that nature itself teaches mankind that men should not have sex with men since offspring will never be produced. The same obviously holds true for females. Nature also seems to point out that humans should remain monogamous if an individual wants to remain assured that he or she will not catch a plethora of sexual diseases. Also, nature seems to demonstrate that girls need to reach a certain age before having sex due to the risk to the health of mother and baby. Hence the prohibition against child molestation. In my opinion, nature has left clues for humans endowed with reason and logic to follow.

Catman wrote: "I realize that your religion teaches that it is an abomination, but that is unjust. Would it have all homosexuals pretend to be hetero for their entire lives? After all, they were 'made' that way."

I wouldn't have homosexuals pretend that they are heterosexual. Far from it. As difficult as it is, the Bible simply commands that homosexuals not act on their instincts or dwell on inappropriate fantasies. I admit that this would be an extremely difficult command to follow if one were gay. No doubt about it.
 
Theory_Execution
I am unhappy with you Skeeve. The UK is not a country.
 
Skeeve
Theory_Execution wrote:
I am unhappy with you Skeeve. The UK is not a country.


? Shrug
 
Theory_Execution
Robert wrote:
"For example, would you recommend that [people] devour their mates after sex?"

Whats wrong with devouring her during sex Pfft

Robert wrote:
"As difficult as it is, the Bible simply commands that homosexuals not act on their instincts or dwell on inappropriate fantasies."

I dont remember this, I must have read the more complex edition that gives cause to murder homosexuals.

I have a question for you Robert. Would you be a proponent of hands on education in school, that necessitated one pupil to put his/her life at risk for the education of the rest?
 
Robert
Hi TE,

TE wrote: "Whats wrong with devouring her during sex."

Point taken. Smile

TE wrote: "I dont remember this, I must have read the more complex edition that gives cause to murder homosexuals."

It's true that the Israelites were commanded to kill practicing homosexuals. They were also commanded to kill those who simply picked up sticks for firewood on Saturday. The point is that both were defying the direct instructions of a deity--not that the deity arbitrarily disliked one individual over the other.

Christians today are actually forbidden to judge anyone outside the Church (chapters and verses available upon request). This, of course, is different than warning someone about the potential hazards of living a certain lifestyle. Christians have no authority to cast literal or figurative stones or declare who will gain or lose eternal life.

The penalty imposed on a practicing homosexual Christian is excommunication from the Church after being warned three times (again chapter and verse available). The individual is still to be treated with love and respect and not as an enemy. If the Christian repents, he or she will immediately be allowed back within the Church body.

TE wrote: "I have a question for you Robert. Would you be a proponent of hands on education in school, that necessitated one pupil to put his/her life at risk for the education of the rest?"

No--but undoubtedly there is always the exception to the rule.
 
Theory_Execution
Robert say: "Christians today are actually forbidden to judge anyone outside the Church..."

Really? Leviticus 19:15 " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Funnily enough, that occurs right around the place where we get those other rules, that set number of things, you know, the ones we are all supposed to follow, the ones christians want americans to put up in public places, and on government properties...it will come to me eventually. Dont a few of those have some pretty heafty penalties too?

I believe the line you would have in response to this is that attributed to Jesus - Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

But what does this mean in the context of a saviour Christ who will return to judge all? Ahhh, you see you got it, it means we will all be judged, so there is no avoiding being judged, so it doesnt stand as a warning to not judge others.

Robert quips: "The penalty imposed on a practicing homosexual Christian is excommunication from the Church"

Excommunication from this life more like it, if Leviticus is to be believed. Also 1 Timothy lumps concenting adults in with murderers and slave traders. Why are these passages ignored?

When asked the question regarding sacrafice of a child to learn a lesson Robert replied: "No--but undoubtedly there is always the exception to the rule."

Now to me this is at odds with your earlier post "I believe that nature itself teaches mankind..."

You believe it is acceptible for people to learn from Nature (where you list people whitnessing the demise of others in varying ways) that 'Nature' leaves clues for people, in other words, provides an education. From a christian perspective, God is the creator of the natural world, and hence is the professor of this class.

Do you still stand by your answer to my question?

I would like to see the passages you have in mind, but only if you can produce a reasoned argument for not accepting those passages that contradict the ones you have in mind.
 
seeker
Robert - I'm not sure I follow your logic. Are you suggesting that even though you acknowledge that people cannot control who they are attracted to that they should ignore their feelings if they find they are attracted to the wrong people? How does one do that without creating the sorts of problems that occur when people repress their feelings?
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Robert
Hi TE,

TE wrote: "Really? Leviticus 19:15 " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Funnily enough, that occurs right around the place where we get those other rules, that set number of things, you know, the ones we are all supposed to follow, the ones christians want americans to put up in public places, and on government properties...it will come to me eventually. Dont a few of those have some pretty heafty penalties too?
"

Leviticus was written specifically for the Israelites living thousands of years ago. It concerned judicial proceedings that would inevitably arise and how the people should respond and behave.

TE wrote: "I believe the line you would have in response to this is that attributed to Jesus - Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

Actually, that would not have been my first choice. Here is the Scripture I was thinking of: "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?" 1 Corinthians 5:12

TE wrote: "But what does this mean in the context of a saviour Christ who will return to judge all? Ahhh, you see you got it, it means we will all be judged, so there is no avoiding being judged, so it doesnt stand as a warning to not judge others."

Jesus will judge every last person. Any sort of eternal vengeance would be His alone--not yours or mine.

TE wrote: "Robert quips: "The penalty imposed on a practicing homosexual Christian is excommunication from the Church"

Excommunication from this life more like it, if Leviticus is to be believed."


Leviticus concerns the ancient Israelites, not Christians. If you can find the word Christian in Leviticus I promise I'll give you $10,000 immediately. Smile

TE wrote: "Also 1 Timothy lumps concenting adults in with murderers and slave traders. Why are these passages ignored?"

The New Testament never commands the murder of a homosexual. It simply states that God will judge them along with the rest of the world.

TE wrote: "When asked the question regarding sacrafice of a child to learn a lesson Robert replied: "No--but undoubtedly there is always the exception to the rule."

Now to me this is at odds with your earlier post "I believe that nature itself teaches mankind..."

You believe it is acceptible for people to learn from Nature (where you list people whitnessing the demise of others in varying ways) that 'Nature' leaves clues for people, in other words, provides an education. From a christian perspective, God is the creator of the natural world, and hence is the professor of this class.

Do you still stand by your answer to my question?
"

I think it is self-evident that we all learn from nature every day. Sure, we can even call God the "professor" of this class on nature. You seem to be asking whether or not it is acceptable for an omniscient and omnipotent deity to give or take away life. My answer is "yes."

*On a side note, it is acceptable for a Christian to judge criminal and civil cases via a governmental institution. The New Testament makes it clear that governments are set up by God to dispense his judgment.
 
Robert
Hi Seeker,

Seeker wrote: "Robert - I'm not sure I follow your logic. Are you suggesting that even though you acknowledge that people cannot control who they are attracted to that they should ignore their feelings if they find they are attracted to the wrong people?"

Yes.

Seeker wrote: "How does one do that without creating the sorts of problems that occur when people repress their feelings?"

With extreme difficulty, unfortunately. Shouldn't I repress my desire to rip the clothes off of every hot girl I see walking down the street? I'm not a big fan of rape, so I control my urges.

When I was a teenager, I was tortured by a couple of cops for throwing an egg--a small act of vandalism. I actually didn't want to throw the egg, but for some stupid reason I did so when urged by some friends. Anyway, when the police caught me I had my head slammed multiple times against a brick wall, the cement and the side of a car. I also had some of my hair pulled out, received a bloody nose, had my fingers stretched back to near the breaking point, the cuffs tightened to the extreme, arms punched and squeezed until they were a solid mass of black and blue--you get the picture.

Anyway, I actually daydreamed of ambushing the officers and killing them as an act of revenge. Fortunately, today I have forgiven them for what they did to me--I learned to repress the natural instinct for retaliation. I'm much happier leaving their fate in the hand of God versus seeking vengeance on my own. I hope that they receive justice, but I no longer feel ill will toward them.
 
Theory_Execution
Robert writes: "Leviticus was written specifically for the Israelites living thousands of years ago. It concerned judicial proceedings that would inevitably arise and how the people should respond and behave."

On what do you base this statement? It could be argued that the entirety of the words uttered by Jesus in the Bible were said for the benefit of those living with him, all those years ago. The true question is why any part of the Bible is offered as a good moral teacher today.

Robert wrote: "Jesus will judge every last person. Any sort of eternal vengeance would be His alone--not yours or mine."

But this does not rule out finite vengeance, reprisal in this life after judgement has been passed.

Robert writes: "Leviticus concerns the ancient Israelites, not Christians. If you can find the word Christian in Leviticus I promise I'll give you $10,000 immediately."

You push away these older books, yet the messiah status of Jesus is dependant upon him jumping through the hoops of the 'prophecies' of these older books. Of course 'Christian' will not appear here, as it does not in most of the new testament also, but you cannot ignore (without being wilfully ignorant) the fact that Christianity is dependant upon these older passages for context.

Robert writes: "On a side note, it is acceptable for a Christian to judge criminal and civil cases via a governmental institution. The New Testament makes it clear that governments are set up by God to dispense his judgment."

Now that is scary, I suppose the Final Solution along with any other government led slaughter falls under this umbrella too. It is for reasons like this outlined here that I and other atheists are disgusted by the religious.

And to the Nature point, I was not asking about giving and taking away life, the point was more geared towards the pain endured prior to the death. Now, if I were to assume that the god you described there existed, I would still answer no to whether it was acceptible, it is possible, but to me I see it as immoral.

I would compare it to parents having the right to kill their children or not.
 
Theory_Execution
Sorry, I just read the reply to Seeker there Robert. That sounds like a terrible thing to experience, the police being a legal force of government and all.

This line sent me cross eyed with confusion:"I hope that they receive justice, but I no longer feel ill will toward them.
"


Justice in the Bible, after judgement has been passed by the Rambo Jesus, involved torture for eternity. I would say that is ill will.
 
seeker
Robert wrote:
Hi Seeker,

Seeker wrote: "Robert - I'm not sure I follow your logic. Are you suggesting that even though you acknowledge that people cannot control who they are attracted to that they should ignore their feelings if they find they are attracted to the wrong people?"

Yes.

Seeker wrote: "How does one do that without creating the sorts of problems that occur when people repress their feelings?"

With extreme difficulty, unfortunately. Shouldn't I repress my desire to rip the clothes off of every hot girl I see walking down the street? I'm not a big fan of rape, so I control my urges.

When I was a teenager, I was tortured by a couple of cops for throwing an egg--a small act of vandalism. I actually didn't want to throw the egg, but for some stupid reason I did so when urged by some friends. Anyway, when the police caught me I had my head slammed multiple times against a brick wall, the cement and the side of a car. I also had some of my hair pulled out, received a bloody nose, had my fingers stretched back to near the breaking point, the cuffs tightened to the extreme, arms punched and squeezed until they were a solid mass of black and blue--you get the picture.

Anyway, I actually daydreamed of ambushing the officers and killing them as an act of revenge. Fortunately, today I have forgiven them for what they did to me--I learned to repress the natural instinct for retaliation. I'm much happier leaving their fate in the hand of God versus seeking vengeance on my own. I hope that they receive justice, but I no longer feel ill will toward them.


Robert - Genuinely sorry that happened to you. I had a similar experience quite a long time ago when I took a short cut through a very bad neighborhood in Sacramento. Unfortunately my shortcut took me right through a special operation being run by the Sacramento PD's anti gang unit. The shortcut I was taking happened to be a popular cruise spot for people looking for prostitutes, drugs etc and they decided that anyone driving through the area must be up to no good even though it also happened to be a major street. Never tell a member of Sacramento's anti gang unit that they are an abject idiot, they just don't take criticism well.

The thing is though that the anger those cops displayed is a good example of what happens with repressed feelings. The area in question in Sac was pretty much the part of town where almost everyone was either Black or Hispanic and poor. One thing the cops made very apparent was that they didn't like Blacks and Hispanics. They had taken this underlying dislike of ethnic groups and justified using it to directly attack the people they didn't like under the guise of breaking up gangs. We are seeing a similar kind of behavior in the Catholic Church where its obvious that some percentage of their priesthood obviously are struggling with their darker desires.

My point here is that just shoving things like that aside doesn't work. The problem with just ignoring desire is that it can become perversion, people need to be able to deal with things openly. Demonizing homosexuals only prevents them from even discussing issues.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
 
Robert
Hi TE,

I only have a little time today, but we can definitely discuss this topic in full during the days to come.

Let's talk about Leviticus and the O.T. first. As I wrote before, Leviticus was written approximately 1,000 years before Jesus walked the earth. It was largely meant to help the early Israelites with judicial proceedings and to instruct them in the Law. Is it relevant to Christians today? Yes--although it was never specifically written to us.

Jesus stated that he came to fulfill the law and prophets. This is absolutely true. The entire New Testament bears witness to this fact. For example, Jesus said the following:

"You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times [Old Testament times]: 'You shall not murder'... but I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment."

Do you see, TE, how Jesus gave flesh to the bare bones of the Law written in the Old Testament? Christians are not only forbidden to murder, they are not even allowed to hate a person in their heart. The original O.T. law was essentially brought to full maturity by Jesus. Christians would be sinning if they simply followed what was written in the Pentateuch.

Jesus next goes on to say that not only can't a man commit adultery as written in the O.T. Law, but he can't even look lustfully at a woman and thereby sin with his thoughts. The Old Testament law was essentially reshaped and made perfect.

The Law prescribed many sacrifices and rituals to atone for sin, but Jesus offered Himself as the final and perfect sacrifice and thereby obliterated the need for the priestly and ritual regulations in books such as Leviticus.

The Israelites built a physical Temple. The physical temple is no longer needed since the N.T. relates that Christians have now become God's Temple.

The Israelites were forbidden to work on the seventh day in order to rest. Christians have entered Christ's rest once and for all--Saturday is no longer special (chapter and verse available).

The list goes on and on.

Are Christians today commanded to put a sinner to death? No. Jesus stated:

"Love [not kill] your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."

Jesus healed sinners and forgave them on a regular basis. He didn't strike them all dead.

I'll write more tomorrow, TE. Thanks for the sentiments regarding the situation with the police.
 
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