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chansen

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How to win a culture war and lose a generation

The below is from a blog entry by Rachel Held Evans, an author, blogger and a Christian, living in Tennessee.  This blog entry is in response to Ammendment One in North Carolina to ban same-sex marriage in the state.  I thought it was good enough to deserve its own thread here:

 

When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was “antihomosexual.” For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : “judgmental,” “hypocritical,” and “too involved in politics.”)

 

{snipped...read the rest here}

 

My generation is tired of the culture wars. 

We are tired of fighting, tired of vain efforts to advance the Kingdom through politics and power, tired of drawing lines in the sand, tired of being known for what we are against, not what we are for.

And when it comes to homosexuality, we no longer think in the black-at-white categories of the generations before ours. We know too many wonderful people from the LGBT community to consider homosexuality a mere “issue.” These are people, and they are our friends. When they tell us that something hurts them, we listen. And Amendment One hurts like hell. 

Regardless of whether you identify most with Side A or Side B, (or with one of the many variations within those two broad categories), it should be clear that amendments like these needlessly offend gays and lesbians, damage the reputation of Christians, and further alienate young adults—both Christians and non-Christian—from the Church.

So my question for those evangelicals leading the charge in the culture wars is this: Is it worth it? 

Is a political “victory” really worth losing millions more young people to cynicism regarding the Church?

Is a political “victory” worth further alienating people who identify as LGBT?

Is a political “victory” worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with gays and lesbians?

And is a political “victory” worth drowning out that quiet but persistent internal voice that asks—what if we get this wrong?

Too many Christian leaders seem to think the answer to that question is “yes,” and it's costing them.  

Because young Christians are ready for peace.

We are ready to lay down our arms. 

We are ready to start washing feet instead of waging war. 

And if we cannot find that sort of peace within the Church, I fear we will look for it elsewhere.

 

Source:

http://rachelheldevans.com/win-culture-war-lose-generation-amendment-one...

 

Obviously, I don't share her Christian viewpoint, but I think she is spot-on about the effect of Christian bogtotry against gays and lasbians.  Christianity - all of Christianity - is being dragged down by this.  This is not just dragging down Catholics and Baptists and the other hard line denomonations.  This topic makes Christianity in general look completely out-of-touch.

 

Due to rapidly-changing public opinion on same-sex marriage, the anti-same sex marriage crowd have already lost.  They may not know it yet, but their side is dead - figuatively because it's doomed, and literally because every time one of them passes away, they are replaced by at least one young person who attains voting age and thinks differently.  Almost all of these young people have homosexual friends, and are not going to vote to restrict rights to their friends.

 

From my perspective, part of me wants Christianity to keep fighting same-sex marriage.  That can only hasten the demise of Christianity.  But regretably, I care more about people than I care about the death of the church.  At some point, even Catholics and Baptists are going to have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, or it will just become more and more embarrassing to be a Catholic or a Baptist.

 

If you belong to a denomination that still opposes same-sex marriage, and you have a number of decades of life expectancy remaining, you'll want to start thinking of excuses for why you took such a position this late in the game.  These excuses will come in handy down the road when your grandkids ask you questions.

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seeler's picture

seeler

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Chansen, you;ve voiced my concerns.  Every time I read a 'letter to the editor' in the local paper or listen to a radio talk show that invites people to call in, and I see or hear the words  "Christians believe . . . " followed by a rant against the GLBTQ community, or abortion, or science, I cringe.  That's not what 'Christians' believe.  That's what a small but vocal minority believe. 

 

I've just been invited to a lesbian wedding coming up soon in my church - it will be the third I've attended since changing congregations a few years ago.   I've chosen it over an 'Information and Sharing session at the nearby reserve taking place on the same day. 

Alex's picture

Alex

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This is similar to the situation I see in many Ottawa UCC.I have seen 4 UCC churches close recently rather than accept LGBT people which are within a 20 minute walking distance on my place.  I still live closer to another 3 anti- LGBTG UCC than the one I belong too. They too will  close soon.

 

People should also start to thing that perhaps for some the real agenda is not science, LGBT, or abortion, but the church.

 

People think I am upset because they discriminate against LGBT, but really I am upset becasue they destroy churches and communites that use to do good things.

 

These antilove, anti Christ people have taken over the churches and are in the process of destroying them.

 

 

 

 

Alex's picture

Alex

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BTW they are losing the cultural war and losing multiple generations.

JRT's picture

JRT

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Chansen

Thank you for those comments. They were heartfelt and very well expressed. I am reminded of a pertinent quote from a very unlikely source:

 

Niccolo Machiavelli wrote --- It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out nor more dangerous to handle than to initiate a new order of things; for the reformer has enemies in all those who profit by the old order; and only lukewarm defenders in all those who would profit by the new order; this lukewarmness arising partly from the incredulity of mankind who does not believe in anything new until they actually have experience of it.

chansen's picture

chansen

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I tried to indent the first post of this thread to indicate where the quoted passage from Rachel Held Evans began and ended, but it didn't work well.  Suffice to say, most of the above is from her, but I agree with almost all of it.  These people are literally suffocating Christianity more effectively than I ever could.  On the downside, they're hurting people in the process, which I try not to do.

 

And yes, Alex, they're losing multiple generations.  Where Rachel goes wrong, is assuming everyone over 40 agrees to ban same-sex marriage.  This isn't true, of course.  They're just more likely to want to ban it.  But even some grandparents are coming around, and just like the move from Christianity to atheism, almost all the conversions are going from anti-gay-marriage to pro-gay-marriage.

 

There are going to be a lot of people who are going to look pretty bad in a few years.  The last ones will be clinging to their bibles tighter than ever, because that's the only flimsy defense they'll have.

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CJN

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Mr. Machiavelli wrote that a long time ago, during an unstable period of loosely affiliated city states. While our present political system is not perfect, it is probably a little bit more robust and we need not be as anxious about change as poor old Niccolo.

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graeme

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Our system isn't at all robust. i think this will be the year in which how unrobust it is will be hammered home.

Take the student strike in Quebec seriously, This touches on profund problems in our society. The only odd thing about it is that students across Canada are not on strike. And it all goes far beyond education and free tuition.

we live in a pretty immoral and unethical political/economic system - and the church is all to well respected by the most immoral and least ethical elements in it.

Alex's picture

Alex

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chansen wrote:

There are going to be a lot of people who are going to look pretty bad in a few years.  

 

Afew years? Most people think they look pretty bad now. laugh

Alex's picture

Alex

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Last week George W Bush's strategist and chief pollster put out the following memo,.

 

Now remeber this is a American Republican, who was Bush's chief pollster (?) 8 years ago.  In Canada the trend he describes is much more advanced.

'

 

Memorandum

From:    Jan R. van Lohuizen

Date:     05/11/12

Re:        Same Sex Marriage

Background:    in view of this week’s news on the same sex marriage issue, here is a summary of recent survey findings on same sex marriage:

  1. Support for same sex marriage has been growing and in the last few years support has grown at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down.   A review of public polling shows that up to 2009 support for gay marriage increased at a rate of 1% a year.  Starting in 2010 the change in the level of support  accelerated to 5% a year.  The most recent public polling shows supporters of gay marriage outnumber opponents by a margin of roughly 10% (for instance: NBC / WSJ poll in February / March: support 49%, oppose 40%).
  1. The increase in support is taking place among all partisan groups.   While more Democrats support gay marriage than Republicans, support levels among Republicans are increasing over time.  The same is true of age: younger people support same sex marriage more often than older people, but the trends show that all age groups are rethinking their position.

 

Polling conducted among Republicans show that majorities of Republicans and Republican leaning voters support extending basic legal protections to gays and lesbians.  These include majority Republican support for:

 

Protecting gays and lesbians against being fired for reasons of sexual orientation

 

Protections against bullying and harassment

 

Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

 

Right to visit partners in hospitals

 

Protecting partners against loss of home in case of severe medical emergencies or death

 

Legal protection in some form for gay couples whether it be same sex marriage or domestic partnership (only 29% of Republicans oppose legal recognition in any form).

 

Recommendation:        A statement reflecting recent developments on this issue along the following lines:

“People who believe in equality under the law as a fundamental principle, as I do, will agree that this principle extends to gay and lesbian couples; gay and lesbian couples should not face discrimination and their relationship should be protected under the law.  People who disagree on the fundamental nature of marriage can agree, at the same time, that gays and lesbians  should receive essential rights and protections such as hospital visitation, adoption rights, and health and death benefits.

Other thoughts / Q&A: 

Follow up to questions about affirmative action:   “This is not about giving anyone extra protections or privileges, this is about making sure that everyone – regardless of sexual orientation – is provided the same protections against discrimination that you and I enjoy.”

Why public attitudes might be changing:  “As more people have become aware of friends and family members who are gay, attitudes have begun to shift at an accelerated pace.   This is not about a generational shift in attitudes, this is about people changing their thinking as they recognize their friends and family members who are gay or lesbian.” 

Conservative fundamentals:       “As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone.  This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government.  

 
Northwind's picture

Northwind

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Excellent blog.  Thanks for sharing it. Those who benefit from the status quo will get louder and dig in their heels. Fortunately though things are changing. At least I hope so. 

chansen's picture

chansen

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Alex wrote:

chansen wrote:

There are going to be a lot of people who are going to look pretty bad in a few years.  

 

Afew years? Most people think they look pretty bad now. laugh

 

Yes, but they surround themselves with enough people of like mind to pretend they aren't bigoted, and it's all about "Jesus", or some other excuse from scripture.  This protective layer of twits will erode, leaving the bigots more exposed with fewer places to hide.

Alex's picture

Alex

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I think it is similar to what happened in the movie "The Exorcist" just before the devil is exposed and expelled from a body, it makes the most noise.  cheeky and gets the biggest laughs. The following is hilarious.

 

 

 

John Wilson's picture

John Wilson

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chansen wrote:

 

... But even some grandparents are coming around...

 

 

This heterosexual grandparent has 'been around' since before you were born!

 

What's this stereotypical jazz?

smiley

 

Berserk's picture

Berserk

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The apparent consensus of posters that there is a connection between church atrophy and stance of gay ordination and marriage is ill-conceived.  People, including young people, are abandoning mainline churches in droves who support a pro-gay agenda.  Some evangelical churches are also losing menbers, but at a slower rate.  Indeed, Pentecostal and charismatic churches are growing in leaps and bounds, despite their anti-gay agenda. 

 

Seatlle is one of the most liberal cities in the USA and Wsshington state recently approved gay marriage.  But it is the evangelical churches in Seattle that are thriving.  Support of gay marriage is currently about 50/ 50 in the USA, but the trend is for slowly increasing support.  Still, not many of the pro-gay public are interested in church and churches tend to attract youth and adults who aremore  tradtional on gay issues. 

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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the Global Human Spring continues

 

where people will have to adopt basic Global Human Rights that superceed any religious beliefs

 

the Global Human Rights are being hammered out as we write

 

as G_d and Heaven on Earth come into being

Alex's picture

Alex

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Berserk wrote:

The apparent consensus of posters that there is a connection between church atrophy and stance of gay ordination and marriage is ill-conceived. 

 

Actually I was the only person that mentioned the connection, so I do not see a consensus. Both of your premises however are false.

 

The only churches in Canada that are growing Baptists and Catholics, are doing so due to immigration. However there children end up supporting gay marriage.  Canadian born membrs of these churches are leaving at a fast rate.  There is no debate regarding ordination in Canada that I have heard of recently.

 

The churches that are shrinking fastest un Canada are the Pentacostal Assemblies and the Presberterians.

 

 Regarding  Seattle, I have not seen any stats, but as I understand it  there is only one evengelical church that is thriving, and it takes it's membrship;from other evengelicals. How recent are your stats regarding church membrship, Support for marriage in the US only reached 50% a few months ago.

 

If the US wants to see the future they can look to Canada, where support for marriage has been greater for  years, and where antigay churches are loosing members at the fastest rate, (of course as I have said some make up for they're loss with immigration, but it is temporary, and immigrant children overwelming adopt equality values).

 

Meanwhile the church that is lossing the least membres is the UCC (according to Stata Can). If one looks carefully inside the UCC you will likely find a situation l;ike Ottawa, where UCCs  that oppose equality are shrinking and closing down, while the few that support it are either holding their own or growing.

 

 

Of course as I mentioned and as Chansen has refered to those remaining opposed to equality will make alot of noise and deny the truth. 

 

 

 

 

chansen's picture

chansen

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Berserk wrote:

The apparent consensus of posters that there is a connection between church atrophy and stance of gay ordination and marriage is ill-conceived.  People, including young people, are abandoning mainline churches in droves who support a pro-gay agenda.  Some evangelical churches are also losing menbers, but at a slower rate.  Indeed, Pentecostal and charismatic churches are growing in leaps and bounds, despite their anti-gay agenda. 

No, that's not what we're saying.  We're saying that by taking this position, they're setting themselves up for sure failure down the road.  Supporting gay marriage bans now is like investing in horse-drawn buggy manufacturing after the invention of the automobile.

 

 

Berserk wrote:

Seatlle is one of the most liberal cities in the USA and Wsshington state recently approved gay marriage.  But it is the evangelical churches in Seattle that are thriving.  Support of gay marriage is currently about 50/ 50 in the USA, but the trend is for slowly increasing support.  

That trend is picking up steam.  It's rising.  There is even a memo from a Republican pollster floating around that tries to create some GOP talking points to make it sound like gay marriage was the idea of Republicans.

 

Many Republicans can see the iceberg on the horizon, and realize they are on a collision course.  We'll see what matters more to Republicans over the next few years: Ideology, or electability.  The problem is, they're so entrenched by now that changing positions on gay marriage will be the mother of all flip-flops.

 

 

Berserk wrote:

 

Still, not many of the pro-gay public are interested in church and churches tend to attract youth and adults who aremore  tradtional on gay issues. 

Congrats.  You're really getting the creme de la creme.

seeler's picture

seeler

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Happy Genius wrote:

chansen wrote:

 

... But even some grandparents are coming around...

 

 

This heterosexual grandparent has 'been around' since before you were born!

 

What's this stereotypical jazz?

smiley

 

 

Me too.  When I was younger I thought it was the older people who were most apt to be 'agin it'.  But a minister pointed out that seniors have lived a long time, they have observed the world, they most likely have seen gay and lesbian people in their own families or in their friends' families, and they aren't worried about their jobs or status in the community.  And that is what I have observed.  In fact it seems to me that people of Harper's generation seem to be the most bigotted.  But that's stereotyping too.

 

Age doesn't necessarily mean 'head in the sand' or 'set in their ways'. 

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Kimmio

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Yeah, even my grandparents have  'come around' and they're in their 80's and pretty conservative in many other ways. I think you might be right, seeler, it's some people born in the late 40's early 50's, boomers--my parents generation-- that seem having the hardest time accepting it....and it was them who taught my generation. My mom is certainly open to LGBT rights now--that has to do with someone in our family, and a sad story I won't tell here. My dad and step-dad both really waffle on it. They want to be open to it, but somehow get really uncomfortable with the conversation...there's ofen a, "yeah, I get it , but it's just...uh..I don't know". I think they're still trying to undo years of prejudice that they learned, and having to be "macho" that became normal for them, and even though they're retiring and won't be in charge for much longer, they're ones who largely run the world.  I've been pro LGBT rights for over 20 years, but my awareness changed after I left high school and lived in the real world. It started to in my older teens, but really, the "issue" became a non issue once I moved away and got to know new people. My much younger brother (who's technically almost young enough to be my son)  has never had any issues accepting LGBT rights. He grew up with Ellen DeGeneres, and Will and Grace on TV (and the media can have a big impact on kids--I think the statement by Joe Biden the other day about Will and Grace, although it sounded silly, was true).  I'd already left the house by then. Shows portraying LGBT people when I was a kid were often ridiculing them.

 

It's been my experience that middle-aged/ baby boomer straight men, moreso than women, have the most difficulty coming around to accepting LGBT rights and same sex marriage. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed the same? 

Alex's picture

Alex

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Until recently I a have always been surprised at who was bothered by sexcallity and who was not.   Those I had assumed who would have no problem, often did, while those who assumed would, often did not.

 

That is until that last 5 years. I really believ that having openly LGBT people on TV, along with greater numbers of people being open, has made homophobia rare among those under 30.  At the Catholic University I attend I have not meet any students under 30 who had a problem with it, including those studying to be Priests. The only homophobia I encounter was among older closeted gay professors/Priests.

 

 

Northwind's picture

Northwind

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I live in an area that has traditionally been fairly homophobic. About ten years ago, there was a move afoot to force every town in BC to have a Pride parade. We talked about it at work, and said we were not prepared to walk down the streets of town in support of our lesbian colleague. She was also not prepared to walk down the streets of town. We were just talking about this again, and I was aware of how much things have changed here. Sure, there is still homophobia around. There are also several openly gay youngish men in town who seem to be doing okay. There is an LBGT support group. I think there is even something in the high school. I suspect it is truly becoming a non-issue here. I like that. 

Kimmio's picture

Kimmio

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I find new Canadians from older cultures who haven't had as much exposure to LGBT rights being openly discussed in the political sphere, nor in entertainment and media...those from really traditional families, take a bit of time to come around when they move here...but I have seen some real progress in attitudes of people I have met. In some places in the world, it is still not safe to be "out" or even be an ally of LGBT people...in fact, it's really dangerous.

Berserk's picture

Berserk

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U. S. Denominations with pro-Gay Agenda        Decline in 2010

UCC                                                                     Down  2.83%

Presbyterian USA                                              Down 3.28%

Evangelical Lutherans                                     Down 1.92 %

Amercan United Methodist                             Decline of 100,000 a year

 

Denominations with anti-Gay Agenda

African United Methodist               Increase of 200,000 a year

Church of God   (Pentecostal)          Increase of 1.76% (2010)

Assembly of God )Pentecostal)        Increase of 1.27% (2010)

Roman Catholic                                   Increase of 1.49% (2010)

                                                                [despite sex scandal!)

These trends hold quite steady year after year.

SG's picture

SG

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One can look at that list and say the numbers are about same-sex marriage policy, if one wants to.

 

One could also say, citing the same numbers, it is about proselytizing and missions.
 


One could also say, again citing the same numbers, say it is about any number of variables. One would be that some denominations say not being in church is bad, sinful...  and it makes people come. One could then ask about if they are retained or if there is a shedding and rebuilding.

 

Citing numbers means little, really. I mean, some churches (denominations) do not report growth or decline. What constitutes members also varies denomination to denomination.

 

Your numbers also differ from others I have seen, including these
http://www.one-eternal-day.com/2008/02/denominational-growth-and-decline.html

 

That site says:

"According to the 2008 Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, the fastest-growing religious body in 2007 was the Jehovah's Witnesses at 2.25 percent.

Following them were the Mormons at 1.56 percent and the Roman Catholics at .87 percent. Compare this to last year's states that had the Catholics out front at 1.94 percent, followed by the Assemblies of God at 1.86 and the Mormons at 1.63.

The denomination with the biggest decrease is the Episcopalians at 4.15 percent."

 

 

 

waterfall's picture

waterfall

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Sometimes I wonder how many in some congregations really don't want to follow all of the mission statement of the particular church they attend. Too often I've seen the "we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman" etc......included in these statements, but for some, the social aspect of the church is too hard to give up. Rather than speak out against this mandate they "settle" for believing just some of it in their hearts and just hope the subject doesn't come up at church while they're talking to their fellow "believers". If you have an outspoken leadership that doesn't allow for thinking otherwise,you have to move on and be supportive of churches that do. (IMO)

 

Berserk's picture

Berserk

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During the 1960s pro-civil rights leaders were unphased by the opposition to desegregation in the South and rightly recognized that consensus does not mean truth and justiice.  Now those of their ilk complain that conservative churches are irrationally opposing the inevitable tide of history.  It is now the conservatives who are crying out for a prophetic critique of sinful cultural trends.  Quite a reversal!  My point is a simple one: unchurched people who oppose a pro-gay agenda are far more likely to become Christian that liberal secularists who embrace a pro-gay agenda.  In many Third World coutrnies same-sex sex acts are actually a crime.  My comments have nothing to do with the merits of the case.  I'm merely saying that the premise of this thread is mistaken. 

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Dcn. Jae

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waterfall wrote:
Sometimes I wonder how many in some congregations really don't want to follow all of the mission statement of the particular church they attend. Too often I've seen the "we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman" etc......included in these statements, but for some, the social aspect of the church is too hard to give up. Rather than speak out against this mandate they "settle" for believing just some of it in their hearts and just hope the subject doesn't come up at church while they're talking to their fellow "believers". If you have an outspoken leadership that doesn't allow for thinking otherwise,you have to move on and be supportive of churches that do. (IMO)

 

Maybe. Or maybe the people in those churches are there because they agree with the mission statement. How would you possibly know what they truly believe? I think what you've posted above is just your wishful thinking.

 

I cannot say that I am in support of same-sex marriage.

 

Rich blessings.

---

MC jae

 

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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MC jae wrote:

| cannot say that I am in support of same-sex marriage.

 

Rich blessings.

---

MC jae

 

 

But you'll let your G_d decide?

InannaWhimsey's picture

InannaWhimsey

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waterfall wrote:
Sometimes I wonder how many in some congregations really don't want to follow all of the mission statement of the particular church they attend. Too often I've seen the "we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman" etc......included in these statements, but for some, the social aspect of the church is too hard to give up. Rather than speak out against this mandate they "settle" for believing just some of it in their hearts and just hope the subject doesn't come up at church while they're talking to their fellow "believers". If you have an outspoken leadership that doesn't allow for thinking otherwise,you have to move on and be supportive of churches that do. (IMO)

 

related to this, in my wanderings of various religous groups over the years, I have noticed that peeps have their own conception of Deity, even withiin congregations and that the 'one conception of Deity; seems to be one of the social games of that partcular religion/denomination.

 

EDIT:  also, there's the conservative Lutheran denomination that my wife has been going to for years now where NO ONE there knows what the denominatiion stands for etc etc and can't point her to literature...not even those who do the services...

waterfall's picture

waterfall

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MC jae wrote:

waterfall wrote:
Sometimes I wonder how many in some congregations really don't want to follow all of the mission statement of the particular church they attend. Too often I've seen the "we believe that marriage is between a man and a woman" etc......included in these statements, but for some, the social aspect of the church is too hard to give up. Rather than speak out against this mandate they "settle" for believing just some of it in their hearts and just hope the subject doesn't come up at church while they're talking to their fellow "believers". If you have an outspoken leadership that doesn't allow for thinking otherwise,you have to move on and be supportive of churches that do. (IMO)

 

Maybe. Or maybe the people in those churches are there because they agree with the mission statement. How would you possibly know what they truly believe? I think what you've posted above is just your wishful thinking.

 

I cannot say that I am in support of same-sex marriage.

 

Rich blessings.

---

MC jae

 

 

Could be MC jae, but I have been there myself and know others that have been there also.

SG's picture

SG

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Actually, Beserk,  "who unchurched might become a Christian" is not what is being discussed.

 

Whether this holds true or not, I would say it depends upon where one poses it.

 

In this area, there was discussion of "the issue" (gay ordination, gay marriage came far later). Dialogue, open and honest, have had both sides say their children saw the issue as a non-issue. One lady, now an adult said that even as a child she wondered how if God CALLED ministers, the church could cut the line.

 

They knew there had been gay people in church, gay people reading scripture, gay elders, and yes, even gay clergy ALREADY. For them, the only thing that happened was they might come out. They saw unChristian response, unChristian actions and hypocrisy...The harsh words, the infighting, the willingness to sacrifice friendships and the church itself... destroyed their trust and respect in ANY religion.

 

I live openly in a small town, a two church town. I wear men's clothes, live with a woman. We wear rings and I call her my wife in public.
 


The choice of church not UCC decided to speak on "the issue" (he never mentioned us and loved the sinner while hating the sin). He, though his beliefs have not changed, will say he should have let it alone. There was an exodus. They did not head into the UCC, they simply stay home.

 

When you are an ass with no affiliation you are just an ass. When you are an ass in the name of any group, a stance.... you risk maligning others and having people think they are all asses.

Berserk's picture

Berserk

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[quote=SG]

Actually, Beserk,  "who unchurched might become a Christian" is not what is being discussed.

On the contrary, it is indeed the issue under discussion.  The widespead growth of churches that oppose a pro-gay agenda and the widespread decline of churches that favor this agenda implies that the church will NOT "lose this generation," but will tap the 50% who still oppose gay marriage in contrast to liberal churches who will continue to decline despite their support of this agenda.  Remember, the North Carolina vote was a whopping 81-39% and made this hitherto pro-Obama state the 30th state to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.   

 

 

Alex's picture

Alex

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Berserk wrote:

U. S. Denominations with pro-Gay Agenda        Decline in 2010

UCC                                                                     Down  2.83%

Presbyterian USA                                              Down 3.28%

Evangelical Lutherans                                     Down 1.92 %

Amercan United Methodist                             Decline of 100,000 a year

 

 

It's hard to argue with statistics (not) Howevr coming from Canada it is hard to see how the above apply. For example as a Canadian to describe churches that refuse to provide equal services, or who refuse to treat LGBT as equal, than IK can not see how you would said thesethree of these churches had a progay agenda.   Except for the UCC none of these churches had progay policies, infact they all refuse to even marry us.  NOw six months ago the Lutheransagreed to treat LGBT equally, but even than said it  was not a pro gay agenda, but a pro Christ agenda.   Even then your stats predate that decision.

 

I am also curiuos why you excluded the MCC, one of the fastest growing churches in the USA which has included LGBT people since tit's establishment.

 

ALso what did you exclude the Southern Baptists, the second largest denomination in the USA and the most anti equality one, and the one bleeding the most members.

 

The churches you do list as growing are likely like the Catholic Church. WHich growth is due to immigration from developing countries. But whose American born membership (and those who immigrate as children to the US) are leaving in greater numbers than any other church, except perhaps the SOuthern Baptists.

 

It is hard to have a discussion about your conclusions when your premises are false.

 

 

Alex's picture

Alex

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Berserk wrote:

[Remember, the North Carolina vote was a whopping 81-39% and made this hitherto pro-Obama state the 30th state to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.   

 

Actually that is pretty amazing, (not because 81 plus 39 = 119, and the vote was actually 39 - 61)  but considering almost no straights supported same sex 5 years ago.  I would also expect a state that only had their first legal mix race marriage in 1971 to be way behind the rest of the US.    I am  imagining if support their is now at 39% what it is in the north and the west of the US. 

 

 

What is amazing is that people like you can watch with your own eyes support for LGBT equality explode, and yet still claim that people are against it.

 

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

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InannaWhimsey wrote:

But you'll let your G_d decide?

 

What do you mean?

 

Rich blessings.

---

MC jae

WaterBuoy's picture

WaterBuoy

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I like the concept that most people are strange asses ... and the other portion of the public doesn't like strangers either ... so where does this leave us with the Christian Rules about how we treat the alien?

 

Are we all out in the cold as far as aboriginal attitude was towards the stranger ... that person from a place that we might learn something new from?

 

Omega'd we wouldn't got there would we heaven is a strange place after living so long down here in hell?

 

Is that so hard to grasp for a person that doesn't like clews, or satyrs ... sheer irony of the human state ... and we can't see IT!

SG's picture

SG

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Berserk,

I will let you celebrate your denominations decision and the vote in NC. I won;t remind you that the Supreme Court of these same states keeps overturning laws that are unconstitutional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berserk's picture

Berserk

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As for the merits of the gay orientation, a gay student association invited me to go on a college tour to offer a gay-friendly perspective on Scripture.  They were encouraged enough to urge me to do it repeatedly, but I finally stopped when I was warned that my job security the Catholic university where I taught was threatened by such talks.  No conservative ever challenged any of points in the discussion period after these meetings. 

 

Alex's picture

Alex

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Did you have a Catholic Teaching License.

 

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Berserk

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No, I was representing the fay/ lesbian student caucus, not the Catholic church. 

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Alex

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I suspect than that the peolple who warned you were mistaken. But things are so different in the USA, especially during the 80s. Tenured professors in Canada are usually safe unless they have are teaching courses which require a license. 

 

There are always a few Protestant theology Professors at all but the most conservative ROman CAtholic Univiversity and they are look on in the same way that philosophy professors are and are not expected to conform.

 

Conservative students are all ways complaining howevr. I had a itro course to the New Testament taqught by a non tenured professor, who claimed that Jesus was gay, amd a libeal UCC professor in another course, they were always rehired even when people complained, but the admin diod not care since they were not teaching courses on Cayjolic theology.  

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Berserk

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I was approached by a lesbian student because the university had denied their organzation's request to be listed among all the official university sponsored groups for students.  The university was afraid such recognition might affect alumni giving.  So campus gays and lesbians felt like they had no legintiacy on campus.  So I was asked to give them a voice about biblical perspectives on gays.  I suggested that they might be better off asking one the gay friars in the unversity's order.  But these were securely closeted and afraid to defend the students. 

 

The night I was first asked to speak was a cold February night of an intense snow blizzard.  Also, my talk was competing with a major college basketball game that always attracted thousands of fans and students.  So I was convinced that only 3-5 students would show up.  So imagine how shocked I was when about 200 came!  Gays, like straights, can be conservative or liberal, but in my experience they long for legimation, especially from tradtional churches in which they were reared.  I wish the issues associated with gay ordination and marriage could be set aside by conservatives long enough to discover how dissent can be articulated in a way that gays find accepting and respectful. 

 

Perhaps a more humane debate might be based on first establishing common grounds. Those opposing gay marriage would mostly agree:

(1) that the gay orientation is natural, not chosen, or created by deviant behovior;

(2) that gays are al least entitled to civil unions with all the rights and privileges of married heterosexuals;

(3) that "formication" with multiple partners based on lust is just as much a sin for heterosexuals as for samee-sex couples;

(4) that gay sexual erlationsihips based on love are atl least in a different moral category than lust-based casual relationships

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John Wilson

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InannaWhimsey wrote:

MC jae wrote:

| cannot say that I am in support of same-sex marriage.

 

Rich blessings.

---

MC jae

 

 

But you'll let your G_d decide?

 

Well, that's only fair. She's got little to do now that scientists have started passing out those Awe pills....they get stronger every year...

 

 

 

 

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WaterBuoy

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ALEX,

Wonderful ...

"There are always a few Protestant theology Professors at all but the most conservative ROman CAtholic Univiversity and they are look on in the same way that philosophy professors are and are not expected to conform."

 

Such alien Tiyes ... strange connections ...

 

Sort of associates true theology and philosophy ... the search for truth? Such is a quality well-buried in mankind; a creature of mostly emotional trends and acting like a bit of an ass! Where did Christ ride a colt into the Holy Citi, Seder? On the outside of course ... like Webster defined intellect ... outside the emotional bode!

 

Can you get there from here? Takes a worm hole in space ... a probe to wake to somnalant creature ... the much larger mind that is blanketed by fear? That's the Roman covenant hidden in a myth ... incourages growth of the abstract side of what's out-tae-here in words ... the alt's ID?

 

Is there anything like mankind that hates the alien ... even a cat will stop and silently observe! Sort of catharsis of old beliefs ... hard spot in the forehead of a Dick ...  a beautiful mind once buried ... according to Roman tradition in the handling of IHC ... Christ was alien he loved all outside the temple where Heh could see ... no longer a blind carpenter ... that ante chewing it's way out of a blind tree of rationale ... the emotions must be free. However one must be careful how they are exposed for someone might mistake them for knowledge and wisdom ... and you wouldn't wish to go ther again in a sapient form ... would you ... unless well whetted like the floating axis of ... who was that again? That thought just fell into a Black Hole ... psyche ...is tat EUE d'Eire ... recess in my sinkhole ...

 

You got to love the complexity of the Nos in mind ... unless you're simple fishman that doesn't know which side of the vessel heh's on ... pure hidden satire ... below the husk of man ... subline lit aura Scie'thin "c" ... it's quantum procession!

 

The illiterate don't understand a literation ... haven't probed the depths of that vast Dark Po-eL ... live-Ur-Po'eL ... but in the Shadow of the hardshell ... scull'n dimension ... another place to get IT together after Sects ... kin dah maqon you ...

 

Such whispers in the dark could mean so many things ... once turned over and the derivation investigated ... but God's children didn't wish to know. Now the common people ... that's something else and didn't IHC say to love all things and know eM within limits ... you don't have to get into the alien that doesn't wish you in their hed ... that Holy Eddie is something else of a stir ... driving we don't know what ... infinite vorTEX? Ineffiable to earthy God(s) must be conquered ... no co-operation allowed in a realm of offenses ... why we're loch'dupe in Eire! InChemical Engineering we used to call eM Wahl Effects ... borderline dissonance in a psychic trend ... that's changed too ...

SG's picture

SG

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"As for the merit of the gay orientation..." ????

 

Seriously?

 

Merit is worth.

 

How would a male saying "as for the merit of women" sound?
How about "as for the merit of blacks..." said by someone white?
 

 

I have merit because I am a human being, created by God, a child of God.

 

I know times have changed, they have changed fast and some places are ahead and some far behind... I know and remember days when someone speaking on an issue, with or without being sensitive or feeling a sense of equality, was welcomed just because they would speak....  so I will hope that was the case and I will thank God times have changed.

 

I also know that in some circles this language would work.

 

You would use that sentence once in a group here and now and you would be called on it by grandmas and grandpas in the UCC or be given the look. "He did not just say...?" 
 

 

You, however, use the conservative language well and can build bridges there in that space.  

 

I just wanted to address that sentence from my space.

WaterBuoy's picture

WaterBuoy

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Does the language of emotion precede the signature of th'aught ... omega'd one must stop and consider what went by ... as emotional word with latent following ... discipline? Would that be slower and constant as light at the end of the wormhole? Consider that Romans hated a thinking man .. literate and could put things down in simple code ... with oppression ... did it go underground ... the metaphors are huge ... words are the devil to those without understanding ... but some are patient like that man in Babylon interpreting what was on the Wahl ... from an alien hand ... a sign of what's past ... as a lesson? Are we as a pool open to consideration of all the parts, sects, in black and white and other hues ...

 

Lite ‘n Racine …

From the roots of the Lord of Darkness (anonymous, ineffable) …

Liter a’ Scie and “the” quick Ness of brae in …

An apt oon; Gaelic 1!

Requires anarđ of arranging the twist of tongue …

Jain ET’IHC Eire across it …

As ID tic Gaels Eyore fantasy as is …

Before you understand the complexity Ovid aL!

That’s oven bake dahl, in the pyre as N’el …

Leaves her feeling, she doesn’t know what chi’s doing …

But must bi dunne in the sea duck shine …

Where the byrd splashed down, under the surface …

That meaning what’s behind what’s out there as m’n in ß’lack!

Absent on the thoughtful emote Edin’s Ide …

As culture of soul, token fears, satyrs …

Beautiful mined as you get in to wit …

As alien thing to the physical bean that carries it around …

Frightened of the internal gnawing feeling …

As he is consumed by the Ire non-Ξ …

That’s Heh without chi …

A dimension un-warmed …

Like the po’Eire devil left outside an emotional …

San Terre without the dirt to process …

There heh stands, aL crossing space, constant …

Slight as ether, thin and hungry just before harvest …

Of the darnel eight (illuminatii) buried tightly in space denied …

Due to dark Princes of the alternate kind …

Making Laws to deny common folk the right …

To alter thought when they care about the other!

That’s no alien thing at lower tiers of eL …

When you know there’s no way to go but bêtè Ur …

The old cow that’soude there …

On the other side away from Republican Dae Mons …

That think ordinary people are just out there …

Generally Toby scrooge dead, by extremely high powers …

Regardless of alternate sects …

Caligula and his children had little intercourse with any …

Other than heh’s-elf …

That daemon inside, fecund …

That thought Dae Mons should die …

As democracy that opposes Republican focussed will …

To conserve things in aD’m-ism …

Purely miss understood as a’man-a’w’oman whirl aD …

And yet they wish Ayres to hang onto their rich fortunes …

Without Eire, Pix-mind to what they are destroying …

By giving light to bastard suns …

Sparks that will burn the Dark Laid-Ξ …

Ur lying berried, gravid creature …

Waiting to break out in thought …

When the Shadow of wee black people on the page …

Are probed in depth to see where they came from; de rivation!

All consequence of man trying to put personality to all …

Inert things that are beyond their understanding …

Like Divine Fallout of Heaven’s core bell, that’s Kohl t’isle stirred …

Comedy of the mire that befalls us, on both sides of wadis, eccos of mayim/shamayim, bear in the po-eL, that’s flew-ID?

Berserk's picture

Berserk

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In the latest major poll on same-sex marriage (ABC News/ Washington Post), slightly more Americans oppose Obama's support than favor it (47-46%), but opponents of Obama's support of same-sex marriage feel much more strongly about it than his supporters.  This negative poll follows a slight downward shift in the last 2 Gallup polls from 53% in favor of same-sex marriange to 50% in favor.  We are a truly divided country on the burning social issues of our time. 

RitaTG's picture

RitaTG

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may I ask your position on this Berserk???

Regards

Rita

Alex's picture

Alex

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Berserk wrote:

  We are a truly divided country on the burning social issues of our time. 

 

That is part of the problem, that who you marry is a burning  social issues in the church.    When it should be things related to the environment, or the fact that a million women die in child birth worldwide. because they do not have a pill (that coists 50 cents) that would stop them from bleeding to death.

 

I am sure many here can name other things that also needs to be addressed.

 

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

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Alex wrote:
I am sure many here can name other things that also needs to be addressed.

 

Who walks home with the muffins and strudel and who has to settle for the almost-stale bread.

 

Rich blessings.

---

MC jae

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