Persecution in America? Chicken Little vs. the Ostrich

by Reed DePace

In the wake of the two same sex marriage decisions from the Supreme Court I wrote to a group of ministerial friends and acquaintances asking for copies of their church’s marriage policies. I did so because I expect churches and pastors will be facing, in just a few years, at least civil assaults via this issue.

Some reaction to my concern was that I was being an alarmist. Another labeled my concern absurd (def.: ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous; having no rational or orderly relationship to human life).

O.k., maybe like Chicken Little I don’t know an acorn from persecution. Yet, before going gaily on your way, I’d ask you to at least consider the discussion a bit more fully. Maybe the following articles will help:

I do not believe the goal is mere legitimization. No, I think that which is pushing homosexuality across our culture is a greater moral goal, one with two components. This goal is to secure the acknowledgement, in all parts of our culture:

  1. Of the moral superiority of homosexuality, and
  2. Of the moral depravity of any who deny this (and so, must be treated as the worst bigots in history, e.g., KKK, Nazis, etc.).

Think I’m Chicken Little? Stanley Hauerwas, “America’s Best Theologian” (Time Magazine, 2001) began to make just such an argument back in 1993. The Bible is already well on its way to being labeled morally degenerate in terms of its moral condemnation of homosexuality. Already opponents of same sex marriage are shying away from making a moral-based argument.

Whether I’m Chicken Little or not, at the very least the homosexual juggernaut (as another friend labels it) is on the move. Where it stops, and what it crushes along the way may be debatable. It should hardly be a debatable point that it is on an (humanly) unstoppable roll.

Will pastors face persecution via the same sex marriage issue? Christian laymen already are:

Oh, and a church has experienced persecution over this issue.

So what should we do in response? I think there are at least three faith-responses we can offer that we can say are both our Father’s marching orders and carry His promise of blessing in response:

  1. Make reasonable preparations (Matthew 10:16; Colossians 4:5; Philippians 2:15). Investigate whether or not you or church has unnecessary legal exposure in the ways in which you offer services to non-members. Take appropriate measures to remove or mitigate this exposure.
  2. Pray for God to send us into these fields that are ripe for the Harvest (John 4:35; Matthew 9:36-38). The truth is that those in homosexuality are destroying themselves. They, their family and friends are suffering the worst of the effects of the fall, just short of what a Christ-less eternity brings.
  3. Love those who consider us their enemies by bringing them the gospel (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:27-28): God will surely do in our generation what He has done in the past (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Imagine the joy you, saved from your depravity, will experience standing beside your brother or sister who was once your enemy trapped in homosexuality’s depravity.

I do hope I am just warning about acorns. But I don’t think this is the case. So I’ll see the charge that I’m being absurd and raise a “don’t be naïve!” Or maybe I can put it this way: I’d rather be Chicken Little than an ostrich.

by Reed DePace

About these ads

131 Comments

  1. B said,

    July 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Have you read: “When the Wicked Seize a City?”

    Account of OPC minister in San Francisco in 80’s and 90’s.

  2. Reed Here said,

    July 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    I have not. Heard mention of this brother’s experience only recently. Will check out the book.

  3. Dr DeRIdder said,

    July 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Reed,

    Some might call you a soothsayer…..when the Orwellian nightmare becomes reality with the legistlation of “thought crimes” as an extension of current hate crimes toward intolerance of same sex marriages. THe DOJ will be instructed to also use the RICCO statues against “orgainized-crime” religious groups and their leaders .

  4. July 3, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    “So I’ll see the charge that I’m being absurd and raise a “don’t be naïve!” Or maybe I can put it this way: I’d rather be Chicken Little than an ostrich.”

    I agree whole-heartedly with you Reed.

    ——-

    Reed: “What’s your church’s marriage policies?”

    Other pastor: “You’re being an overly reactionary alarmist. Don’t be absurd in your concerns.”

    Reed: “You’re behaving like an ostrich with your head stuck in the ground.”

    Other pastor: “You’re a Chicken Little.”

    Reed: “I love you.”

    Other pastor: “I love you too.”

    Reed: “Goodbye.”

    Other pastor: “Goodbye.”

    This is an example of a productive, edifying conversation between two undershepherds of the local church.

  5. CD-Host said,

    July 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Churches have first amendment protections the other groups you mention don’t (and BTW the situation in NJ was a church group not a church). Lots of religions today have practices that huge segments of society find morally objectionable and they aren’t persecuted for them.

    Orthodox Jews don’t allow for mixed seating in most events
    Muslims circumcise adolescents and there is no persecution
    There are churches that practice racial discrimination and that is allowed.

    There isn’t going to be any great persecution. What is going to happen though is that more and more of the population is going to see attacking homosexuality as disqualifying regarding moral authority. So evangelicals who are anti-homosexual will simply not be able to speak to the culture on other issues.

    That’s not going to be acceptable to them and their opinions on homosexuality will by and large change over the next 50-100 years. The condemnations of intermixing sex practices will be seen in their context of intermixing other things like food and clothing and group with the “ceremonial law” that Jesus nullified. In keeping with this 1Cor6:9 will be “contextualized” (and there are ways to do this though they are rather a stretch) and diminished in scope.

    The homosexual community doesn’t need some wild persecution to achieve their objectives. Legalization and normalization gets them what they want. What do they gain from a persecution once they have those objectives?

  6. james jordan said,

    July 3, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    I’m glad to see a Calvinist actually concerned with the culture wars for once. In the SBC the Calvinists say only for “Pelagians” care about the culture wars. It warms the cockles of my heart to see you don’t agree with them.

    I am personally of the opinion that homosexuality is a symptom of an over-sexed culture. We place way too much emphasis on sex, even in the churches. Its as if everyone believes that a man’s life consists in the amount of sex he has. In order to solve the homosexual problem the church has to address that perception of life overall.

  7. james jordan said,

    July 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    “Legalization and normalization gets them what they want. What do they gain from a persecution once they have those objectives?”

    Well, there really is no such thing as a homosexual anyway. One is bound by nature to be attracted to the opposite sex. They may choose to force themselves to also be attracted to the same sex, but that isn’t really homosexuality in the strictest sense because they are still attracted to the opposite sex as well. But why are so many becoming homosexuals anyway? They are being used by the militant atheists to destroy the church. They are under the influence of a sort of mind control. The goal is not “Legalization and normalization” — the goal is the absolute destruction of religion. So persecution may indeed be in the plans. Who am I kidding? May be? No, it is in the plans.

  8. July 3, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    […] Persecution in America? Chicken Little vs. the Ostrich – […]

  9. CD-Host said,

    July 4, 2013 at 5:27 am

    @James #6-7

    Well, there really is no such thing as a homosexual anyway. One is bound by nature to be attracted to the opposite sex. They may choose to force themselves to also be attracted to the same sex, but that isn’t really homosexuality in the strictest sense because they are still attracted to the opposite sex as well.

    Interesting. What motivates this forcing?When does it start? Male homosexuals frequently indicate about age 5. Why does this forcing happen much more between pairs of identical than fraternal twins?

    How do we know they are still attracted to the opposite sex. We have biological evidence consistent with emotional disinterest or highly diminished interest in sex with the opposite sex, often lack of any sort of secondary characteristics associated with arousal (erection, vaginal secretions), etc…

    They are being used by the militant atheists to destroy the church. They are under the influence of a sort of mind control. The goal is not “Legalization and normalization” — the goal is the absolute destruction of religion. So persecution may indeed be in the plans. Who am I kidding? May be? No, it is in the plans.

    Who came up with this secret plan and where does one get a copy? What’s the agency that informs homosexuals of this secret atheist plan so they can cooperate with it? Since it appears you believe this is somehow tied to the number of homosexual we are talking an agency that is involved in recruiting people in late nursery school or early kindergarden years primarily when male homosexuals (at least) often start exhibiting behaviors. So I assume that leaders in the organization are involved in America’s nursery schools and kindergartens. What is the source of the funding for this large scale multi-year operation?

    And finally

    I am personally of the opinion that homosexuality is a symptom of an over-sexed culture.

    Can you give me a few examples of undersexed cultures and normally sexed cultures to use as a comparison?

  10. July 4, 2013 at 8:17 am

    […] Persecution in America? Chicken Little v The Ostrich Among other things, this post list ten cases where people have already faced persecution for their stance on same-sex marriage. […]

  11. Nathanael said,

    July 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Well, for anyone who thinks that believing that there will be persecution in America is overreacting all I can say is: look north. (And by north I mean Canada.)

  12. michael said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

    What I don’t like about all this debate is the sword being used. It seems to me there is only being used, a one sided sword while true biblical Christianity should be using a double edged sharp two sided sword:

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV)

    When you isolate in the public only one grievance out the list above you are bound to fall prey to what seems to be growing; an over-emphasis of the problem of unrighteousness?

    I would hope we would not isolate issues and pick up the sword of the Spirit and cut hearts in toto instead?

  13. CD-Host said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

    @Nathanael #12 —

    America has a centuries long tradition of an unusually high degree of religious tolerance. Canada conversely has a long tradition of state support of religion for example the whole notion of separate schools. Religious institutions that operate as a state church have to do what the state wants. There aren’t state churches in America.

  14. james jordan said,

    July 4, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    @CD-Host “Male homosexuals frequently indicate about age 5. Why does this forcing happen much more between pairs of identical than fraternal twins?”

    Why do you believe any of this propaganda?

    “We have biological evidence consistent with…” There’s plenty of ‘evidence’ for evolution too. And Stephen Hawking ‘proved’ in his last book that the universe created itself without God.

    I reject the claims of the pervertyologists just as I reject the claims of the global warming alarmists, the evolutionists, and the particle physicists, and the Godless psychologists. But it isn’t surprising to find a Calvinist accepting all of them. If you don’t believe in the truth, you’ll believe anything.

  15. CD-Host said,

    July 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    @james #15

    Why do you believe any of this propaganda?

    It was published in high quality sources like: Archives of General Psychiatry, Journal of Perspectives in Social Psychology, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Nervous Mental Disorders. Along with classic texts like: Genetic Theory and Abnormal Behavior. And I googled for another 5 minutes I could probably get another 100 or so. OK now why should I disbelieve this “propaganda”.

    I reject the claims of the pervertyologists just as I reject the claims of the global warming alarmists, the evolutionists, and the particle physicists,

    Then we can end on a note of agreement. I feel perfectly comfortable with that grouping that the existence of a homosexual orientation and its early development / genetic basis should be grouped with global warming, evolution and particle physics.

  16. Reed Here said,

    July 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    James: there you go again, criticizing what you do NOT understand. CD-Host IS NOT a Calvinist.

    Instead of assuming things, why don’t you go ahead and ask questions first. Ask CD-Host his religious affiliation.

  17. Zrim said,

    July 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Nathaniel , but when I look north I see this:

    Discriminatory publication

    7 (1) A person must not publish, issue or display, or cause to be published, issued or displayed, any statement, publication, notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation that

    (a) indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or a group or class of persons, or

    (b) is likely to expose a person or a group or class of persons to hatred or contempt

    because of the race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation or age of that person or that group or class of persons.

    (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a private communication, a communication intended to be private or a communication related to an activity otherwise permitted by this Code.

    (There is a lot of difference between a church that preaches homosexuality is a sin, and someone who publishes hate against someone because of their orientation in the public arena.)

    Exemptions

    41 (1) If a charitable, philanthropic, educational, fraternal, religious or social organization or corporation that is not operated for profit has as a primary purpose the promotion of the interests and welfare of an identifiable group or class of persons characterized by a physical or mental disability or by a common race, religion, age, sex, marital status, political belief, colour, ancestry or place of origin, that organization or corporation must not be considered to be contravening this Code because it is granting a preference to members of the identifiable group or class of persons.

    (2) Nothing in this Code prohibits a distinction on the basis of age if that distinction is permitted or required by any Act or regulation.

    The above protects churches from being forced to hire gay persons, women pastors etc. The entire Code is at http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_96210_01#section2

    As there is also so much concern regarding same sex marriage, and the fear that churches will be forced to marry people of the same sex, the following are excerpts from The Civil Marriage Act.

    NOW, THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and
    with the advice and consent of the Senate and
    House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

    1. This Act may be cited as the Civil Marriage
    Act.

    2. Marriage, for civil purposes, is the lawful
    union of two persons to the exclusion of all others.

    3. It is recognized that officials of religious
    groups are free to refuse to perform marriages
    that are not in accordance with their religious
    beliefs.

    3.1 For greater certainty, no person or organization
    shall be deprived of any benefit, or be
    subject to any obligation or sanction, under any
    law of the Parliament of Canada solely by reason
    of their exercise, in respect of marriage between
    persons of the same sex, of the freedom
    of conscience and religion guaranteed under the
    Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or
    the expression of their beliefs in respect of marriage
    as the union of a man and woman to the
    exclusion of all others based on that guaranteed
    freedom.

    4. For greater certainty, a marriage is not
    void or voidable by reason only that the spouses
    are of the same sex.

  18. July 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Reed,

    I think your concerns are valid. Whether there will be civil restrictions is unkown (I appreciate Zrim’s comment) but fear of civil restrictions or litigation could certainly have a chilling effect on pulpit speech. I’ve been in meetings where concern anout litigation has affected discussions and decisions.

    Churches are usually small non-profits with no easy legal representation. If people come tp think/assume that calling homosexuality or homosexual behavior is sin is “hate speech” that will affect churches and ministry.

    It may not be illegal in Canada for churches to preach against homosexuality but hate speech laws are expensive. Ask Mark Steyn and it doesn’t take much to imagine Occupy types trying to bankrupt or silence churches through litigation. It’s easy to imagine judges just waiting for the opportunity to make those “stupid Christians” shut up.

  19. Richard Cronin said,

    July 4, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    The Hauerwas link is a bit rich!! He was been severely tongue in cheek to make a point. Otherwise i suppose i support what you are saying i guess my question would be so what? Is america a christian nation? Hell no. Then why are you talking like persecution is a surprise.

  20. CD-Host said,

    July 4, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    it doesn’t take much to imagine Occupy types trying to bankrupt or silence churches through litigation.

    Occupy doesn’t even involve themselves with social issues. I’m sure almost everyone involved is “pro-gay” but they have nothing to do with gay issues. Here is their mission statement:

    Occupy Wall Street is fighting back against the corrosive power of major banks and multinational corporations over the democratic process, and the role of Wall Street in creating an economic collapse that has caused the greatest recession in generations. The movement is inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and aims to fight back against the richest 1% of people that are writing the rules of an unfair global economy that is foreclosing on our future.

  21. Reed Here said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Richard:persecution a surprise? Where in the world did you get that from what I wrote?

  22. Reed Here said,

    July 4, 2013 at 11:47 pm

    Dr. Clark, you’re emphasizing one of my concerns. Litigation will have a chilling affect in even those willing to stand.

  23. July 5, 2013 at 12:41 am

    […] Church in America and serves as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Montgomery, Alabama. This article first appeared on Green Baggins and is used with […]

  24. CD-Host said,

    July 5, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Churches are much more strongly protected than individuals. Any kind of church persecution is even less likely. There is no threat of litigation going badly for churches. All institutions are protected from civil rights law as long as their discrimination is fundamental to their purpose. That’s why Hooters doesn’t have to hire male servers. Churches because of the 1st amendment aren’t subject to judicial review of their policies with regard to their fundamental purpose, what they say is a legal truth.

    Quite literally all the PCA is going to need to do is have written GA document that indicates that anti-homosexuality is a core Christian doctrine and that discrimination against homosexuals is a religious practice necessitated by that doctrine and they are immune to civil rights challenges. This has already been tested on race which was after all the primary group for which non-discrimination laws were created. It has been tested on gender discrimination and the churches won. From that point on the state would have to show a compelling state interest in that particular church not engage in a particular act, a very high bar. If we were talking a church which believed they had a religious duty to further world peace by committing espionage, they’d have a problem. A church wanting to not hire a homosexual or to be able to preach an anti-homosexual sermon will be fine.

    Where this is going to be a problem for churches is I don’t believe a generation from now PCA leadership is going to want to go into court and swear in open court under penalty of perjury that anti-homosexuality is a Christian doctrine because their membership simply won’t be able to abide those beliefs. They would find this offensive and would leave the denomination. The same way that if the GA passed a similar unambiguous resolution today regarding blacks membership would peel off. Once they aren’t willing to invoke the first amendment the whole first amendment defense unravels. But in the hypothetical that this thread proposes where the secular world is strongly pro-gay while the churches themselves are essentially unchanged in their theology from say their attitudes in 2004, churches are fine.

  25. Reed Here said,

    July 5, 2013 at 9:40 am

    CD- Host: I understand you write from a secular world view. Yet I don’t take your use of “anti” here. It means something altogether different than what the Bible means in calling any sin, including homosexuality, wickedness that earns God’s condemnation. The Bible itself does not state this because it is “anti” homosexual, but rather very much “pro” humanity.

    Still, I fear your observation may be in the direction of what is seen. Beholden to the worldview which says to be “anti” is the worst wickedness, I fear many will lose their way and their love for their fellow man will wane. Yet God’s love won’t. Maybe someday that love will touch you too.

  26. Richard Cronin said,

    July 5, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    @REED I suppose I read the general tone of the article to be one of surprise like ” how can this be happening???”. I’m going to guess that your response will be that is not the case. Fair enough. I guess im used to hearing the sentiment from so many Americans that i’ve started to read it into all Americans.

  27. Martin said,

    July 5, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Richard – #27:

    Most American Christians (not Reed I am sure) think 1 Peter 4:12 does not apply to them: “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” Minds dulled by prosperity gospel, I think…

  28. CD-Host said,

    July 5, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    @Reed

    Yet I don’t take your use of “anti” here. It means something altogether different than what the Bible means in calling any sin, including homosexuality, wickedness that earns God’s condemnation. The Bible itself does not state this because it is “anti” homosexual, but rather very much “pro” humanity.

    There isn’t a good neutral word for the cluster of issues involving gay-rights. And I wouldn’t agree this is similar to any other sin. Christians are not arguing that people who are overweight and thus guilty of gluttony should be:

    * not allowed to teach in public schools for fear of influencing others towards gluttony
    * have clubs where they meet (restaurants that server fatty food) shut down by the police
    * have their children taken away from them in custodial situations and not be allowed to adopt
    * have enhanced inheritance taxes applied to them
    * be denied legal status for medical decisions
    * be automatically denied citizenship
    * know that discussions of food will get them automatically expelled from the military

    etc…

    Were Christians treating homosexuality like “any other sin” there wouldn’t be a gay-rights debate. There isn’t a glutton rights debate because while Christians have condemned gluttony they haven’t sought to use state coercive powers to control it –if anything it is liberals who want to use some limited state coercion to reduce the sin of gluttony. There has never been a debate about Christians considering gay sex to be sinful. Mostly gay people don’t care that Christians consider gay sex sinful. The gays that do care are working those issues out with the liberal churches. The debate is today and has always been whether because Christians consider gay sex sinful they are entitled to use state power to harm the people who engage in gay sex.

    As gay-rights are more mainstreamed the battle is shift towards the economic realm and business. Equality opportunity and non-discrimination. Those laws aren’t going to be used churches but they most certainly going to be used on Christian owned business. I don’t think persecution is a realistic fear. I don’t think churches have anything to fear. Christian business on the other hand, yes I think are in for a rough road in the next generation on this issue. I do however think there is room for compromises, which could prevent much equal rights enforcement being applied to gays. Christians still have room here and how this plays out depends on whether Christians are willing to compromise in a fair way with liberal law makers. Now for example would be a great time to pass law strengthening the parts of the civil rights act that apply to voting rights (which liberals and minorities are very worried about) while weakening the parts apply to business regulation (which Republicans are worried about).

    I don’t like the term “anti-gay” or “anti-homosexual” either for these hundreds of issue. If there is a good neutral term I’m all ears.

    As for the bible. Yes I’d consider the bible anti-gay. The bible is very focused on the issue of sexual morality. While homosexuality isn’t a major theme every single mention of it is in a negative context. This is one of the issues that Liberal Protestantism is confronting. It is getting harder and harder for them to maintain their ethical position, a historical / critical hermeneutic and the privileged position of the bible. I think Elaine Pagels is right that their path out of this box is through study of Pre-Catholic Christianity. But that’s another topic.

    As an aside on the last sentence, I also think it is a stretch for a Calvinist to consider the bible to be pro-humanity.

  29. Reed Here said,

    July 5, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Well Richard, I think maybe the three suggestions would give you a strong indication that “oh, the horror!” was not the tone at all. But no big deal. Mis-reactions happen to all of us. As one who is grateful for the mercy of others on much greater oops on my part, I’m not about to take you by the throat ;-)

  30. Reed Here said,

    July 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Martin: good connection!

    CD-Host: not enough time to spar with you. Simple observation: worldview colors our interpretation of facts. You definitely demonstrate that in this response. Don’t expect anything else from one one with your worldview. No animosity. Just a simple I disagree with how you’ve colored in some of these lines. Know I’m not going to persuade you otherwise, so not even going to try.

  31. james jordan said,

    July 6, 2013 at 12:58 am

    @CD-HOST,

    “Were Christians treating homosexuality like ‘any other sin’ there wouldn’t be a gay-rights debate.”

    Certain sins aren’t like “any other sins.” Murder and rape, for instance aren’t like telling a little white lie. Certain sins are bigger. And I don’t care what anyone says, homosexuals are more prone to be rapists. In fact, there was an article about a week ago showing that about 50% of sexual assaults in the U.S. military in the last year were homosexual man on man attacks, some of them outright rapes.

  32. CD-Host said,

    July 6, 2013 at 7:07 am

    @james —

    In fact, there was an article about a week ago showing that about 50% of sexual assaults in the U.S. military in the last year were homosexual man on man attacks, some of them outright rapes.

    Yes there was. And the military immediately responded by highlighting their own figures which show the same you see in the civilian population. Male on female rape is between 9x (counting the prison population) and 20x (not counting prison population) as likely as male on male rape. Further almost all male on male rapists are not homosexuals when they have consensual sex.

  33. Reed Here said,

    July 6, 2013 at 9:13 am

    Cd-Host: I’m not soconcerned (yet) about legislation restricting Christian rights vis-a-vis same-sex marriage. I’m more worried about an increasingly hostile community being given a green light: http://bit.ly/16VmKDt . That is what is happening.

  34. Reed Here said,

    July 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

    James & CD: when dealing with such a potential incendiary topic please don’t reference supporting info. Without giving readers some way of tracking the info. down, of being able to verify what you’ve claimed. This is not a challenge to either of your competing claims. It is a request that you abide by the intentions of this blog. Thanks.

  35. Reed Here said,

    July 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

    CD-Host: when viewing the Church from the respective of ALL those who claim to be Christian, I agree, it looks like the Church has been decidedly inconsistent in calling sin sin over the years. Yet, I disagree with you sweeping generalization of two reasons:

    1. Not all who claim Christ are claimed by Him. I think you know of the many passages where Jesus condemns such hypocrisy explicitly. The errors of false brethren, to be sure, smear nevertheless. But that hardly proves the Church is wrong to cal homosexuality wickedness.

    2. It is simply not true that the factor in no. 1. Is even the majority of the Church’s witness, let alone universal. I think it fair to observe that the denominations represented by the moderators here (not discounting your’s, dear readers) have done a much better job of calling sin sin. In our church our folks know that homosexuality is the sibling of a host of sexual perversions, including adultery, fornication, and good old (bad) fashioned lust in the heart. They also know to look to their own hearts first, never pick up stones, and reach out in love that declares condemnation on our sins ( yours, mine and the homosexuals) not just your sins.

    Finally, James is right to observe that some sins are considered by God worse than others. He measures these in degrees as it were in terms of how much a sin destroys-denies His glory as reflected in Creation and Redemption. First degree heinous sins would include (but not limited to) hypocrisy and homosexuality, at least according to what God says.

    But then, unbelief won’t get you very far on this. I expect you to look for some supposed inconsistency and then just double down on the over used “hypocrisy” label. Sometimes it is not hypocrisy, but just lack of understanding.

  36. CD-Host said,

    July 6, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    @Reed #34

    That’s an example of two people showing up at an event looking to pick a fight. Come on two Christians with anti-gay signs showing up at a gay pride rally were looking to start trouble and mostly from the sounds of that article didn’t get as much trouble as they were looking for. What happened there is the same sort of 1/2 green light the police would have given two wiccans with signs saying “Jesus never existed” showing up at a large Evangelical event.

    Persecution is when they come from you not when you come for them. So for example when those 4 women went topless to show off their “in gay we trust” signs during a Catholic mass to protest the church’s opposition to gay marriage, they were the ones looking for trouble and they were the ones arrested. Their arrest wasn’t an example of anti-gay persecution if they had disturbed the mass to protest for vegetarianism they would have been equally arrested.

    __________

    On #36 I’m a little unclear of what you are specifically responding too. You seem to be responding to some “sweeping generalization” but I’m unclear what line you meant.

    That being said I can respond a little lacking the context to point (1). Nowhere in post #29 did my argument depend on whether it is wickedness or not. In fact I compared it to gluttony, which is a sin that the secular community condemns (if anything more strongly than the Christian community). Your original claim was that these statements that homosexuality is wickedness are the provoking actions. I’m saying those aren’t the dispute at all. Rather it is strong long term consistent Christian support for state persecution of homosexuals that are provoking reactions. The battle is over Christian support for state persecution, it’s not over religious beliefs. You can believe that gluttony is wicked, you can believe that sabbath breakers are wicked. But you don’t push for either sabbath breakers or gluttons to be subject to higher inheritance taxes.

    ____

    As far as degrees of sin what God says about them, that is what the bible says about them is quite different. There are sins punishable by death like sabbath breaking those are first degree sins. Homosexuals get called mean names and that’s about it. They are much further down on the list. There are no explicit degrees of sin. Christianity has traditionally held that the sins of the demonic self like pride are much more important than the sins of animal self like lust or gluttony. I’m not sure what you are responding to, but I don’t think it is clear at all that homosexuality is anywhere near the top of the list.

    But this topic moves away from the issue of persecution which is political to the theological. Politically it doesn’t really make much difference whether being anti-gay is or is not biblically justified. Particularly since Christians have in the last 2 generations have done a complete 180 on miscegenation, going from thinking it was a serious sin that threatened the structure of society to mix the children of Ham (blacks) with the children of Shem (whites) to thinking it isn’t of any moral consequence what-so-ever. Less dramatically in the last generation evangelicals have flipped on whether persistent infidelity or divorce was worse.

    Let me just really bring this home. When I started my blog in 2007 PCA churches still mostly excommunicated any homosexual on sight unless they were willing to do something really destructive like to go Exodus. In 5 years that’s fallen off. Mostly now there is a vague sort of tolerance, kids grow up unmolested by the church go to college pick another denomination and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.

    Policy on these issues changes pretty fast.

  37. Phil D. said,

    July 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Re #37

    “There are sins punishable by death like sabbath breaking those are first degree sins. Homosexuals get called mean names and that’s about it. They are much further down on the list.”

    Really!!!???

    Leviticus 18:22
    “Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin.”

    Leviticus 20:13
    “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.”

  38. Reed Here said,

    July 6, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    CD-Host: big diiference between what their sign said and showing up nude at a worship service. But that is not the point. Neither is the state arresting anyone.

    Their signs were minimal. They were physically assaulted. The progressive culture increasingly thinks that this is an appropriate response.

    The Church however, would find such a response wrong and chastise those in their midst who did it. The homosexual community most likely will applaud those doing the attacking here.

    As to sweeping generalizations, your comment no. 29. Christians supporting state persecution of homosexuals? You’re being ludicrous.

    Also, bringing it home? Frankly whether you are right or wrong is insignificant to me. Policy may change but Scripture does not. Pragmatism may give you comfort. To me it is just another idol yet to be swept away.

    As to the Bible’s judging some sins worse than others and your examples, you’re demonstrating you don’t know the Bible as well as you think.

    Finally, you keep going off into persecution by the state. I’ve been focused more generally than that. You’re limiting is convenient for you in dismissing my observations. Anyone paying attention will recognize you’re deflecting from what I’ve said, not actually disproving it.

  39. CD-Host said,

    July 7, 2013 at 5:18 am

    @Phil D #38 —

    Wow. I was thinking Lev 18 and forgot Lev 20. Brain fart on my part 2 points to you. Absolutely agree with your evidence there.

    _____

    They were physically assaulted. The progressive culture increasingly thinks that this is an appropriate response. The Church however, would find such a response wrong and chastise those in their midst who did it.

    Your own video and news report shows the crowd rushing in to pull Rogue / Jason Queree (the one guy who punched the preachers) off the preachers. They didn’t merely chastise those who did it, they physically stopped it and protected the “you are going to hell preacher”. That’s disagreeing with the behavior. I think you are grossly mischaracterizing what happened. Your own evidence shows the exact opposite attitudes you are claiming. The crowd did not agree with the assault. As an aside Jason Queree has 9 previous felony convictions and 12 misdemeanors. He’s a criminal, and judging the gay community based on his conduct would be like judging the evangelical community based on all the many criminals from an evangelical background.

    That being said, you know darn well that two guys who show up with signs are looking to start trouble. That’s why they were there. They were successful in starting trouble and that’s a pity but that is all it is. There is nothing unique about the progressive community here. Go to a black neighborhood with a “I hate ____ sign”. Certainly if I was a kid and someone wore orange much less had an openly pro-union sign they would lose teeth by going to a Saint Patrick’s day parade. If you are black or hispanic wear gang X’s colors in gang Y’s territory get’s you shot, you just don’t have a sign taken away from you.

    People who engage in these sorts of actions are looking to create a reaction. A violent reaction is better for them because it gets on the news and thus gets them more coverage. Those preachers were likely thrilled with what happened. Had they been left alone their “I hate __________” signs sorry, their “repent or go to hell” sings would have been seen by a few hundred people once instead they got far more coverage for their cause. Hayden Panettiere does whale protection all the time, and famous as she is she can barely draw attention. The one time she got international coverage was when a Japanese fishing boat almost sank her vessel.

    No I don’t think there is a big difference between what their sign said and showing up nude at a worship service. I think both types of people are doing political theater in a way that is provocative and disrespectful. Obviously what’s provocative is specific to the target community. No one would even look twice if you showed up wearing orange to the gay right’s march and showing up topless with “in gay we trust” would have gotten applause at the gay right’s march.

    As to sweeping generalizations, your comment no. 29. Christians supporting state persecution of homosexuals? You’re being ludicrous.

    Who do you think demanded restrictions on openly gay service members, martians?
    Who do you think has been agitating against fixing the IRS code?
    Who are the supporters of DOMA?

    Yes it is Christians who support state persecution.

    Finally, you keep going off into persecution by the state. I’ve been focused more generally than that. You’re limiting is convenient for you in dismissing my observations. Anyone paying attention will recognize you’re deflecting from what I’ve said, not actually disproving it.

    You are losing the thread of the argument. Your argument was that Christians were being challenged because of their religious beliefs. I was saying that gays were mostly indifferent to Christian religious beliefs. What they care about, what the debate has been mostly about, is Christians attempting to use public policy to harass and persecute gays.

  40. July 7, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    God loves everybody, remember? Common grace? God loved Hitler and Stalin and they had a “chance” up till they died, right? OR just maybe homosexuality is a curse from God, not a blessing. Proverbs 16:4; Romans 9:22.

  41. July 7, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    hat they care about, what the debate has been mostly about, is Christians attempting to use public policy to harass and persecute gays.<<< So now they want pay back? Sorry but Christians have just as much right to push for the 10 commandments as the basis for civil and criminal law as the liberals have for murdering the unborn and perversion in the realm of sexuality and the family.

  42. July 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    The Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith, practice and morality.

  43. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 8, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Vengence [and wrath] is Mine sayeth the Lord
    ….Can anyone else do better?
    ….Just pray His Will be Done and maybe for a little scunion on the heads of the wicked

  44. Reed Here said,

    July 8, 2013 at 10:48 am

    CD-Host: no more profanity on this blog. Ever. Or simply don’t come back.

    As to losing the thread of my argument, no not at all. Instead I’m denying your misreading of it. That’s a tactic I’ve watched you pull a number of times. Change the topic, win the debate.

    Your examples of Christian-sponsored state persecution only follow if homosexuality is an amoral choice. You purport to understand the Bible? Then you know it teaches that homosexuality is anything other than amoral.

    As well, the majority of American supported such laws. The Church is a decided minority, notwithstanding the nominalists which you should know that someone like me would not credit with being the Church. To then call this Christian-sponsored persecution is ludicrous. It reads as nothing more than a standard atheist “blame the Christians for everything” argument.

    Your characterization of the two men’s motives AND activities goes way beyond what was reported. I only know what I see and read. Do you know more? Are you God? Oh wait …

    The crowd was cheering on. Only one man was arrested. More participated. That is the kind of crowd behavior that turns to riot. About the only thing I can think is similar is the attacks a Muslim crowd made on street preachers in Deerborn, MI.

    The freedom of speech we all support includes being rude in public places. For example, I may be able to deny you freedom to use foul language here (see your edited comment above). But you are free to use it in public. Whether or not these men were seeking to provoke a response, or were offering simple gospel introduction (and no, I would not use a sign, but rather a bullhorn, through which I could say more than two words), I don’t know. I do know that the treatment they received was wrong.

    Your description of what the attack was is decidedly minimized from what is reported to have happened. You description of their sign and their motives/actions is decidedly exaggerated (sign said “repent or else”). That is consistent with your belief set. I get it. That doesn’t make your opinion true.

    Meanwhile, you demur to disagree with the harassment and punishment of Christians who prefer not to do business with the homosexual community. Where is the equal protection here?

    Comparing bad behavior in other situations (e.g., St. Patrick’s Day, union march) to the bad behavior at this Gay Pride march is not a biblically based argument. Just because someone else acts wickedly in another situation doesn’t mitigate the reasons for the bad action there.

    At the end of the day the message of the Church to all types of sinners, homosexuals, adulterers, liars and atheists, is going to offend. The ordinary response of offended people is to seek to shut up the one doing the offending. Using means that harm the person’s life, liberty, and/or pursuit of happiness is persecution. We are entering an era where tolerance for the Christian message is eroding in our land. The evidence will keep piling up.

    Given your unbelief, what I want to know is this: when I get attacked what will you do?

    I get it that you’d look at my argument here with denial. Frankly, I don’t see you commenting here for any other result than to tweak Christians, trying to provoke them into either inappropriate behavior or irrational comments.

    So, are you just defending wrong behavior (attacks on Christians) because you don’t see it as wrong behavior, or because you think it is justified?

  45. Bob B said,

    July 8, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I’m of the opinion that the Church should ‘take back’ marriage from the state and remove its sanction. To do this, Christians should legally get divorces, promote the abolition of all laws giving incentives to marriage, and take on an attitude that Church recognition of a marriage is the only necessary recognition. Once the Church has marriage back under its domain the whole gay marriage debate goes away.

    I agree with CD-Host. As far as the gay-rights movement is concerned, this isn’t a ‘sin’ issue – it is a rights issue. The church should be ‘for’ rights for everyone, and one of those rights is making contracts with other people, regardless of their gender.

    Another less contentious example would be two life-long best friends, both widows, who decide to live out the rest of their years in celibate companionship. I would support contracts of inheritance between them, or even allow them to adopt.

    I do find this whole thing shameful for both the pro and anti gay people. Both are seeking / pleading for the states sanction of their position. They want ‘approval’ – and from who? Why do we care what Obama, or the nine ‘justices’ think? Why must the opinions of so few weigh so heavy on the minds of Christians? It is because the state wields a sword, and that sword is force and coercion. We fear the sword, and so we want to control it.

    Christians need to beat that sword into a plowshare. Do not seek the approval of the parasite class.

    @32 James Jordan
    The fact that homosexual rape is prevalent in the military can be interpreted in several ways.
    1. your interpretation – more homosexuals are rapists
    2. the militarys (cd-hosts) interpretation – the male / female relationship in the military is skewed, therefore it follows that rape statistics would also skew in favor of homosexual rape (due to lack of females)
    3. my interpretation – the military is the violent arm of a coercive violent gang called government. Sins of all kinds will pool into that segment of society. There is no incentive for the state to promote moral living in the military, because once people are awakened to morality they become more peaceful and less-desirable soldiers. Christians should steer clear unless called to a specific ministry.

  46. Bob S said,

    July 8, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    1. B et al

    Another incorrect book that mentions First OPC’s of San Fran’s problems with firing their homosexual organist in the late 70″s/early 80’s would be The Pink Swastika by Lively and Abrams (1995) which documents the Nazi homosexuality.
    It’s genesis in part was Lively’s experience in Oregon with the “hate is not a family value” crowd who, among other things, threw bricks wrapped in swastikas through the windows of businesses that supported an initiative opposing special rights for homosexuals.

    Two, that old Irish Roman Catholic brawler, Pat Buchanan is the only main line media commentator anywhere close to belling the cat so far as I can tell with his Égalité in the Land of the Free.
    Call it what you will, equality before the law or equal opportunity now means ala Orwell: equal results/outcome.
    If before everyone had an equal opportunity to get married, now everybody has a positive right to be married – and homosexuals “can’t” get married (to homosexuals) – then discrimination has commenced, “equal protection” has been violated and we need to redefine marriage.
    Hence the recent Supreme decision and general overall legal drift.

    Another Big Lie would be that since’ heterosexuals get to marry whomever they want, homosexuals are discriminated against because they don’t get to do the same’.
    The problem is heterosexuals don’t get to marry just anybody of the opposite sex. Incest and polyamory are illegal.
    But not for long under the new ruling.
    Unless what? we care to forbid fathers marrying daughters, but not their sons? Contradictions will ensue, not that the usual suspects don’t thrive off moral chaos. Until the other foot comes down and just as in the French, Nazi and Bolshevik revolutions, authoritarianism results.

    Which is to say, three, the recent decision in the end means more big government in order to pick up the pieces as the assault on the family – which is the first school, church, business and government – continues. And while I am in favor of shrinking the state, the magistrate in some form has some say in family law.

    Four, if both marriage and the sabbath are creation ordinances, and the evangelicals can’t figure out the fourth commandment, how much credibility or standing do they have to criticize the world when it can’t get the seventh straight? To whom much is given, much is required.

  47. Bob B said,

    July 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I think the main confusion comes from a persons view of what marriage is. Is it a contract? or is it something deeper, more spiritual, more sacramental?

    If I was Catholic, I would say it is both – it is both something sacramental, but also something God gave to humanity as a whole. It is man-woman because of its nature.

    Protestants tend to fall consider it non-sacramental and view it as a union of two before God. Some consider it man-woman, others don’t have an issue of homosexual (usually more liberal types).

    My view is that marriage as a word is loaded. Marriage is what the culture says it is. In Muslim cultures, marriage is man-woman-woman-woman-woman. In India, it is arranged man-woman. In Tibet it is woman-man-man.

    Are these marriages any more or less marriage than my marriage to my wife? Can the word marriage, which is used to describe all these different customs also be inclusive of same-sex marriage?

    If the answer is yes, then marriage begins to look a lot more like a contract – and I support any / all contracts between consenting adults (insert standard non-violence towards each other or 3rd parties disclaimer). It’s either that or come up with another non-marriage contract that two (or more) people can enter into that confers similar benefits to marriage – specifically those involving tax relief and inheritance / hospital rights. People may not have a positive right to be married, but they do have positive rights to engage in contracts.

    If the answer is no – these things are not properly marriages – then one needs to begin going around to all these other cultures and tell them why their opinion of marriage is incorrect and rectify the situation immediately. Harping on gay people when their are all these polygamous Muslims and Mormons around seems like a waste of time.

    As it stands now, fathers marrying daughters (or sons) doesn’t incur many benefits that they don’t already have. They are already ‘family’, and so can partake in all the financial benefits of being a part of that family. There was recently a case in Pennsylvania where 2 older gay partners chose to have the one ‘adopt’ the other specifically to avoid the inheritance tax. I view this adoption as absurd – not because of the strangeness of it, but that they had to jump through these absurd hoops to keep their own money out of the hands of government.

    The church should still remain the bulwark against moral decay. That sword needs to cut both ways and be in support of people making contracts with each other. So long as it is on the side of benefits for marriage and marriage only man-woman then it is going to loose the marriage battle. Reasonable people can see the unfairness in the current situation. One side of that equation has to break – is it the benefits or the man-woman?

  48. Reed here said,

    July 10, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Bob B: a bit off topic, but at least one response. Here at GB we believe that God trumps culture. He has said marriage = 1man + 1 woman, at one time. The rest is immaterial.

    As to contract? Dude, even a shallow reading of basic marriage passages in Scripture go way beyond that. Checkout monergism oops.com or wtsbooks.com. You’ll find a wealth of good examinations of what the Bible teaches about marriage.

  49. CD-Host said,

    July 10, 2013 at 9:05 am

    @Bob B —

    I think you are absolutely right. Groups like Orthodox Jews have had a parallel institution to state marriage for a long time where there are state marriages and religious marriages. State marriage is seen as a business matter while the religious courts enforce the rules of religious marriage.

    This system works well because it allows the religious community to have an explicitly religious marriage which just responds to the state.

    ______

    @Reed

    Your examples of Christian-sponsored state persecution only follow if homosexuality is an amoral choice. You purport to understand the Bible? Then you know it teaches that homosexuality is anything other than amoral.

    “amoral” doesn’t mean what you think it does, you mean “moral”. Anyway, state persecution is state persecution regardless of whether homosexuality is moral or not. If I swat a bug and kill it, I’ve swat and killed it whether the bug is stinging or not. All that arguing that homosexuality is immoral does is provide a justification for state persecution it doesn’t disprove its existence.

    And no I’m not changing the subject. What homosexuals want from Christians is for them to stop pushing for laws that harm them. They don’t care what you say in churches. Your response in #49 is the point. If you are attempting to harm other people they have every reason to dislike you. It is not your views they dislike it is your acts. You are free to consider homosexuality immoral and they mostly won’t care. If you attempt to legislate on that basis then you have cultural conflict.

  50. rfwhite said,

    July 10, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Reed: For clarification, what categories of sexual immorality do you believe are crimes punishable by the government?

  51. Bob B said,

    July 10, 2013 at 9:45 am

    @reed 49
    I’m honestly interested in this question of ‘where’ God has said that marriage is between 1 man 1 woman. If I’m sola scriptura, then I find that the requirement for being an officer in the church is ‘husband of one wife’ – and even sidestepping the issue of woman officers, it does leave open and expect that husbands might have more than 1 wife – but then they cant be officers in the church. It says absolutely nothing about marriage being 1 man 1 woman, the implication being that having more than 1 wife is on some level permissible. Even the man after God’s own heart had more wives than he could shake a stick at. Solomon – known for his wisdom on the subject of marriage doesn’t speak from a single relationship – I think the word here is ‘plethora’.

    The Bible is a bit more specific on a woman marrying multiple men, and considers such a woman an ‘adulteress’. That particular sword only cuts one direction though, further evidence that marriage is a cultural thing and the early Judeo-Christian culture was at least tolerant of multiple wives, but not tolerant of multiple husbands.

    I ask again, ‘where’ has God said 1 man 1 woman. The answer doesn’t appear to be ‘in the Bible’. Perhaps the answer is ‘through the Church’, but that opens up a whole can of ‘why aren’t we all Roman Catholic then’ and infallible interpretive authority.

    At this point, what you have is a cultural thing. I asked over at CtC what is required of a Muslim convert with multiple wives. They indicated that such a convert would be required by the RCC to not recognize all but one of those marriages as valid and would need to divorce his other wives (presumably the relationship with the other wives is a sinful one??). What would the requirement be for a Muslim convert to the Presbyterian faith be concerning unusual marriage structures?

  52. Bob B said,

    July 10, 2013 at 9:49 am

    One more Biblical example – a if two brothers are married (separate women), and one dies – the other is required to take the other brothers wife as his own, and apparently have relations with her to continue his brothers ‘line’. This particular situation goes straight against 1 man 1 woman.

  53. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 10, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Bob B,

    1 Cor 7:1-3 [own implies one]
    Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.

    The “Kinsman Redeemer” doctrine is used only in the OT and it supported the redemption of both slaves and women. All the patriarchs and Hebrew KIngs violated one man one woman. But when the “Perfect” came He taught another way.

  54. Reed Here said,

    July 10, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Bob B: not answering your questions. They are rather “101” questions. You are either writing out of sincere ignorance (you honestly do not know), or you are writing out of a motive to provoke in support of your own position.

    If the former, feel free to ask for recommendations to resources where you can learn why your observations are nonsense and not a part of biblically informed belief in sin-Savior-salvation. I’ll be grateful to respond.

    If you are writing from the former, your comments are nothing more than a form of hijacking (ala CD-Host) this conversation. As that is decidedly outside my specific purpose for writing this post, and my general purposes for participation in this blog, thanks but no thanks. If you were a local to whom I had some priority obligation of love, I’d give you the time. I do not, as I am under orders as it were to be wise with my time.

    Sorry for the mere assertion, but this is all I have time for. You are wrong, both in your understanding of what Christianity believes, and what you think is truth on this matter. If you care to put in the time to listen through some study (months at least) I’m game for helping you, even if your goal is merely to become better equipped to return with a better “no Reed, you’re wrong and here’s why.”

    Otherwise, your comments are a diversion. Sorry, I’ll not give them any more time.

  55. Reed Here said,

    July 10, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    CD-Host: last comment for you too, as it is clear you are seeking to hijack this thread for your own agenda. I’m not interested, nor do I have time to deal with that. Out of respect, since I did respond with no. 45, some responses to your misreading (misrepresentation) of what I said.

    No, I meant amoral. If homosexuality is merely a preference, no different in the end than any other personal choice a person can make, such as I like wearing neon green golf shirts, then using any actions to restrict one’s choice in this matter is a form of persecution.

    Or, if homosexuality is fundamentally a natural orientation, a factor over which the person has no personal choice because they worn born with it, like hair color or skin color, then using any actions to restrict them in living by their orientation is persecution.

    You know full well that from the biblically informed Christian perspective that neither of these apply. It is instead on the basis of one of these amoral positions (I expect the latter, as it fits with your worship of naturalism) that you claim that any action by the Christian, even speaking against homosexuality is a form of persecution.

    Let me make this clear, IF either of these amoral conditions were true, I’d completely agree with you. It is wrong to judge someone as less than another merely because of their fashion sense. It is wrong to judge someone as less than another solely because of natural (birth) characteristics which are of the unchangeable essence of their being. It is even worse (degrees of henious-ness in God’s eyes) to then take some action to restrict that person’s life, liberty, and/or economic freedom.

    But you know full well that this is EXACTLY NOT what the Bible teaches, and what I, affirming the Bible’s doctrine, believe. Accordingly, your argument of Christian sponsored state persecution is nothing more than you trying to force on me an opinion rooted in your own unbelief. You are certainly not saying anything that actually applies to my own beliefs. Therefore, I reject out of hand your attempt to redefine what I believe, and then on the basis of that redefinition judge me lacking.

    So, yes, you are changing the subject. The point is not Christian (supposed) sponsored state-persecution of homosexuals (based on your naturalism informed definitions). The point of this post is whether or not there is credible evidence that pastors and churches may face some form of persecution (e.g., economic) based merely on their verbal opposition to same sex marriage (let alone homosexuality more broadly). Again, you’re changing the subject. Stop.

    Finally, where in my comment in no. 49 do I even come close to discussing legislation? This is nothing more than your own reading into my motives and goals. I’ll agree that you’ve have (improper) support for this from a wide variety of “Evangelicals” who struggle with mistakenly equating State with Church.

    That, however, is NOT my error. You are wrong to assume it present in the background of my comment. You should better ask questions rather than assume. Or, if you’re at all familiar with the 2K debate a quick search of the archives here will demonstrate that I lean towards that position.

    And your response of labeling my mere verbal statement of the Bible’s own teaching as an attempt to harm the homosexual is particular proof of the significance of my argument. You appear to not even be able to differentiate between rhetorical disagreement and actual persecution. You assume that my mere statement is in effect, necessarily connected to overt actions to harm the life, liberty, and/or economic freedom of the homosexual.

    Your knee-jerk reaction is exactly the common characteristic that I believe proves I am not Chicken Little in my warning to fellow pastors. If a well reasoned and more or less reasonable atheist such as yourself can’t differentiate between verbal proclamation and actual persecution, then I have little hope for the average person getting the point. Thus, when I speak up against the wickedness of homosexuality, just exactly like I speak up against the sexual sins of which I am guilty, given your automatic defining of my speech as persecutatory (i.e., offense, “hate speech,” etc.), I fully expect you supporting the efforts of others to silence me through actions that restrict my freedoms.

    Your position will call this action justice. My position will call this persecution.

    Thanks for the rabbit trail that brings us back to the point. I didn’t actually plan for you to support my position. I’m thankful for it nevertheless. Sincerely, no sarcasm.

  56. Reed Here said,

    July 10, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Dr. White: appreciate your question. As may be seen in my last comment to CD-Host, I don’t believe it is germane to what I’m seeking to discuss in this post.

    To be sure, the question is valid, and one the Church should answer. Yet the doctrines involved go so far beyond the scope of this post that any response here will require voluminous backgrounding lest it be horribly misunderstood and used by enemies of the gospel to further defame Christ and His Bride.

    Confident you understand all this. Only writing in a bit more detail for the sake of others reading here who might not understand my demurring to respond to your question.

    Thanks.

  57. Bob B said,

    July 10, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    @Reed 54
    Thank you for you time so far in this discussion. I am a bit dis-satisfied with its ending due to you taking your ball and going home. I get it, it is your time and you don’t want to waste it on those who won’t listen or understand.

    I also don’t much care for your opinion that my questions are ‘Christianity 101′. As a life long Christian (son of a pastor no less), I’m pretty sure I get the basics – love God, love your neighbor. To be honest, the 101 class doesn’t get into ‘why polygamy is expected / tolerated / encouraged in OT, but the church condemns today’. To claim it as 101 is an attempt to put the question beneath your time and to provide a cop-out for not addressing it. That’s fine, and I won’t pursue this line of discourse with you further. Lets just be honest with the situation.

    In an attempt to get back to the spirit of your article, I’m of the opinion that the principles of free association should cover most of those cases. For example, t-shirt company doesn’t want to print gay shirts – they are in the right, the homosexuals are in the wrong for suing them. They can or cannot do business with whoever they want for whatever reason. I would feel the same if their policy was to not print pink unicorns and they were sued by some pink unicorn group

    In the example of the cisco employee being fired for his anti-gay position, Cisco is in the right and should be allowed to dis-associate with employees when the arrangement becomes less agreeable for whatever reason (publishing a book about pink unicorns for example). Cisco has a responsibility to its other employees, and to its customers and it decided that this issue is causing more harm than good. For the record, I lost a temp job once talking religion with a Catholic – It wasn’t persecution. Wearing my faith on my sleeve made for an awkward work environment for that person. I crossed a line I didn’t see – apparently this guy did too.

    I’m not going to take the time to cast a verdict for each article. The key is finding the principle either being upheld or violated. The fact is that it is easy to get distracted by the word ‘homosexual’ in each of these articles and that sways our perspective to either be persecuted Christians or homophobic bigots.

    I could go into a long rant about how in a free market of ideas, without the influence of coercive force then the best ideas will win out and reward blah blah blah… but that’s at least economics 301, and outside the scope of your article. :)

  58. Reed Here said,

    July 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Bob B: you’re commenting from a libertarian position, not necessarily a biblical position. As you yourself note, your paradigm for viewing the issue of same sex marriage is economic.

    From a merely secular position, any employer should have the right to hire or fire whoever they want, for whatever reasons they want. Got it, principle of free association. As a former human resource guy I’m actually familiar with the underlying laws in view.

    All this proves the point I made to you. You are using a source for defining persecution that is not biblical. I’ve no time to debate a fundamental premise of my post, one you do not grant. Thanks, but no thanks.

    You may find my challenges irksome. Throwing out credentials means little. You appear to not appreciate (aware of?) even the basics of the Bible’s position on marriage. It is certainly NOT contract law. That reading of Scripture is as deficient as the Pharisees legal rooted reading. If that is what you’ve been taught, I mean no disrespect when I say that is not how the Bible itself says it should be read.

    Having spent 20+ years myself in at least a similar deficient paradigm (the same), I have sympathy with your dissatisfaction. Again, I’m more than willing to give time to you addressing that subject, but not here on this post.

    If you deem my assessment of you wrong I won’t deny your right to say so (as you have). You, however, have no call to label my response a cop-out when I’ve given you the courtesy of explaining my self at some length. That is not merely rude, but also judgmental.

  59. Bob B said,

    July 10, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    @Reed 59
    I want to figure out what your view of persecution is, because I’m a bit baffled. Persecution is not a Biblical concept – it is a word describing who is using coercion against another. Does persecution flow both ways, is it possible for Christians to persecute homosexuals in your biblical paradigm, or is it a one way street?

    If it is possible, then we need to figure out the principles that determine who is persecuting who in any given situation. If it is not possible, if only Christians are able to be persecuted and homosexuals are not… well then I believe you have a faulty premise.

    Marriage in the Old Testament is very much contract law, an exchange of property. God never condemns that culture for this particular treatment of marriage. It isn’t all love and ‘creating a stable family for the children’ – it is about uniting 2 families and producing heirs for economic advantage. Onan is wrong for intentionally ending his brothers line and having more inheritance for his own kids by denying Tamar children. The price for virginity was 50 sheckles or something. Getting married involved giving dowry’s and had very little to do with love. Marriage is a trade of women for goats, sheep, chickens, and money.

    There is even a Biblical way to get a wife from a conquered nation – kill her family, shave her head / trim her nails / let her mourn for a month, then marry her if you want to.

    All I’m doing is pointing to example after example of ‘Biblical’ marriage. Maybe my understanding is wrong, but I think we are reading the same book here. The same God that died on the cross for us gave his people Israel these templates on how they are supposed to marry. That’s it. I didn’t write it. God in the OT does not require 1 man 1 woman, and marriage is a contract.

    That does leave open the possibility of the New Testament examples of marriage or law to be different. Certainly the tone changes a bit in the New Testament. Women are to be honored, etc… but even here there is a heavy element of their position beneath men (not quite to the level of property anymore).

    What I get from this is that marriage is a cultural thing that shifts over time and place. The way the church has viewed marriage in the past 2000 years is quite a bit different from how God’s people viewed marriage in the ages prior. Certainly other cultures have their strange views on what marriage is, and while we may condemn the morality of their marriages, we don’t say ‘they aren’t real marriages’. The Muslim with 4 wives IS MARRIED to 4 people.

    Maybe we are talking past each other because I am arguing for what marriage is, and you are arguing for post 1st century Christian marriage, and those 2 things are different. The two can exist side by side without one persecuting the other.

    This is also why I have a non-sacramental view of marriage. The eucharist is given to the church by God specifically. Marriage is given by God to all of humanity. Maybe 1m 1w is the only moral marriage, but even so, marriage world wide is much broader than that very narrow definition. Our culture is currently balking at same-sex marriage.

    My apologies on judging you. I had asked two straight forward questions (‘where does God say 1m 1w’, and ‘what do Presbyterians say to Muslim converts with multiple wives’) and the response I got was ‘I’m not answering those questions, they are Christianity 101, your observations are nonsense, I don’t have time’. I apologize for calling that response a cop-out. I do not mean to be disrespectful or rude or judge you in this your green house. I do appreciate the time and responses you do give, as I believe truth is arrived at by the clashing of minds.

  60. James McManus said,

    July 10, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    This was one of my first thoughts when I heard the Supreme Court decisions. I think it’s now a matter of when, and not if, that a church will come under some sort of attack/persecution/legal threat for refusing to either marry homosexuals or allow homosexuals to be married in their church.

  61. Reed Here said,

    July 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Bob B: thank you for your apology. Forgotten.

    Your review of some of the biblical data on marriage gives evidence to my observation that demonstrate a serious lack of depth of even the basics about marriage in the Bible. I’m not disputing your referencing such passages. I am disputing the hermeneutic you are using to read those passages.

    I.e., not knowing fully your background, it may be that you have learned to read the OT in general via the dispensational hermeneutic. If so, this would account for the weakness I believe I see. Not to play hide-n-seek with you, with regard to marriage I believe the key passage for understanding how we are to view this concept is found in Eph 5. Sincerely, I’ve no interest in re-hashing the basics here. If you are interested, have time, email me off list and I will suggest some resources, beginning with shorter internet based ones (reed here at gmail (then add that dot) com).

    To summarize, you are reading the Bible’s teaching on marriage via an economic based hermeneutic. While such factors are present, they are merely secondary at best to the primary hermeneutic for understanding the Bible’s teaching on marriage (hint: it is all about Jesus).

    On persecution not being a biblical concept, did you misspeak? Surely you recognize the biblical foundations for persecution?

    Aside, if you will read my comments to CD-Host you will see at least the outlines of a definition for persecution. It involves impinging on a person’s freedoms in terms of life, liberty and economics in response to disagreement with the expression of their opinion. Of course it can be perpetrated by anyone on any other. Nothing I’ve said presumes otherwise.

    Again, if this is a biblical concept with which you need to familiarize yourself, I’ll be glad to relate what I’ve learned. I admit to being a bit flabbergasted that you don’t recognize this as a biblical concept. (Unless I’m missing something you’re saying when you say it is not a biblical concept.)

  62. July 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    I do not desire to be insulting to nationalist sentiments. (I don’t know, for the life of me, why Americans think that they stand apart from human nature, history, logic etc that events could somehow drastically differ in their country from others)

    But it would seem that one need only look at jurisdictions outside of your country to see incontrovertible evidence of this dynamic of persecution. In the country to the North, several preachers, writers, even comedians have been fined ($10Ks) by quasi-judicial kangaroo courts (Human RIghts Commissions) for “disparaging” comments against homosexuals.

    I will acknowledge that the language in the U.S. Constitution, is far and away, the most “air-tight” of guarantees for 1st Amendment rights amongst all Western nations. However, with the interpretative waxing by your judiciary on about every other Amendment right, demonstrated in recent events; by even a courtier mainstream press who seem to want to judicially punish those amongst them, who expose American government scurrilous behaviour (i.e. speech/expression rights not defended by those most affected); do you honestly think that 1st Amendment rights are so sacrosanct?

  63. Bob B said,

    July 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    @reed 62
    I probably should have started with what your definition of persecution is. What I meant by ‘Persecution is not a Biblical concept’ is that it is not something like ‘sanctification’ – something that can only be experienced by God’s people. Persecution is a concept that applies to all of humanity – anyone can experience it, and anyone can initiate it. This quote from wikipedia is a definition that I agree with:
    “Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, isolation, imprisonment, fear, or pain are all factors that may establish persecution. Even so, not all suffering will necessarily establish persecution. The suffering experienced by the victim must be sufficiently severe.”

    The Bible does say that Christians will be persecuted – agreed. Cisco guy loosing his job does not meet the threshold for persecution (in my opinion). I wouldn’t consider it persecution if the Christian business owner fired the gay guy on staff – it doesn’t rise to the level.

    Maybe some of your other examples arise to the level of persecution, but understand it isn’t the homosexuals who are persecuting. It is the government, by not upholding very basic freedom of association concepts. Lets look at the case of the baker refusing the gay wedding cake. The gay people should just take their business elsewhere – fine – but instead they sue and use the coercion of government to extract money from these business. I am totally against this – this is wrong behavior. Even though there is suffering here, in my mind it still doesn’t pass the bar to be considered ‘persecution’.

    How do I know that this situation doesn’t rise to the level of persecution? Lets assume the baker is a white supremacist, and the gay person is black instead. I am pro-business owner not serving that customer, and pro-customer going someplace else. Using government to ‘force’ the business owner to change his practice is immoral (though public shaming / taking your business elsewhere is just fine).

    Here is the thing, if a Christian looses his job for his faith, it isn’t persecution. If he is prevented from taking another one, then it is. If a Christian is mugged, it isn’t persecution – if he is beat up for his faith, then it is. If I take my business elsewhere and go public, that isn’t persecution. If I sue you / use force to ‘make’ you take my business – then it is persecution.

    It could be that you don’t know persecution from an acorn.

  64. rfwhite said,

    July 10, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    57 Reed:
    Yes, my question about which acts of sexual immorality are punishable as crimes — that is, specifically in a non-theocratic, common grace government setting such as the US — appears as a bit of a tangent. I’m just mulling, however, if it isn’t more relevant than it at first appears.

  65. Reed Here said,

    July 10, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Bob B: the definition I am working off of is a bit simpler than Wickipedia, although I do not think it contradicts the definition found there. Simply put, all the examples I list above have the following in common:

    1. A Christian either spoke or acted based on their religious convictions.
    2. Some other party takes action to materially hurt the Christian.

    .

    This is consistent with the definition of persecution found in Scripture. Even more, the kind of “soft” persecution being experienced already (mostly the loss of economic freedom or the threat thereof) is strikingly consistent with the most common form of persecution experienced by the Church in the Apostolic era (Heb 10:32-34) and the pre-Constantine era. We tend to think of bloody persecution, and indeed that is a form. Much more common was and is the kind of cultural persecution experienced by a people whose economic freedom is at least threatened. This is the common persecution experienced by Christians around the world at present (e.g., in Muslim lands in particular). This is also the kind of persecution experienced by all those in the links above.

    You may argue that Cisco has the freedom to fire whoever they want. The point of the matter is that they took action against a Christian on the basis of his religious beliefs. That fits the definition of persecution to a “t”.

  66. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 10, 2013 at 7:41 pm

    @65 white,

    The only relevancy of sexual immoratality that is punishable as crimes is that it is codefied by state statues, federal statues and in the military by the uniform code of military justice. The only crime common to all three is child sexual abuse.
    The SCOTUS reaffirmed by its’ DOMA decision that Marriage laws are under state perview not federal,
    In Indiana it is a felony to even apply for a marriage license if the applicants are the same gender and a misdemeanor for a clergy member to solemnize such a marriage. So it would require a state to state review by statue to answer your question. Sexual immorality is regulated by law so….. ones opinion is…. machts nichts.

  67. CD-Host said,

    July 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    @Johnny Hutchinson

    I will acknowledge that the language in the U.S. Constitution, is far and away, the most “air-tight” of guarantees for 1st Amendment rights amongst all Western nations. However, with the interpretative waxing by your judiciary on about every other Amendment right, demonstrated in recent events; by even a courtier mainstream press who seem to want to judicially punish those amongst them, who expose American government scurrilous behaviour (i.e. speech/expression rights not defended by those most affected); do you honestly think that 1st Amendment rights are so sacrosanct?

    Yes. You’ll notice that Glen Greenwald hasn’t been charged with espionage or anything else. The people who didn’t sign up for a security clearance have not had their rights to publish undermined at all. Lots of religions have unpopular views and are fine. We have a long history of religions with unpopular views and unpopular practices. Examples of state organized religious persecution like the persecution of Mormons for polygamy are very rare in US history.

    _____

    @Reed —

    The bible has a rather authoritative speaker mention something about “do unto others…”. If Cisco firing a worker for anti-homosexual speech is persecution then a Christian firing a worker for pro-homosexual speech is persecution. Whatever applies to the one applies to the other. The fact that you think one is justified and the other not just means you are a partisan it doesn’t change the definition.

    And you can feel free not to respond.

    ________

    @BobB

    I’d suggest using the notion of “private persecution” vs. “state persecution” not just eliminating the idea of private all together. Private entities can persecute. You want to be able to talk about something like the 19th century klan as persecution. You might want to argue (and I’d tend to agree with you) that people shouldn’t have state protection against termination on idealogical grounds but that’s different than arguing that such terminations aren’t a form of persecution.

  68. Bob B said,

    July 11, 2013 at 12:25 am

    @cd-host
    I’m not sure that there is such a thing as ‘private persecution’. Yes, there are bigots and racists and anti-Christians and homophobes, but at a one-to-one level our actions can only do so much.

    For example, lets say I’m a racist and I do something horrible to someone of a different race. If there is justice, then I will be punished. The only way that my personal attack can rise to the level of ‘persecution’ is if I am not brought to justice by the powers that be, or my actions are supported by others. The key to persecution is its systemic nature. An individual acting alone cannot be systemic. It is only when that individual gets support from a government and are either not brought to justice, or given actual power to carry out coercion against others that it rises to the level of ‘persecution’. An individual can participate in persecution, but persecution implies sanction (other people).

    To say that I by myself can persecute another robs the word persecute of any meaning. This is very similar to all that rotten ‘hate crime’ business we have going on now – our words are loosing their meanings and with it our ability to communicate. You are however correct in your criticism against Reed’s definition – it is too shallow and lacks meaning. With his definition, any act done contrary to the financial benefit of a Christian can be considered persecution, perhaps with the caveat that the Christian is acting with conviction.

  69. CD-Host said,

    July 11, 2013 at 12:35 am

    @BobB #69

    I think there are levels here:

    1) An individual taking action which is punished by the state
    2) An individual taking action to which the state is indifferent
    3) A large number of individuals, possible a majority taking action to which the state is indifferent.
    4) A large number of individuals, possible a majority taking action to which the state is supportive.
    5) The state taking direct action.

    We agree that (5) is persecution and (1) is not. I’d also agree that (2) is not though others might disagree.

    (3) I think is persecution. I think societies are capable of taking action collectively. For example the USA has institutional football, just because the state isn’t involved doesn’t make it societal action.

  70. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 11, 2013 at 6:40 am

    @Bob B and CD

    The “strongest action” of persecution is inaction and it is not a results in no prosecution unless we live in an Orwellian “thought-crime ” society which the US is not currently. The passive-aggressive mindset that declares someone or a group as personna non grata and alienates themselves from that person or group is powerful and legal and is more difficult to usurp then the “separate but equal ” era.

    The US Constitution which SCOTUS upholds allows people of a particular mindset/ life-style to live at the state level and below in cloistered environments legally and I present two examples as SF and Atlanta.

  71. rfwhite said,

    July 11, 2013 at 9:49 am

    67 thanks for the interaction. Questions: should Christians and their pastors inside and outside of Indiana support Indiana’s laws and support the federalization of those laws? Why or why not? If a court overturns Indiana’s laws, does that fit Reed’s definition of persecution?

  72. Bob B said,

    July 11, 2013 at 10:53 am

    @72 rfwhite
    To me, the answer to this is simple – of course not. In a world based on principles, the idea that we should use force against people who have not done any harm to either another person or their property is barbaric. I understand this is the world we live in, but we should seek to minimize that as much as possible.

    A good rule of thumb is that every crime should have an actual victim – not some boogeyman ‘society will crumble’ victim – an actual person who can show that they have been harmed. The idea of victim-less crime has done much more harm to society than a bunch of homosexuals trying to legitimize their relationship.

    More non-violent (non-thieving) felons is something the USA does not need more of.

  73. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 11, 2013 at 11:05 am

    @72,
    Unless an Amendment to the US Constitution is secured then attempts to federalize the laws of marriage is in vain because the Soverignty of all states laws concerning marriage was endorsed by SCOTUS in the recent DOMA case decision

  74. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 11, 2013 at 11:09 am

    @72
    Being a States Rights person and non-federalist my answer to your question would be similar to Bob B

  75. Reed Here said,

    July 11, 2013 at 11:46 am

    CD-Host: no. 68, your judgement of me is not based on any fact but your own unjust imputation to me of things I’ve neither thought or said. Such judgement is therefore unjust and wicked.

    In point of fact, I would agree with your scenario. Never said anything that would lead any reasonable person to think otherwise.

    Thank you for responding to my private request.

  76. Reed Here said,

    July 11, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Here is a comment I received from a friend off-list. I’m posting here (with permission) as I think it helps focus my two-part goal for this blog-post:

    1) Affirm that persecution is coming, and then
    2) Provoke thought on the question, so what are we as gospel-ministers supposed to do in response?

    I’m sure some will not be persuaded of no. 1, even with this friend’s observations. That’s o.k. As he observes, I find many detracting commenters, at some point, actually help to prove my point simply by way of contrast.

    Maybe some others will find this helpful too:

    “Hey, Reed. For what it is worth, I appreciated your column very much. I’m with you that we need to look ahead, and soon. I think about how the world has changed on the issue of homosexuality just since 2007, and it is fairly shocking. I believe we’ll see things accelerate even more in the near term since the president’s statements and the SCOTUS rulings. I know pastors whose children are gay; perhaps you do too. Your statements at the end of your piece are indeed solid.

    That said, I’m surprised and disappointed by the quality of interaction from others on this topic. The tenor of the feedback from some strikes me as rather unimpressive for a number of reasons, not least of which is their smug superficiality.

    Then perhaps this illustrates the very point your post raised. We Christians (excluding unbelievers, of course) are not, or at least need to be, ready for prime time on this issue.

    Candidly, after we agree that the NT views homosexuality as sin from which there is redemption in Christ, I have to wonder what additional direction we are to draw from the NT assertions about homosexuality. Does the Bible and the NT in particular require anything more that the church should say about homosexuality, even granting the truth you listed for us? What indications, if any, do we have in the Bible of the extent of what we should say or do? In other words, there is opposition by speaking the truth in love from pulpit; then there is opposition that goes beyond opposition from the pulpit. Analogy: we oppose abortion in the pulpit. Does God require us to advocate for opposition in any other form, such as through the legislative and legal processes?

    Overall, what would Christ and the apostles do, and have us do, about homosexuality? Do they require us to support DOMA? Or does the NT imply that the apostles were libertarian as far as government was concerned? At first blush, it would seem not from texts like Rom 1. But then what? Anything?”

  77. Bob B said,

    July 11, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    @Reed 77
    I want to see if I understand your friends last questions by phrasing them a little differently. First of all, we need to know what ‘law’ is. A law is a line that if you cross it, then someone (government usually) will use force to make you stop doing whatever it is you are doing. That force may be fines, might be jail time, and at the very least is an intrusion into your life to make you change your behavior.

    This force applied to a person is ‘harmful’ – and in the case of a violent offender, the harm against the person is justified… that is laws are just.

    When you friend asks ‘are we required to support DOMA’, it sounds like he is asking if we support using force against those who wish to do whatever DOMA outlaws (have a homosexual marriage).

    The question is as Christians, are we supposed to use law (force) to harm those who have behavior that contradicts the gospel message. I would say no (see previous force on when force is justified against another). This says nothing about the morality of the situation, but weighs where and when force should be applied to other individuals to keep them in line with Biblical commands. Would we be having this conversation if the subject was gluttony instead of homosexuality (homosexuality is closer to gluttony than it is to abortion)? Maybe Bloomberg is a Christian champion for limiting soft-drink sizes in NY city.

    I thought our goal as Christians is to be salt and light – changing peoples behavior to be more Christ-like through changes in their souls, not by getting a secular authority to make their vices illegal.

    I’m sorry your friend thinks this discussion is smug and superficial. I’ve found it enlightening. We have established several important things:
    1. 1m1w is a modern Christian expression of what marriage ‘should be’, and not one shared by the world at large, or even God’s people prior to the past 2000 years.
    2, Your definition of persecution is different than mine and the threshold seems to change based on ones ideology or religious conviction.
    3. There is a trade-off when laws are made. Sometimes those trade offs are good (using force to punish those who use force), but sometimes those trade-offs create criminals of people who have behavior / vices that the majority just don’t like.

    I think I’ve answered your friends question – I look forward to yours.

  78. Bob S said,

    July 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    78 1m1w is a modern Christian expression of what marriage ‘should be’, and not one shared by the world at large, or even God’s people prior to the past 2000 years.

    Prove.
    Neither are exceptions the rule.

    Neither are we required to just forget/dismiss 2000 years regardless if that is exactly what the Supremes had to do in 1973 with Roe Wade in order to get over.

    Further, it is an argument from natural law/light, no doubt aided by biblical revelation in the West, but if Paul can say in Rom. 13 that the civil magistrate enforces the good and neither Rome or anywhere else had Christian rulers, connect the dots.

  79. Bob S said,

    July 11, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    Addendum.
    There are degrees both to sins and crimes.
    At least the WCF teaches the first.
    IOW the proposition that gluttony= homosexuality is a non sequitur.

  80. Reed Here said,

    July 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Bob B: while our definitions of persecution may be different (your’s is NOT biblical), mine most certainly does NOT change based on ideology or conviction.

    Or, if you mean nothing more than one’s definition of persecution varies with ones morality, o.k., I agree with that. But so do you agree with that. So there is no difference here between us, just maybe a different definition of morality.

    As to answering my friend’s question, don’t even think you’ve come close. You continue to use a libertarian hermeneutic, assuming it is truth to which there is no challenge. As a result, you keep making assumptions you think everyone will agree with, unless they’re just plain out to lunch on another planet.

    That is, in my estimation, a fair example of smugness on your part. I’m sure you do not intend it, but you demonstrate no appreciation that what you think is obviously true IS NOT.

    E.g., I struggle to see how DOMA actually takes overt action to restrict a homosexual’s life, liberty or economic freedom. DOMA does not remove any inalienable right. That notwithstanding, I personally think DOMA is a horrible piece of legislation, something cobbled together by folks with unclear goals. I’d support its removal simply on that basis. I am hard pressed to see it as an example of persecuting the homosexual.

  81. Bob B said,

    July 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    @Reed 79-81
    I did prove it (that 1m1w is a 2000 year old Christian teaching), both by examples from other cultures, and by OT scripture. You ignored it by turning to NT (within the past 2000 years) and presented that as a norm that covers all of history. It is not. You accuse me of ignorance instead.

    I agree that homosexuality = gluttony is a non sequitur. So is homosexuality = abortion. Homosexuality resembles gluttony closer than abortion in that 1. no one dies and 2. both are consenting behaviors. I didn’t make the first comparison, your friend did. I’m trying to point out the error and make the discussion more reasonable instead of more emotional. People have a stronger negative reaction to those that have abortions than to gluttons. We need to evaluate homosexuality for what it is, the sin of two consenting same-sex adults having sex. How does this sin affect you, how does it affect me, how does it affect society, and is it worth making laws against. I don’t think so, just as I don’t want to make laws against gluttons.

    Persecution as a definition stands on its own. The use of that word is not something that only Christians can claim hold of. I’m not sure what to say to the accusation that my definition of persecution isn’t biblical… the definition is oxford English (or wikipedia, or whatever). Either we can agree on a definition, and hold your examples up to that definition, or we cannot. I think your definition has flaws… but to say your is ‘biblical’ and mine isn’t is trying to take a moral high ground that simply isn’t there.

    It could be that our definition of morality is different, I don’t know (you haven’t asked me, and I haven’t given my opinion on the morality of the situation). Frankly, it doesn’t matter, because the question is weather or not we can use law to force a Christian (or any) moral code on a secular society.

    I’m sorry you cant see how DOMA restricts a homosexuals happiness / economic freedom / whatever. You’re not the target of that legislation. Homosexuals have made the argument that it does indeed restrict their pursuit of happiness, and I can see how their economic freedom is some what worse off than heterosexual couples. When evaluating the competing claims of ‘does this affect me’, who’s opinion holds more weight – the target or the non-target?

    To me laws requiring mattresses to have flame retardants in them are restricting (I’d prefer otherwise). Most Americans ‘don’t see’ how such laws restrict my pursuit of happiness or economic freedom… but most Americans aren’t in the mattress business, and most Americans aren’t targeted by those laws. When evaluating these laws, I hope my opinion holds more weight than yours does since it impacts my freedom.

    If you don’t like the premise I am coming from, please attack it. Explain how / why / when a Christian should use law (force) to further the kingdom of God in moral matters. When is that an acceptable solution?

  82. Bob S said,

    July 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    82 Bob B,
    You “asserted” that 1man 1 woman was a recent invention of the last 2000 years by offering some examples, but the exceptions are not necessarily the rule. You still need to prove that.

    Nor can the last 2000 years be overturned in the heartbeat of a judicial fiat without causing some problems, never mind labeling the opposition as the Supreme decision essentially does, homophobic.

    But worse yet, where in millions of years was ever homosexual “marriage” a norm, even if we grant that polyamory was?

    Neither is the opposition to marital rights for sodomites and lesbians necessarily a Christian argument. It’s called natural law/history/birds and the bees etc. Further SSM cannot be privileged over and before ‘same family’ marriages or ‘more than one person at the same time’ marriages lest that mortal sin of liberalism (discrimination) occur.

    Two, nobody is discriminating against homosexuals – unless you want to define equality as per the French Jacobin egalitarian/equal outcome definition. Rather what homosexuals want are special/positive rights to engage both in their perversion and have it blessed/sanctioned by the civil magistrate. All the while claiming that incest, child molesting, bestiality are unthinkable non sequiturs of their position.
    As if SSM wasn’t unthinkable itself how many years ago.

    And no, I don’t see you even recognizing any of these points, never mind substantively addressing them much more 47: more/bigger government will be the result of legalizing SSM and the fascists will like that just fine.

    ciao
    Bob S. 83,79 & 80 (not Reed.)

  83. Reed Here said,

    July 11, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Bob B: you are so far afield you don’t even know who you are talking to, let alone the subject of the post.

    I’ve never accused you of ignorance. Instead I’ve consistently said you are not using the Bible to define the things you are attempting to address. That is not an accusation of ignorance.

    Why in the world would I want to answer your last question when it frankly has nothing to do with what either I, or my friend, are actually talking about? You keep assuming I’m (we’re) saying something NEVER said. “Use of force”?! I’m not answering a question based on your faulty reading.

    As to the rest of your response, sorry, I just don’t have time.

  84. Reed Here said,

    July 11, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Bob B: the simple and basic point of this post is that persecution of pastors, for principled disagreement with homosexuality, is coming.

    Key evidence: such persecution already exists. Today’s example: http://bit.ly/Baker-Jail

    I understand why CD-Host might not see that as persecution. If you, presenting yourself here as a Biblical informed believer (e.g., son of a pastor) don’t see this as persecution, then God help.

    P.S., still challenging your demonstrated lack of understanding the Bible’s teaching on marriage, well over 2K years old btw.

  85. Reed Here said,

    July 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    So, Bob B, CD-Host: am I harming the homosexual community by saying that information such as this deserves to be known, considered, and discussed?

    http://bit.ly/Hmm-NotSure

    You know full well the the Homosexual Activist line of reasoning will say I’ve just engaged in some form of hate speech.

  86. Bob B said,

    July 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    @reed 85 – 86
    That does indeed appear to be persecution. It is indeed shameful that the full force of the law is being used against a business owner attempting him to act against his convictions. I would say the same thing if the business owner was a white supremacist and the complainer was black.

    Say whatever you want about homosexuals. So long as you are only using words (and not coercion of some kind) I support your right to say it. Hate speech laws are a societal cop-out. The reason I support your right to say what you want is because I believe that people will gravitate either towards or away from your message, depending on the content. If you speak truth, then more will come and your message will grow. If you don’t, then people will see through it and be repelled. There is an incentive for you (and everyone) to speak truth. The same thing applies to everyone (this isn’t a Christian only principle).

    @Bob S 83
    If we look at the rulers of cultures as an example of what would be considered the cultural ‘norm’, the the norm in most cultures B.C. was indeed polygamous. It doesn’t matter of those rulers were from asian countries, middle eastern, African, north american, Vikings etc etc. Polygamy was the norm. All these cultures embraced polygamy – these are undisputed historical facts. Monogamous cultures pre-Christ were the ‘exception’.

    Through all these cultures, homosexuality has also existed. Homosexuals make up a certain percentage of the population, and it doesn’t really matter which culture they are in. That percentage is usually less than 5% (though getting statistics on sexual orientation can be difficult). In many of these cultures, homosexuals have received persecution… so it would be difficult for homosexuals to lobby for marriage. The internet and all it brings opens these cultures up to this idea in a way they have never been able to do before (due to their minority position). Also, it is only modern society that has given incentives / tax breaks / other perks TO MARRIED PEOPLE. There was nothing for homosexuals to fight for! – why want marriage when there is no tangible benefit to being married?

    I love arguments from nature. Most of nature is not monogamous and homosexual activity is observed all through nature, not just in humans. Christian Humans 2000 years after Christ are.

    I’m not sure you are correct in your assessment that ‘more bigger government’ is the driving force. I am a fervent supporter of tiny government (if any), and the issues here came about BECAUSE of growing government. The Church handed over the institute of marriage to the government in exchange for the ‘perks’ mentioned above. They made a deal with the devil, and now its biting them in the rear.

    If no one is discriminating against homosexuals, why do all the homosexuals say they are being discriminated against, and feel discriminated against? Are they all liars now too?

    I’ve got an idea. Lets create a system that gives tax dollars just to Christians (they already have such a system in Europe – it’s called a church tax). We can agree that all these other religions / atheists / agnostics don’t have the moral high ground here. We do. Would putting this system in place be discriminatory? All they have to do is be Christian, then they can partake.

    Since we are rational here, lets leave incest / beasiality / child molestation out of this. We’re dealing with homosexuality… consensual same-sex acts and the legalization of their marriage. These other things are wrong because of the aggressive nature of them. One does not lead to another, pot smoking doesn’t lead to meth use, playing violent video games doesn’t make killers.

  87. Bob S said,

    July 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    87 Bob B.
    A miss and a fail and whatever.
    Any where we can go to see your assertion on polygamy as being the rule and not the exception before Christ in history backed up? That the majority of marriages were polygamous, not that the practice was allowed or tolerated? I didn’t think so.

    Any reason we have to – contra history – legitimate homosexual marriage now? Murder has always existed too. Should we legalize it?

    Neither did I say more big govt. was the driving force behind SSM. I said it will be the result as per 47.

    That said the civil magistrate has an interest in the future (i.e. the children) and arguably extending tax breaks to families. Of course we could abolish the IRS period. I would be fine with that.

    why do all the homosexuals say they are being discriminated against, and feel discriminated against? Are they all liars now too?

    Oh boy. Cry me a river. “Feelings”, the ultimate benchmark and objective standard for the ‘I is a victim’ mentality that reigns in some circles today.
    Liars? Yup. The govt. sure doesn’t discriminate. See AG Holder’s new Justice Dept. criteria. Silence in re. to LGBT employees will be considered as disapproval.
    Basically they’re whiners. Nobody’s stopping them from getting married, but since they don’t want to, they need to redefine a pre-political institution so they can “get married”. Good luck with that. It’s all about egalitarianism/equal outcome and a positive right to be married which the civil magistrate will enforce with a vengeance.
    Why? Because they believe in the perfectability of man. But the French Revolution ended badly no matter what its descendants think or say today.

    At this rate in principle, the Boys Scouts will be outlawed because they discriminate against those millions and millions of poor little girls (pregnant women that need a safe, legal and rare abortion, homosexual couple that really love each other and can’t get married) that (boo hoo) can’t be Boy Scouts.

    And anybody who objects is a hater/bigot/sexist blah blah blah.

  88. Bob B said,

    July 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    @Bob S 88
    Please don’t shift the goal posts. The assertion is that polygamy is outside societal norms, some sort of fringe marriage structure (or even that it is not marriage at all). This is what I have proven to be false. No more, no less. I don’t have to prove that a majority of marriages was anything. I’ve provided plausible reasons why no society has addressed the same sex marriage before.

    copy link in browser for a brief overview of the history of polygamy. Sorry in advance, I don’t know the formatting for links on this site.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/the-big-question-whats-the-history-of-polygamy-and-how-serious-a-problem-is-it-in-africa-1858858.html

    Murder should not be legalized. I’ve stated at least 3 times in this thread alone that I am against violence. I shouldn’t have to repeat myself and slap down stupid straw men just because I’m on the opposite side of the issue from you. I expect better – I’m giving straight forward responses, and considerable amounts of my time and energy here to discuss homosexual marriage. It is in the confines of 2 consenting adults, not murderers, not child molesters, not rapists, not slave owners, not sadomasochists, not bestiality. 2 consenting same sex adults – that’s it.

    Please stop using absurd arguments involving violence against others. This the second time I’ve asked you specifically.

    I dispute your result that ‘big government’ will be the result. Usually big government happens as a result of more laws, not repealing them, but whatever. If I’m looking for root causes of big government, I would not be looking at the LGBT community, but rather at the military industrial complex… in comparison the LGBT’s are a drop in the ocean.

    For the record, I’m with you on abolishing the IRS. I’m not sure how to respond to your next 2 paragraphs other than to say I don’t really care what happens to the Boy Scouts. They aren’t my thing. In a perfect world, Private organizations should be covered by freedom of association and make whatever rules they want. Publicly funded ones should not. Apply that to the Boy Scouts as you see fit (I don’t know the nature of that organization).

  89. Bob S said,

    July 12, 2013 at 1:34 am

    89 Bob B
    The argument is not that polygamy occurs but that it is the majority view of marriage. It isn’t. That still needs to be proved. Good luck. At bottom it is still a man and a woman.

    Two consenting adults is one thing, but then they want to adopt/raise children. IOW they want to be married, but they are not. That’s the whole “equal protection” schtick, upon which basis the Boy Scouts can also be renovated/destroyed to make sure everyone gets to be everything.
    Read Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron and remember that he wrote it before the PC multicultural LGBT creeps could get their hands on it. I doubt though, that Betty Freidan’s bestseller will escape being renamed The Androgynous Mystique.

    Further SSM is to broaden the franchise as it were; to water it down. Never mind that it inconveniently for our pollyannas was once unthinkable. But nothing is anymore. Capische? (Remember the arguments for legalizing abortions? In order that it would “safe, legal and rare”?) In the gap of moral and social chaos as the family recedes, the state will have to step. That’s one of the lessons of the egalitarianism of the French Revolution and the same egalite, along with the perfectibility of man, is the basis for the argument for SSM.

    Meanwhile the sexual diseases that accompany SS relations, male anyway, are still there and won’t go away. But onward, upward to the new world order where no bigots will be allowed.

    cheers

  90. CD-Host said,

    July 12, 2013 at 8:09 am

    @Reed #86

    So, Bob B, CD-Host: am I harming the homosexual community by saying that information such as this deserves to be known, considered, and discussed?

    http://bit.ly/Hmm-NotSure

    You know full well the the Homosexual Activist line of reasoning will say I’ve just engaged in some form of hate speech.

    You are a bit odd telling me not to reply to you and then directing something at me just a few hours later. An analysis of genuine problems in the homosexual community obviously deserves to be discussed. This article is nonsense, it doesn’t have a point. What’s the point that there are a few cases of male homosexuals abusing their wards? That there is crime in the homosexual community?

    Far and away male heterosexuals abusing the daughters of their girlfriends is the most common form of this abuse both by percentages and gross numbers. There is no comparison between the figures for gays or any other configuration of a household. Mom’s boyfriend is often a very dangerous person to her children. The second most common form of this abuse is male heterosexuals abusing their step daughters. Any argument about sexual abuse of wards that is conducted in a balanced manner is going to indicate that homosexuality reduces the incidence. The article of course is designed to mislead by not presenting any data.

    One of the core definitions of bigotry is applying standards to the out-group that is not applied to the in-group.

    So yes. Supporting distribution of bigoted nonsense is harming the homosexual community.

  91. Reed here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 8:39 am

    CD-Host: that’s a bit of an odd comment. i don’t remember any blanket statement of the sort.

    So mere referencing of factually based information is harmful to the homosexual community? It then deserves labeling as hate speech (e.g., bigoted). Thanks,you’ve well demonstrated the underlying attitude the promotes persecution of Christians.

    I never actually said what I think of the article. I might actually think it is wrong. But you chose the assumption that tars me with the bigot label. Thanks for your sense of morality. Even mentioning, without offering opinion, by your standard is my supporting bigotry.

    And that attitude is why you’ll never believe persecution of Christians is real.

    BTW, using your definition of bigotry, where does my comment on the article demonstrate I’ve done that? Or is it just the fact that
    I’d even share it constitute that? Reading false motives into your opponents is essential to demonizing them. And that is necessary to give oneself false assurance that persecuting them is just fair, after all.

    I really did not expect this of you.

  92. July 12, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Although I am not a theonomist or a reconstructionist, it should be duly noted that God judges nations as well as individuals. While it is true that we live in a pluralistic society which guarantees the right to the freedom of religion, I would argue that when socialist engineers want to re-engineer the moral fabric of our nation and disgard the Ten Commandments as the basis for civil and moral law, then they have declare war not only on democracy but on Christianity and every other religion that upholds traditional moral views on marriage and family. Totalitarianism is just around the corner. If you don’t believe it, take a look at the late night propagandists in action. Bill Maher is just one example of the atheistic socialists who hates Christianity and that it stands for.

    Anti-Christian bigotry is bigotry and hate-mongering, isn’t it?

    Charlie

  93. July 12, 2013 at 8:56 am

    “Discard the Ten Commandments….”

  94. July 12, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Arguing whose side is promoting more sin is ridiculous. Induction is always false. The ONLY issue here is whether or not God makes the apodictic and deontological prohibition of homosexuality in the moral law revealed in Holy Scripture. If so, then all your arguing about apples and oranges and whether heterosexuals or homosexuals commit more crimes is neither here nor there. God will judge by His Word. (John 12:48-49; Isaiah 8:20). Pragmatism is not the basis for morality. God’s moral law is.

    6. The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.1

    WCF, 1:6

    1 2 Tim. 3:15,16,17; Gal. 1:8,9; 2 Thess. 2:2.

  95. July 12, 2013 at 9:06 am

    What part of “Thou shalt not…” do you not understand?

    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. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11 NKJ)
    `You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22 NKJ)
    `If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13 NKJ)
    For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; (Romans 1:26-28 NKJ)

  96. CD-Host said,

    July 12, 2013 at 9:40 am

    @Bob S —

    One of the problems with the 2000 year argument is that generally most modern Christians would strongly disagree with the family and marital structures in most places during those 2000 years. For example during the high middle ages a man’s childbearing outlet and trusted assistant was his much younger wife for whom he had affection. His primary sexual outlet, as well as emotional connection and friendship was an age appropriate mistress. Similarly for a women her husband was a man she often had respect for but the sexual interest was a much younger lover. Marriage was a mostly financial arrangement as Bob B indicated.

    Go back further and marriage was in the west mostly a form of slavery where men had a strong incentive to work younger and poorer women to death. Go back further and marriage was seen as a degenerate state for those incapable of virginity. Go forward and marriage was mainly a middle and upper class institution. No one understood why the poor, lacking property should marry.

    If we are going to argue for tradition then it is time we argue for tradition as it existed. When Christians talk about the history of western marriage that don’t actually mean the sexual practices as they existed in the west what they mean is some sort of theoretical set of practices.

  97. CD-Host said,

    July 12, 2013 at 9:43 am

    @Reed

    So mere referencing of factually based information is harmful to the homosexual community? It then deserves labeling as hate speech (e.g., bigoted).

    No. I was quite specific I said that quoting facts out of context so as to create a misleading impression is harmful to the homosexual community. Deliberately misleading people for the purpose of causing them to react inappropriately is harmful to the homosexual community. Lying is bad.

    This isn’t exactly a subtle point.

  98. Bob B said,

    July 12, 2013 at 10:43 am

    @Charles 96
    This conversation has never been about whether or not homosexuals inherit the kingdom, or even if it is a moral action.

    There are plenty of other commandment breakers that are allowed to marry and we don’t bat an eye. The fornicators, adulterers, idolater… every other class of person listed in the passage is allowed to marry and gain whatever state benefit thereof.

    I understand it is easy to stand on a platform yelling ‘IMMORAL’ as though it wins the argument. There are lots of immoral people – the question is what do we as society allow them to do? I’m of the opinion that if their immorality doesn’t involve actual harm to other people, then immoral people should be left alone and allowed to do exactly the same things as moral people – get married, raise children, live life as best and as happily as they can. The nature of their immorality (whether it is homosexuality, idolatry, fornication, drunkenness etc.) is immaterial.

    @Bob S 90
    I can agree with you that the raising of children is best done in 1m1w households. Be careful though – we need to apply our standards evenly. What is the ratio of single parents to homosexual couple’s with children? What kind of risk of harm is there to children in a homosexual house compared to a single mom house, compared to a 1m1w house?

    I think CD-Host answered that question – there is a lot of evidence that boyfriends and step-dads are dangerous, and very little evidence that having 2 homosexual parents is.

    If I was to create a hierarchy of family structures from best to worse for the raising of children, it would probably look something like this:
    1m1w > polygamous marriage > same sex marriage > single parent. Our society (and Church itself) accepts both the top and the bottom of this hierarchy. By limiting your marriage options to just 1m1w, those are the only 2 possible outcomes. Given that the divorce rate (even among Christians) is ~50%, I think it is worth putting other options on the table.

  99. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

    So CD-Host: if I might offer you some help. Your comment about harm to the homosexual community WAS NOT either expressly or implicitly directed at the mere fact of my posting the link to the story, without any editorial comment on my part? Your criticism was leveled solely at the article itself?

    If so, I can accept that. I’d still challenge you on the clarity of your comment. My posting of the article was expressly for the purpose of asking whether or not the mere drawing attention to it was unjustly harmful to the homosexual community (e.g., hate speech). It is reasonable for me to assume you were answering that question in your response, is it not?

    If so, might you not appreciate not simply my challenge to you for greater clarity (that is a minor communication issue, easily cleared up between reasonable, well-intentioned opponents). Might you not even more appreciate my concern that your unclear labeling of something having to do with my posting that article as a form of bigotry against the homosexual community as supportive of (at least) the kind of reactionary thinking that does lead to at least some of the injustices observed in the links I’ve provided in the original post?

    Or, am I wrong in offering you this benefit of the doubt. Instead, do you actually think my posting the article is some sort of engaging in bigotry?

    While I appreciate what you are seeking to say in your response here, I would find it helpful if you were to be a bit more specific. Might you answer these questions here?

  100. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

    To Any Who Read my original comment no. 76, let me offer an apology. I assumed that CD-Host had not responded to my private request that he make himself known to me. I believe it unwise to engage publicly on such a serious issue in which people are being hurt under the cloak of anonymity. I wrote privately to CD-Host asking him to tell me who he is.

    In my original response in no. 76 I did not first give attention to the off-list private response CD-Host sent to me (simple busy-ness on my part, leading to some carelessness). He did indeed graciously oblige my request. Nevertheless my initial comment made some disparaging comments based on the assumption he had not. This was wrong of me and unfair to CD-Host.

    Almost immediately I realized my error, as I found his email response. I then (within a few minutes) edited my response to remove the disparaging comments and then instead inserted an appropriate thanks to CD-Host.

    I did not say anything further as to spare any embarrassment to CD-Host or discomfort to any readers. I thought, given the short time period between my original comment and the amended one (no more than 5 minutes) that taking that action would be more gracious.

    CD-Host has informed me however that he saw the original comment with the disparaging remarks present. Respect for him and for any other reader who saw them calls me then to make this public apology to him and to any other who read them.

    While I may disagree with CD-Host in his views, my comments wrongly assumed of him an untrustworthiness. That was wrong and unfair. I apologize to him and any reader offended.

  101. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Charlie, no. 95: good catch.

    CD-Host, no. 97: a great example of apples vs. oranges. Tradition does is not determinative of what marriage is. Historical digressions from the biblical definition do NOT weaken the Christian argument against same-sex-marriage. They merely offer proof to the Christian argument concerning the fall of man. List all the errors you want concerning the historical practice of marriage. From the biblical perspective all you’re doing is making sure that same-sex-marriage is placed on the right list of errors.

    Such tradition based arguments are a variation of the “well, you do it too!” defense. They do not disprove Christian objection to same-sex-marriage. Therefore they cannot be used to defend persecution of Christians for their opposition to same-sex-marriage. They are just more injustice offering a covering for wickedness.

  102. Bob B said,

    July 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    @Reed 100 – 101
    Huzzah for your apology. The Christ-likeness is strong in this one.

    I’m not CD-Host, but here is how I evaluate the situation. CD-Host made a claim that the ‘american thinker’ article is bigoted nonsense, and backed it up with reasons why. Re-distributing bigoted nonsense can be an act of bigotry.

    The question is your intent in the matter. If you were unaware of the bigoted nature of the original article, then you are innocent of bigotry yourself. If you are unconvinced of CD-Host’s assessment that the original article is bigoted, you are innocent but might need a more highly attuned bigotry alert system.

    It could also be that CD-Host is flat out incorrect in his assessment of the article – a ‘false cry’ of bigotry. That doesn’t seem to be what you are arguing in 100 (perhaps you sense the bigotry in the article after CD-Host pointed it out?).

    At the very least, such an article is not exactly suitable as evidence for one side or the other. As CD-Host said, the article didn’t actually contain any data, it was all rhetoric.

    Re-posting known bigotry intentionally is itself bigotry. I’m not about to examine your conscience in this matter, that is up for you to do. I’d also recommend spending less time at American Thinker and more time at Mises.org. The quality of thought is worlds apart (even if you disagree with it).

  103. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Bob B: thank you for your comments. Yes, I get all that.

    Assuming CH-Host is correct (I’m not offering an opinion either way as it is not germane to my reason for posting the article link), then posting the article knowing of its bigotry is still only bigotry on my part if I agree with the underlying bigotry. I may very well be posting it for a reason completely devoid of any bigotry. Indeed, I believe a fair and accurate reading of what I said demonstrates that I had no intention of posting it for any bigotry rooted purposes.

    As to intentionality, yes I agree that this makes the act more or less bigotry. However, and this is key, if all someone did was to affirmatively pass on bigotry that they themselves did not recognize, they are nevertheless guilty of bigotry. To be sure, the degree of the lack of intentionality is absolute in this case, and that offers some mitigation to the heinous-ness of their action. Nevertheless, if the underlying is bigoted, to pass it on affirmatively is itself an act of bigotry.

    And still, I’d appreciate CD-Host’s response to my questions. Regardless of whether or not the article is bigoted, I clearly DID NOT post it any manner that offered positive affirmation to the thesis or points of the article. Does my mere posting it for an intentionally non-bigoted purpose constitute support for, participation in a bigoted attack on the homosexual community?

  104. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Bob B: no. 99, to be clear, are you writing as a Christian? You are in favor of both same-sex-marriage and polygamy?

  105. CD-Host said,

    July 12, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    @Reed #101

    Thank you for the retraction.

    _____

    @Reed #100

    So CD-Host: if I might offer you some help. Your comment about harm to the homosexual community WAS NOT either expressly or implicitly directed at the mere fact of my posting the link to the story, without any editorial comment on my part? Your criticism was leveled solely at the article itself?

    I think Bob did a good job in expressing my view. The article was clear cut bigoted. The article intended to mislead and was designed to cause people to support legal discrimination in adoption law based on misleading information. Your intent in posting the article was I believe to present what you considered negative information about homosexuality that was also inflammatory. I think for that to work you had to believe the article wasn’t just making a dumb argument. So my assessment based on your writing is that you thought the article was a good one which means you didn’t see the flaws. Had you, you equally could have picked an article on suicide or drug abuse where the rates are much higher for gay community than the straight community, and your whole argument would have worked better. So what I suspect is you’ve read a lot of this kind of bigoted material and it has gone unchallenged. But I don’t know you well enough to have a firm opinion.

    Might you not even more appreciate my concern that your unclear labeling of something having to do with my posting that article as a form of bigotry against the homosexual community as supportive of (at least) the kind of reactionary thinking that does lead to at least some of the injustices observed in the links I’ve provided in the original post? ,

    In 1863 it was possible that someone who believe in phrenology (Django phrenology scene) wasn’t a bigot. By 1913 it was much more unlikely and by 2013 posting an article on phrenology is pretty clear evidence of being a bigot. The internet is filled with kooks all all stripes preaching hatred against every group on earth. The people who seek that kind of material out, are thought ill of and rightfully so. They aren’t subject to much persecution though.

    There exist good reputable studies on homosexuality performed by people who do not have an axe to grind that document both the relative advantages and relative harms of homosexuality and they will continue to do so in a responsible manner. There exist bigots who want to justify all sorts of anti-homosexual abuse based on false information, like the guy who wrote that article, and they will continue to write nonsense like that for generations. The Christian community gets to decide who they want Jesus Christ associated with. The evangelical community of the last generation decided they would rather Jesus be associated with the anti-homosexual bigoted kooks. This choice has resulted in 91% of millennials considering Christianity to be anti-homosexual, their number one complaint about the religion.

    There is not going to be a need for persecution. I suspect the anti-homosexuality will change over the next generation. It will stop being part of evangelical Christianity and Christians who remain anti-homosexual will be a fringe. They will be subject to social pressure not persecution.

  106. CD-Host said,

    July 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    @Reed #102

    Tradition does is not determinative of what marriage is. Historical digressions from the biblical definition do NOT weaken the Christian argument against same-sex-marriage.

    Tradition does weaken the “2000 years of Christian tradition” argument. That argument is based on the very misleading assumption that there was a stable view of marriage in Christian society that has only recently been upset. Rather than that Christianity occurs in cultures, marriage differs wildly between cultures and there is no overriding stability. The norms that evangelicals are preaching, they are recent a product of post Victorian social structures, that lasted for a few decades and fell apart.

  107. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 12, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    @106
    I’m surprised that only 91% of the millenials belive Christianity is anti-homosexual.

    Christianity has always been anti-sin,
    Even God loved one[Jacob] and hated the other [Esau], that seems to imply that the word bigoted would fit the attitude toward the hated one.
    Is bigotry a sin?

    Anti- sin would include many behaviors as well as thoughts.

  108. Bob S said,

    July 12, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    106 pretty much tells us that reputable studies “indicate” that anybody that believes Romans 1 is a bigot.
    And there’s laws against that, ya know.
    End of story/reasonable discussion.

    And you gotta love the innernet Wikpedia Kinsey Report that tells us that throughout history clearly 65% of the population was homosexual and 85% had been raped and that was even before dating or the Model T.

    cheers

  109. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    CD-Host: you said:

    “Your intent in posting the article was I believe to present what you considered negative information about homosexuality that was also inflammatory. … So what I suspect is you’ve read a lot of this kind of bigoted material and it has gone unchallenged. But I don’t know you well enough to have a firm opinion.”

    So you don’t know me well enough to have a firm opinion, but you do know me well enough to know my intent. Does that not strike you as a bit irrational?

    Worse, I’ve made my intent expressly clear from the beginning – and it is decidedly NOT what you are saying it is. I’ve repeated numerous times that my intent was to post for one purpose only, to ask if the mere act of posting itself is, to use your words, an act of bigotry.

    So let me get this straight, my own expressed intent does not matter. What matters is what you determine my intent must be. Well, if this is to follow rationally (and I assume you insist on the Sovereign rule of rationality, one of the cardinal doctrine of atheism after all), in order for you to be right about my intention and me to be wrong about it, I must either:

    > Be lying, or
    > Be mentally challenged.

    I appreciate that an axiom of atheism is that any person who believes in a higher (make believe) Being is mentally challenged. Yet surely you are not claiming that in this simply an example of that in the case? I don’t understand what I’m saying? I take you at your word and agree you don’t know me well enough to have a “firm opinion” here.

    So do you think I’m lying? Do you think I know it was bigoted and chose to affirm it in a deceptive manner? On the basis of what evidence from what I’ve said, including my reasonable explanations and denials of your accusation, can you even here say you know me well enough to have a “firm opinion”?

    Or, to take your assumption of what you know about my supposed inability to read discerning and discriminatingly, I’m what, just another dumb sheeple who can’t think straight? Is that it, regardless of what I think and say my motive is, I’m just too stupid to really understand my own motive, let alone what I read? (Then why do you even bother to talk friend?)

    Don’t you see what you are doing CD-Host? You are demonizing me. You do not like my opposition to same sex marriage/homosexuality. Any opposition to this is by your definition bigotry. Therefore you MUST conclude that any expression of opposition is bigotry, even when then there is no credible evidence in support of such conclusion and instead credible evidence to the opposite!

    There is no smarmi-ness in my thanking you for illustrating the point of my post so very, very helpfully.

    Christians, heed CD-Host’s arguments well. Any opposition expressed against homosexuality is by definition a form of bigotry according to the increasingly majority opinion in our land. If you express that opposition in any manner CD-Host and those like him will support the use of force to silence you. Worse, CD-Host and those like him will deny, detract and look the other way when homosexuality shows up on your doorstep and demands you applaud its goodness, holiness and beauty, and then punishes you when you simply respond with “no thanks.”

    CD-Host, I am sure you will think this is over the top, but I think it fits your response and explanations. Your arguments are foundational to the persecution of Christians. It is sad but no surprise to me that you ignored my question many comments ago when I asked if you would defend my family and I if persecuted.

  110. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    CD-Host, no. 107: the Christian argument against same-sex-marriage does not rest on traditions in history. Given your professed knowledge (I take you at face value) of the Bible, you know this is not the case. This is just an effort to shift the base of the debate, from the Bible to history.

    Go and read Jesus’s own words on marriage. When he says, “from the beginning,” surely you don’t think someone who spoke over 2k years ago was actually teaching a definition of marriage that is actually from a little over a 100 years ago? That’s irrational.

    Again, this is a tactic to shift the debate. The advantage you obtain in doing so is to label Christian opposition to same-sex-marriage with the charge of hypocrisy. And if successful in such an effort, that is one more step toward proving that such opposition is nothing more than bigotry. And that supports efforts to silence such bigotry.

    But since there is no hypocrisy, this does not support the charge of bigotry. Therefore, any use of force to silence the Christian on this issue supported by this argument IS by definition supporting persecution.

    Again, thanks for your help in making my point. I’d actually appreciate if we could actually achieve some reasonableness and drop ludicrousness like that seen in a “tradition” argument.

  111. Bob B said,

    July 12, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    @Reed 105
    Yes, I write as a Christian. I write as someone looking for solutions to complex societal problems – and how can Christians best spread Christ’s message to society.

    Homosexuality is a sin. How does one go about loving that sinner best? I don’t know – maybe it includes homosexual marriage. How does one combat man’s penchant for philandering? I don’t know – maybe it includes polygamous marriages.

    It could be that ‘for Christians’ 1m1w is a biblical imperative, and as non-Christians are drawn to Christ they will follow that imperative over the generations. However, I’m not concerned about Christians, were talking about society of which Christians are a minority. The Church is free to hold Christians to a higher standard of morality (they do that anyways). So yes – I am pro-polygamy in that it might solve the problem of 36% (and growing) of all pregnancies coming from single moms. That is the trade-off.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/01/single-motherhood-increases-census-report_n_3195455.html

    Ultimately, what I am against is both sides of a given issue appealing to the state to get around these moral questions. I am for people making whatever kind of agreements they want with other consenting adults, whether it is buying or selling of goods, contracts for work, friendships, clubs and societies, relationships, and life long covenants. I am against violence and coercion, and 3rd parties dictating the contents of these agreements.

    I’m not sure if that answers your question – a bit longer than ‘yes / no’.

  112. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Bob B: helpful. Are you for or against prostitution? I’m not speaking of any kind in which coercion into a lifestyle is present. Instead I am speaking about the mere contractual choice between two consenting adults. Do you support that?

    Further, you are seeking to differentiate between your calling as a Christian (sacred) and your calling as a citizen (secular), correct? (If so, I appreciate that struggle more than this thread conveys.)

    Finally, merely for my own assessment of your convictions, and not in any way to use it against you, might you tell me:

    > Your denominational affiliation?
    > Your role in your church (pastor, officer, layman)?
    > Your degree of activity in your church (infrequent, Sundays only, active engagement at all levels)?
    > Your church’s agreement/disagreement with your positions?

    Again, not asking to offer any harm. Feel free to be as general as you can (i.e., don’t tell me your church name). It will help me in appreciating the spread, if you will, of your kind of approach. If you’d prefer to contact me off-blog, that would be fine (reedhere [insert an at symbol] gmail [insert a dot] com).

    FWIW I have great sympathy for finding some sort of secular “common” ground on which we can agree to live in peace with one another in the midst of our disagreements. I even recognize your libertarian approach and understand it quite well, as I seriously contemplated and studied it decades ago.

  113. Bob B said,

    July 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    @Reed 113
    Anglican (not Episcopalian, though I would probably be happy there)
    Layman
    Pretty much any service I can get to (Sundays for sure).
    Not sure on agreement / disagreement. To be fair, a sizable chunk of the church are granola eating hippy types, even though the teaching is orthodox CoE style.

    As far as prostitution is concerned – yes, I’m for it. If people can exchange money for goods, and people can have consensual casual sex without legal repercussions, then it makes sense that they can exchange money for casual sex. The alternative is to either prosecute all exchanges of money for good, or prosecute all exchanges of casual sex. Even with the churches moral stance on extra-marital sex, I don’t think they would advocate civil punishment for those that fall into that particular sin – likewise I don’t think the church should advocate for civil punishment of prostitution.

    A few years back Elliot Spitzer (I’m pretty sure it was him) was found to be using a high-cost prostitute to the tune of 5k / day or some such amount. Shocking, I know. That same week, Paul McCartney divorced his wife in some multi-million dollar settlement. It occurred to me that Paul would have been better off had he hired the prostitute instead.

    For what it’s worth, Jesus only raised his hand aggressively in one instance – to defend his property – his fathers house. He spent a considerable amount of time dismantling the rules and regulations of the authorities around him. When it came to prostitutes, he told them to stop – and prevented punishment against them. I don’t think this is a separation of Christian and secular – this is the Christian life.

  114. Bob S said,

    July 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    114 Bob B.
    Did Christ write Rom. 13 or is Paul alone responsible for it?
    IOW was Christ a libertarian/anabaptist/anarchist and we should be too?

    On another note, an interesting remark from a column written by the same uh, bigot (yes that’s the exact word I was looking for) that wrote the AmThink article regarding SSM being only an excuse for SS parenting.

    Homosexuality is NOT a medical condition, as the medical profession decreed in the 1970s. So when homosexuals seek to acquire children by surrogacy, adoption, insemination, or custody transfer, they are doing so unnecessarily, purely based on their own desire to own a child.

    So what do we do, if anything, when children are involved?
    Who decides?

  115. Reed Here said,

    July 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Bob B: thanks for the transparency. This is not the thread for it, so I’ll only offer a few comments by way of observations.

    Your comments here seem to grow out of an either/or struggle: either we affirm holiness and thereby deny grace/mercy or we affirm grace/mercy and thereby deny holiness. The first yields legalism, the latter yields antinomianism. Both are condemned by Jesus, who affirms both grace/mercy and holiness (Mt 5:20; 23:23; Rev 21:27; Heb 4:16; Isa 55:6-7; Mt 7:7).

    Further, your allegiance to Jesus is higher than your allegiance to society (Mt 10:37-38; Php 3:7-11; Eph 5:11). While I appreciate your efforts to work these things out with integrity, I think you are going to find your solution is a compromise that will satisfy neither your soul nor the society you are seeking peace with.

    This is not a denial of a sincere desire to love neighbor. It is to observe that such love is defined by Jesus as bringing a sword into a relationship (Mt 10:34-38).

  116. Bob B said,

    July 12, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Paul wrote it under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I won’t lie, it is a difficult passage. It is especially difficult to reconcile with 1st Samuel 8.

    I don’t think it is wise to put the creator of the universe into a political box. This is his kingdom, we are his servants. I happen to think that libertarian / anarchist (not sure about anabaptist) thought is the best way for Christians to relate to the world, since it limits the use of coercion to specific instances, instead of mob rule, or the whims of corrupt leaders, or misguided moral figures (the taliban for one). I also think that governments by their nature do more harm than good – the less their scope the better for society. Surely governments kill more people than all private criminals combined. I don’t see their behavior as Christ-like, and they are horrid at spreading Christs message.

    I disagree with the terminology to ‘own a child’. One is a caregiver of a Child until that child can fully express their own independence (they become an adult). I suggest that ‘do nothing’ is a valid approach. Perhaps reform our adoption system to make it more affordable, but the same criteria should be applied to homosexual couples as heterosexual couples – can you care for this child until they become an adult and do so in a non-damaging way?

    The only argument against that is that a homosexual home is automatically damaging – but I’d argue the same about any other moral issue (say a home where the father is a drunk, or the mother is addicted to porn). We aren’t trying to keep children out of those homes – just the gay’s.

    I’ll admit, our own system is horribly broken. I suspect you wouldn’t like the answer I would propose to the adoption issue. It’s based on free market principles, might cut down on abortions, and puts children in the hands of parents who wants them at far less than 5-40k each that they do now – which gives poor Christian’s plenty of opportunities to serve the world by growing their families… but hey, it is a radical idea and sure to be shot down at face value.

  117. Dr DeRIdder said,

    July 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Bob B,

    Your commnt about “owning a child” is astute, In many states in the US it is by statue that the state owns the child and parents are temporary custodians. This fact has become paramount to home schooling families [snip].

  118. CD-Host said,

    July 13, 2013 at 6:40 am

    @Reed #110

    CD-Host, I am sure you will think this is over the top, but I think it fits your response and explanations. Your arguments are foundational to the persecution of Christians. It is sad but no surprise to me that you ignored my question many comments ago when I asked if you would defend my family and I if persecuted.

    I have answered. I think the idea of anti-evangelical persecution to be ridiculous, it is like discussing plans for the colonization of Jupiter. But… if we imagine a world where evangelicals were subject to real persecution… say what they’ve done to gays: being forced out of government jobs, making to difficult to open churches and having most shut down when opened, having their rights to adoption restricted, often losing custody of their children, being subject to enhanced taxation, not being entitled to employer benefits, being arrested for having sex… Yes, I would help.

  119. CD-Host said,

    July 13, 2013 at 6:44 am

    @Reed #111

    Go and read Jesus’s own words on marriage. When he says, “from the beginning,” surely you don’t think someone who spoke over 2k years ago was actually teaching a definition of marriage that is actually from a little over a 100 years ago? That’s irrational.

    Yes it would be. What I’m saying is that Jesus’ views on marriage and his words represent a system that existed 2000 years ago and is not consistent with the one you advocate.

  120. CD-Host said,

    July 13, 2013 at 9:27 am

    @BobS #115

    So what do we do, if anything, when children are involved? Who decides?

    Exactly what we do in all other situations. We examine the evidence to determine what’s in the best interests of children and interfere with child rearing patterns only when there is sociological evidence that practices are long term harmful. So who decides: sociologists, social workers, psychologists, public health officials, public education specialists…

    In general among heterosexuals:
    a) socio-economic and educational status matters more than just about anything else
    b) people who choose to become parents are much better parents than those that became parents by accident.
    c) married couples outperform cohabiting outperform single
    d) biological parents outperform adopted parents outperform foster / livin-parents once (a) is controlled for. If (a) isn’t controlled for adopted parents outperform biological.

    We don’t have perfect data because most children being raised in a homosexual environment are there as a result of divorce. If we compare them to hetrosexual divorce / remarriage though they seem to be doing much much better comparable to never divorced hetrosexual children. That being said:

    Among homosexuals:
    a) about a 1/4 of all openly gay couples raise children
    b) those children do far better than the children of heterosexuals by almost any measure. But a great deal of that has to do with socio-economic and educational status. Far more gay couples choose to become parents which helps. Once you control for those two variables the data becomes less clear.
    c) The only major negative gay couples often have stresses that straight couples don’t because quite often only one parent is biologically related to the child when they “create a baby”. This means that when a gay couple splits up one parent is far more likely to completely abandon the child which can make dissolution / divorce much more stressful for kids.

  121. Reed Here said,

    July 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    CD-Host: I’m a bit flabbergasted at your responses. But, I sense maybe you are likewise at some of mine. I need to cease posting for a bit, and when I get the chance to take it back up I intend to post on a different topic. Let me offer just responded to your last two comments. I’ll leave any final response you want to make as the last word. (Merely because I can’t keep commenting at present; not out of any disrespect for you.)

    With regard to Jesus view of marriage: his is exactly what I advocate. I am not sure why you believe his view and mine are different. As to the age of his view, I’d say it is not merely older, but original (as in he is both the source of marriage and therefore the only one who has any authoritative credibility to say what it is).

    But this is aside from my first point. It may be that you are assuming a definition of marriage that I do not hold (mostly likely not) or you believe Jesus defined marriage differently than: 1m + 1w, exclusively. I expect the latter. Given what I know of some of your background I expect you may believe that this definition of marriage, found in our present Bibles, IS NOT what Jesus originally said (or some other argument based on differentiating a supposed difference between present interpretation and original). If so, that is a criticism based on some sort of higher critical view of Scripture (e.g., source criticism). something I expect you and I disagree on. Regardless, I affirm my view of marriage IS the definition of marriage Jesus himself gave. Any criticism you level against my view is at best presumptuous to try and divide between my view and Jesus’ definition.

    As to your second point, it appears that when I or other Christians experience what you believe is real persecution, then you will help defend us. Real persecution, as defined by you, is measured by the kind of persecution you believe homosexuals have experienced at the hands of our (Christian-dominated) culture. O.k., got it.

    I’ll not quibble over the various examples you give of persecution of homosexuals. I expect that on some of them you’d find I would agree with you and would join you in efforts to not only cease such in the future, but penalize those who perpetrated such persecution in the past. As well I expect we would disagree on some, and that these would be so egregious in your eyes as to cause you to stumble in believing my sincerity in the examples we do agree on.

    Be that as it may, let me simply ask you to consider just the one example of employment discrimination. You listed homosexuals being fired solely because they are homosexual as an example of real persecution. Using this as a definition I am willing to accept at face value for the sake of our conversation here, will you apply the same standard to Christians? Specifically, will you agree:

    > That a Christian who affirms the biblical definition of homosexuality as sin,
    > Who on the sole basis of affirming that conviction, and
    > Not taking overt action to force that conviction onto others,
    > Is discriminated against in his employment,

    Has actually experienced persecution as defined by you?

    Let me be frank and say I do not think you can with comfort give a simple affirmative, given your defense of your position so far. I expect at best you will give a theoretical yes. I also expect that you will make qualifications on the case of the Christian that ,when examined, you DO NOT make in the case of the homosexual. In other words, I expect you will demonstrate a prejudice against Christians that will not allow you to affirm in any meaningful way that if they experienced real persecution you would defend them.

    I say this given the lengths to which you have already gone to dismiss just a smattering of examples I’ve provided above. You believe with righteousness you dismiss away the circumstances, often blaming the victim (the Christian) in these examples. You demonstrate sincerity in your dismissal, but I (and I suspect others) see you applying a double standard.

    Further, I expect if we had time it would take little effort to find some examples of Christians experiencing exactly the kind of persecution you’ve defined here. Anecdotally only because of my time constraints I have read reports of exactly this kind of persecution (expressly in Great Britain, and I think some in America). I expect with a little bit of open-mindedness you’d agree that some of these examples are indeed persecution, as you define it.

    Finally, let me ask you to examine just two testimonies. The first would be the wide variety of testimonies on on-going persecution of Christians around the world. Admittedly most of these are not expressly based on Christian opposition to homosexuality. Yet they are expressly parallel. These Christians are persecuted for convictions that their culture does not like. As well, these persecuted Christians also agree that homosexuality is a sin.

    Last example, I ask you to pick up a copy of When the Wicked Seize a City by Chuck McIllheny. I’ll even pay for it if you find it offensive to spend money on it. I do not expect you will agree with his theology (even I don’t agree with all the theology expressed in this book). Yet I do ask one simple question: do you think it is just and appropriate for a family including little children to be fire-bombed out of their home, solely because the father is willing to publicly stand up for the convictions taught in the Bible?

    If you don’t, let me warn you that you will have to differentiate between this man’s family and other family’s in America who have been fire-bombed for standing up for their convictions (cf., Civil Rights era). And in doing so, you will yet again demonstrate the hypocrisy of your double standard.

    I don’t say these things to treat you unkindly, or to make you look bad in the eyes of others. You responded to me in the first without my specifically addressing you. Instead I do so because I truly do see some desire for integrity in belief on your part. Whether you ever offer a sincere profession of faith in Christ is not the immediate issue. Being fully honest as an atheist who affirms the dignity of human life is. Unless you want to go full-way and affirm that some human life is not worth protecting, namely those who affirm beliefs you believe are both retrograde and repugnant, I have hopes that you will change your conviction here.

    Unless/until then I will not take offense at your judging my convictions and those of my family and friends as not worthy of at least your defense of secular First Amendment rights. I will refrain from concluding based on some comments you’ve offered here that if push came to shove you’d decide that I and my family actually have earned some form of punishment for our convictions regarding same sex marriage.

    I won’t pretend however that you are not offering support to unjust and wicked persecution. You are. May God be merciful to help you see and believe better.

  122. CD-Host said,

    July 13, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    @Reed #122

    I am not sure why you believe [Jesus'] view and mine are different.

    Start with Matthew 19:11-2. Your theology has no place for castration of marital celibacy or any other reasonable interpretation of that question answer. Jesus clearly affirms in order of holiness: lifelong virginity is better than eunuch is better than later chastity is better than marital sexuality. Your theology has that no works of any sort are righteous and that marital sexuality is the most desired normative state. No, you don’t agree on your theology of marriage.

    Be that as it may, let me simply ask you to consider just the one example of employment discrimination…. Has actually experienced persecution as defined by you?

    Yes. See post #70.

    . The first would be the wide variety of testimonies on on-going persecution of Christians around the world.

    There is unquestionably persecution of Christians in other countries. For the example the Copts in Egypt or the expulsion of the Christian community from Iraq in the last decade. China persecutes Christians…

    Yet I do ask one simple question: do you think it is just and appropriate for a family including little children to be fire-bombed out of their home, solely because the father is willing to publicly stand up for the convictions taught in the Bible?

    Of course not. And if I believed that Chuck McIlhenny were telling the truth rather than believing the FBI, California State Police and San Francisco Police Departments I’d say he were a good example of persecution. Here I suspect we disagree on a question of fact.

  123. Mark B said,

    July 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Reed is correct in his basic premise. But, it won’t be called persecution or viewed as persecution. It’s just doing what’s necessary to preserve good morals in society (remember that verse about calling evil good and good evil?) The reason is because there is a fundamentally different definition of reality involved.
    Frankly, the Church lost this issue around 40 years ago (or more depending on your viewpoint) when Marriage was redefined as something people do to for happiness or convenience. The issue was lost when no fault divorce became acceptable. Just the term “gay marriage” is preposterous, so why do (most) people consider it to be obviously the correct thing to allow? Especially the younger ones. They assume “gay marriage” is as obvious as the law of gravity. Of the kids of regular attendees at my church (conservative reformed) who have gone to public school, possibly two of them might not assume that supporting gay marriage is the correct moral choice (of course most of the kids are in christian schools or homeschooled).
    When the church speaks on the issue of marriage Biblically, they are viewed as something like the KKK or worse. So it’s not persecution what will be done to the church, again, it’s just doing what’s necessary to preserve good morals in society (remember that verse about calling evil good and good evil?). It will then be pointed out that “real” churches (the main liners are mostly there already) that believe in the Jesus of “love” endorse gay marriage, it’s just those evil small sects that are full of hate that don’t. Remember, in the Soviet Union, freedom of religion was guaranteed in the constitution, and persecution was relatively mild for churches like the orthodox that were in bed with the State. Those who didn’t toe the line were wiped out, or almost, and categorically demonized. Survey those over 35 who grew up in the USSR as to if they heard in school that Baptists eat children. Reed, give it twenty years and they’ll say you eat children (or something). Why would you expect an upstanding Atheist citizen like CD to defend you?

  124. Reed Here said,

    July 14, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Mark B: basically agree with your observations.

    I expect CD-Host in principle denies your concluding comment. I believe he sincerely considers himself to be a defender of justice for all people, including homosexuals and Christians. He appears to think that my kinds of arguments here demonstrate a sort of moral blindness to both the absence of persecution for Christians and the presence of persecution to homosexuals.

    Respectfully to him, I agree homosexuals have been persecuted in the past in our country. I may demur (at least some of) his examples, but that does not mean I deny. At the same time I am disappointed that he seems unable to agree, at least in principle, that the kinds of things he says are persecution toward homosexuals (e.g., infliction of financial harm) are actually happening now to Christians solely because they say “no thanks.”

    Let me go further, and say such a response is distressing. And yes, again with no animosity toward folks such as CD-Host, I expect the possibility of such a response. I still hope that maybe he and others like them might see that their moral equivalency math is not as accurate as they think. (I apologize where in the intensity of such distress I have been unkind to CD-Host or others. No excuse making, just context.)

    I do not think wittingly, but with quite a bit of stereotypical comments, CD-Host has indeed demonstrated that we’re not going to win any debates, even with reasonable minded people such as himself. All the errors of others, both real and those that only flow from their own erroneous understanding, are laid at our feet. Whether personally guilty or not, we are presumed to hold to a basically bigoted view of homosexuality. And that is inexcusable and makes us necessarily culpable to the use of force to silence, not merely words, but even our thinking.

    Regardless, my point here has been to warn Christians, pastors in particular, to pay attention. Now is the time to wake up, recognize this issue is coming, and begin to prepare Christians. It is time now for preaching on repentance for any hypocrisy (e.g., singling out homosexuality, nary a word on other sexual sin). It is a time for preaching repentance over failures to love our neighbor (e.g., how many of us have homosexual friends? Do they know we’d give our lives to protect them?) It is a time for preaching on the power of Jesus victory that enables us to really and truly love those who see us as their enemies.

    This is not going to be easy. If all I have to deal with is people thinking bad names about me over this subject I am most blessed. Most of those names won’t be true and the few that are I can own and confess.

    But I expect we will have to deal with much, much worse. Now is the time for recognizing this and using the means of grace in faith and repentance. I expect some who hate us over this issue will in the end come to love us as our sacrifice is used of God to break their hearts.

    My heart breaks for the mass who will nevertheless, in self-justifying righteousness, believe they are serving to better mankind in either ridding us of our conviction, or ridding us from the world.

  125. CD-Host said,

    July 14, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    @Mark B #124

    . Survey those over 35 who grew up in the USSR as to if they heard in school that Baptists eat children.

    The people who grew up in the USSR didn’t know what a Baptist was mostly. They certainly didn’t have a protestant framework for evaluating religions. They had a Marxist viewpoint and looked at “religion” as one large entity tied to class struggle. Religion as an entity had local ethnic flavor, the way food or dress does but that was fundamentally the same in all places. Russians who were religious went to the Russian orthodox church because they were Russian. Italians were “Catholic” because they were Italian. People in the middle east were mostly Muslim because they were arabic… Religion was seen as an extension of culture, which had philosophical content but mostly something that was unchosen.

    Generally a person in the USSR knew there were varieties of Christianity which emerged from the 16th century wars, and had become the local flavors in Northern Europe. In general the United States was not portrayed as particularly religious for two reasons:

    a) The American foreign policy establishment prior to Carter / Reagan was not religious

    b) Religious people were portrayed as idiots in Soviet propaganda. It would have been difficult to portray the Americans as cunning and threatening while simultaneously treating them as religious.

    So no they did not hear that Baptists ate children. They didn’t hear anything specific about Baptists at all. And if they had know about Baptists they would have just considered it the ethnically American form of religion.

  126. Mark B said,

    July 14, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    @ CD
    No. Thanks for presenting that theory, but that little aside was relating actual experience, not trying to solicit philosophizing on the USSR. But, if you wish, consider how that statement you didn’t like fits with this statement you made: “Religious people were portrayed as idiots in Soviet propaganda”, which is true as far as it goes.

    @ Reed
    “My heart breaks for the mass who will nevertheless, in self-justifying righteousness, believe they are serving to better mankind in either ridding us of our conviction, or ridding us from the world.”

    That sums it up rather succinctly.

  127. Bob B said,

    July 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    @Dr DeRIdder 118
    Since conversation on this topic has died down a little, I thought I’d respond to you with my general view of children and belonging to families.

    When 2 people have a child, that child is an independent pre-rational entity which (by default) those 2 people get the privilege of raising. In a free society, those 2 people would be able to choose if they wish to raise the child or not – and once they choose not to do so, then they ‘loose’ that privilege for good. Another person or people can take up that privilege and raise the child instead. This is adoption. This is also what happens when one parent (usually the dad) runs off and ceases in his responsibility to the child.

    The state does not own children, nor is it a primary care giver. To be honest, the state doesn’t have any place in the raising of children. One possible exception would be allowing the state to determine between two parties competing for the privilege of raising a child, or removing a child from a party blatantly abusing the child. With both of these, I believe that there are state-less solutions, but the principle remains that the state doesn’t own the child, but is looking out for these pre-rational individuals.

    As children grow and become more rational, they will eventually cease to be something that requires parental care and gain their full rights. A major right would be to not be aggressed against by anyone – including their parents. Basically, at some point the child becomes too old for discipline – even if we disagree with a particular choice (assuming the choice is a point of morals, not your child beating up someone else, or stealing from them). This ties in with the property rights of the parent, and not feeding or sheltering those we have disputes with.

    As a child’s rationality and rights increases, your responsibility to them decreases. In the case of the mentally handicap, their rationality never increases to the point where your responsibilities end.

    The sad thing about ‘law’ is that we set ages on these things instead of working on an individual level. 18 is the age to kick them out of the house / send them to war – 21 is the age they can drink. 14 is when you can be ‘tried as an adult’ for crime.

    The Virgin Mary gave birth probably around age 15. I would consider her fully rational at this point and fully adult with all the privileges and responsibilities there of.

  128. Dr DeRidder said,

    July 16, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Robert B

    My sentiments concerning the blessing of children and parental responsibility mirrors yours. My point was that the many of the 50 states have Laws that define children as property of the state and the parents are custodial caregivers that are granted priviledge to watch over the children so long as they follow the states laws. If a state declares parents unfit to keep custody of their children because they homeschool or because they are fanatics [christian or otherwise] they may claim soveringty and take the children. Alabama, where I live, has done so regularly through DHR (Dept of Human Resources

  129. SLIMJIM said,

    July 22, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Thank you for this and what a wonderful illustration of two extremes…Chicken Little and the Ostrich!

  130. Cally Goddard said,

    August 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

    One sparing note: As a general gospel message: Most believers including Christ’s followers from 2000yrs. ago don’t follow rules and regulations, but love, the love of God is only effective if involved and in the home of the one struggling with the idol; gluttony of verbiage; gluttony of food; gluttony of sexual immorality…..and/or the idol of affirmation. Most sexual immoral communities simply want the idol of Attention.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 327 other followers

%d bloggers like this: