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Several Episcopal congregations in my homestate of Virginia, including the very congregation that my extended family calls home in Falls Church,  are voting to today to secede from the Episcopal church. My extended family belonged to that congregation for generations. I believe the only left is my aunt, I haven't heard yet from her how she voted (i'm pretty sure it was no).

Was it something I said?  or did?

You see, growing up in Virginia I was Episcopalian. My family was Episcopalian (since well, the beginning). I became a Mormon at 18.

After finding a soulmate, being excommunicated from the Mormon church (in that order :)) and adopting a child, we have been on a journey to find a congregation and faith to which we can call home. The faith of my childhood has called me back. We've attended  several Episcopal congregations in San Francisco and have decided to attend St. Gregory's. Even the last couple Christmas seasons we've been incorporating more 'Anglican' traditions like Advent sundays and celebration, Epiphany observance, etc. I am again becoming Episcopalian (though I still like UCC ;).

So now my ancestoral congregation is leaving the faith I am returning to. Was it something I said?

Well, kinda, in a weird round-about-sort of way, I guess it was.

Well, not me, 'us' as in GLBT people.  You see, these eight Virginian congregations that are leaving are doing so because they oppose the larger Episcopal church's acceptence of gay and lesbians, as parishioners, clergy, married couples, etc. They reject the accepting and tolerant view of homosexuality and our inclusion in the full life of faith.

It is their perogative to leave if they so desire. It's sad, but their perogative. They are entertaining being adopted by another Anglican diocese (The Anglican church is divided by 'dioceses' of which the Episcopal church is the American one), namely the Nigerian one headed by powerful archbishop, Peter Akinola. It's sad that they find gay and lesbians in their midst so distasteful they'd be willing to join the Nigerian diocese, whose archbishop (and leadership)

... supports legislation in his country that would make it illegal for gay men and lesbians to form organizations, read gay literature or eat together in a restaurant.

(uh, not just illegal, but punishable by 5 years in prison)

Wow. Well, what can you say?

I do find it kind of ironic (interesting? strange? coincidental? cosmic karma?) that I was kicked out of one faith because of my relationship with my soulmate and now I'm considering another faith that some members are kicking themselves out of because of relationships like ours.

There are a couple other diaries that discuss this, it just had a personal angle with me, sorry for the duplications.

Originally posted to wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:46 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  you spun it backwards ! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lorzie, AmericanRiverCanyon

      You've missed the point, haven't you ?

      A local group, in an old congregation, has decided to abandon
      the Episcopal Church, which is headed by a woman,
      welcomes everybody, and is devoted to the reconcilliation of the
      broken world.

      Let the haters go. Come up the street and join the rest of us.
      They've chosen their journey, God help them.

      The Episcopal Church has been in constant flux sense it formed,
      being, after all, a bunch of people.  Yet it remains strong and devoted
      to the community of humanity loving God and each other.

      We're just flawed folks, but if you'd care to, stick with us and be welcome.

      Merry Christmas !


      "We must have strong minds, ready to accept facts as they are." Harry S. Truman

      by slowheels on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:18:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  In my capacity as (13+ / 0-)

    After finding a soulmate, being excommunicated from the Mormon church (in that order :)) and adopting a child, we have been on a journey to find a congregation and faith to which we can call home.

    Pope Larry of Reform Jews Everywhere I just want to point out that we'd be happy to have you.

    Don't blame me -- I voted for Weicker.

    by LarryInNYC on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:49:16 AM PST

  •  Not to derail, but (7+ / 0-)

    This is what happens when people not only base their worldview on a book written thousands of years ago by a goatherd but on some random lunatic's "interpretation" of that book.

    What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell

    by RequestedUsername on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:49:33 AM PST

    •  Heard of Goats (0+ / 0-)

      I don't believe "the" bible is anything more than myth, poetry and ancient politics, reinterpreted by various "modern" translators. And I agree with your bottom line. But I don't think either of the two testaments christians believe were written by a goatherd.

      The old (Jewish) testament was probably written mostly by either Moses and/or a Hebrew courtesan (possibly a woman). The rest was probably re/written by scholars in Hebrew courts like Solomon's, some of the most educated writers in the ancient world.

      The new (christian) testament was written by philosophers and historians after a few hundred years being repeated orally by believers, including mystics, philosophers, priests and mystics. The original stories were told by people from various walks of ancient Roman Hebrew life. There might have been some goatherds, but I doubt any of them wrote anything down.

      Not that "goatherd" meant "useless for anything else" in the ancient world. Herding goats was part of the higher economic strata: surplus domestication for trade. Much of the old testament was derived from folk tales developed and absorbed by nomadic Hebrew goatherds, including the deep philosophic poetry of Zoroaster, the "Kurdish Buddha" who prototyped duality for the rest of subsequent civilization. Who might have herded a goat in his day.

      Unless you meant "herd of goats". That's the Satanic Bible, also known as "some random lunatic's interpretation".

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:20:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A goatherd? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, dadanation, blueoasis

    Now I've heard everything. lol. I have to write that down and remember it. The bible was written by a goatherd. I rec'ed you for that one.

  •  Thanks for the cross-ref (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, Caldonia, blueoasis

    This story was under the radar before this morning. Now it becomes another venue to attack the credibility and intentions of the moneybags behind it.

    "With great power comes great responsibility." -- Stan Lee

    by N0MAN1968 on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:55:09 AM PST

  •  On the plus side... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they're at least open to being led by a man of color.

    Look at that hat!

    Torture: It was good enough for Jesus.

    by voltayre on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:58:47 AM PST

  •  Well, what can you say? (12+ / 0-)

    How about perverted?

    The good bishop spends way too much time thinking about other people's sex lives. Whereas Jesus didn't worry about gay people at all -- and heaven knows, they were visible enough in Roman times. Don't you just love priests who think they are holier than their own god?

    I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin.

    by sagesource on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:02:44 AM PST

  •  Bank Account (8+ / 0-)

    Won't the new members of the Nigerian Diocese be surprised when they have to give the church bank account information just in case somebodies inheritance has to be secured.

    These aren't the droids you're looking for.

    by OHdog on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:07:04 AM PST

  •  Mormons Next? (0+ / 0-)

    Was it something you said that got you excommunicated from the Mormon Church? Something gay(/LBT) perhaps? What is the Mormon Church's policy on honest ("openly") gay Mormons?

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:11:16 AM PST

    •  well... that's a story... (6+ / 0-)

      After trying to 'change' for a decade, I came out to my bishop and congregation in 1990. I was a active and openly gay member of my congregation for five years. I had decided to stay in the church but remain celibate.

      That is what the church requires of gay members. They can be active and fully-participating members, as long as they are celibate (though in some congregations, you have to be quiet too.

      I was openly gay in my ward (congregation) though it was admittedly in the Liberal East :D.

      After a while I decided celibacy and solituded was for someone else.. like priests :).

      I started dating, met my soulmate...

      and was eventually excommunicated because of our relationship (January of 1997 to be exact). That's a story all in itself.

      Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

      by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:15:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The back story is in this diary :N (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bink, wclathe, pHunbalanced, jrcjr

        Episcopal split on gays manufactured by conservative money

        Anyone else having problems with Ajax today? I had to manually HTML this link.

        •  And those against are in the minority (0+ / 0-)

          When the subject of Gene Robinson came up at the 2003 General Convention, the vote in the House of Bishops was something like 66% for to 33% against. A significant minority to be sure, but we're not talking a close vote. And the people like the ones wanting to secede in Virginia are a minority of a minority.

          If these churches want to answer to the Bishop of Nigeria, or the Bishop of Rwanda (as congregations of "The Anglican Mission In America" have done), let them. It will probably last until the first time that bishop makes a pronouncements these churches don't like. They will find that unlike their own diocese or the ECUSA, there is no democratic mechanism the laity can use to make sure they have a say in church policy.

          "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

          by AustinCynic on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 03:01:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I suggest you read more about this. (0+ / 0-)

            "let them" is missing the point. Please check out the other diary, and follow the links, including some in the comments. Read up on this issue. Browse through the articles linked on Talk to Action's Shadow War on the Mainline Churches page.

            •  I know all about it, thanks (0+ / 0-)

              Wherever the money's coming from, American Christians, Episcopalians in particular, are going to chafe under the authority of a bishop used to operating pretty autocratically.

              "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

              by AustinCynic on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 06:33:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hope you're right. (0+ / 0-)

                I only know what I've been reading, mostly at Talk to Action. The problem seems to be that the infiltrators form the IRD are able to surreptitiously gain positions of power before the regular members of the congregation become aware of what's happening. They change rules of governance to their advantage, then vote to secede from the Anglican Communion and join the Nigerian group (for example). By the time the congregants wake up , it's too late. So it doesn't matter how much they chafe under an autocratic bishop by then.

                The parallel is in the Bush Administration which is impervious to public opinion. The PNACkers are following their plan regardless of the citizens. It's the same with this stealth scheme to take over the Episcopal Church (or some of them).

                •  It's a threat to be taken seriously (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I'm not saying otherwise, but once elected it's the diocesan bishops who make the decisions. The battle lines have to drawn at the parish level, where representatives to diocesan councils are elected. Those folks choose the bishops.

                  AFAIK, secessions are happening on the parish level, rather than the diocesan level. While that's not good, it can be dealt with. Clergy can be replaced, and churches can be re-planted if necessary, since the splitters will have to find a new place to meet.

                  Being well-acquainted with Episcopal church politics at the parish level, I can assure you that all the money in the world won't make a difference IF people just keep talking to each other and make a conscious effort to focus on the real work of the church, this storm can be weathered. And since most Episcopal parishes generally number in the hundreds of members (at most), a few committed voices can make a difference.

                  If I sound optimimistic it's because I am, and I feel like I have reason to be. I've had conversations with several bishops, and even the ones who didn't support Gene Robinson haven't seemed dogmatic about it.

                  "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

                  by AustinCynic on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 06:17:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  i prefer the personal angle, btw. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, TeresaInPa, blueoasis

    see, my religion-of-birth-baptism-confirmation wanted me, until i had an epiphany.  

    my epiphany?  when i finally understood that self-loathing was just another trap, and that even ordained self-loathing was still self-loathing.

    that being said, i could not keep up the cycle of abuse and self-loathing even if and when my religion of my birth etc. COULD tolerate, hell even condone ordained self-loathing, i could not.

    my epiphany was that i could only be as healthy as i was willing to be...  i had to let go of unhealthy patterns, practices, clerical orders, etc.

    this is i guess the inverse of that groucho marx joke -- i do NOT want to join a club that will not have me as a member...

    now if i can just find that one seminal quotation by jesus christ about how homosexuality is bad...

    "sit ubu, sit. good boy"

    by dadanation on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:18:00 AM PST

  •  Sort of an interesting turn about (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, TeresaInPa, blueoasis, jfm

    first you were looked as a minority that was unacceptable to the larger group.
    Now that group itself has become a minority and seeks to separate itself. Things come around

  •  I'm not Episcopalean and so perhaps (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, AnneElizabeth

    not qualified to comment, but my opionion is 'Good riddance to bad rubbish'. The big question is: Who gets to keep the stash? Are there any legal precedents about what happens when congregations leave an organization? Who own the church buildings and the land and the bank accounts?  I'm pretty sure that in the Roman Catholic church everything belongs to the big C Church or at least the diocese, not the congregation. But is the Episocopal Church organized differently?  I've read that some of these congregations have big bucks.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of which is "Never get involved in a land war in Asia".

    by yellowdog on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:28:47 AM PST

    •  ECUSA owns most assets (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wclathe, pHunbalanced

      Most all of the churches are owned by ECUSA. In some instances, the ancillary buildings (church hall, parsonage, etc.) are owned by the parish. It's rather clear cut, but that won't prevent legal action. I used to belong to a parish (second oldest in the US!) where the only thing ECUSA owned was the church itself. Most updates to the church were modest (electricity, new organ, etc.) and most money went into the hall, owned by the church. I'm not sure, but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the members there would vote to split.

      •  Maybe it's different in VA (0+ / 0-)

        In Texas, the physical plant of our church (any Episcopal church) is owned by the diocese. We're getting ready to do a big building project, and we have to get the bishop's approval.

        "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

        by AustinCynic on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 03:19:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The diocese (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wclathe, pHunbalanced, barbwires

      Most of the property of the Episcopal church is owned by the dioceses, not by the parishes.  I'm willing to bet there will be a fun legal battle over these parishes real estate.

    •  This really is the BIG question (6+ / 0-)

      And with no qualification, the answer is the diocese owns the real property.  There is a lot of settled case law on this point, I don't think these congreations have a leg to stand on - there option is to leave and turn over the keys to the property to their Bishop.

      This is a tremendous point of contention because most of the traditionalists who so desparately want to distance themselves from the Episcopal Church (matters of liturgy, ordination of women and now gay rights) also are the most fixated of the traditional pomp and setting associated with Episcopal "high" church.  

      I have witnessed this at a large congregation that was torn apart by Gene Robinson's ordination.  My current church has dealt with this in a very understated (and reasonable way) and has seen much less fallout.  At this point, Episcopalians are more likely to be educated, upper middle class moderate to liberals who believe that interpretations of the Bible change over time.  Mainstream protestant support for slavery is the classic example of this.  I have heard a priest give a quite eloquent explanation that the standard biblical references regarding homosexuality must be viewed through a cultural prism.  And given that there was no concept of homosexuality as a distinct orientation until the 19th century, what is written in the bible must be understood within the context of that culture.  Further, examination of these texts shows that what was described were not mutual loving relationships, but were rather examples of violence / rape.  These were and should be condemned.  Based on this reasoning (reason being key), there is no categorical admonition against homosexual behavior within a loving relationship.

      As a come-here (as opposed to a cradle) Episcopalian, I am proud of my church.

      •  I'm glad, TarheelDem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I feel like I'm responding to every comment here, but this is an issue near to my heart. I'm at the end of my third and final year as a member of my church's vestry (that's the lay governing board of an Episcopal parish), and while there was one person who was obsessed with this issue (and whose term was up at the end of my first year, thank goodness), it's remained in the background...except at budget time.

        Each Episcopal church is asked to give money to the ECUSA. My parish was sufficiently split that we sent 50% of the asking to the national church. I went along because my first year on vestry, we had the opportunity to support a woman from Zimbabwe studying at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest. But I had some heated words when the issue came up last year, and even though I lost, it was a very close vote. We'll see what happens this year.

        "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

        by AustinCynic on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 03:37:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Episcopalian (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, latts, Caldonia, blueoasis, lorzie

    I believe it is the only honest progressive church around.  They don't tell you that God is going to get you for being gay or even if you didn't vote for the Bushies.  They simply say to look into your heart and find the answers that were there all along.  No ranting, no raving, no constant in your pocket to finance the "live style of the rich and famous."  I believe they are the true religion of peace and love.

    "...the ideal government should be like a sane person's conscious mind!" David Brin

    by libbie on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:29:47 AM PST

    •  It's why we like them... (6+ / 0-)

      though I think UCC (united church of christ) and unitarians are pretty progressive churches too.

      We almost attended UCC instead, but two congregations had no kids and another was a 3 hour long service... just don't have THAT much faith :)

      Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

      by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:32:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caldonia, blueoasis

        From what I've read here and on Street Prophets, both those churches are fairly progressive. What about the Quakers?

        The nearest UCC and unitarian churches are too far from me. I'm also not as in agreement with their theology as the Anglicans.

        •  Actually, in the Unitarian church (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wclathe, Caldonia, CarmenC
          you can pretty much believe anything you want, which I know is a problem for some people It isn't technically a "Christian" church since most members believe that although Jesus was a great teacher and we should strive to live up to his teachings, he was mos likely not divine. Althought you are free to believe he was if you like.  

          Secretary of State-elect Jennifer Brunner: screwed-up elections in Ohio soon to become history!

          by anastasia p on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:15:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think JC said (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            we are all Divine.

            Buddha said we are all Divine.

            I  look at the Universe & I think,  it's all Divine.  The germ, the worm, & all the rest.

            You, me, the germ & the worm.  Divine.

            How marvellous that we can look at this immense universe & think that we, ourselves, such a small part of it all, & consider ourselves to be great.  

            IMO, we are delusional, or our sense of  self importance is a sign that we are a meaningful part of this vast UNIVERSE

            I try to wrap my mind around it, but it is so vast.

            I can buy that the full moon affects us.  We are, after all, mostly salt water, & look how the Moon affects the tides.

            I've said enough.

            A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. Yogi Berra

            by x on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 09:59:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  it was communion at every service that drove (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        me not to join an Episcopal church again. On those sundays where there were baptisms the service could be 1 hour and 40 minutes long easily. So I guess I have even less faith.  = )
        I am now a happy Presbyterian where we restrict ourselves to a moderately reserved once a month indulgence in wonderbread and grape juice.

      •  I think you have to hand it to the Unitarians (0+ / 0-)
        The UCC is ultra-progressive, but the Unitarians are way out there. When I went as a kid, people joked it was more a social-justice action group than a church. I believe it also started ordaining out gays in the late 50s or early 60s.

        Secretary of State-elect Jennifer Brunner: screwed-up elections in Ohio soon to become history!

        by anastasia p on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:13:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Check out the... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ... More Light PCUSA Presbyterian churches.

        No man is a failure who has friends.~Clarence the Angel

        by Caldonia on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:20:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually many mainstream denominations (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wclathe, blueoasis

      are facing these matters.  I'm an Episcopalian but I really like the Methodists who use the tag line of "Open hearts, Open minds" in most of their media pieces.  This speaks to the real matter that differentiates most of the old mainline protestant churches - much less dogma, more invitation to explore ones own soul.

      Unfortunately, there a lot of folks who find it easier not to have to think for themselves.  They want answers and any equivocation is treated as a weakness.

      •  Exploring one's soul isn't trashing of the Truth (0+ / 0-)

        Unlikely that the Methodists recommend throwing Scripture overboard to fit your own views.

        •  Trashing the truth? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Which truth are we trashing?

          Excuse me, which of your Truths am I trashing?

          •  Which of your Truths are you holding n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  My God is a God of Love (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              A God of the dispossesed.  There are no examples of Jesus speaking against homosexuality, and he had opportunities.  The most notable examples of biblical admonitions against homosexuality usually given are against hostile/violent activity.  The sin of Sodom and Gomorah was inhospitility, not, well, sodomy.

              You may choose to hold fast to old testament if you choose.  But tell me do you hold fast to ALL that is condemned there?  If not you are picking and choosing.  We're all sinners in God's eyes.  Don't try and tell me your sins are less egregious.  

              •  I hold fast to all of it (0+ / 0-)

                I hold fast to it all, not just picking and choosing. Paul's writing in various books in The New Testament is pretty clear. And Jesus' recommendation of sexual purity to the woman at the well is pretty clear too. Either you buy into the teachings of the Bible or you deny them.

                This argument won't end. But trashing parishes/churches/synagogues/mosques for doing what they believe is the truth is wrong.  

                •  that's a demonstratable falsehood. You do not/nt (0+ / 0-)

                  Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

                  by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:04:07 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  No, you just trash PEOPLE. And you think (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  that's okay, as long as you're not trashing an institution? You are a hypocrite among hypocrites, and your "logic" requires the kind of reach that could give someone a hernia.

                  If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water.

                  by wandabee on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:57:12 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The Bible is a multifaceted work... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pHunbalanced, emsprater, EdSF

                  If you want to look at the the letters of Paul to the various communities are often split into tow very different categories.

                  In my opinion there are really 2 or 3 different Paul's that are extant in the letters. There is the Uncontested Paul (Gal, Rom, 1&2 Cor, 1 Thess, Philemon, Phil) and somewhat contested Paul (Col, Eph, 2 Thess) and all together not Paul at all (1&2 Tim and Titus).

                  Looking at the letters in Greek the "not Paul at all letters" are written using a completely different grammatical style and have a completely different pattern of thinking and theology than the uncontested Pauline letters do.

                  It ends up working out to a Paul in the uncontested letters talking about Equality for all no exceptions. Check out Gal 3:26-29 it says this. You can catch contested Paul saying something similar but not quite as nice because it leaves out women entirely in Col 3:1-11.

                  I personally view all this stuff going on in the ECUSA as some congregations are afraid of change and somewhat locked up in their own bigotry toward things they don't understand. It's their right to believe as they choose but that by no means says that I have to support them in that belief.

                  It often comes when the people that believe like this try to force it down my throat that it becomes noxious. If these churches want to make these decisions to leave the ECUSA then let them start from scratch as the new faith that they are trying to be. The don't get to start a new faith and keep all their existing stuff that is really in their new sense someone else's.

                  •  Paul on homosexuality (0+ / 0-)

                    This one drives me nuts and is a perfect example of why the Bible has to be studied within its historical context if we are to have any hope at all to applying its greater principles to our lives.

                    Paul's statements on homosexuality in Romans is a perfect example. In Paul's day, the sort of acts he's talking about aren't relationships between two consenting boys. What IMO Paul is condemning is out and out pederasty, and one only has to read Greek and Roman historical sources from around that time to know that this was going on (Suetonius is a good place to start, even if he exaggerates the corruption of some of the early Caesars). And let's not forget that religious prostitution was still going on.

                    I think the interpretation that the Bible wants people to have respectful, consensual relationships. (Note: anyone who wants to debate me about Ephesians 5 must first read John Temple Bristow's What Paul Really Said About Women. Then we'll talk.)

                    "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

                    by AustinCynic on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 04:09:52 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  guess you are trashing the 'no shrimp' truth eh?n (0+ / 0-)

          Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

          by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:50:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It is nice to see people having an egalitarian (0+ / 0-)

      view of all religions, libbie:

      I believe they are the true religion of peace and love.

      What does that make the rest of us?

      •  Well (0+ / 0-)

        What do you want to be or believe?  What's right for me is not necessarily right for you.  Note that I said "I believe."  I did not say you should believe.  i cannot speak for the "rest of us."

        "...the ideal government should be like a sane person's conscious mind!" David Brin

        by libbie on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 05:42:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  To be honest, I don't need to publicize my faith (0+ / 0-)

          nor do I need to broadcast in a public forum that I believe my faith or those that agree with me is superior to all others by saying "I believe they are the true religion of peace and love." I can relate the history of the Anglican Church that is not very complimentary, and for that matter all of Christianity that does not illustrate a great deal of peace and love. You are entitled to your opinion, however, one of the drawbacks of having a religious discourse on a politically liberal blog is you tend to offend peaceful and loving people who are not a believer in your faith by merely proselytizing your faith.

  •  Dear Bishop Minns: (13+ / 0-)

    Dear Bishop Minns:
    I have been requested by the the Anglican Church of Nigeria to contact you for assistance in resolving a matter. The Anglican Church of Nigeria has recently received a large number of contributions for spreading Christianity in the sub-Sahara region. The contributions have immediately produced moneys equalling US$40,000,000. The Anglican Church of Nigeria is desirous of missionary work in other parts of the world, however, because of certain regulations of the Nigerian Government, it is unable to move these funds to another region.
    Your assistance is requested as a non-Nigerian citizen to assist the Anglican Church of Nigeria, and also the Central Bank of Nigeria, in moving these funds out of Nigeria. If the funds can be transferred to your name, in your United States account, then you can forward the funds as directed by the Anglican Church of Nigeria.  In exchange for your accomodating services, the Anglican Church of Nigeria would agree to allow you to retain 10%, or US$4 million of this amount.
    However, to be a legitimate transferee of these moneys according to Nigerian law, you must presently be a depositor of at least US$100,000 in a Nigerian bank which is regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
    If it will be possible for you to assist us, we would be most grateful. We suggest that you meet with us in person in Abuja, and that during your visit I introduce you to the church elders of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, as well as with certain officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
    Please call me at your earliest convenience at [Phone Number]. Time is of the essence in this matter; very quickly the Nigerian Government will realize that the Central Bank is maintaining this amount on deposit, and attempt to levy certain depository taxes on it.
    Yours truly,
    Archbishop Peter Akinola

  •  I just don't get it and never will (8+ / 0-)

    why people think their own personal prejudice is sanctioned by God.  It's not like all us shrimp eating , polyblend cloth wearing american people think we are an abomination just because the bible says so.  Why can't we extend the same disregard for those ancients who condemn homosexuality?  

    •  Most (8+ / 0-)

      Because most people create God in their own eyes. It is much easier to have faith, believe in, and follow the dictates of a god who is exactly like you than it is to understand that you, yes you, may have fucked up.

      What amazes me is how few churches actually pay attention to the entire tone and tenor of the messages of Jesus Christ. In some ways, it would be easier to tolerate the fundy churches if they were some weird offshoot that didn't accept the New Testament.

  •  It never fails to surprise me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to what lengths "religious" folks go to stand up for homophobia. It seems to be quite the noble cause since it's far more important in their eyes than feeding the poor, comforting the sick and the war weary and seeking justice for the oppressed. Of course, the "goat herd" could not have had any of that in mind when Matthew, chapter 25, verses 31ff. was written. Apparently, neither do they.

    •  I'm Amazed, Too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      For these people, "hating gays" is more important than  just about everything else?!  What kind of a religion is that?

      •  There are distinct faiths that love gays (0+ / 0-)

        but don't want to see the sinning continue.

        •  I Suppose So (0+ / 0-)

          I guess that is why I like being a Catholic.  My sins are pretty much my business outside of confession.

        •  The good ole ..... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "love the sinner, hate the sin" mantra.

          Pack of rubbish.  Convenient excuse for intolerance and bigotry in a pretty wrapper, most usually espousd by those who follow a televangelist who drives a Rolls and wears a Rolex while followers scrape to get by.

          Yeah, that's the ticket.

          That's not "faith" that's ignorance.

          I'm sick of America being covered by conservative crap

          by emsprater on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:34:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As long as gays couch it in "intolerance" (0+ / 0-)

            The debate will go on and on and on.

            Get out your Bible and read it cover to cover. Then start telling me about intolerance. God loves us and wants us to be with him in heaven. He doesn't want us to follow behaviors that cause us harm--and gay behavior, physical and psychological, isn't exactly good for one's soul.  (Aka. promiscuous behavior, instability in one's home due to multiple partners, anger, sexual behaviors that hurt others, disease, harm of the body, etc.)

            •  Wow.. just look ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wclathe, EdSF

              at that list of the pitfalls of being gay and you will see the same pitfalls of being straight.  I know lots of gay folks who are more moral than lots of straight folks I have known.  Actually, I have known straight church Deacons who were more sexually promiscuous than some gays I know.

              I've read my Bible "from cover to cover" for the better part of the last 50 years. I've also read the passages that were used to support slavery, support the subservience of women, polygamy and those used by some to validate wars and genocide.

              The passages that speak the most: "love one another as you love yourselves", and "whatsoever you do for the least of mine, therfore you do for me also".  Everything else pales when these things are observed in thought, practice and ideology.

              Get down on your knees and ask for forgiveness for peddling your "gay behavior" false wittness.

              I'm sick of America being covered by conservative crap

              by emsprater on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:53:29 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  amen... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tarheel Dem, EdSF

                I've read the bible 'cover to cover'

                and rejected a few things... like stoning adulterers and bans on shrimp.

                I've accepted the greatest commandment of all:

                Love God and LOVE thy neighbor as thyself.

                And thus my spiritual life is just beautiful, thank you very muchj.

                Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

                by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:56:57 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  oh yeah.. it's all our fault (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              EdSF, CarmenC

              it's all that 'intolerance' crap we keep bring up, you know.. like the murders, beatings, discrimination and shit.  If we'd just shut up it'd all be fine.

              And as much as you like to think, 'gay behavior' i not harmful.

              Last time my doctor checked I was very healthy, I lead a full and wonderful life with a soulmate and children, extended family and friends, a great job and a wonderful home.

              Somehow my 'gay behavior' lead me to this 'miserable' life.

              You need ot get educated. ALL those things you mentioned straight people do too... in wild abandon.

              Maybe we should make that a sin

              Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

              by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:55:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That is some ignorant shit. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wclathe, emsprater

              First of all, you don't know too many middle-aged lesbians, do you?  Statistically, lesbians are more likely to be successfully monogamous than straights.  The behaviors you're talking about are mainly engaged in by a minority, albeit a very active minority, of young gay men.  That's a man thing, not a gay thing.  The authors of the Bible may have assumed there's no difference between gay men and lesbians, but they also assumed the sun revolved around the earth.  They weren't exactly inerrant on that point, were they?  

              Secondly, what do you say if it turns out (as all evidence apart from wingnut televangelist testimonials suggests) that being gay isn't a choice?  Is it still sinful?  

              Join the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy --

              by yella dawg dem on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:16:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's Funny (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pHunbalanced, Tarheel Dem, emsprater, EdSF

              I've read my Bible cover to cover no less than a dozen times and one of things I do so love about it is that God speaking through Jesus Christ is notably silent on a lot of the specifics of benaviors condemned in the Old Testament.  Instead, Jesus' teachings out of Jesus' mouth -- which are supposed to be the core tenets of the Christian faith -- keep coming back to one simple thing that was deemed The Law:

              Love God, above all things.  Love your brother (sister) as you love God.

              There is only one specific sexual issue that Jesus himself spoke about - the role of marriage.  He did not place any limitations on who would benefit from that state that I could perceive.  Admittedly, He first advocated that everyone be celibate because horniness was a distraction from divine pursuits.  But then, being a realist as I am convinced my God is, Jesus taught that if man or woman could not be celibate - "let them marry."

              Of course, those folks who are today are opposed to gay marriage on so-called biblical terms never manage to reconcile this crystal clear dictate with their opposition to gay marriage or why Jesus does not take care to express the same disdain for same-sex relations found in a handful of places in the Old Testament (which are all read back in context as either condemning temple prostitution or, in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, inhospitality and lack of charity (the sin for which it says quite clearly in the Bible that Sodom & Gomorrah was destroyed for).  Other than Paul's words, there is no condemnation anywhere in the New Testament of same-sex marriage, same sex-relations or anything else.  And IMO anyone who elevates Paul's words over the words of Jesus (partiuclarly when Paul himself was crystal clear about when he was speaking what he learned from Jesus vs. just his own bigoted opinion) is no real Christian.

              So as soon as you show me where God's last words on earth -- through his begotten Son and the person who is supposed to have died for our sins under a Christian tradition -- say "gays are bad" I'll listen to you.  Otherwise, you're just being prejudiced.

              My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

              by shanikka on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:05:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Having read your Bible (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wclathe, pHunbalanced

              cover to cover, now go back to the four Gospels, the centerpiece of Christian ethics, and locate the passages which speak about "gay behaviors" as harmful. Couldn't find them, eh? What is harmful to a Christian is not loving others as one loves himself and judging others instead of oneself. What is harmful to a Christian's being with God is not reaching out to the hungry, the sick, the lonely and those in prison. Worrying about gays doesn't make the list.

  •  i was married in the episcopal church (8+ / 0-)

    my mother-in-law's family has been episcopalian since there was such a thing.  two of these seceding parishes, truro and the falls church, have become offshoots of the republican power elite in the northern virginia area anyway.  my opinion: get the hell out of our progressive, christ-centered religion.  and by christ-centered, i mean following the example of jesus, not some ridiculous adaptation of a few verses of leviticus.  oh yeah, and you have 30 days to vacate the premises.

    sigh.  it's so sad how some people can twist the words of jesus to stand for such unbelievable hatred.

    it's a round world, last time i checked. - bill hicks (-8.00, -7.18)

    by liberalsouth on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:44:08 AM PST

  •  I'm crunched for time... (7+ / 0-)

    or I'd post a longer comment (perhaps I'll have time later today), but my impression as a lifelong Episcopalian, and as someone ending a term on my church's vestry in about 3 weeks, my impression is this:

    Clergy and laity who are making a sexuality a deal-breaker issue in the Episcopal church are doing so because they want to, and IMO are doing so to promote division. The Diocese of Texas, where my church is, is hardly a bastion of theological liberalism, but while our bishop, Don Wimberly, voted against Gene Robinson's ordination but has said, in my personal hearing, that he's not close-minded on the issue. And the attitude of our suffragan bishop, Dena Harrison, is that there are more important issues for the ECUSA and the Anglican Communion as a whole to concentrate on--starting with the Millennium Development Goals.

    I think the election of Katherine Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop of the ECUSA has thrown down a gautlet, and that those who can't handle ordination of women and gays need to leave the church. I hate to have to say that, but the issue has been settled.

    Period. End of story.

    "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight. You've got to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight." --Bruce Cockburn, "Lovers In A Dangerous

    by AustinCynic on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:02:24 AM PST

  •  Now Wait A Minute (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, Caldonia, emsprater

    Among these eight churches, hasn't The Falls Church, especially, become more of an Evangelical mega-church?

    From what I read, it is no longer liturgically an Episcopalian Church and is more akin to the Southern Baptist church in spirit.

    I think that this is less about the "liberalization" of the Episcopal Church -- and more about a small minority of parishes falling under the influence of charismatic, born-again Christian sects ...

    And wishing to emulate them.

    These churches are "falling away" from the mainstream tradition of Episcopalianism and seeking to join a more fervent, more emotional and more Fundamentalist spiritual movement.

  •  What about the Tenth Commandment? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not a Christian and so don't have a dog in this fight, so to speak.  I'm gay-friendly generally, chiefly as a matter of secular principle.

    But isn't Christianity intrinsically hostile to homosexuality?  I mean, the Tenth Commandment (or the applicable portion thereof) isn't likely to be repealed any time soon.  People have a right to the religious beliefs that suit them, but this seems like an uphill battle from the start.

    This may not be the case with other religions; have you looked outside Christianity for suitable options?

    •  No (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced, Albatross

      Christianity is not intrinsically "hostile," period.  And the Ten Commandments are from the Old Testament.  Christ taught a radical programme of complete, unconditional love.  Blessed were his meek.

    •  You'll never win this argument (0+ / 0-)

      with close-minded gays and lesbians.

    •  what does the tenth commandment have to do with.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pHunbalanced, EdSF


      "Neither shall you desire your neighbour’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour."

      Not sure how my lifelong monogamous partnership has anything to do with teh above.

      Please explain.

      PS I haven't looked outside Christianity. Not to disparage  other faiths at all, but I find the teaching of Jesus those that bring me spiritual growth and peace. Others might find other faiths and teachings do that for them. I haven't found that (for me) any other faiths. I'm a Christian therefore.

      Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

      by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:26:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wait... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pHunbalanced, Allogenes

        Your neighbor's donkey?  Your neighbor's draft animal?

        Which translation are you quoting?  Take a look at the King James version (Exodus 20:17):

        Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.

        I am beginning to wonder whether I misinterpreted that passage as being the Scriptural prohibition against homosexuality.

        So I'm back to square one.  Why is it that some Christians claim homosexuality is incompatible with their faith?  What is the fundamental theological driver of this controversy?

        •  still, however you read it (0+ / 0-)

          I still don't see how you get a prohibition of homosexuality out of that tenth commandment...

          I was quoting the Revised Standard.

          Also, the commandments are divided differently between Jewish/Protestant/Catholic scriptures:

          The 9th and 10th commandments in the Catholic division is the 10th in the Protestant divsion. Same words, just divided differently.

          Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

          by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:49:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I had wondered, like wclathe (0+ / 0-)

          ... what you were referring to. I know my comandments and I was puzzled. Usually I get netsnark and dry humor quite well. I missed yours. Right over my head. Very funny now. I am embarrassed that I needed it explained.

          •  Not the first time... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            ...people have had a laugh at my expense, I assure you.  However, having disavowed status as a member of the faith, I hopefully get a pass on the requirement for subject matter expertise.

            The basic question is sincere:  what is the Biblical justification for any stance against homosexuality?  Is it correct to say that Jesus never condemned it?

            •  Jesus never spoke of it (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              EdSF, Allogenes

              Of all the things Jesus talked about (mostly love and faith) homosexual relationships were left out completely.

              The biblical justifications come primarily from old Testament purity rules and from St Paul. St Paul was an interesting commentator and a great evangelist, but he was not Jesus II, despite what many conservative theologians would like to imply.

              Are you serious that you thought ass was a reference to derriere and not a beast of burden? I really thought you were being funny.

              •  It would have nicely explained (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                why I see all these Christians getting so worked up about the topic.  I know the Ten Commandments are a big, big deal.

                I want to learn the basics about Christianity mainly due to my love for my (Episcopalian) wife and the resulting desire to understand her ever better.  As they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  Perhaps I should accompany her to church more.

                All the same, it strikes me that I'm well served remaining a Buddhist, because the rules are much easier for me to understand.

            •  oh... ok, my humor meter was off :D /nt (0+ / 0-)

              Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

              by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 01:22:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  GLBT focus, Christian focus (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, well, it is a battle between the GLBT community who says "we're not being tolerated" and the followers of Christ who say that it is clear that Scripture doesn't endorse homosexuality.  GLBT communities either like to disregard the Biblical writings, reinterpret them to fit the lifestyle, or declare that homesexual behavior is not a sin.

    Christians don't "hate" gays, they hate the sin.

    •  Don't try and speak for all Christians (8+ / 0-)

      Not all "followers of Christ" agree with this point concerning the "sin" of homosexual behavior.

      •  As a theological matter... (0+ / 0-)

        ...why not?  Again, as a non-Christian I'd be grateful for a little education.  The Tenth Commandment seems pretty clear, but I recall my (Episcopalian, wouldn't you know) wife mentioning that Jesus brought a new covenant to Christians to replace the old laws of Moses.

        Are the Ten Commandments thus superseded?  If so, it seems a little odd that so many Christians (defined here as anyone who describes himself as such) are so attached to them.

        This just makes me grateful that the Buddha never condemned homosexuality, as far as I know.  Any edification on the matter is much appreciated.

        •  Exactly what part of the 10th commandment (0+ / 0-)

          is causing you trouble here? It's a general prohibition against coveting things, ANY things, that are not yours. Period.

          If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water.

          by wandabee on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:44:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  See my reply to wclathe (0+ / 0-)

            I had relied upon Exodus 20:17 of the King James Bible:

            Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.

            I may have erred, however, in not understanding that "ass" referred to an equine draft animal in this verse.

            My apologies for the confusion if so.  As I mentioned, though, that does bring up the question:  with respect to Scripture, what does drive the objections of some Christians to homosexuality?

            •  To answer your first question: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pHunbalanced, timoth31

              There are a couple of verses in the Old Testament that say homosexuality is an "abomination" (this is the language that the fundamentalists love to quote), and a couple references in the epistles of Paul that appear to reject the practice as well. I don't have the citations handy, but you can Google them easily.

              The Pauline epistles are not universally recognized by Christians as prohibiting homosexuality because Paul was pretty much against heterosexual sex as well (he was waiting for the imminent second coming of Christ, and was therefore not particularly concerned with the future of the human race). Also, Paul was very much a product of his times, and was heavily influenced by Platonic philosophy, a definite step down from the more complex (and much more defensible) Aristotelian logic. If you try to objectively read his epistles, you'll find that he would have had trouble getting through Composition 101 - in short, he is an astoundingly poor writer, and it is often impossible to tell exactly what he was thinking (or smoking).

              When you consider the tens of thousands of verses in the Bible, which overwhelmingly focus on grace, love, peace, goodness and tolerance, the couple of anti-gay references in the Bible seem very much out of place (like many of the other OT laws).

              As for your other question:
              Real Christians, the ones who believe in and follow the teachings of Christ, have NO rational or supportable objection to homosexuality, either in concept or in practice. The kind of people who call themselves "Christian" and make a lot of noise about how gays and abortion are the work of the devil, and the death penalty is ordained by god - well, those kind of people are not very Christlike, regardless of what they call themselves.

              P.S. If the "ass" in the 10th Amendment actually were the one on one's neighbor's own backside, this commandment would still not be a prohibition against homosexuality - although it WOULD constitute a prohibition against wishing your OWN ass were as nice as your neighbor's (especially if you're too lazy to get to the gym and improve it).

              If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water.

              by wandabee on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 01:27:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks very much (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wandabee, Allogenes

                for a well-considered reply.

                A little Google research seems to indicate that, along with a renunciation of homosexuality, I would have to rid my closet of poly-cotton shirts if I ever decided to convert to Christianity according to the more conservative adherents.  Very interesting.  Theologically, my wife seems to think a lot like you (although we eschew poly-cotton shirts for other reasons).  To an outsider, this all did seem a little irrational.

                Thanks again!

                •  I beseech you to renounce (0+ / 0-)

                  all poly-cotton shirts regardless of your religious affiliation or lack thereof.

                  If I were not already an atheist, poly-cotton clothing (men's short-sleeved shirts, in particular) would convince me beyond all doubt that there is no such thing as Intelligent Design.

                  If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water.

                  by wandabee on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 05:50:32 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  What a cop out (4+ / 0-)

      I think we could sit around and debate how "clear" the Bible speaks about homosexuality until we are blue in the face. Likewise with eating shellfish and the right to stone your mother for wearing clothes made from two different cloths. Although it doesn't seem like you hear much discussion about the latter.

      Painting prejudice as a sign of faith in the face of such hypocrisy doesn't fool anyone.

      •  BTW the banning of homosex'ty isn't just OT law (0+ / 0-)

        Read the New Testament, Paul speaks of it often.

        •  Where does Jesus condemn it? (2+ / 0-)
        •  Paul actually speaks .... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          about temple prostitution.

          Paul says nothing about a loving, comitted same sex relationship.  He does, however spend way too much time writing and thinking about the status of the foreskin of a follower.

          I'm sick of America being covered by conservative crap

          by emsprater on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:57:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's here (0+ / 0-)

            Galatians v19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; v20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions v21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

            It mentions sexual immorality, drunkeness, orgies--

            BTW my neighbors in a "loving, committed" same sex relationship have plenty of visitors over to make it more than two people.  I don't think that squares with the idea of a two-person relationship, like marriage.

            •  yeah and my straight neighbors... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AmericanRiverCanyon, EdSF

              beat their kids.

              So all straight parents should have their kids taken from them.

              Do you see the amazing absurdity of your arguments?

              Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

              by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:06:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Peeking through the windows, eh? (0+ / 0-)

              Okay, now I'm done trying to pretend this was a civilized discussion.

              Just eww.

            •  You are certainly not using .... (0+ / 0-)

              the same King James version I use.  You certainly have not done any real research into the original texts and the meanings of the original wordings.

              Each and every one of the many sins you mention are practicesd each and every day by and large by heterosexuals.  So can we now state that your beliefs also encompass heterosexuality as equally capable of sexual immorality, drunkenness and orgies?
              One of the great examples of sexual depravity in the Bible is that of Lott's daughters getting him drunk and conceiving with him.  David killed a man for his wife.  Heterosexuals are so, "ahem" blameless.  Right.

              Your example of your neighbors is a: none of your business, and b: a situation where you might actually be mistaken about sexual activities.  Do you think your neighbor assumes that you and your spouse are swinging with every other heterosexual couple that passes your threshold?  Wait, perhaps if you assume others are doing that, it is because you do it yourself.  Swinger publications worldwide are full of heterosexual folks who have "holy matrimony" on their side yet they embody all that you ascribe to homosexuals.  Your reality is flawed.  Your love of your fellow man is definitely lacking of sincerety and the love of Christ.

              I'm sick of America being covered by conservative crap

              by emsprater on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 02:57:34 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Paul was not the Son of God. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          There is a lot of good teaching in Paul's words as well as a lot of confusion and working through of his own sins. Paul is a fascinating figure in the history of the church, though many owuld argue as to whether his interpretation of the Word is authoritative. Personally, I take the Gospels as my starting point. Paul is commentary.

          •  Again, pick and choose? Hold fast to all of it nt (0+ / 0-)
            •  I'll make you a deal, when you actually (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pHunbalanced, wandabee, EdSF

              hold fast to all of the bible,

              so will I.

              I won't hold my breath.

              Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

              by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:08:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh really? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wandabee, EdSF

              We all pick and choose and find ways to interpret the word and make it meaningful. I mean, do you avoid wearing cloth made of mixed fibers?

              Even Jesus, for example, held some of the commandments as more important than the rest.

              •  yep, the two.. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pHunbalanced, wandabee

                that all the law and the prophets hang on...

                love thy God with all your might mind and strength

                and love thy neighbor as yourself...

                and of course Jesus explained 'neighbor' in the parable of the Good Samaritan as well.. everyone.

                Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

                by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:18:28 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Love your God with all your heart and with (0+ / 0-)

                all your mind and with all your soul.

                1. Love your neighbor as yourself.

                The GLBT community and Christians could both learn from #2 and stop bashing. Intolerance cuts both ways.

                •  BTW that would include the preposterous (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  behavior of public arch-conservatives who blame our nation's failings on gay behavior or those who beat up, maim, or kill GLBT people.

                •  Intolerance (0+ / 0-)

                  Does the idea that a number of gay people critcize (your word:bash) "Christians" who have overwhelmingly spent way too much time (obsession? adolescent insecurity?)condemning gays and their (I love it) "lifestyle" really get to you?

                  •  Continued (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Well think of it this way. Your freedom to believe what you want and to exercise your religion is protected throughout this country. On the other hand, the civil rights of gay people, rights to housing and employment are protected in only 17 states and even there they were fought against tooth and nail by "Christians". The marginalization of gays as second class citizens has been furthered by "religious" leaders to the point that real physical bashing of gays is not an uncommon reality here. You personally might want to cover your ass by not supporting such "maiming" and physical harm (after all you can't completely abandon Jesus' commandment of love), but please, "hate the sin, love the sinner" rings hollow in the ears of those human beings you have demonized (in these comments alone you have called gays "close-minded", a joke coming from someone with your limited point of view)and marginalized. You should be impressed that any gays subscribe to your religion at all. If you were treated like they have been, I just wonder...

              •  Jesus death on the cross took away (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                many of the procedural laws that God demanded of the Israelites to remain clean and pure before God.  I don't think you'd find a Biblical scholar that misses the mark on that.

            •  Well, somebody already picked and chose. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wclathe, pHunbalanced

              The inclusion of certain books in the Bible and the exclusion of others, and then to persecute (i.e., kill) those who believed in the excluded teachings, was a political decision made by a few powerful men.  I don't think there's anything unreasonable about giving more weight to some books they chose to include, and less weight to others, on principled grounds (the principle in question being "love thy neighbor as thyself").

              Join the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy --

              by yella dawg dem on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:20:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Pick and choose? That's what the Council of Nicea (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pHunbalanced, emsprater

              did - it wasn't unanimous or fully informed when it picked the so-called biblical canon then, and neither was the later Council of Trent in its efforts to refine the choices.

              Bunch of guys in funny hats picked all your reading material, pal. "Hold fast" all you want to those essentially political decisions from the 4th century. I prefer to use my brain and make rational decisions - it makes the world a much more decent place than the one you want to live in.

              If you wish to drown, do not torture yourself with shallow water.

              by wandabee on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:50:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Arrogance abounds (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wclathe, emsprater, EdSF

          I think one of the fundamental problems with even trying to enter into a discussion is the assumption that I am either not a Christian or have never opened a Bible. How arrogant do you have to be to assume that about one of your brothers?

          If you'd ever like to read about Paul, the New Testament, and homosexuality I invite you to study to historical context and meaning of the words malakos and arsenokoitai. It might also be of interest (actually I'm sure it is) to note how the definitions changed from scholar to scholar through the thousands of years of translation.

          To read the Bible as if it's on Oprah's Book Club without any kind of critical analyzation, and then again using it to promote your own agenda, is nothing but an abuse of faith.

    •  Painting faithfulness to the teaching of Christ (0+ / 0-)

      as as sign of 'intolerance' doesn't fool anyone either.

    •  bull, if that were true, you'd (4+ / 0-)

      leave the church because it accepts divorce.

      Something Jesus DID talk about, but you and others seem to conveniently 'forget'.

      Daddy, Papa & Me: Two dads, a daughter & the politics of it all.

      by wclathe on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:59:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I feel like a peeping tom reading this diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and thread because not only am I not Christian, I am Agnostic (or as Groucho Marx once said "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"). However, there is always someone in these discussions who unveils their true intolerance and justifies that intolerance by quoting a cliche. Although I am not homosexual, I have to call you out on the "hate the sin" crap about homosexuals. Sin is a subjective, man made and inspired concept. There is right and wrong, but your concept that loving anyone, or expressing love toward someone is sin is (excuse the expression) BULLSHIT!!!

  •  All the mean people are leaving.... (8+ / 0-)

    I am a lifelong Episcopalian and was a parishioner in a church a few years ago where a new rector launched a pointed effort to encourage gay/lesbian persons to join the parish. A handful of wingnuts/traditionalists left because of this and moved to another Episcopal church in the area. After their departure, I overheard one elderly female parishioner say: "Isn't this wonderful...all the mean people are gone". She was right.

    I post this story previously but thought it was worth repeating.

    My Democratic Nominee Preferences: 1.Gore or Clark or Edwards 2.Richardson 3.ABH (Anybody But Hillary)

    by VolvoDrivingLiberal on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 11:52:46 AM PST

  •  You'd be welcome (5+ / 0-)

    in our Episcopalian church in DC.  We regret the "frozen chosen" attitudes of our Virginia neighbors.  Seriously this is a sad development likely financed by rightwing outsiders who are not Episcopalian.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 12:17:14 PM PST

  •  MMmmmmm! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, wandabee, Allogenes

    Schadenfreude is sooooooooo tasty!  Like I often say, I gave up Catholicism (and Christianity) for Lent one year.  It worked so well I became Unitarian (leaning to pagan/Wiccan).

  •  In Matthew there's a Last Judgement Day quiz (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, x, EdSF

    that doesn't include whether you believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, or who you slept with, but what we did or didn't do for those who hungered or were thirsty, in jail or sick or naked.

    Since Jesus said this, I think I'd give it something higher priority than Paul or anyone else biblical.

    Just me, but wouldn't it be nice it those whose say "Jesus is Lord" acted like they really meant it once in a while.  Jesus, not Paul.

    Impeachment - It's not just for blowjobs any more.

    by grada3784 on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 04:07:48 PM PST

    •  How's about a link, there buddy? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      What did he say?

      A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore. Yogi Berra

      by x on Mon Dec 18, 2006 at 10:01:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If memory serves, It was in Matthew, (0+ / 0-)

        Chapter 25starting at verse 31.  A complete laundry list of what Catholics call the corporal works of mercy.  Silly name from my standpoint, since they're acts of love, but each to their own.

        A very good example here of what is not known from the Gospel and what evangelizing groups are not sharing with others about what Jesus had to say.  

        Impeachment - It's not just for blowjobs any more.

        by grada3784 on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 02:13:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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