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Homophobic post perhaps
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Posted December 17, 2012 at 8:12PM
Ok, I know I'm probably asking for trouble here but something I saw yesterday that really irritated both my wife and myself.
Sir Ian McKellen (an actor who I usually have respect for) was interviewed on the Andrew Marr show yesterday morning. I didn't see the entire interview but we were both incredulous at the part where he said he was off to Edinburgh to visit and talk to schools to promote homosexuality and affirm the ideal that it was ok to be gay. He said school children's jaws usually dropped when they heard that it was once possible to be jailed for being in love with someone of the same sex.
As a parent (albeit of offspring now old enough to make their own minds up) I would have been incensed if I thought that sort of message was being sent out to my family in our schools. It is bad enough that so many children's tv programmes portray this as a totally normal alternative.
I don't consider myself to be homophobic, I am opposed to gay marriage per se as I believe marriage should be reserved for the traditional male/female partnership but at the same time I know several gay people and don't have any issue with their relationships - what they do is entirely their own business. I respect them and they respect my opinion.
I just think it is entirely inappropriate that our young people from an early age appear to be having the message thrust on them that this is an entirely open acceptable norm.
Am I wrong?
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Posted December 18, 2012 at 11:14PM
Please don't read woodchip's post and think that all Christians think the same. The majority of mainstream denominations welcome the inclusion of lesbians and gays. However it is not without it's problems and it creates regular debates.
I've no idea what the relevance of 2 Corinthians 6 is to this debate. Misquote? It can be unhelpful to take one verse from the bible, and quote it out of context.
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Posted December 18, 2012 at 11:19PM
Woodchip - you need to look more carefully at the point FE was making. It's more subtle than you give credit for. I have studied Theology to Master's level as well as Philosophy of Religion and this issue is one I have studied at both a theological and liturgical level.
I know what the Bible says. But you need to remember that the Bible is not a single book thought out by one person but a collection of books and thoughts by hundreds of people. Many things in the Bible are contradictory which is unsurprising since it wasn't intended as a single unit and has been retranslated and edit thousands of times.
Many Fundamental Christians run the risk of running themselves into double standards because they say that all people were created in the image of God. They then argue that certain things are an 'obomination unto the Lord'. You end up getting into a chicken and egg situation very easily.
If God created all things, then he created homosexuality too. Many would argue that that 'abomination' is The Devil's work. Fine, but who created the Devil? It's easy to blame things on to this 'Devil' but someone/thing/Being created the Devil.
If it wasn't God, who was it? If it was something else, then God clearly didn't create all things. You can't get away with saying that God created all the 'Good' things and anything that falls outside of that is nothing to do with God. If God created all things then he created all things.
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Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:17AM
You have fundamentalists that believe every word is true and you have pragmatists who accept that the message is what is important and while they believe that some of what is written is true they accept that some things may not be as reported.
The Bible does say that all sorts of things are wrong - Leviticus in the Old Testament has most of these references and there is more than one reference to homosexuality in Leviticus itself. Leviticus was intended as a rulebook for the new state of Israel after the Israelites had escaped from Egypt, so for me context is important. Fundamentalists would say that context is irrelevant and they are rules for all. I'm a pragmatist and I believe that the context was to keep them separated from the Canaanites.
Fundamentalists would argue that yes, all the things in the bible really happened in the way described. Chances are there was a real flood, and possibly even a real Noah, although I doubt he lived to be 950 years old! It is not beyond the realms of possibility that someone noticing it was raining a lot deciding to build a boat - you'd be tempted to do the same in the UK this year!
Many of the stories in the bible were shared verbally and we know how the truth sometimes gets stretched when stories get exchanged.
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Posted December 19, 2012 at 9:58AM
Reading quickly through the comments being made in this thread, it would appear that the usual insults are being aired by the same individuals, who may believe they have the answers?
But putting that aside, I have friend's who are both homosexual and lesbian, but they would never think that attending school's giving lectures is the way they would like to go.
Which comes to other points about being 'gay' and 'coming out', and why is it that some people think that the whole world should know. And that comes to another point as to what the dictionary says about 'gay'. In the dictionary I have just checked, it clearly states: merry -light hearted - showy - dissolute - quarrelsome - overbearing - unpleasant. And possibly this applies to all works of life, just not one particular group who wants to express that they are very special and need wide attention.
The people that I know don't go around with placards or find the need to dress and act far differently to anyone else, so as to publicise their gender. They carry on their own affairs in a private manner, within the groups and people they meet and deal with everyday of their lives. Its a bit like a person who owns firearms, they don't go around with a gun and ammunition in public places, telling everyone "look I am special, and I must draw your attention to me".
Coming back to the subject of going into school's and perhaps giving lectures, I would ask the questions as to why this should be done, and who is requesting this service. Is it the kid's, the teacher's or perhaps an issue far bigger?.
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Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:01AM
It's been a while, but I'm pretty certain Jesus said something about treating your neighbour as you would hope to be treated yourself. Whether you think he was god or not, that to me seems a pretty good place to start when building a just society. Prejudice on any grounds is, by definition, unChristian.
And while we are at it, when I see avowdly heterosexual people getting hot under the collar about homosexuality, I do wonder what it is they are afraid of. Whether you like it or not, there are people in your life who are gay. If you don't think that is the case, it's because they aren't telling you.
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Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:05AM
Thank you for a couple of excellent posts. It's always good to hear a balanced view - especially your reminder about how the bible stories were passed on verbally.
Some of them weren't written until hundreds of years after the events they describe.
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Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:10AM
"Whether you like it or not, there are people in your life who are gay. If you don't think that is the case, it's because they aren't telling you."
Matt's comment reminded me of a PA who worked for me for two and a half years before I discovered she was gay. It cropped up in a conversation at a reception we attended, and she said 'I thought you always knew, so I didn't mention it'.
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Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:15AM
It depends on which bits the pragmatist is pragmatic about. He/she might believe that homosexuality is wrong because the bible says it is. He might accept that science is right about the creation of the earth. This was the position of my Head of Year at school. Nothing is ever clear cut n religion. Some will accept the moral 'truths' but accept that the world wasn't created in 7 days. The argument then that there was to be a first cause and they will argue that that first cause was God.
If one argues that a fairly pragmatic believer accepts that not all the 'facts' are as reported, it doesn't necessarily follow that the moral truths are still true and consistent. I happen to believe differently, and am more pragmatic due to my study of Theology at university. I had discussions with the more fundamental and evangelical wing of my then church who argued that I should leave Philosophy out of it but I argued (and also in my interview for my uni place by Dr Liz Stuart - who wrote a groundbreaking Prayer Book that included prayers and services that were inclusive for gays and lesbians - she was a Roman Catholic so she is popular with the current Pope) that faith has to be questioned in order for it to be considered faith. If it is 'fact' then it requires no faith.
Society's response to homosexuality is contentious. It would be wrong however, to believe that all the opinions saying that homosexuality is wrong is based on religious belief. There are plenty of atheists and agnostics that display the same prejudice. Unfortunately the word prejudice has been hijacked and made more sinister in recent times. I use it in the sense of a long held belief.
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Posted December 19, 2012 at 10:17AM
Perhaps if we are going to start quoting parts from the bible, then perhaps look no further than " Go forth and multiply".
This was once explained to me by a group of elderly West Indian ladies, when I attended a funeral of a person who had been shot and killed, and was a relation of their's. I was curious about relationships and how on this occasion about 500+ people attended the funeral, including the dead person's many girl friends and the children born of those relationships with the now deceased person.
It wasn't regarded as a sin, in having all those relationships, but a way the bible had possibly intended, depending on translation?.
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