Monday, April 30, 2012

'Dan Savage calls out religious hypocrisy in controversial speech' and other Monday midday news briefs

There is so much drama in regards to Dan Savage's recent speech in Seattle. And naturally, I got a couple of things to say. But first:

Check out this powerful detailing why Amendment One (that awful anti-family amendment in North Carolina) could harm domestic violence victims:



Join me (or, rather, follow me) for a one-day Twitter fundraiser to fight Amendment One - Check out this link from Pam Spaulding if you want to help in defeating Amendment One.

In other news:

Maine's Mike Heath continues to sabotage his side; yay!! - If we get marriage equality in Maine, this will probably be the guy will end up helping us. And he hates our guts.

Romney’s Inconsistent Reaction To Massachusetts’ Same-Sex Marriage Ruling - Brother Etch-A-Sketch strikes again.


And as you can tell, I saved this one for last . . .

Dan Savage Addresses Journalist Conference Speech Controversy, Denies Attacking Christianity - Now about this Dan Savage controversy. I have said on more than one occasion that he and I don't see eye-to-eye on many things. Also, the language he used here isn't exactly something I would have said.

But you know what? He is exactly right.

 I consider myself a person of faith. I credit my faith in God with accepting my sexual orientation. But here is something that I have never understood about some of my fellow Christians. How is it that they can cite passages regarding the supposed sin of homosexuality, but will ignore the ones advocating slavery, children obeying their parents, keeping women silent in church, divorce, and other things that they will not talk about which is clearly in the Bible. Why didn't Jesus say one word about homosexuality? And for that matter,why  didn't God Himself?

How is it that they can cite the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as proof that God hates homosexuality when it is clearly said in the Bible that God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah long before the passages regarding homosexual rape appeared? How is it that when other passages in the Bible talk about why Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed, you don't see anything regarding homosexuality? And why won't they discuss that chapter in the book of Judges (Judges 19) which pushes forth the theory that one of the reasons why Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed was not because of homosexuality but because of how the city treated visitors. You see a similar incident happened in the book of Judges where men in a city wanted to rape a visitor. But the visitor escaped by handing over his concubine whom the men brutalized until she died.

Why is it that so many folks call the Bible the unquestioned word of God but won't talk about parts of the Bible which would actually challenge their notions of who God is. God does want obedience but He doesn't want blind obedience and those secure in their faith should know that seeking the answers to questions would only work to enhance the faith rather than destroy it.

So my question to those offended by Savage is basically simple. What are you afraid of?


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9 comments:

Erica Cook said...

They're afraid of loosing their supremacy. They're afraid of having to see that we don not have true freedom of religion, but freedom of Christianity. They're afraid that faiths like mine may one day be normal and their bigotry will have to be called out by a majority who will see it for what it is. As a wiccan there was no coming to terms with my sexuality, just my past of being violated by the "Good" Christians who tried to rape me straight.

Note, I don't hate christians, but I don't trust people based on their faith. I base it on their actions. I do believe there is an inherent flaw in Christianity. It doesn't promote questioning. It doesn't allow for people to doubt. without these things change is nearly imbosseble.

westburbswimmer said...

Regarding Sodom. Besides Ezekiel being clear that it was destroyed due to neglect of the poor.
Its always fun to say, "I will accept your premise that your interpretation of the story of Lot and Sodom should be applied to public policy in the modern day USA if you will accept that the whole story should be, not just part. Remember that Lot, the righteous guy, offered his young virgin daughters up to be raped. Is that OK? If I offered my daughter up to be raped should it not be a crime? God not only didn't condemn that, but still honored and saved Lot. After all, the notion of women as property is very consistent with the rest of scripture. Both Old and New Testament. And lets not forget that in the end, Lot and both of daughters had sex, yet there is no condemnation. So do you still think we should use this passage to influence our public policy?"

Anonymous said...

I notice that many individuals have questions about why Christians accept certain "laws" or commandments, but seem to "ignore" others or don't address them head on. So, to give just a little bit of understanding to the issue, one has to distinguish that the Old Testament text was written originally for the Jewish nation.

The Jewish nation had civil, ceremonial, and moral laws written within the OT text. Now, once Jesus Christ came to the earth, he fulfilled the civil and ceremonial laws found in the old testament because they were laws created by God to point the Jewish nation to the future Messiah. Yet, the moral laws still stand in which homosexuality falls under that "category. That's why you see Christians still opposed to homosexuality, but are not opposed to some laws found in the old testament like eating "unclean foods" or adhering to some ritual like animal sacrifice.

Now, about slavery. Many individuals feel that the Bible promotes slavery, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Instead of approving of slavery, in one instance found in the New Testament 1 Timothy 1:10, it shows slavery or slave traders being put into the same category as murderers, adulterers, perverts, and liars. Also,slavery within the Old Testament context was sanctioned due to economic realities rather than racial or sexual prejudices. Because bankruptcy laws did not exist, people would voluntarily sell themselves into slavery. A craftsman could thus use his skills in servitude to discharge a debt. Even a convicted thief could make restitution by serving as a slave (Exodus 22:3).(To be continued).

Anonymous said...

Also, about women "not speaking in church. This also has to be put in context. Paul the Apostle of Jesus was talking to the Corinthian church about how to maintain order due to new converts coming to the faith. So, he instructed in that particular church body that the women needed to "keep silent" because they were being allowed to attend church with the men (in which Jewish culture had restrictions). Thus, they had many questions and would disturb the congregation during the church service. So, Paul gave instructions to have them go home and ask their husbands about what they had learned to keep order. In fact, Christianity was giving them more freedom that they ever had apart from the restrictions they had in Judaism. Again, this was instruction to keep order in church services and has nothing to do with morality.

There is other instances where Paul gives instructions in 1 Corinthians 11 for women to prophesy and pray in public. And prophesying is clearly delineated as exhorting, edifying, and equipping the body of Christ. Why would he give that command for women to not speak in church, but then say they could encourage and prophecy in church if that was a blanketed "command" for all women to not speak in church?

You talked about adultery. Not sure if you thought it was not mentioned in the Christian New Testament? Either way Jesus actually not only talked about the action of adultery, but took it a step further in Matthew 5:27-28 that if a man looks at a women lustfully, he has committed adultery in his heart. Thus, effectively making the standards of adultery higher than how the Old Testament Jewish law viewed it. Again, it was a moral law, so that's why it carried over to the New Testament.
Finally, children obeying their parents is clearly mentioned in Colossians 3:20 that obeying parents is pleasing to the God. Not sure why that was mentioned by you, unless you don't agree with children obeying their parents? Just wondering. Also, Jesus didn't have to mention specifically about homosexuality because he assumed relationships of that caliber (sexual or married relationships)were between one man and one women as mentioned by him in Matthew 19:4-8. He even talks about how divorce was never intended by God.

Matthew 19:4-8

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

“Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.

I wanted to answer some common misconceptions in which I had at one point questions just like you have, but after doing some extensive research, I found that this is the actual view of the things you have stated.

BlackTsunami said...

You make good points and a word you mentioned gets to the heart of the matter - context.

Also - and you make correct me here - you are a bit guilty of the point I was making.

You said - "The Jewish nation had civil, ceremonial, and moral laws written within the OT text. Now, once Jesus Christ came to the earth, he fulfilled the civil and ceremonial laws found in the old testament because they were laws created by God to point the Jewish nation to the future Messiah. Yet, the moral laws still stand in which homosexuality falls under that "category. That's why you see Christians still opposed to homosexuality, but are not opposed to some laws found in the old testament like eating "unclean foods" or adhering to some ritual like animal sacrifice. "

But what distinguishes homosexuality from civil or ceremonial law as oppose to moral law? and also did Jesus make a distinct comment regarding that? Or did he make a comment regarding these things which is open to interpretation. If this is the case, we are exactly at the point where we were when you began reading my post.

Also, what interpretation of the Bible are we talking about here? Some Christians shy away from the King James version because King James was allegedly gay.

Anonymous said...

Good question. This is a lot, but I believe it all starts with the understanding of what "constitutes" a civil, ceremonial, and moral law.

Moral law for example deals with matters of the "heart" that God looks at more than anything else. While the civil and ceremonial laws were associated with civil law and ceremonial "adherence" that God instituted to symbolically set the Jewish nation apart from other nations and point them to His plan of salvation through Jesus Christ.


One example found in the New Testament, In his letter to the Colossian Christians, Paul underscores the Christian’s freedom from adherence to Sabbath laws by pointing out that “these are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ” (Col. 2:17 NIV). Thus, there is an obvious difference between enduring moral principles regarding homosexuality, adultery, murder, etc. and temporary civil and ceremonial laws relegated to a particular historical context.

Another example to show a distinction is when Jesus said in Matthew 5:17-48 that he didn't come to abolish the law, but fulfill it. Then, he goes on in mentioning the moral law "matters of the heart" like murder, adultery, divorce,revenge, promises, and loving your enemies, to show the moral law is still a matter of importance even though Jesus fulfilled the law (both ceremonial and civil laws of the Jewish nation or Judaism designed to point to Him). (continued)

Anonymous said...

Now, Jesus doesn't mention homosexuality, but again, in the verse I quoted above in Matthew 19:48, it was assumed by Him that a sexual (two become one flesh) and marriage relationship is between one man and one woman.

One could make an argument from silence that since he didn't mention Homosexuality that it could mean he accepted it which through textural criticism would be hard to prove.

Yet, then we have another dilemma. If Jesus didn't come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, he is effectively not denouncing the OT laws in principle which do denounce homosexuality.

His disciple Paul (who wrote 2/3 of the New Testament)made a clear statement in Romans 1:26 (NKJV) that "homosexuality" was a matter of the heart and instead of approving of these kinds of relationships "men with men" and "women with women" God turned his back to those who have "exchanged the truth for a lie" by "giving them over to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts", to dishonor their bodies among themselves or given over to "vile affections".

Basically saying his hand of grace and mercy was removed from them. This is because they didn't want to turn away from their sin and instead they were "committing indecent acts" and they unfortunately will receive the "penalty of their error" which they will not enter heaven as found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 (NKJV).

Most of what I said in quotations above is not my own words, but found in the NKJV and KJV Bible. Yet, it also should be noted that almost every translation of the Bible was not a translation from a translation, but they all went back to the original Greek and Hebrew to translate. KJV has had some revisions anyway that's why you have NKJV due to it's wordings which didn't give an adequate context of what the Greek manuscripts reflected.

Not to say it's wrong, but to be true to the original manuscripts it needed more accurate wording for context.

It is true the word "homosexual" is not used in the Bible by the way (that's used today to reflect more current understanding) of the actual words that say "men who have sex with men" translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.

Lastly, Jesus said hate was like murder of the heart. Christians hating homosexuals is just as bad as any other kind of hate and against what Jesus taught. I personally don't hate anyone (including homosexuals). Yet, if the Bible says that those who practice homosexuality will not enter heaven, it would be hate in my view to support the lifestyle knowing what I know where that lifestyle leads an individual. I would think that would be hypocritical actually saying I'm "something", but then I don't follow the teaching. In my view it's like I'm seeing people going over a cliff and I could choose to waive and cheer them on, or post a warning sign out of love in knowing what causes people to go over the "cliff" to their destruction. To do otherwise I would think is hypocritical and unloving. Some say that's being arrogant, but I look at it as i'm a "beggar" just trying to tell another "beggar" how to find food. Jesus said he is the bread of life (path to eternal life in heaven) and so I point people to him. Just being honest. Thanks for your time.

Woodstock said...

Since the book of Leviticus was rules given to the Levites (Jewish priests)it seems to me that those would come under the category of ceremonial laws; especially since one translation of the word many Bibles translate as "abomination" means "ritually impure"- in the same sense that a menstruating woman was considered "ritually impure", and people could be "ritually purified" after committing these "impure" acts like having sex with a menstruating woman or eating shellfish or pork. Since I doubt many homosexuals are ancient Jewish priests, those laws no longer apply, just like the dietary laws no longer apply.

BlackTsunami said...

Anonymous, I commend you stating your beliefs in a reasonable and polite manner - although u did skip over several questions I had.

I think we break camp with the following statement:

"personally don't hate anyone (including homosexuals). Yet, if the Bible says that those who practice homosexuality will not enter heaven, it would be hate in my view to support the lifestyle knowing what I know where that lifestyle leads an individual. I would think that would be hypocritical actually saying I'm "something", but then I don't follow the teaching. In my view it's like I'm seeing people going over a cliff and I could choose to waive and cheer them on, or post a warning sign out of love in knowing what causes people to go over the "cliff" to their destruction. To do otherwise I would think is hypocritical and unloving. Some say that's being arrogant, but I look at it as i'm a "beggar" just trying to tell another "beggar" how to find food. Jesus said he is the bread of life (path to eternal life in heaven) and so I point people to him. Just being honest. Thanks for your time. "

It does come across as arrogant because you make the mistake of reducing people's lives and worth. You repeat religious right talking points in talking about the "gay lifestyle," but there is no "gay lifestyle." Gays and lesbians have different lives and some of them encompass monogamous relationships and raising children. Also, when you do that, you leave yourself highly vulnerable. There are supposed Christian organizations out there who lie, distort science, and out and out accuse gays of being all sorts of unsavory individuals such as Nazis and pedophiles. Yet when challenged on this, they do exactly what you have done - plead Christian ennui. Not comparing you to them, mind you. I'm just trying to get you to see the trap that arrogance and ego can lead one into.

Christian or not, it is not our place to take it upon ourselves to make someone's life worse simply because we have a belief that the Bible calls their life a sin. This is a secular society after all. Secondly, history is full of examples where this sort of thing causes confusion and chaos, i.e. the Inquisition.