Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sanctification

I have always wondered why Christian social conservatives have trouble with gay marriage. Most Christian social conservatives have no problem with domestic partnerships. So it can't be legal rights.

So I'm guessing here that since they are always going on about the sacredness of marriage it must be something else. Holy matrimony. And what are the words of the ceremony? "What God has joined together let no man put asunder." "What God has joined together." So the unions are considered unholy by God's laws. OK. That makes sense. At least in their eyes. But look at the contradiction. It is no longer God who decides. It is not even the Church. After all there are many things holy in one church or religion that are unholy in others and yet those things do not seem to matter in a pluralistic America. For instance communion wafers if blessed by the Catholic Church are holy in that church and in other churches they are just crackers. There is no outcry about that. So I'm trying to see what it is. It can't be the sanctification by the Church or a church.

What seems to be the problem is the not the authority of the Church. The problem is the authority of the State to confer the status of marriage. So churches are no longer the arbiter between God and man. The state is the arbiter. So let me ask my Christian social conservative friends. Isn't making the state the arbiter between God and man a Christian heresy?

Which leads me to believe that it all went wrong with the Emperor Constantine who joined Christianity with the power of the State. It has been 1,700 years and despite that passage of time Christians still have not recovered. Jefferson with his "wall of separation" is derided by most Christian social conservatives. And yet in a way not recognized he was attempting to return Christians to their roots. And their roots were definitely not in the power of the state. In fact the state was originally considered the source of much wickedness. But now the State is considered the source of holiness. Well people can believe what they want to believe. I consider it passing strange though. Secular authorities confer holiness. That would make the State a religion. Well the worship of temporal power has always had quite a following. The The Egyptians had their god king or pharaoh. The later Romans were big on that sort of thing. The Middle Ages in Europe had it in a somewhat attenuated form. The Divine Right of Kings. So there is considerable historical precedent. Why not America? Why not the Church of America which confers holiness on a given marriage? Even stranger is that America has just elected The One. Well his divinity is tethered by a rather fragile thread. He will be Holy and Righteous only so long as he does what his followers want him to do. A complete inversion of what Modern religions believe. You are supposed to get holy by following religion not by religion following you. Some one is in for a rude awakening. Either That One or his followers.

The State is my shepherd. I shall not want. The cry of Socialists from the days of Karl Marx. "A Republic if you can keep it." Of course the State as a religion was the downfall of the Roman Republic. So it looks like we can't keep it. After a 1,700 year fight get get back to republican government it took only another 200 years or so to lose it. And why is that? Because the State as a religion is always tugging at humans. They like it. They have liked it for as long as there have been States. Well most of them like it. Me? Not so much. The Emperor is naked. He is also stark raving mad. But don't tell him that. It upsets the Emperor and enrages his followers.

So now maybe some of you can get a glimmer of why I have an antipathy to the State as arbiter of economics or culture. Those are both faces of the State as religion. Worship the one true god or face punishment. And with the state having the guns the punishment need not wait until the hereafter. Of course it is no longer a matter of the State just punishing the wicked which is probably a lawful job. Now a days the State can punish the merely sinful. That will keep folks on the straight and narrow. Or else cause a rebellion. Depending.

It is rather obvious that humans are more than passing strange. Interesting to watch though. Very interesting.

Naturally, not being well versed in Christian doctrine I'm sure my social conservative friends will show me the error of my ways. Have at it guys.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

57 comments:

Edgar said...

At the risk of being accused of "preaching" to you, it's important that you understand where resistance to homosexuality comes from within the Christian community.

Simply put: God said homosexuality is wrong, and for a majority of Christians the matter is settled.

Homosexuality, and by extension, gay marriage, is an abomination in the eyes of God according to His holy Word. The institution of marriage was established by God, and is between one man and one woman. Marriage IS sacred.

Born-again, evangelical, traditional, conservative Christians (or whatever label you wish to apply) view gay marriage as an assault on the institution of marriage, and see it as a direct contradiction to the commandments God gave us relating to it.

There are numerous passages, in both the Old and New Testaments, explicitly forbidding the practice of homosexuality, but here are a few:


Leviticus 18:22

[22] You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.


Romans 1:25-28

[25] For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

[26] For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, [27] and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

[28] And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper


1 Corinthians 6:9-10

[9] Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals , nor sodomites, [10] nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.


To stand idly by, while homosexuality is passed off as "acceptable", and to do say otherwise is "intolerant" or "bigoted", or to watch gay marriage institutionalized in our government (at either Federal, State, and Local levels) would be nothing less than blanket acceptance of the practice of homosexuality.

The majority of Christians do not (and will not) tolerate this. It is our duty to oppose these measures. Our desire is to encourage people to choose the holy institution of marriage as God directed us to do, but no one is forcing you to do anything. Again, we don't want to see homosexuality institutionalized.

Make no mistake, we DO NOT hate gays or lesbians. We hate the sin and deception that has entrapped them. We pray for their health, safety, and spiritual well being.

If people don't like that message, oh well...too bad. There are ALOT of other things in this life that are worse. Quite literally, take the matter up with Him. Search the Scriptures, and see for yourself what God says about the matter.

You are right when you said: It is NOT God's responsibility to get in line with little man. It is our responsibility to get in line with Him.

To quote President Reagan:

"Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged."

"Without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure."

RavingDave said...

Ooohhh... too much stuff to address. I guess i'll begin with Jefferson. He was ambasador to France when the Constitution and bill of rights was written and ratified. He didn't have any input on it. Apart from that, his "Wall of Separation" quote was meant to reassure various denominations that the constitution protects them from the government, not the other way around.


On the Homosexual marriage thing, people are taught that homosexuality by itself is immoral and just another manifestation of evil debauchery (like child sacrifice, or Baal worship) and therefore stands on it's own merits as being wrong.

( I remeber reading somwhere in the old testamant that God pretty much wiped them out every time they became prevelant. You may be familiar with what almost happened to the tribe of Benjamin)

Couple that with the high status that the concept of marriage has within a lot of religions and the combination provokes (among some) the same kind of outrage as Koran's made of (some nameless unlcean animal) would to Muslims.

In other words, it's a very extreme insult to some. Add into the mix the Heterosexual males natural animosity to Homosexuality and we pretty much end up where we are at now.

The only reason there is the degree of tolerance that currently exists towards homosexuals is the last 50 years of "tolerance" brainwashing, and the tactic of equating homosexuality to the oppression of blacks and the civil rights movement.

They are not equivilant (just ask most black people) but asserting they are lends enough confusion that some people give it the benefit of the doubt.

The wonder "I" have is that people "Wonder" why SoCons have trouble with it.


For what it's worth, I think I read Elton John saying the other day that "Marriage" is the domain of the Church and has been for many hundreds of years, and that it is only a relatively recent phenomenom that the "State" would "Bless" the Church service with it's "approval" by issuing a license.

He said that a "Civil Union" is just as good as a marriage legally, but doesn't force the state into the province of the church.

Now of course you and I both know that the SoCons started this by refusing to change their deeply held beliefs to what the state says is the latest "Acceptable" morality.

Them Damn SoCon's. I just wish they would mind their own buisness!


:)

David

RavingDave said...

Hey Edgar. I think humor works better. Even if it doesn't, it's a lot more fun !!


Also Short works better. (don't listen to me. I don't even take my OWN advice in this regard)

:)

David

M. Simon said...

Well Sure. I have to get in line with God. And my God says it is wrong to go after homosexuals and deny them equal rights.

But hey. Keep preaching. The choir is dwindling and the collection plate receipts are declining and the mortgage company is making noises about foreclosing on your church.

Better a dead Republican Party than give an inch on cultural issues.

The Party Of The One True Faith™ is a wasting asset. When your major assets are all gone (electoral victory) the remaining assets will be sold off for what ever they will bring.

Reminds me of Rick Wagoner of GM. "We aren't changing anything".

OK. The R party will be gone in a few years and maybe one that can win elections will arise in its place.

But I have a great idea for you: God Says Death To Homos Party™. It sounds like a real vote getter to me. Alan Keyes would be great as your Presidential candidate. I hear he is a real vote magnet. And he wouldn't trim his totally moral positions for anything. A man with a spine. He kicked his own gay daughter out of his family. I think you can trust him.

Edgar said...

Simon, you say:

"And my God says it is wrong to go after homosexuals and deny them equal rights."

and...

"But I have a great idea for you: God Says Death To Homos Party™. It sounds like a real vote getter to me."

After reading this, you completely miss the point of my post. So, I'll say it as simply as I can...AGAIN.

Yes, social conservatives want economic prosperity, as much as you do. We want limited government, low taxation, a strong military, etc., but aren't about to compromise our moral principles for thirty pieces of silver.

...and we don't call for the death of homosexuals as you suggest.

Edgar said...

President Reagan was truly the "Great Communicator".

He knew how to form a powerful political coalition, and it worked well for almost 30 years. The things you're saying are not helpful in the least, but as I've said, keep grinding that axe.

RavingDave said...

Well, I don't consider what the SoCons are doing to be "Going after them" or denying them equal rights. But setting that aside,

what does your faith say about homosexuality ?

I am not terribly well versed on religion because it's normally a subject I avoid like the plauge, but my understanding is that Judaism shares the Old Testament with Christianity, and from what I remeber about reading the old testament, it is none too tolerant of Homosexuality.


Am I wrong about this ?


David

Edgar said...

David,

Yes. Christians and Jews share the Old Testament scriptures, and the Leviticus 18:22 quote (earlier) is right out of the Old Testament.

Christians do NOT consider the statutes given in the Old Testament as being invalidated, but rather being completely fulfilled with the arrival of the promised (in the Old Testament) Messiah, Jesus Christ, on earth some 2000 years ago.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:17

[17] "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

...and again in Luke 24:44

[44] He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

Other than Messianic Jews, I don't think Jews acknowledge Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah, and perhaps little more than a good man, teacher, or prophet.

RavingDave said...

I really don't think it is reasonable to use New Testament references to argue the tenets of Judaism. You might as well be qouting the Koran or the Viking eddas.

I did notice your leviticus quote and that seems to be appropriate, but I noticed that no one ever seems to mention Sodam and Gmorah as well as what happened to the Benjamites.

All of that stuff is from the old testament.

Now my understanding (not having studied this very well ) is that there may be more to Jewish religious texts than just the Old Testament, and therefore there may be other admonitions concerning this subject of which I am not aware. If so, it would explain a great deal.

Also there may be variations in the texts, as there are in the different archeological records of various Christian religious texts.

I understand the Catholics and the Greek and Russian orthodox churches have books that aren't even in most protestant bibles.


In any case, we are all brought up being told certain things are true by honest and reliable people and so we come to believe them whether they be true or not.

The fact that this same circumstance happens to many people of differing faiths or no faith at all causes us no great worry. We all simply assume those other people are wrong and go about our merry way.

This works fine until you have to deal with people who see things differently, then your best bet is to reference Benjamin Disraeli and assert "intelligent men never say."

There are merits to M.Simon's arguments, but it is difficult to present them to people who have no understanding of why they are important.



David

kurt9 said...

I believe the first poster, Edger, is representative of the social conservative position on marriage. He is saying that marriage is a religious contract rather than a state-based contract.

Would not the appropriate option be to simply get the state out of the "marriage" business? The states can define something like domestic partnerships. The definition of marriage would then be privatized and left to the various religious and other organizations to define for themselves.

This strikes me as the win-win solution to this issue. Everyone gets what they want.

Edgar said...

David,

I see your point, and don't expect most Jewish believers to adhere to Christian doctrine found in the New Testament...unless, of course, they're Messianic in their belief.

I only mention those passages in the books of Matthew and Luke to emphasize the continuity of the Judeo-Christian ethic. That is to say that Jesus Christ fully embraced his "Jewishness" with those quotes.

As for the canon of scripture being slightly different among the Catholic, Protestant, and Russian or Greek Orthodox faiths, yes, there are apocryphal books in the Catholic text NOT found in the Protestant text. I'm uncertain about the Russian or Greek Orthodox denominations. I would have to do some investigation.

At the same time, an examination of those apocryphal texts reveals that they do not invalidate the larger body of work shared among Catholic, Russian or Greek Orthodox, and Protestant Christian faiths - the commonality of the 66 books.

kelly said...

At first, while reading the previous posts here, I wanted to shout, "why are we even discussing religion, when this is a legal issue?" But after all, the issue posed was, "... why Christian social conservatives have trouble with gay marriage." Most of the discussion that followed had to do with whether the Bible proscribes homosexuality.

But that, too, is moot, since a person should govern himself with his religion, not others. Yet we often see this press to govern others with religion that is not theirs. And now we have ourselves a good question: "Why are many religious people so pressed to hammer their religious tenets into everyone's secular law?" In other words, what are they afraid of?

The answer, I propose, is related to this quote from RavingDave: "In any case, we are all brought up being told certain things are true by honest and reliable people and so we come to believe them whether they be true or not." This is called indoctrination. But what's necessary for indoctrination to occur is that a critical percentage of the surrounding society collude on whatever the indoctrinee is being told, or that there be enough of a threat perceived by the indoctrinee if he not go along with the teaching.

The Christian Social Conservatives ultimately fear that if the structure that allows them to believe that water can be turned into wine, that snakes can talk, that a virgin can have a baby, etc., is broken down by a greater number of people believing otherwise, they will have to mourn the beliefs they have held their whole lives, they won't be able to indoctrinate their children to those beliefs, and the fear of the unknown that comes after that exceeds the desire to be reasonable (and that fear is hard-wired in by stories such as Noah's Arc, and Sodom and Gomorrah, where everyone dies due to sin, whether they sinned or not.....a childish but effective device). That is the answer to the question.

kelly said...

Addendum: Thomas Jefferson may have said it best, when he said: “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.” - Thomas Jefferson

Edgar said...

Kelly,

Your suggestion centers on a perceived fear of loss involved for Christian Social Conservatives, and wrongly equates "calm despotism" (another derogatory term) with the "timidity" of social conservatives.

That's not quite accurate.

From everything I've read (and written) on this blog, there is nothing despotic or timid about stating, point blank, the beliefs held by this group.

If anything social conservatives, have embraced the so-called "tempestuous sea of liberty" and the competing ideas that go along with it.

The values which I (and others) hold sacred are worth fighting for, and America hasn't done as poorly as secularists would have us believe.

Most things social conservatives advocate, such as low-taxation, limited government, strong defense, pro-Life, the nuclear family, etc. are all good things, and have been a part of the fabric of American society for a very long time.

The perceived "intolerance" by Social Conservatives, espoused by Simon, simply isn't true, and I said as much in the very first post.

More accurately, it is a direct matter-of-fact statement of our beliefs that offends people - much as the suggestion that social conservatives are bigots, or that gay marriage is "normal".

If anyone does not wish to believe as I do, so be it, but don't go about pronouncing bigotry.

This comes across as nothing more than an blatant attempt to stifle (and silence) religious and political debate - something social conservatives are accused of doing. Ironic, huh?

Edgar said...

To quote Michael Novak, on the subject of gay marriage:

"There exists a social project to tear off the flesh of Judaism and Christianity from the bones of the common law.

'Separation of church and state' is the flag around which the project's standard-bearers rally. But in reality, that battle was won long ago.

It was won when the United States prevented the Church of England—and any other church—from becoming the established American church.

What is really being asked for now is not the separation of church from state but of faith from practice.
"



Likewise, Jeff Jacoby of The Boston Globe wrote,

"The adoption of same-sex marriage would topple a long-standing system of shared values. It would change assumptions and expectations by which society has long operated—that men and women are not interchangeable, for example, and that the central reason for marriage is to provide children with mothers and fathers in a safe and loving environment...

My foreboding is that a generation after same-sex marriage is legalized, families will be even less stable than they are today, the divorce rate will be even higher and children will be even less safe. To express such a dire warning is to be labeled an alarmist, a reactionary, a bigot and worse.

But it is not bigotry to try to learn from history, or to point out that some institutions have stood the test of time because they are the only ones that can stand the test of time."

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

I'm sorry, Edgar, you're missing something important here. That is, liberty means I am free from your religion. At the very beginning of your earlier post you wrote, "At the risk of being accused of "preaching" to you, it's important that you understand where resistance to homosexuality comes from within the Christian community.//Simply put: God said homosexuality is wrong, and for a majority of Christians the matter is settled."

You are saying that your very tenet of depriving me of a privelege you have is your religion. If you cannot bravely support American principles (liberty and the pursuit of happiness) for all, whether they be amongst your social/religious group or not, then you are timid http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/timid. If you espouse taking away others' priveleges so that you can be comfortable, you are a despot http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/despot.

Religious and political debate are one thing. Imposing your religion and politics on someone else is another.

Edgar said...

Kelly,

You say:

"If you cannot bravely support American principles (liberty and the pursuit of happiness) for all, whether they be amongst your social/religious group or not, then you are timid."

That might be true if timidity were soley based on a blanket acceptance of every human act.

Your definition assumes that all behavior is acceptable, and it is not. It also assumes that there is a moral equivalency, in this case, between heterosexuality and homosexuality, and there isn't one.

American principles have their foundation in a Judeo-Christian ethic of which I (and others) are trying to protect. The matter of homosexuality was certainly frowned upon and never considered within the framework of "liberty and pursuit of happiness" by the founding fathers as you suggest.

Secondly, marriage is not a secular institution, and it never has been. For many Christians (or Jews, Muslims, etc.), willfully redefining marriage would redefine our relationship with God.

Quoting Michael Novak again,

"Marriage was not invented by modern secular philosophy. Marriage was not invented by contemporary science. It certainly was not invented by four Supreme Court justices in Massachusetts. Although the 50 American states regulate the legal standing of marriages, in most cases marriages are presided over by church authorities, not state authorities.

Moreover, the understanding of what marriage constitutes is largely outside the state's purview. It is left for the most part to the contracting parties and to the presiding churches. Even in its barest legal minimum, matrimony is deeply influenced by the long traditions of Judaism and Christianity."


So, marriage is a cultural institution, and homosexuals seeking to redefine it want something more than a contractual agreement. They want the amenities of matrimony.

Yet already, there are many secular contractual privileges available today without state-sponsored marriage.

In short, the homosexual community want cultural and religious inclusion forced upon social conservatives by the state, and that is not acceptable in consideration of the scriptures quoted earlier.

Yes. This is an ideological or cultural war tearing at the very fabric of our nation.

John_David_Galt said...

The real problem they have with gay marriage is that it means they (not Christians per se, but "Christianists") no longer have the exclusive power to define what is "normal".

Let's keep it that way. Even if it means regarding some governments as occupying, hostile forces rather than representatives of us.

kelly said...

Edgar, you make many conclusions without the premises to back them up. You require Christianity to make your argument, but fail to recognize that not everyone is a Christian, therefore you are imposing your religion on others. How can that not be clear to you?

Let me answer my own question: You are capable of the mind twisting that it requires to believe in talking snakes, virgin births, transsubstantiation, and bushes burning without being consumed. A reasonable discussion here would require intellectual honesty,which you fail to adhere to. This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say that your subconscious is more afraid of disassembling your indoctrination, than it is of blinding you to the simple principle of equal treatment under the law, and protection of minorities from majority oppression. So it does the latter.

Still, you say: " Secondly, marriage is not a secular institution, and it never has been. For many Christians (or Jews, Muslims, etc.), willfully redefining marriage would redefine our relationship with God." Two points:

1)If it is not a secular institution and never has been, then fine, take government out of it altogether. I'm good with that. What I'm not good with is having it for some, but not others.

2)If, for you, marriage doesn't include marrying someone of the same sex, then don't. Your trying to control me with your religion is despotic.

When you're ready to admit that virgins can't have babies, that water cannot be turned into wine without other ingredients, that snakes cannot talk (even though the ancient Egyptians and other semitic people believed they could), that epilepsy is not caused by demonic possession, that the world is not the center of the universe, then we can talk further. Otherwise, you are merely trying to bend things to your unsubstantiated view, and I have no influence over that, just as reason has no power over it.

Tom Cuddihy said...

Simon, I do think you've hit on an interesting point here. For several months now libertarians of all social stripes have been talking half-tongue-in-cheek about "going John Galt," due to the coming onslaught of economic socialism and fascism that started around mid-September.

The Anchoress (Elizabeth Scalia) makes many of the same points you do here in a recent article, http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/christians-and-gays-behaving-badly/

So why can't we Christians just "Go John Galt" with regard to social issues like Ms. Scalia suggests?

Maybe instead of trying to hold on to the fading and tattered framework that remains of a Christian social order, we should take our ceremonies and moral certitudes and just let the whole rotten mess collapse under its own weight right?

Unfortunately, just as John Galt couldn't really hide from the IRS even if he wanted to, it's already clear that we're not going to be allowed to follow the dictates of our own conscious with regard to ourselves and our children.

In California, they've already tried to outlaw homeschooling.

In New Mexico, my first year resident doctor sister (pediatrician in training) was threatened that unless she signed a "solidarity" statement saying that she would not refuse to perform an abortion if asked, she may not receive a favorable performance rating.

She refused, but the sword is hanging over her head now. And she has almost $350 grand in loans. We can see what's coming. simon. Excuse us if we don't leap up and embrace the New Cultural Revolution

M. Simon said...

In California, they've already tried to outlaw homeschooling.

In New Mexico, my first year resident doctor sister (pediatrician in training) was threatened that unless she signed a "solidarity" statement saying that she would not refuse to perform an abortion if asked, she may not receive a favorable performance rating.


Tom,

That is why Christian social conservatives need to embrace "Leave Us Alone" now more than ever.

Your only defense (where you will gain allies) is not trying to preserve the Christian social order. It is to say: follow the core values of America. Liberty.

Edgar would be gaining allies among gays if he said: they should be left alone. Instead he quotes some Torah which he has absolutely no understanding of (from the Jewish point of view) - I can't say anything about his new Testament quotes not being well versed in all aspects of Christianity.

Now I always thought that for Christianity that "Judge not lest ye be judged" was a core value. Well dude Christians of Edgar's stripe are being judged. And in the court of public opinion they are losing the judgment.

As to your fear of an unfriendly culture - Jews and Christians have always done well in unfriendly cultures. What you want to do is to avoid hostile cultures. Retreat to your families and Churches and say "Leave Us Alone". I think you would find a lot of what you think are your enemies standing up for you.

Edgar's "my way or the highway" attitude is worth only one response: OK dude the highway it is then.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it. Thomas Jefferson

Take it to heart.

Let us look at the home schooling issue. Public schools were pushed in America as a system to indoctrinate newly arrived Catholics and Jews in "American" culture. Social conservative were a strong force in that movement. Now the indoctrination centers have taken over and they are being run by some folks rather unfriendly to your values. Payback is a bitch. And the move to end home schooling has a simple motivation the state pays for every kid in public schools. You want a socialists system (government pays) you get government results (government rules).

To get freedom of conscience for your values in America you have to support freedom of conscience for other folk's values. Values that work will be obvious over time.

Almost everything Christian social conservatives complain of are a result of enforcing your values by law. Mohamed was an enforcer. Jesus was an enticer. Take it to heart.

Sarah Palin has won many over to her views on abortion by example. She has been more effective in the culture than the Christian enforcers.

Donalbain said...

One thing that bugs me is the hypocrisy of the Christian Conservatives. They are happy to say "God says gays shouldn't marry", but when Jesus says that divorcees should not be allowed to marry, you dont see a massive campaign to make THAT illegal. Similarly, the number one, big, most important law that their god came up with was "Don't worship other gods!" but yet they are (overwhelmingly) happy to accept the idea that liberty is better than imposing the law of their God on non believers.

To me, this all suggests that the religious aspect of their opposition is not the cause but merely the symptom. They think gayness is icky in a way that divorce or being a Hindu is not icky and so they are happy to look through their book to find the passages necessary to defend their opposition to gay marriage while allowing divorce and Hinduism to go unopposed.

bobby said...

A religious adherent cannot and will not debate the correctness or fairness or utility of Received Truth. Thus, there is no point in denigrating such Truth as a means of persuasion, unless you're just looking for the ego-boost of approving chuckles from those already thinking as you think.

The root problem is that the United States is a country that was founded on two principles that don't play well together: that each person has pre-existing natural rights with which which The State may not interfere, and that there exists some natural moral law to which everyone is subject.

Problem is, the source of that natural moral law was presumed, by the founding types, to be their gawd, and that presumption continues with their religious inheritors.

So, what to do when that "natural moral law" works, in the eyes of some, to violate the "pre-existing natural rights" upon which our state is premised?

(Normally, in a blog comment, there'd be a conclusion, answer, or suggestion in this spot. But, c'mon, this is about the intersection of religion and rationality. Get real.)

tomcpp said...

How about this for a reason ? Marriage is something that can only exist between a man and a woman. It cannot exist between men nor can it exist between women.

That of course depends on your definition of marriage. If that is "state-approved sex", well then yes you can have gay and lesbian marriages. But it becomes merely a "pleasure union". Nothing more. This is not a christian marriage at all.

If your definition of marriage is "creating a loving family together", then gays and lesbians cannot have it, no matter any laws about it. They can only have pleasure unions. Whoring contracts are all those "state marriages" will ever be. They will never have their own children. It will never be natural. And doing it artificially will never create the same bond a real union creates.

And the state does not have the first iota of a clue how to change that.

So what does no gay marriage do, in reality ? It makes marriage something better. Something reserved for an actual, warm, complete family.

And what does allowing gay marriage do ? It reduces real marriage to the status of a pleasure union. Nothing more than a paid visit to a prostitute, merely an illpaid longterm whore. Nothing more.

But I agree with Simon here : the church should simply stop accepting the authority of the state to do any marriages, and cease accepting people married in city hall as actually married. And any christian should do likewise. Anyone who cannot prove to be married in a church, simply isn't married, and cannot claim any special treatment or access or information due to that city hall status. The state should get the fuck out of family life.

State marriage would be a scornful word, like it should be. It's not real marriage. A state marriage is nothing more than a guy hiring a motel room for his latest drunk conquest in a night club. Meaningless, empty and a source of pain. Destructive. A woman in such a state-marriage is but a whore. A man in such a state-marriage is but her customer.

Such state-marriage-whoring-contracts cannot stand, cannot create a family, and therefore should be treated as such.

Donalbain said...

If your definition of marriage is "creating a loving family together", then gays and lesbians cannot have it, no matter any laws about it.

That would be a surprise to the many families that already exist that contain a gay partnership.

It will never be natural. And doing it artificially will never create the same bond a real union creates.

Wow! Now you claim to know the depth of the bond between children and parents when the child is concieved using artificial means. At least you aren't being arrogant.

A woman in such a state-marriage is but a whore. A man in such a state-marriage is but her customer.

Something tells me you would not DARE to say that to a married couple who married outside of a church in real life. You are just another case of someone who uses the internet to give himself the bravery he lacks in real life.

M. Simon said...

Donalbain says,

Something tells me you would not DARE to say that to a married couple who married outside of a church in real life. You are just another case of someone who uses the internet to give himself the bravery he lacks in real life.

He just did.

My wife and I got married by a judge because we couldn't afford a wedding by the religion of our choice.

Tom,

My mate is not going to be very happy with you calling her names. You are not a very nice person.

But keep spewing here. You make your political party more attractive by the minute. In fact I'm going to fix the problem. Before the next election I'm going to register with the fastest growing party in America. The "Independent" Party. Your Party will get a little bit purer and a little bit smaller. I've had it with the Christian party. No surprise there. I'm Jewish. And my mate? Christian by birth, Jewish by choice.

And I'm going to do everything in my power to see your party keeps shrinking.

Donalbain said...

No, I meant he would not say it in real life. He is happy to hide behind internet anonymity and call your wife names, but would not dare to do it with you standing in front of him.

kelly said...

Bobby said "A religious adherent cannot and will not debate the correctness or fairness or utility of Received Truth."

Quite my point, bobby. If he/she will not debate the fairness or utility of what you call the "Received Truth" but basis his/her arguments on it anyway, the rest is futile. That's why this point should be established first and foremost. It would save us all a lot of time and energy.

Papa Ray said...

This turned out well...didn't it?

This micro-discussion is but a shadow of the national discussion and the farce in Califoricate.

I suspect that this will only be solved state by state and then the equation won't be pretty or please many.

Religion and this Republic are defined by our Founders. As much as we may want to change that, we never will. We can have our amendments or even federal laws and it will change not one thing until our generations have been educated and brainwashed by our re-writing of history and of our government, just as the last forty years of higher education has attempted to do.

For us poor folk who cling to religion and our guns, all of the words here, the discussions nationwide and the stupid, despicable actions of gays in the last few days only make us stronger in our belief that marriage is between a man and a woman and that this Republic is going to hell.

It also makes us stock up on ammo and food, worrying that we will have to do what we were warned about.

We don't want it to come to that, but be aware that if it does, there are millions of Americans who will do whatever they think needs to be done.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

Donalbain said...

Papa:
Perhaps you could answer my implied question. Why is there a campaign to prevent gays from marrying, but no similar campaign to prevent divorcees from marrying?

M. Simon said...

Us libertarian types cling to our guns too.

Religion? Well there are a lot of them. Is it still a free choice?

But I got to applaud who ever decided to amp up the culture war to divide the Republican Party.

Give it a rest. Focus on economics. It would help if we had some candidates who are economically literate who were not tied to some religious faction or other.

I like the way Palin handled it in Alaska before getting the VP nod. Nary a mention of cultural issues.

I ♥ Sarah'cudda

I think there is a future for a "Leave Us Alone" Party in America.

If the Republicans actually acted on their economic "principles" this fracturing of the party might not have occurred.

Social conservatives have led us from disaster to disaster: public schools as indoctrination centers (that one kind of got away from you eh?), alcohol prohibition, and that other remnant from the prohibition era - drug prohibition.

And the abortion measure on the South Dakota ballot? A failure. In friggin South Dakota.

Fortunately you still have the war with gays as a winning issue. For a while. Thank the Maker them Mormons put some real money into that effort eh?

Don Meaker said...

So, what happens if a couple come to a church and ask to be married, but are denied?

Have they had their rights infringed? Is the church liable? If after being married else where, they desire to be treated as married by a health/life insurance company which affords low rates to heterosexual married, but higher rates to single because of their history of higher claims?

If they are denied adoption of a cute 12 year old of the same sex as the same sex couple, has the adoption agency illegally discriminated? Is the adoption agency liable? If a single (straight) male wanted to adopt a 15 year old female, should that be allowed? If a child is molested, is the adoption agency liable?

M. Simon said...

Good point Don. Doesn't that argue for taking the government out of the marriage business?

=====

I'm going to assume you are a Christian Don so I'm going to put it to you simply:

The government IS the Devil. Not metaphorically. Really.

Everything you get from government will have a price much larger than the value of the object gained. Some times the price will not be extracted from you. Sometimes it will be from your children, your grand children, or ten generations hence. But the full price the government wants will be extracted at compound interest.

We are still paying the price of trying to be a free people while holding slaves. My great great grand parents lived on another continent when all that went on. And yet the price is being extracted from me.

What I'm trying to teach you is that the only way out is Liberty. You put the government in charge of other people's children for their own good and some day the government will come after yours. Either intervene in a bad situation personally or leave it alone. There is no other way to save your liberty.

Fritz said...

tomcpp...

Wow, there's a lot of anger there. But there also are some statements that should be testable...

For example, the statement that two men or two women cannot create a loving family together. This is testable. If you are shown two men or two women who create a loving family, will you agree that you are wrong?

You also state that since two men or two women cannot create a child "naturally" the bond cannot work. What about adopted children? Can they not bond with their new parent(s)? Two friends of mine are getting married, and one of them has two children she is bringing to the marriage. Her beau seems to be bonding to the children quite well.

I think you could use a bit of a horizon expansion.

tomcpp said...

@Fritz

To be honest, no for me that would not be enough. Since the rights of kids, not of people who want to marry is what needs to be defended here.

What would be enough to convince me is that you show beyond reasonable doubt that the intentions of homosexual couples are by and large honorable, and not devaluing marriage (that means ALL homosexuals who would marry if allowed, not just the few who do). That their fidelity to eachother, and the bond between them at the very least matches up to what exists between married couples. That, over a long period of time (at least 20-30 years) there are consistently less pleasure unions, less divorces between homosexual couples than there are between (really) married heterosexual couples.

That any children in such a union will truly have the same chances real children have.

@Simon

If we don't agree, then we don't agree. What really matters to me between you & your wife is not the stupid ceremony, nor the actual service. What matters is simply : did you, yes or no (and with no qualifications), promise your wife (and obviously vice-versa) that you marry her, that you will love and cherish her NO MATTER WHAT, no matter how bad your situation becomes until death ?

That act, which obviously lasts until death, is marriage (to me). Not the stupid ceremony, not the family issues, not the party, not the children. Unconditional love & support to your wife and children, forever.

Sorry if that wasn't clear.

And "religion of choice" ? Please. If people actually adhered to their religions there wouldn't be any doubt ... let's see :

Are you Jewish ? Do tell, do you accept mitzvot 355 ? Do you or do you not respect God's commandments ? This is what God orders you to do, so go and do it, or stop claiming you're Jewish.

Are you Hindu ? Do you, yes or no, support krishna's caste system. Do you support killing dalits for desiring a brahmin ? There are thousands of indians watching porn of western women ... you can look up what krishna's orders are in that case ... go kill them or stop claiming your Hindu.

Are you Shinto ? There are millions of Japanese and a billion Chinese not respecting the honor laws of Shinto. And once they're dead there's always the inferior races (the worst of it is that this "inferior races" crap is exactly the thing that's gaining adherents in Japan).

And do we really need to include the worst of religions in this list ?

Just so everybody knows : I don't expect these religions to die and stop existing. I expect them to change, remove the genocidal crap, making it final history. Add to whatever holy book that needs adding to that there is a better way. But saying "we haven't done that in 50 years now" is not good enough, sorry.

Equality, freedom of choice, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech cannot seriously be optional features that are looked upon as mere temporary fads by the clergy (or "intellectuals" in the case of atheists, who are exactly the same thing, except they don't even pretend to have any morals).

M. Simon said...

tom,

Now we are getting some where. My mate and I have been together for 34 years now. Married for 26 of those. However, we were always married from the time we first started going out together. She has been "troubled" (I will not go into details) rather severely almost the whole time. I have had to live away from her from time to time. I have thought of leaving her more than once but the Maker always brought me back to her. I have totally given in to his will. Other men of my generation would have given up. Fortunately I am made of slightly stronger stuff. I love her dearly and we have 4 outstanding children. Although one voted for Obama. He is forgiven. I take it as he needs the lesson. As do a lot of Americans.

Jews are in a peculiar situation when it comes to religion. You can be an atheist and be a Jew. Maimonides (1200s I believe) is a rather famous Jewish scholar still studied by Jews and yet he was of a rather atheist bent.

As I have been trying to explain here. Most people of other faiths have no idea about the oral law tradition which governs Jews. The Torah is not the last word. Jesus was in that tradition so when he says the law must be obeyed I would assume he meant the whole body of the law not just an explicit reading of the Torah. I think the earliest sections of the Christian scriptures must be understood that way. You can't just look at the words and say - I know what they mean. You also have to look at the culture they come out of.

Which is why I say that for Christians to understand their own religion they MUST study Jewish sources. After all for a long time Christians were a Jewish sect before they became a distinct religion.

In fact I have come into contact with people of a Christian sect (sorry I can't remember the name) who celebrated Passover and were mildly conversant with Jewish oral law. IMO true Christians. But you know that could be bias.

In addition according to Jewish law you can be Jewish and follow some, all, or none of the "official" requirements. You have choice. And this was taught to me by an orthodox rabbi who was one of the great legal scholars of the time. Licensed to practice in the Chicago Bet Din.

I studied the "whose ox was gored" section of the Talmud under him. Now given a certain body of facts the Talmud delineates that one rabbi was of this opinion another was of that opinion but most saw it this way. Just as in American common law there is a central tendency with variations around the edges. Sometimes very wide variations.

And like Protestants Jews are big on sects and different interpretations. In reality Catholicism is not monolithic. No matter what the Pope says. If you live in a big city you have the choice of church depending on how a given priest ministers. Father Pfleger? Yuck.

==

Now getting back to my point. Government IS the devil. Social conservatives of a different era got government into the marriage business to prevent race mixing. You are now paying the price for their error.

The only answer that is equitable to all is to get government out of marriage: the libertarian solution. You really do not want government protecting your culture. Because some day in a way you can't imagine the protections sought will be used against your culture.

As I have been harping on since the election. The libertarian view (small limited government) is your best protection. You are now coming against Cultural Socialism. It is just as bad, maybe worse, than Economic Socialism. The answer is not more law to fix the law that created the mess. It is less law.

Government out of marriage.

Simon

Fritz said...

tom...

You changed parameters on me. First you said that same-sex couples couldn't make a loving family. Now you say that evidence that they can isn't enough. That sounds to me like an admission that your assertion was incorrect.

Now you say that the rights of children are most important. But then you give as your criterion that rates of sexual fidelity must be shown to be better (not even the same as) than that of opposite-sex couples. If the children are really your concern, then wouldn't it make more sense to show that the rate of beating the crap out of kids is the same or lower?

Donalbain said...

If we don't agree, then we don't agree. What really matters to me between you & your wife is not the stupid ceremony, nor the actual service. What matters is simply : did you, yes or no (and with no qualifications), promise your wife (and obviously vice-versa) that you marry her, that you will love and cherish her NO MATTER WHAT, no matter how bad your situation becomes until death ?

And yet when a gay couple do this, you say it is just whoring and pleasure unions. Make up your mind.


And still no answer for why there is a campaign to prevent one type of marriage, but not another, equally sinful kind.

RavingDave said...

This discussion is NOT the "Federalist Papers." It's a bunch of catcalls and fallacies masquarading as a discussion.

It is also the opposite of beneficial, and so I am done with it.


David

tomcpp said...

@Fritz : no I merely said that your test is bullshit.

You point out one or two white ravens and claim there are no black ones. Sorry, that test is *not* good enough. Not good enough at all. Yes I know one gay person whom -at first sight- might be trusted with a kid, but I can name 9 others that give the impression they're only gay because they want revenge. On their parents, on society, on ... and don't have any actual sexual contact. They want kids, but only because they feel inferior, because they want to further pressure their parents.

Guess which one of those 10 gay people is not calling for freely marrying amongst gays ?

And the problem with directly measuring beating kids is that it's idiocy. A guardian absolutely needs to use physical force against a child. I have been a youth camp "leader" for quite a few years, trust me. You need physical force. And to be honest, yes, there are some kids that don't require it, but generally that is because there's something wrong with them (that they're smart enough to realistically plan the damage they do for example, or predicted my actions correctly and anticipated them. Happened more than once. Once the kid in question managed to put someone in the hospital. Another eventually told me he was thinking about suicide (which is not anywhere near as rare in 12 year olds as anyone likes to admit). Another one sabotaged someone's skis).

So giving kids what some idiots would consider a beating, is something I do (in case you really need to know : we (one person can lose his cool too easily, so we try never to be alone) generally only use physical violence to deal with the immediate problem, then isolate the kid(s) from everyone else until they're ready to talk about what happened and make a deal for a (symbolic) penance).

Otherwise kids will - I kid you not - kill eachother (or themselves) (one told me he wanted to see blood splashing out of someone's skull, see what it looked like*). For fun, for curiosity, for revenge. Literally. I assume you agree with using force in that case, even force what might be construed as a "beating".

So I do not accept that you can just trust kids to just anyone, nor is whether or not they get beaten a good indicator by itself. Society, but most of all, kids, would be better off if they would strictly be born in warm, loving families that show eternal loyalty to eachother whatever happens.

The only actual gays I know calling for gay marriage do so out of spite. Out of revenge on their parents. Revenge on society. They want kids only as tools of power, to further threathen and abuse already battered people. One of them is a university professor, and he's one of the spiteful ones.

* this kid was not a psychopath, he was a 9-year-old, currently growing up to be a very stable adult I might add. He hasn't lost any of his curiosity, just channels it to chemistry these days. He helps the local university configure some sort of radio microscope during the holidays, and next year he'll start studying there.

@Donalbain

I claim gays don't do this. You can try to change the subject all you want. Obviously gays nor lesbians marry to love and cherish eachother and to raise their kids together.

After all, that's impossible (no matter the name the state sticks on any "couple").

Gay sex is, obviously and beyond any reasonable doubt, about pleasure and nothing else.

That's why gay marriage is a pleasure union and nothing more.

And nobody here, nor the entire world combined, can change that.

Donalbain said...

Fair enough. Gays dont love and cherish each other. If you say so. Frankly, you are not worth wasting any more of my energy trying to reason with. I am just glad that demographics are on my side and when I am an old man, my grandchildren will be surprised that I grew up in a time when gay people could not marry each other, just like I was surprised when I found out my parents grew up in a time when mixed race couples could not marry each other.

M. Simon said...

tom,

I think fritz is saying that there are three black ravens. How come you only see one? Which is not BS at all.

As to pleasure unions. When two 80 yr olds get married what would you call that? Why is that pleasure union legit and the gay one not? Why not have a cut off age for marriage if kids are the only criteria?

The only way to square this circle is to make marriage the function of the church and the state just registers unions.

Then gays can marry in a gay church (they already do) and the state is out of the marriage business.

Fritz said...

tom...

I have managed to raise three very challenging kids without beating them. Admittedly it hasn't always been easy.

You've clearly run into a different group of gays than I have if in your sample 90% were gay to get revenge. That has not been my experience.

I do not understand your assertion that gays and lesbians do not want to marry to "love and cherish each other". Again, this is not true in my experience. Perhaps you know a pathological assortment of gays.

Do you have any criterion for something being a "marriage" vs a "pleasure union" besides whether the couple then produces kids? What if one or both of the couple are sterile (either from choice or through happenstance)?

And you still haven't explained why sexual fidelity is a great metric for whether a couple is good for raising children. It might be obvious to you, but it isn't to me.

tomcpp said...

@Fritz

You know what my answer will be to your question, so let me just ask you :

what do gays want out of "marriage" ?
-> not a family (that's, after all, impossible)
-> not children (same)

Since these things are the very center of the concept of marriage, giving gays "marriage" does not change the nature of the union between those people. A marriage is a union between 2 people with the express purpose of children and a loving, unbreakable family.

This also leads to the consequences. When can a marriage be dissolved ? When there is no hope of children (the details vary, but I believe the catholic church allows dissolving of a marriage if after 2 years of trying there are no children). Note that this is a dissolution of marriage, ie it is destroyed including all it's history, rather than terminated. It is not a divorce.

Giving marriage to gays does not change the relation between gays. Rather, it changes the concept of marriage, and defines it down. What is left ? Well "any fling". A mere pleasure union.

Tom Cuddihy said...

Donalbain said...

Papa:
Perhaps you could answer my implied question. Why is there a campaign to prevent gays from marrying, but no similar campaign to prevent divorcees from marrying?


Donalbain, this is actually a very good question. The short answer is: We (social conservatives) did fight that battle. We already lost that battle in the 1970s, when "no fault" divorce laws were spread throughout the nation, granting a state-mandated social acceptance to divorce. The social earthquake that that unleashed has, I think it's fairly obvious to see, already half destroyed the American family. The outcomes of Children of Divorce are very straightforward -- across the board, Children of Divorce have higher incarceration rates, higher rates of chemical dependency, worse health, lower grades in school, and lower income as an adult in the workforce. No-fault divorce gives all the benefit to the one who files first and no consideration to what's best for the children.

We lost that battle.
Now the second great earthquake is just rumbling its pre-shocks in the form of "gay marriage." Yes, it will further destabilize the American family. No, the rights of a child to have a family with a mother and a father will not be taken into account, not even for the purpose of adoption.

The shame of social conservatives is that so many sat silently while no-fault divorce laws were being rammed through. (Supported by conservatives like Ronald Reagan, I might add). We are likely to lose this battle as well, and it is the children of this generation who will suffer the fallout.

Fritz said...

tom...

So you are saying that marriage and a family is only possible with the goal of children (and children born with the DNA of the adults involved, not via adoption or from previous marriages)? That's a pretty profound restriction on the institution of marriage. Are you really saying that nobody with a vasectomy can get married? Why can a family not consist of two people?

Some good friends of mine are a long-time married couple with two dogs. They neither have nor want children. Are you claiming they are not a family? If they are a family, then why should the equation change if one of them were a different gender?

In fact, two more friends of mine are also a long-time married couple. A few years ago the male half of the couple went to Thailand and switched sexes. They are still a happily-married couple (and, in fact, are a same-sex couple whose marriage is recognized by the US and state government). Were they more of a family when they were a man and a woman than they are now when they are two women?

And since you are focused on unbreakability of the marital union, do you believe that divorce (and remarriage) should not be recognized by the government? That would put a significant number of conservative politicians in a bit of a personal pickle.

Fritz said...

Tom... (OK, Tom Cuddihy)

The problem of pulling up stats for the outcomes for "children of divorce" is that you wind up measuring against children being raised in relatively-happy marriages.

Unfortunately, it is pretty hard to come up with a good measurement for "how well do the kids do after a divorce" vs "how well do the kids do when being raised by parents who want nothing more than to leave each other". Which is the real alternative -- it's not like a couple is going to turn into Ward and June Cleaver if they can't get divorced.

On the other hand, our teenage daughter has started doing some really nice things for us explicitly because she is the only kid among her friends whose parents are still married and she wants us to continue that way. Which is pretty damn sad. But that is certainly not the fault of gays who want to get married.

M. Simon said...

Now Fritz,

You are approaching the subject rationally. Christians of the social conservative type are not up to it.

What you need are a group of rabbis well versed in the Talmud to explore such questions.

Talmud

Two years later, Pope Martin V, who had convened this disputation, issued a bull (which was destined, however, to remain inoperative) forbidding the Jews to read the Talmud, and ordering the destruction of all copies of it. Far more important were the charges made in the early part of the sixteenth century by the convert Johannes Pfefferkorn, the agent of the Dominicans. The result of these accusations was a struggle in which the emperor and the pope acted as judges, the advocate of the Jews being Johann Reuchlin, who was opposed by the obscurantists; and this controversy, which was carried on for the most part by means of pamphlets, became the precursor of the Reformation

and

The external history of the Talmud includes also the literary attacks made upon it by Christian theologians after the Reformation, since these onslaughts on Judaism were directed primarily against that work, even though it was made a subject of study by the Christian theologians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In 1830, during a debate in the French Chamber of Peers regarding state recognition of the Jewish faith, Admiral Verhuell declared himself unable to forgive the Jews whom he had met during his travels throughout the world either for their refusal to recognize Jesus as the Messiah or for their possession of the Talmud. In the same year the Abbé Chiarini published at Paris a voluminous work entitled "Théorie du Judaïsme," in which he announced a translation of the Talmud, advocating for the first time a version which should make the work generally accessible, and thus serve for attacks on Judaism. In a like spirit nineteenth century anti-Semitic agitators often urged that a translation be made; and this demand was even brought before legislative bodies, as in Vienna. The Talmud and the "Talmud Jew" thus became objects of anti-Semitic attacks, for example in August Rohling's Der Talmudjude, although, on the other hand, they were defended by many Christian students of the Talmud.

Ever hear of many Christian students of the Talmud these days?

And why was the study of the Talmud considered at one time important to Christians? Well it was a codification of the oral law which Jesus would have been familiar with so it gives insight into the historical period in which he lived.

In addition the Talmud was an important keystone in the Protestant Reformation. Pretty ironic eh? Especially considering that Jewish law is rather liberal with respect to abortion.

Under Jewish Biblical exegesis, this law forbids aborting an embryo whether intentionally or not, but such abortion is not deemed murder. Instead, the abortion is a form of damages subject to monetary compensation. Conversely, the killing of the mother -- the other damage (ason) -- is murder.

Judaism and Abortion

Tom Cuddihy said...

Simon,
Now now, be nice.

Fritz, an interesting set of divorce outcome statistics and sources available here,
http://www.divorcereform.org/stats.html

Scroll down to the "Children of divorce and..." section. These are all real scientific studies that consider both sides of the questions. The data might startle you if you've never considered the downsides of our current divorce laws.

Tom Cuddihy said...

Ever hear of many Christian students of the Talmud these days?

And why was the study of the Talmud considered at one time important to Christians?


Simon, ... huh?

Yes, there are lots of Christian students of the Talmud. They're called "theology" majors at hundreds of seminarys and divinity colleges across the land.
All Christian denominations consider themselves to be inheritors of the Talmud and the Jewish tradition in general, which is why every Christian bible contains a larger bulk of pre-Christian Jewish scripture than New Testament writing.

Yes, most are studying not only Talmudic but new sources, but there are Christian theologists who apply the vast majority of their time and studies to Talmudic sections of scripture and even some post-Christian Jewish thought.

The question is not why do Christians explicitly reject some Jewish interpretations of Talmudic scripture but why do Jews explicitly reject all Christian theology? After all, we all worshipped in the same synagogue until early in the 2nd century AD, when the rabbis kicked us out.

M. Simon said...

That is an easy one Tom.

The elevation of Jesus from teacher to God caused the schism.

If you know your church history you will know that it was a late addition or at least a disputed idea in Christian theology and it was formally adopted by the Council of Nicea.

Such elevations seem to be part of human psychology. See the case of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson.

Schneerson

Chabad Hasidim believe that there is no successor to Schneerson and all the suggested successors declined the mantle of leadership in the days after his death. Chabad Hasidim believe that he is still their leader, guiding them from beyond the grave through prayer and signs.

==

BTW if the Talmud is such an important part of Christian theology how come it is never mentioned? At least publicly and frequently.

I have listened to lots of Christian sermons, been to interfaith dialogs, etc. and have yet to hear a mention. In fact I was looking at the wiki and found that it was the beginning of the Reformation and it surprised me because in my 64 years I heard nothing of it.

But you know where Christianity went wrong IMO was allying itself with the power of the State.

It was a fundamental error of the Jews too. We got the wrath of God for it for 2,000 years. Let that be a lesson to you. Fortunately the State of Israel is more secular than Jewish so maybe it will last a while.

Note that Islam is making that mistake squared. I expect they will be feeling the full wrath of God before too long. So far all they have gotten is the merest taste.

Note that the meek shall inherit the earth. That does not mean weak. It means circumspect.

==

So ask yourself. Why are Christians under siege in America? What have you done to earn the wrath of God? Figure it out. Repent. And earn God's favor.

My theory is that worldly power has corrupted the Church. The old render unto Caesar... YMMV.

As far as I'm aware Jesus never advocated that government enforce religious law. In fact there are one or two examples where he was against it. Separation of Church and State was a very original Christian idea. And a good one.

In my article The Government IS the Devil I give three examples of the union of church and state that have gone bad wrong:

1. Public schools
2. Alcohol prohibition
3. Drug prohibition

Want to try for four? Or had enough? Homosexuals are getting their revenge for their past persecution. Let me know when you have had enough. Don't worry, their alliance with the government will ruin them soon enough. Let it run its course as an act of contrition.

Yeah. I know you had nothing to do with that. Well my family had nothing to do with slavery or Jim Crow (my grand parents arrived in the early 1900s - and I have written of my violation - knowingly and in public - of the Jim Crow laws at age 5) and I'm being punished for slavery/Jim Crow. I'm willing to bear the burden of guilt for sins I didn't commit. How much more Christian can you get?

Get over it.

tomcpp said...

BTW if the Talmud is such an important part of Christian theology how come it is never mentioned? At least publicly and frequently.

"Old testament" ... nope ... can't imagine any Christian ever having heard of that.

Christians consider it a historical tale, which did indeed feature God, important because it's leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ (which is, given that the Jews still believe in a (future) messiah probably a defensible position, even if I wouldn't know where to start).

If you follow talmud, Simon, when will you massacre and burn New York ? Commandment 355, or mitzvot if you like. Or start with another city if you like. Note that I checked : this is indeed correctly reasoned according to my local rabbi. They just "don't currently do it" (perhaps he said contemporary). He sounded just as comforting as the average imam discussing child rape in islam. If Judaism's version of wahhabism (which is trivially found in quite a few places, like Antwerp, New York, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. Their numbers aren't large at all, but not so small as to be trivial. They just (fortunately) don't control Israel) If this group manages to really grow (keep in mind that they easily have double the average fertility of the worst muslim country, and start having kids at 18-19 (ie before the woman commences studies), fortunately few of their kids feel like joining the cult. Still, it's defineately growing), this *will* happen.

And you ? Are you merely following a few commandments and not others ? Do you think that's reasonable ? (Rabbis never really have an answer to this one)

(btw in case you don't know Christians accept that God may slay and burn idolatrous cities (cities whose men "go to men like they go to women", whatever that might mean*), but don't take it upon themselves to do so.

* according to me, gay sex is not the problem with sodom. The problem God has with Sodom is much more simple : they did not solve a trivial problem. A simple trivial problem that grew, becoming more noticeable. They ignored it, instead "going on men like they go on women" and a lot of other stuff, a lot of it involving sex, ignoring the still growing problem. Then God gives up and waits to see if they deal with the problem before it kills them ...

And we all know they never even tried. How people interpret this to mean "kill homosexuals" is beyond me.

Btw, the vatican has "reserved judgement" on the interpretation of the story. It offers a few interpretations, none of them are "kill all gays" (and given the demonstration and stonings 3 years back I don't think I really need to point out what the ultra-orthodox Jewish position is on the subject ...)

It does seem quite an applicable story to quite a few problems and cities today though.

tomcpp said...

BTW if the Talmud is such an important part of Christian theology how come it is never mentioned? At least publicly and frequently.

"Old testament" ... nope ... can't imagine any Christian ever having heard of that.

Christians consider it a historical tale, which did indeed feature God, important because it's leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ (which is, given that the Jews still believe in a (future) messiah probably a defensible position, even if I wouldn't know where to start).

If you follow talmud, Simon, when will you massacre and burn New York ? Commandment 355, or mitzvot if you like. Or start with another city if you like. Note that I checked : this is indeed correctly reasoned according to my local rabbi. They just "don't currently do it" (perhaps he said contemporary). He sounded just as comforting as the average imam discussing child rape in islam. If Judaism's version of wahhabism (which is trivially found in quite a few places, like Antwerp, New York, Jerusalem and Los Angeles. Their numbers aren't large at all, but not so small as to be trivial. They just (fortunately) don't control Israel) If this group manages to really grow (keep in mind that they easily have double the average fertility of the worst muslim country, and start having kids at 18-19 (ie before the woman commences studies), fortunately few of their kids feel like joining the cult. Still, it's defineately growing), this *will* happen.

And you ? Are you merely following a few commandments and not others ? Do you think that's reasonable ? (Rabbis never really have an answer to this one)

(btw in case you don't know Christians accept that God may slay and burn idolatrous cities (cities whose men "go to men like they go to women", whatever that might mean*), but don't take it upon themselves to do so.

* according to me, gay sex is not the problem with sodom. The problem God has with Sodom is much more simple : they did not solve a trivial problem. A simple trivial problem that grew, becoming more noticeable. They ignored it, instead "going on men like they go on women" and a lot of other stuff, a lot of it involving sex, ignoring the still growing problem. Then God gives up and waits to see if they deal with the problem before it kills them ...

And we all know they never even tried. How people interpret this to mean "kill homosexuals" is beyond me.

Btw, the vatican has "reserved judgement" on the interpretation of the story. It offers a few interpretations, none of them are "kill all gays" (and given the demonstration and stonings 3 years back I don't think I really need to point out what the ultra-orthodox Jewish position is on the subject ...)

It does seem quite an applicable story to quite a few problems and cities today though.

tomcpp said...

sorry about the double post.

Tom Cuddihy said...

That is an easy one Tom.

The elevation of Jesus from teacher to God caused the schism.

If you know your church history you will know that it was a late addition or at least a disputed idea in Christian theology and it was formally adopted by the Council of Nicea.


This is a chuckler Simon. Noone who's read even one of the gospels, never mind all four or the earliest Christian writings, the epistles, could with a straight face claim this. At least, not without inventing additional supporting theories like that the new testament sources were written later or altered significantlly after being written, etc.

Look, this is the fundamental disagreement between Christianity and Judaism. There's no point in arguing about it in the comment boxes, there's nothing we can say to each other that hasn't already been said in the last thousand nine hundred and seventy two years

M. Simon said...

I take it you are not familiar with the controversy over Arius.

Arius

Now that strain of thought must have had an origin. Although it left no currently discernible traces. But the School of Alexandria was known. And it was contending with Rome.

But you are correct. Jews have never been big on cults of personality. That is behind the original prohibitions on graven images. These cults do flare up from time to time in Judaism and then die out. Christianity has made it a permanent feature.

But take heart. There is a new messiah in town. And he seems to have a fair number of adherents - for now.

Now I have to tell you that Jesus the Rabbi I rather admire. Jesus the Messiah - not so much.