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  1. #121
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    LOL! You are not the only one who's done that. They are the most opposite of that indeed!

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    yes, YOU believe that, so go right ahead and don't marry a same-sex partner- but why do you feel you're entitled to inflict your religious beliefs on others? which is what you are doing. You are saying "They", who don't share your beliefs, should be forced to follow your beliefs. Not only is this an expression of hatred and intolerance, it's ILLEGAL in the US where we are free to not be forced to follow other people's religious beliefs. Even if you firmly believe that homosexuality is a sin, your obligation as a US citizen is to first and foremost protect and uphold the US constitution and protect the rights of your fellow citizens.

    If we can get rid of the mainstream churches we can break up their power- and thus we will no longer be in danger of people trying to force a particular religious belief on everyone else.
    Which is why I'm very pleased everytime we see new statistics indicating fewer and fewer people attend church regularly, and the "alternative" religions keep growing in popularity, and most people don't actually believe anything, really.

    Oh, and people don't "believe" in evolution. Evolution is science- it's a theory that best explains all of the evidence. Thus it is taught to children, as it should be. People only "believe" in things that don't have any evidence to support them, like myths about a god creating the world in seven days. If there was any actual evidence supporting the idea, you wouldn't have to "believe" in it. It would just be.
    That is one problem in the Bible Belt, that the religious leaders keep telling everyone that religion comes first, the Constitution second.
    That it is ok to break laws when it comes to religious wants.

    Here is an example, silly as this one is.:
    We have a Ten Commandment monument in our public court house lawn, put there by no other than the town officers, sheriff and county judge and such.
    Until the Supreme Court decides differently, that is illegal, but several counties here, in defiance of existing laws, went ahead and put them there.

    That such is the opposite of what the Constitution intended and clearly states of course is ignored, because religion, to the religious, comes first.

    Their religion, of course.
    If that was a monument some muslim group had asked for permission to set there, they would have been run out of town.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  3. #123
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    I discovered the Desiderata in my early teens. At the time I attended a protestant church weekly with my parents. As I grew older, I became less enchanted with organized religion, ANY organized religion. But I never lost the message of the Desiderata. It holds all of my beliefs in its stanzas. It expressly allows for different interpretations of "God", so even Wiccans, Druids, and anyone else can adopt its tenants. Nothing is spelled out as a sin; love for one another is stressed. I firmly believe the world would be a nicer place if more people used it as their go-to credo rather than something written when slavery was permitted and stoning was acceptable. For anyone who hasn't heard it, here it is:

    Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

    As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

    Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

    Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

    Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

    Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.

    With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

    Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

    Max Ehrmann c.1920)
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


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  4. #124
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    Default Food for thought

    Quote Originally Posted by dressagetraks View Post
    It's the term marriage. I think that marriage is God's property.
    Except that marriage is a contract that codifies numerous financial and social benefits that have nothing to do with religion. No other contract between any two people gives the same rights and recognition that the marriage contract does.

    When people marry, they tend to do so for reasons of love and commitment. But marriage is also a legal status, which comes with rights and responsibilities. Marriage establishes a legal kinship between you and your spouse. It is a relationship that is recognized across cultures, countries and religions. Civil Unions offer some of the same rights and responsibilities as marriage, but only on a state level and do not cross state lines. Some states and municipalities have domestic partnership registries, but no domestic partnership law is the same. Some, like Oregon's domestic partnership law comes with many rights and responsibilities. Others offer very few benefits to the couple.

    Even though each state has its own laws around marriage, if someone is married in one state and moves to another, their marriage is legally recognized. For example, Oregon marriage law applies to people 17 and over. In Washington state, the couple must be 18 to wed. However, Washington will recognize the marriage of two 17 year olds from Oregon who move there. This is not the case with Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships. If someone has a Domestic Partnership, that union is recognized by some states and not others. Some states have even ruled that they do not have to recognize civil unions performed in other states, because their states have no such legal category. As gay marriages become legal in other states, this status may change.

    A United States citizen who is married can sponsor his or her non-American opposite-sex spouse for immigration into this country. Those with Civil Unions have no such privilege. Even legally married gay and lesbian couples cannot sponsor their spouses for immigration because of the Defense of Marriage (DOMA) law.

    Civil Unions are not recognized by the federal government, so couples would not be able to file joint-tax returns or be eligible for tax breaks or protections the government affords to married couples. Again, because of DOMA, same-sex couples have to file single on their federal tax returns.

    The General Accounting Office in 1997 released a list of 1,049 benefits and protections available to heterosexual married couples. These benefits range from federal benefits, such as survivor benefits through Social Security, sick leave to care for ailing partner, tax breaks, veterans benefits and insurance breaks. They also include things like family discounts, obtaining family insurance through your employer, visiting your spouse in the hospital and making medical decisions if your partner is unable to. Civil Unions protect some of these rights, but not all of them.

    A lawyer can set up some things like durable power of attorney, wills and medical power of attorney. There are several problems with this, however:

    1. It costs thousands of dollars in legal fees. A simple marriage license, which usually costs under $100 would cover all the same rights and benefits.
    2. Any of these can be challenged in court. As a matter of fact, more wills are challenged than not. In the case of wills, legal spouses always have more legal power than any other family member.
    3. Marriage laws are universal. If someone’s husband or wife is injured in an accident, all you need to do is show up and say you’re his or her spouse. You will not be questioned. If you show up at the hospital with your legal paperwork, the employees may not know what to do with you or choose to treat you according to their own personal beliefs. If you simply say, "He's my husband," you will immediately be taken to your spouse's side.


    Creating Civil Unions creates a separate and unequal status for some of America’s citizens. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court ruled that creating a separate class for gay and lesbian citizens is not permissible and that is why they have voted that only marriage equals marriage. The precedent was set with Brown v. The Board of Education regarding segregation in public education. Ironically, Massachusetts marriage law went into effect on the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.
    I'm not arguing, I'm just explaining why I'm right
    Violence doesn't end violence. It extends it. Break the cycle.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  5. #125
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    Kryswyn,

    Isn't it funny that we get the same inspiration from different sources, and they're all telling us basically the same thing. Old people know stuff -we should listen to them. Here is one of my inspirational messages -one that I revisit often.

    Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.

    Make careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

    Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.

    Do not be misled: No one makes fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others –ignoring God –harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s spirit d the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.

    So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.


    The God and Christ references are due to the source of the text.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSuchPerson View Post
    This is not unique to matters of religious faith. Studies have also shown that people do indeed chose what they want to believe even when presented with data. For example, I can hand you a stack of scientific publications in which one researcher has concluded that the data of Dr. X clearly shows that A+B=C while another researcher has concluded that the data of Dr. X clearly shows that A+B does not equal C. Witness the whole global warming debate - two diametrically opposed sides with equally qualified scientists on both sides looking at exactly the same basic data.

    This has been a really interesting discussion. I've enjoyed reading it. And Jazzy Lady, I've loved every one of your posts. (FWIW, I'm an agnostic libertarian.)
    I disagree with the global warming claim that there are two sides with equally qualified scientists...that's just not true.

    As for the rest, it's called confirmation bias. So of us are mores susceptible than other.s
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    2 members found this post helpful.

  7. #127
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    'cause I fascinated with the direction this thread has taken and because, mostly, I agree with the Athiests and those hoping the demise of the mainline Church but pray every day for it to accept the witness of those who call it to reformation, not unlike the historic shift in response to Karl Marx's critique of the acquiescent Church of his day, I offer the observation that it's not that easy....

    One of my favorite fact checks is this list of how marriage, which God seems to favor it portrayed in the Bible. God seems to bless all of it. And, btw, I'm in the mainline Church and am in favor of gay marriage. And, I am NOT alone.

    Here’s a summary:
    Polygynous Marriage
    Probably the most common form of marriage in the bible, it is where a man has more than one wife.

    Levirate Marriage
    When a woman was widowed without a son, it became the responsibility of the brother-in-law or a close male relative to take her in and impregnate her. If the resulting child was a son, he would be considered the heir of her late husband. See Ruth, and the story of Onan (Gen. 38:6-10).

    A man, a woman and her property — a female slave
    The famous “handmaiden” sketch, as preformed by Abraham (Gen. 16:1-6) and Jacob (Gen. 30:4-5).

    A man, one or more wives, and some concubines
    The definition of a concubine varies from culture to culture, but they tended to be live-in mistresses. Concubines were tied to their “husband,” but had a lower status than a wife. Their children were not usually heirs, so they were safe outlets for sex without risking the line of succession. To see how badly a concubine could be treated, see the famous story of the Levite and his concubine (Judges 19:1-30).

    A male soldier and a female prisoner of war
    Women could be taken as booty from a successful campaign and forced to become wives or concubines. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes the process.

    A male rapist and his victim
    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes how an unmarried woman who had been raped must marry her attacker.

    A male and female slave
    A female slave could be married to a male slave without consent, presumably to produce more slaves.
    and of course …

    Monogamous, heterosexual marriage
    What you might think of as the standard form of marriage, provided you think of arranged marriages as the standard. Also remember that inter-faith or cross-ethnic marriage were forbidden for large chunks of biblical history.

    The important thing to realize here is that none of these models are described as better than any other. All appear to have been accepted.

    So there you go. Exactly which kind of the eight kinds of God favored marriage....?

    Just more thoughts....
    ol'Hound


    10 members found this post helpful.

  8. #128
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    Don't you guys think that perhaps a discussion of gay marriage deserves its own thread?

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    I disagree with the global warming claim that there are two sides with equally qualified scientists...that's just not true.
    I should have said "anthropogenic global warming" rather than simply "global warming." As someone I know once said, "Yes, the planet has been warming since the last ice age - and thank God for that!"

    But, with respect to anthropogenic global warming, yes, yes it is true. LOL. Thanks for helping me make my point.



  10. #130
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    I'm not stepping up and starting that one! Even though, as a practicing (but not very happy with her current parish priest--political commentary has no business in a homily!) Catholic who voted in favor of Same-sex Marriage this past election, I probably should. This has been a wonderful discussion, by some very thoughtful people, thank you all. Keep your thoughts coming!!
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


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  11. #131
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    I don't care what people want to believe or disbelieve in.
    That is moot question, left to each one to deal with, according to their inclinations and upbringing and culture they live in.

    NOW, when any one of those RELIGIOUS beliefs, not already encoded in common laws, are pushed on us because they are dictated by any one religion, be it Christian in the USA or moslem in the Middle East and those religious beliefs are making second citizens out of some, or even slaves, THEN I object.

    I too am one of those that will be glad when religions are finally relegated to something some like to do, like watching football or golf or any other hobby, that no one else has to be directly affected by it.
    No more laws to make you worship at the feet of football gods by decree and follow their services every ballgame.
    Yes, that is silly, but to those that religion and the many harebrained laws, rules and regulations religions demand of their followers and all other citizens where religions have the upper hand, be it they be against gay marriage or abortion or women getting an education and wearing headgear?
    Well, I am happy to live now in a country where we can speak against that without going to jail for it, unlike where I grew up.


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  12. #132
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    Well, my thinking is that this is not a discussion of gay marriage but that gay marriage is a touchstone for the complexities of the interaction of faith, church and culture. It's been a problem since the Israelites began to settle Canaan. We could just as easily be discussing recent events in the Gaza Strip. The are complex social, political, economic and cultural values and concerns which underlie all of this. Problem has always been that people have always been easily manipulated -- on both sides of any discussion -- when it becomes cloaked in religious language.



  13. #133
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    RE:I didn't even get a drivers license while living there because I would have had to get a "certificate of good behavior" to apply for one, as we had to for any certificate of any kind we may have wanted, by the local priest.
    How did you get that one fellow to give you such certificate?
    You and your family had to be active participants in your local church, he needed to know you and who you were to give that little piece of paper, without which you could not do anything.


    Bluey, I'm so sorry you had to endure that. That really sucks. I don't know how I would have handled that.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).



  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulaedwina View Post
    RE:I didn't even get a drivers license while living there because I would have had to get a "certificate of good behavior" to apply for one, as we had to for any certificate of any kind we may have wanted, by the local priest.
    How did you get that one fellow to give you such certificate?
    You and your family had to be active participants in your local church, he needed to know you and who you were to give that little piece of paper, without which you could not do anything.


    Bluey, I'm so sorry you had to endure that. That really sucks. I don't know how I would have handled that.

    Paula
    Well, I edited that out, because this discussion is not about that.
    Yes, you needed that little piece of paper to get certified to be anything, a teacher, anything.
    The priests were government informants and the power their affiliation with the dictator gave the church to make everyone conform was awesome.
    As a kid, I was hoping those were the ones that the jokes about dying and going to the pearly gates and being refused entrance were based on.
    What a travesty they made out of religion.
    Imagine my surprise when I came to the USA and there were churches in ever corner, some right across from each other, of DIFFERENT denominations!
    Unthinkable where I came from.



  15. #135
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    Actually Bluey I think your story is extremely relevant to this thread, particularly the OP/title.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by houndsRus View Post
    And, btw, I'm in the mainline Church and am in favor of gay marriage. And, I am NOT alone.
    Thanks for pointing that out. My church - The Episcopal Church - has approved a marriage rite for same sex couples. New Hampshire has an ordained bishop who is openly gay and in a committed relationship. Being Christian does not mean you must deny civil rights or full participation in the church to people based on their sexual orientation.

    Not that the former Bishop of South Carolina would agree with the above. He seceded from the national church over it. For a Californian, he sure picked up South Carolina customs pretty fast!


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  17. #137
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    Default Slight hijack, but mostly on topic

    Quote Originally Posted by twotrudoc View Post
    I think the choice of charter schools is a good one, and the schools can then decide what and how to teach. Let the taxpayer fund the school their kids attend, and I as a single with no children do not mind paying taxes for the betterment of society-I can support a charter school in my area. I disagree with the poor results of our current public education regime anyway, especially now as I work for a community college that sees the sad results of that public education system I see faculty and admin struggling to fill gaps left from the K-12 system in an affordable way as our "free" education was not worth a dime.

    One fed up and stressed out English prof (the main issues are English and Math, college age students with below middle school education!) got mad and yelled out asking when the middle and high school teachers would be held accountable. I agree! His salary is stripped away, tuition is up and children are churned out being taught...what?
    In terms of paying for schools, we have a departure of opinions. I believe that every citizen has a stake in every child's education, so I am a big believer in public education, although parents have the right to educate their children as they see fit (within certain parameters). So in paying only for schools that your children attend, you do yourself and your community a disservice in terms of preparing all the community's children for the wider world, given the schools are of good quality.


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  18. #138
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    Re evolution as a theory (and someone may already have addressed this, didn't get to the bottom of the thread): in science (social and hard) things are called theories when there is evidence to support them. It's an act of deductive reasoning. You go from the specific to the general. I see that things work this way time and time again, so my theory of the situation is x. It is a bit of a confusion, but the convention is to not make willy-nilly claims of causality because something can always come along and prove you wrong.

    Of course, the Bible could be accurate, just that it's being told by people who may or may not have embelished to make their points. It was written by humans after all.

    The other thing to me is, there are creation stories in every culture, and given that God is all-knowing, if there is truly only one way to believe, wouldn't there be only one way? I think all religion is a human construct in an attempt to understand the divine.

    The last thing thing, it struck me one time, looking at a sign on someone's desk that said "God is Love." And it occured to me, maybe that is the literal truth. God is love and the connection that we all have. If anyone is interested in this sort of thinking, look at Meg Wheatley's writings.

    Now, off to go pray at St. Hubert's. ;-)


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  19. #139
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    Back online from a hectic day and a half, and I don't have much time now, but I knew those views wouldn't be popular at all. Doubt this post will either, so thumbs away.

    The horse comparison was poorly stated on my part - I wasn't actually intending to compare horses to the institution of marriage, which is indeed a far more complex thing. I was simply trying to use the horses to answer the last half of the comment before, what about when my beliefs on something intersect people with different beliefs. Just trying to illustrate how if my belief includes that God is the overall maker of (horses, marriage, trees, fill in the blank), whether their belief on (horses, marriage, trees, fill in the blank) was the same or different would not affect my belief. If I believe God established ALL of something, well, I believe He established all of it. As we are in a fallen world due to having free will to choose Him or not, parts of it have become twisted. But He was the original author.

    As for the "as long as you don't impact me" theory, first, I don't think it's possible. As John Donne noted, "No man is an island entire of itself." Your beliefs DO impact others, no matter what your beliefs are. We don't each believe in our own sealed cubicles.

    But second, I absolutely agree that it would be the height of arrogance for a person to claim that he alone had The True Answer. The thing is, that claim was made by Jesus, not me. John 14:6 "Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Now you are free to believe that Jesus wasn't God, so it doesn't count. Or that the Bible was corrupted and Jesus didn't really say that, so it doesn't count. Or whyever else you decide it doesn't count. We have free will. I totally support your right to believe differently. But if you are wrong, you are up against the one God of the universe, not against just other people.

    About churches telling people how to vote or politically instructing them, I have attended what you would consider fundamentalist churches for decades on a nearly weekly basis, only sickness or exceptional circs keeping me away. Several different such churches, in several different states. Guess how many times in those decades I have heard politics preached from the pulpit? Zero.

    Mom had many more decades experiences, many more churches, many more states, her states including the deep, deep South and California. We talked about it once before her memory started going. Guess how many times in all those decades she heard politics preached? Zero.

    Guess how many times the churches even suggested, "You need to vote for this person, or yes (or no) on this question." Zero. Current church even has someone on the political trail as a prominent member. He was prosecuting attorney and just ran (and lost) for the state senate. He'll probably run again. Were we ever told or suggested or even heard any staff member of the church saying that we all should vote for him? No.

    Guess the political affiliation of those attending this church. All sorts. Never once mentioned by the staff or leadership or during a service, but people do talk in the halls about everything from ball scores to politics. You get an idea. I know there are people who voted both main parties and some of the third parties. One man in my Bible study is an outspoken liberal Democrat and proclaims this proudly. He loves the church. Yes, he, proud liberal Democrat, loves this fundamentalist church. Because politics aren't the point of it. He loves it for the people there and has said so specifically. He loves their hearts and their spirits, and he doesn't care how many voted the same or different than he did.

    About letting others share, our pastor has said in the past that he always welcomes the Jehovah's Witnesses. He doesn't hide behind a closed door; he invites them on in for conversation. He's glad to. His terms are, you have your turn, and I have mine, friendly conversation. Our pastor is meekness personified. In 5 years, I have never, not once, heard him raise his voice or seen him angry. But he's said in most cities he's lived in, the JWs very quickly start skipping his house. He's willing, though.

    Just this morning, we had the update at church on the turkey drive. Last Sunday, families who could get an extra were asked to bring a frozen turkey to church. There is a list the city has of families who have said they are unable to afford Thanksgiving dinner (and Christmas, when we get to that one), and charitable groups are welcome to take however many names they wish and take those families a full Thanksgiving dinner. So we collected turkeys last week, for turkey dinners for families. Report this morning was that 52 turkeys were brought. 52 families got Thanksgiving dinner. We never asked who they voted for, or what race they were, or what religion (if any), or whether gay or straight. We just took them Thanksgiving dinner. They did know it came from the church. I doubt they were too offended to eat it, whatever their beliefs. My church is always doing things like that. They don't care who you voted for; they do care whether you had Thanksgiving dinner.

    Happy Thanksgiving.
    Last edited by dressagetraks; Nov. 25, 2012 at 08:24 PM. Reason: typo


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