Editor's Note: Mark Osler is a Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
By Mark Osler, Special to CNN
I am a Christian, and I am in favor of gay marriage. The reason I am for gay marriage is because of my faith.
What I see in the Bible’s accounts of Jesus and his followers is an insistence that we don’t have the moral authority to deny others the blessing of holy institutions like baptism, communion, and marriage. God, through the Holy Spirit, infuses those moments with life, and it is not ours to either give or deny to others.
A clear instruction on this comes from Simon Peter, the “rock” on whom the church is built. Peter is a captivating figure in the Christian story. Jesus plucks him out of a fishing boat to become a disciple, and time and again he represents us all in learning at the feet of Christ.
During their time together, Peter is often naïve and clueless – he is a follower, constantly learning.
After Jesus is crucified, though, a different Peter emerges, one who is forceful and bold. This is the Peter we see in the Acts of the Apostles, during a fevered debate over whether or not Gentiles should be baptized. Peter was harshly criticized for even eating a meal with those who were uncircumcised; that is, those who did not follow the commands of the Old Testament.
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Peter, though, is strong in confronting those who would deny the sacrament of baptism to the Gentiles, and argues for an acceptance of believers who do not follow the circumcision rules of Leviticus (which is also where we find a condemnation of homosexuality).
His challenge is stark and stunning: Before ordering that the Gentiles be baptized Peter asks “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?”
None of us, Peter says, has the moral authority to deny baptism to those who seek it, even if they do not follow the ancient laws. It is the flooding love of the Holy Spirit, which fell over that entire crowd, sinners and saints alike, that directs otherwise.
My Take: Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality
It is not our place, it seems, to sort out who should be denied a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage. The water will flow where it will.
Intriguingly, this rule will apply whether we see homosexuality as a sin or not. The water is for all of us. We see the same thing at the Last Supper, as Jesus gives the bread and wine to all who are there—even to Peter, who Jesus said would deny him, and to Judas, who would betray him.
The question before us now is not whether homosexuality is a sin, but whether being gay should be a bar to baptism or communion or marriage.
Your Take: Rethinking the Bible on homosexuality
The answer is in the Bible. Peter and Jesus offer a strikingly inclusive form of love and engagement. They hold out the symbols of Gods’ love to all. How arrogant that we think it is ours to parse out stingily!
I worship at St. Stephens, an Episcopal church in Edina, Minnesota. There is a river that flows around the back and side of that church with a delightful name: Minnehaha Creek. That is where we do baptisms.
The Rector stands in the creek in his robes, the cool water coursing by his feet, and takes an infant into his arms and baptizes her with that same cool water. The congregation sits on the grassy bank and watches, a gentle army.
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At the bottom of the creek, in exactly that spot, is a floor of smooth pebbles. The water rushing by has rubbed off the rough edges, bit by bit, day by day. The pebbles have been transformed by that water into something new.
I suppose that, as Peter put it, someone could try to withhold the waters of baptism there. They could try to stop the river, to keep the water from some of the stones, like a child in the gutter building a barrier against the stream.
It won’t last, though. I would say this to those who would withhold the water of baptism, the joy of worship, or the bonds of marriage: You are less strong than the water, which will flow around you, find its path, and gently erode each wall you try to erect.
The redeeming power of that creek, and of the Holy Spirit, is relentless, making us all into something better and new.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Mark Osler.
it's too bad that some people need to convice themselves that the bible is okay with gay marriage in order for them to be okay with gay marriage. the bible does not have all the answers...or even most.
The bible doesn't have any answers. It's a made up book that promotes hatred and violence.
A very refreshing viewpoint that reminds us to not judge. We still find within this message that God has given a window to us. Through this window we find what He considers pleasing and what He considers to be the less desirable side of the human condition. This unfortunately remains the sticking point. Not judging, being tolerant and accepting people with love is not a problem. Our societal issue remains that we cannot and should not have to accept the less desirable side of our condition and treat it as though it is the better side of our condition when in fact it is not. This does not apply solely to gay's by any means. It applies to the whole of the human condition. Gluttony, drunkenness, divorce, adultery, lying, wanting what is not yours and the list goes on.
It is not for me or for any human being to deny anyone anything. In return we cannot deny the truth about what God loves and what he will choose to leave behind when we are perfected.
Well you are right about civil rights in this country and how we should treat each other, but that comes from trying to be a fair and just human being. . .not from following some book of myths. There have always been good human beings and it doesn't require following some messed up manual conceived by Bronze Age men. Plus, CIVIL marriage really has nothing to do with anyone's religion or any religion in general.
You were obviously attracted to the article "Christian Case for Gay Marriage" so it must matter to you a teencie bit.
If you can't make a choice to sin, is it a sin? People used to say that being born left-handed was a sign of the devil. Do they say this anymore? We know that handedness is innate. We know people do not choose to be left handed.
Today we know that folks do not choose to be gay. They are born gay. It is simply a variant – a natural variant of sèxual orientation. If they don't choose to be gay, how can it be a sin? Plus, there are over 1500 other species of animals who ar exhibit hômosèxuality. Are these animals sinning?
This is simply one more thing your god got wrong.
Ironically....the insight given to us on the mind of God down through the years doesn't just come from this "old book of myths". The gay condition is one commonly found to be on the opposite side of what God intends no matter which "God".
One thought....maybe you could start a new BRONZE age and come up with your own book of myths...
well Primewonk...I happen to be left handed...so I'm glad to see that one go away. It was against the law to whistle on Sunday's in parts of the west too. But neither of those are mentioned anywhere in any insight we have about what God favors....at least not that I've seen. Now if you don't believe in God or a transcended existence...well then that's a different story and I would say, live it up. What if science concludes that murders are born with a violent condition...what do we do with them?
John, civil rights do in fact matter to me. . . and once again, civil marriage has nothing to do with anyone's religion.
DeeCee...I make no judgement...in fact I hosted our gay friends for dinner last night...and I feel 110% certain that they will be together for life "married" or not. My issue isn't with the union or their rights....I know that is a big issue, but it's not what I am commenting on. I am commenting that what we know of God globally is that consistently he puts this behavior in the undesirable column. Why would old Bronze people decide they wanted to do that? Especially on 4 different continents across thousands of years without comparing notes?
John, that's an old argument that christians like to trot out. I'm surprised you didn't mention a man wanting to marry his dog, or molesting a child too.
Have you ever heard of consent? Two consenting adults have the right to do whatever they wish in the privacy of their own bedroom, and we can't deny them civil rights because of it.
Murderers are taking away a life. No one consents to be murdered. A dog can't consent to be married. A child can't consent to having intimate relations with an adult.
where are my comments CNN?? lost in cen-sor-ship?
Yes, CNN is obsessed with you and becasue your words are so powerful they eliminate your posts.
It's either that or a three-letter combination that tripped the auto word filter..
const itution "t i t"
v a gue "v a g i n a"
I seem to be having the same problem Andrew...and I spent a good bit of time fashioning a well thought out and reasonable viewpoint...
Seriously, it's the word filter.. There's all sorts of combos they don't allow.. Like inc umbent / c u m.. I don't even think you ca say b l a c k
where are my comments CNN?? lost in censorship?
You said, "where are my comments CNN?? lost in censorship?"
CNN uses automated censoring that looks for words, or fragments of words, that are considered offensive. Your post must have had a forbidden word in it.
Repeat posts, even those that were previously censored and not displayed, will show a message stating that you posted it before.
The following words or word fragments will get your post censored (list is incomplete):
To circumvent the filters you can break up the words by putting an extra character in, like: consti.tution (breaking the oh so naughty "tit").
Whatever, This is a free country, free from religious oppression. Freedom of religion also means freedom from it. When I help an old lady across the street, or when the good samaritan helps the guy on the side of the road, its not because we are religious, its because we know what's right. A child doesn't get to choose to be born poor or rich, or what land to live. And last time I checked, the bible doesn't know too much about DNA. I think christians should be free to choose what they believe and those not, should be free from being forced to live by their rules. Since no man knows the will of God, then no man can say what God will do. Period.
Nice to see that at least one other person can think for themselves on this site.
Have you ever thought perhaps God told us his will via scripture?
How would legalizing gay marriage have any effect on your or other christian's moral decisions?. Every single church in the nation can refuse to marry gays and preach against, but you can't make other people follow your moral code just because it's yours..
People who are against gay marriage don't realize that their position is exactly the same as if gays were telling heteros that they can't marry who they wish to but must marry someone of the same s3x.
Karek, yeah, your book of fairy tales is SO clear about your rules that you now have thousands of different denominations of Christian churches all interpreting the "bible" in thousands of different ways. At one time, the earth was even flat according to your "bible" and poor Galileo was imprisoned for stating the earth wasn't the center of the universe because your bible said otherwise. Christianity and your book of fairy tales are one huge mess.
Karek, good question. But did you ever think of the Council of Nicea and Emperor Constantine who decided what would be in the new testiment? So when the bishops voted and agreed what would be there, your saying that was God's will not man? Constantine wanted the sects to get on one sheet of music. And did you ever wonder why there is over 600 year gap between the last book in the old testiment and the new? hmmm same group of people? so for 600 years God didn't have anything to say? Guess he took a nap.
This isn't a civil rights issue. Advocates for g a y marriage are not asking for equal rights. No one is denied marriage between a man and a woman. THIS ISN"T A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE. Advocates for g a y marriage are asking for a change in the law. They are asking for a change in cultural acceptance. They have the same civil rights as straight men and women; they are asking for additional rights.
I believe that being g a y is NOT a sin, but I believe that performing g a y acts IS a sin. I also believe that participating in premarital and extramarital affairs is just as much a sin as g a y acts. These should all be treated with the same amount of punishment or tolerance. I believe it is hypocritical to condemn h o m o s e x u a l i t y while accepting other s e x u a l sins. If we use the bible to condemn g a y acts, we should use the bible to condemn all s e x u a l sin that the bible talks about.
ycan believe it all that you want to – the bible speaks to you and your acts. What is truly a sin is people using their religion is to deny others their equal rights based on your religion as if you lived in a theocracy. Disgusting and immoral.
Women and blacks being able to vote was a change in "cultural acceptance". Blacks being able to marry whites was a change in "cultural acceptance".
" Advocates for g a y marriage are asking for a change in the law."
I think that until recently, most states didn't specify one man and one woman. The laws are being changed to disallow gay marriage, e.g. Prop 8 in California, recent Amendment in one of the Carolinas, DOMA, etc.
Your beliefs cant be supported outside of a religious context, therefor they don't apply to anyone but you.
And it is a civil rights issue. Government does not have any right to tell consenting adults what they can or cannot do with eachother.
Oh and black people getting married to white people wasn't a civil rights issue either, right? After all, there wasn't any change in "cultural acceptance" on that one, was there?
Make it illegal for christians to get divorced, since your bible talks a lot more about that than any "gay" thing.. You christians in the US get divorced more than any other segment of the population and yet you want to be taken seriously about gay marriage?!? FVCK off.
And by the way, sometimes laws need to be changed to advance civil rights.. Remember sl a very?. The bible and its god are just fine with it, but we changed the laws on that front, too.. Same deal here.. Let people marry whomever they want–it's only FAIR.
No JWT sin is not denying equal rights sin is anything out of the will of God.
Wow. You guys didn't understand me at all. I am speaking in your defense against other Christians. I said, "I believe it is hypocritical to condemn h o m o s e x u a l i t y while accepting other s e x u a l sins." H o m o s e x u a l i t y needs to be put in context by Christian religions. If we accept ANY s e x u a l practices outside of marriage, then we must accept h o m o s e x u a l i t y.
Kerek your religious code does not apply to people not of your particular religious group. It never has and hopefully never will. your gods words and ideas are not meaningful to others. Learn that simple concept and things become much clearer.
I'm attacking the premise that this isn't an argument about equal rights, It is. That premise can lead you to a valid conclusion, in this case that g.ay marriage should be legally recognized, but the premise is still false.
The religious racist bigots made the same claim in the 50's and 60's. Everyone had the same right to marry someone of the same race. So there was no discrimination. SCOTUS shot that down.
Also, what are these "gay acts"? Gay people don't do anything different sèxually than we straights do.
" THIS ISN"T A CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE. Advocates for interracial marriage are asking for a change in the law. They are asking for a change in cultural acceptance. They have the same civil rights as all men and women of both races; they are asking for additional rights."
See how well that works. Might as well say, "Black men have the same right to marry a woman and white men do. The woman just can't be white. White men all have the same rights to marry a woman-as long as she's white, too."
I'm curious. Exactly what "additional" rights are gay people asking for? To file tax returns jointly, as a married couple? To make health care decisions for a spouse in the event the spouse is unable? To be able to adopt a spouse's child that biologically is not their own? The rights that those against gay marriage often refer to as extra or additional or special are, in actuality, rights DENIED gay people. I wish one person could actually specify what "extra" or new right gay people are requesting by wanting to marry?
Matthew 19 4-6
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ 5c and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.”
Was about to post the same verses.
he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
RickL, while you are selecting bible quotes, don't forget some of the other juicy bits from the Christian book of nasty AKA the bible. Weird, horrid stuff like this:
17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.
Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”
Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.
Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.
And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.
So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.
Please, stop referencing that Christian book of nasty, AKA the bible, as a guide to, well, anything.
Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
You should read St. Augustine's City of God and get his take on the books of Moses. One of the original pillars of christendom, has a different take talks about the metaphores of the story of creation. I know its easier to listen to your savior Billy Graham and Joel Ostein, but I think I'll listen to the folks that lived closer to the the time and can talk about why things are in the bible, not just what. It's not a just-because, and the bible was translated from Latin/Greek so all of us could decide and understand for ourselves, and not be at the mercy of religous leaders. So when you talk about Calvin, talk about Knox and Luther. Pretty sure they all agree no man knows the will of God, and the only thing needed for salvation is believing.
We have gotten so involved with our political infighting that we forget what exactly is at the base of this very issue. It is the basic erosion of our rights and government intrusion into our freedom of religion. As we pass laws either for or against gay marriage, we forget that the churches came to America to avoid this kind of intrusion. Government has no right whatsoever to tell the churches how to operate. That is clearly stated in the Bill of Rights. If the churches do not want to offer contraception because it is against their beliefs, that is their right. The smoke and mirrors game has to stop. The more government sticks its evil nose into our rights, the less rights we have. What is next, doing what England did, banning the Catholic church and forming the Church of America? Read the Bill of Rights, realize how many of those basic rights, that congress was to NEVER change at all, have slowly been changed and eroded. Although Bush was not a saint, Obama has now also Banned Protesting near the Secret Service. That means, once again, that government has eroded one of our basic rights, to tell the president that we are unhappy with his attempt, just like John Adams, to become the King of America. I personally don't care if you are gay or not. I don't care period, just don't rub it in my face. I don't rub my beliefs in your face and I ask that you do the same. Forcing the Churches to marry gays against their beliefs is only the intrusion and the erosion of our rights. Where does it stop? When we have no more of the rights this country was founded upon?
What article did you read?!!?
Churches aren't being forced to marry anybody.. W T F?!?!?
You didn't even read what I had to say did you? You just ignorantly added your petty insults and swearing. Sad that America has been invaded by ignorance.
Hey Black Six, you know not all marriages take place in a church right? My brother and sister-in-law were married by a JoP because they couldn't afford a wedding at the time. They opted to have a ceremony at a later date that wasn't in a church. My cousin was married on a beach in Hawaii, not in a church. Nobody is making any church perform gay marriage ceremonies. Is that your whole beef? I wonder if that is the reason people are so against it, they have a misunderstanding about what the whole gay marriage thing implies.
WooHoo!!! ANOTHER IDIOT that did not read what I had to say, only added their ignorance. I hope that America is really not filled with this much stupidity and it is only displayed by certain people at this website.
WooHoo!!! ANOTHER IDIOT . I hope that America is really not filled with this much stupidity and it is only displayed by certain people at this website.
Black Six – "Forcing the Churches to marry gays against their beliefs is only the intrusion and the erosion of our rights."
Noone want to force churches to marry gays, but it certainly seems like churches want to prevent gays from being able to obtain a legal CIVIL marriage that gives them the same benefits (taxes, survivorship, etc ) as other people have.
To quote you, "Forcing the Churches to marry gays against their beliefs is only the intrusion and the erosion of our rights."
This is what I was responding to.
Nobody is forcing churches to marry gays against their beliefs. You are right, we are losing rights but that isn't one of them.
So you selected certain parts of what I said to respond to taken completely out of context. Aren't you special. People like you demonstrate what is wrong with our country. We can't debate civilly, we can only take certain things out of context and point fingers everywhere.
Hi Black Six. I did read your article. First of all, you didn't say anything at all about the fact that not all marriages occur in Churches. Nor about the fact that no one is forcing Churches to perform gay marriages. So I'm not sure why you jumped down other responders' throats. You say it protects the Catholic Church from having to do ANYTHING it doesn't want to. It also protects other people from having the beliefs of the Church imposed upon them.
Black Six, you are a fool who does not even understand his own post. Happy Apocalypse. Your belief system is going down in flames.
Black Six, I am so sick of you people with the contraception debate. Okay, first off, these companies are church-sponsored companies. They are not churches themselves. Second, they hire non-Catholics to work there. Why should non-Catholics be held to the same moral standards as Catholics. Third, Obama was going to make the church-sponsored hospitals and other businesses pay to provide the contraceptives. I was opposed to this. Then Obama decided we would have a middle ground and make the insurance companies, who weren't tied with the churches in any way, to provide the contraception free of charge. Fourth, 98% of se-xually active Catholics have used some form of contraception.
So here is where we stand. The church-sponsored hospitals didn't even have to pay for it! The only thing Obama wanted to make sure was that the option was available through the insurance provider to have contraception covered. They weren't making churches pay for it. They weren't making Catholics use it. How is that violating the rights of the church?
Black Six, I read your entire post and the others who responded are correct. It's obvious you don't like being called out for having said EXACTLY what you did, in fact, say.
So there was not a case that the court forced a church to rent their facilities to two gay men to get married? I seem to specifically remember a case as such as reported by this site and many others.
So there, I responded to two specific things you mentioned. If you were so mad that people were getting on you for being wrong, you shouldn't have said it in the first place, idiot.
That is not the same as forcing a church to perform a marriage ceremony. Stop being so dishonest.
The thing is, Black Six, that while your overall point is good, the last sentence implies an incorrect assumption, which is what the other posters are critiquing, In other words, you have a point, but so do they, and it's not idiotic.
Funny Black Six, I ran a search and so far all I get in return for my google search are fear-mongering extreme religious right-wing groups saying what "will" happen and not what has happened. Please provide references for this occurence as well as the situation surrounding it. Because if this did happen, there was probably a lot more to it than a court saying "you have to perform this in your church".
The government is making it impossible to recognize a union between a man and a man or a woman and a woman as legally equal to a man and a woman. That is the problem, I seriously doubt that any gay or lesbian couple that wants to get married will go to a church to be married that is explicitly against gay marriage, especially when there are churches that will marry them without a problem, yes they do exist. The problem isn't that the government is restricting religions, but that religion needs to stay out of the government. As others have commented, historically our government has had to change laws to protect individuals from discrimination, this is just another example and the extreme laws against gay marriage are just bigotry.
Rights are not, and have not, been the same for gay marriage in this country. Its disgusting and hypocritical. Who cares if a gay couple marries?
Black Six you are being overly defensive. Your words were not taken out of context. The quotes singled out were consistent with the import of your entire argument. If they were taken out of context, a mature individual who wanted to participate in a "civil debate" would clarify their original meaning, rather than call names and point fingers. If everyone has misunderstood the original intent behind your post, perhaps the problem is with the messanger.
Sorry to interrupt the crazy, but no one is talking about forcing churches to marry gays. Not all marriages are performed in a church. Not all marriages are performed by clergy. The freedom of religion you so lovingly cradle is also freedom FROM religion. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people cannot and will not be bent to the whims of Christianity Judaism, or Islam. This country is governed as a representative republic. This is not a theocracy. That said, you should try Saudi Arabia. It's nice this time of year and I'm sure you will enjoy the religious oppression.
(& political "kill all the gays" advisor... GWAKKKK vid –eee –o.... GWAKKK!)
Ok, sorry, whatever.. Disregard the video.
I just finished listening to the first 2 minutes of the vid and there is absolutely NO WAY that you are even going to know the definitions of the words that video uses.. It'd be a waste of time to watch it for someone of your reckoning.
I love how hard atheists try to find some source of morality so they won't look bad to the majority of religious society that surrounds them. How can they ever admit that they have no comprehensive, overarching moral system to which all should subscribe? How can they reconcile the fact that the atheist of one tribe can call murder "bad" (whatever that means for an atheist) while an atheist from another tribe can call murder "good" (whatever that means for an atheist) because it would eliminate an unwanted rival for resources. Would the murderer be judged by some higher being? Is there any punishment in store for that murderer? No. There is no reason to call that murderer "bad". Better yet, let's take the example of an atheist leader. Luckily there are a few to choose from in modern history. What they say is "right" and "good", like the elimination of religion at gunpoint, and if you disagree, you're toast. Atheism is immoral, evil, and anarchic. Most atheists are ignorant of this or ignore it...call it cognitive dissonance, if you like.
They do, but they argue about it. His name is Immanuel Kant.
Didn't understand the video?? Seems like I called it ahead of time.. Don't ever change; I wish all christians were as stupid as you–laughable and without sense to make a reasonable argument.. You sound exactly like a muslim extremist, to me.
Momoya, it's ok. We all understand that you are either ignorant that you have no moral system and no God to hold you to one, or that you are completely aware that you have no moral system and are fooling everyone else by pretending to be moral while taking advantage of everyone who doesn't know. Atheism is immoral, evil, and anarchic. If you were previously unaware of this, as your ridiculously ignorant video shows, then you should leave it as soon as you awaken to reality.
Prove that mono is immoral, you twit. Prove that Christians are more moral than atheists, and don't even bother pretending the citing the crimes of Stalin, Hitler, and Pol Pot will have any bearing on your argument.
Thank you Momoya, Dear Heart. I very much enjoyed the video. You should post this regularly in order to reach those who might be able to learn that these issues are already rationally thought out and expressed. The problem with the fundamentalists is that they ignore any kind of information except what is in their book, and continue to reinforce it by constant reading and re-reading. It is a kind of salvation that is mostly just a salve that does not heal at all.
Religion is like a brain virus.. Adhere too strictly and it turns your critical reasoning capability to mush.. There's several christards who get all upset when I post vids by Qualia Soup, Darkmatter 2525, and Theramin Trees–probably because the vids are of such high quality and are easy to understand and the logic is unassailable.. I REALLY admire those three vid makers, and I appreciate their work sooo much!
You know, looking out for one another and not killing off a bunch of humans, does not hinder the evolutionary process.
How sad does it make you knowing that atheists don't go out and commit murder and ra-pe and steal without having to answer to some deity? Meanwhile, from your argument the only reason Christians don't do that stuff, isn't because they are good people, just because they don't want to make God mad at them and punish them.
Oh this probably just grinds your gears like nothing else (except two people who love each other attaining equal rights under state law). Did you know that the highest percentage of prison inmates are Christian? Based off of percentage of inmates to percentage of people across the country, Christians have the highest percentage in jail right now. Good thing you all have that moral guide in the Bible to look towards to keep you on the straight and narrow (stealing a Biblical term here).
J., I'm sorry that you are realizing that you cannot admit that atheism is inherently amoral. Admitting it would mean not fitting in with the majority of religious society. I hope that you are actually one of those who just ignores the fact that atheism is amoral and chooses to follow our society's religious values anyway and not one of those who secretly uses people because they realize there's nothing wrong with it. Oh, and in case you didn't realize it, there is a good reason for all those church backsliders and atheists to self-identify as Christian in jail, isn't there? Sure sounds good when trying to get out, doesn't it? Of course, there are also those who truly found God while in prison and regret their former actions, but I'm sure you wouldn't count them. Atheism is abhorrent, amoral, and anarchic, and those who truly understand this will find their way back to religion like Francis Bacon and many other highly intelligent folk who once fell for the supposed enlightenment of atheism.
Momoya, your logic is unfortunately falling on deaf ears and closed minds. Whatever obviously fails to see the utter fallacy of his/her argument. Like many religious zealots (not just Christians), Whatever mistakenly and quite ignorantly equates religion and morality. Morality has nothing to do with religion though most religions are based in morality. It is perhaps the ultimate irony and hypocrisy of this nation that many of our founders fled religious persecution only to inflict the same on succeeding generations. Our history is sadly replete with morally disgusting acts committed in the name of religion by the repugnant, from the Salem witch trials to the attempted annihilation of native Americans to slavery and segregation. Perhaps one day Americans will honor our founders and support their declaration: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
in response to ReligionIsBS –
AMEN!! pedophiles have no place anywhere, let alone the pulpit! I would respect a gay man or woman there any day though......
and AMEN to this article and point of view.....thank you Mark Osler for taking the real christian stance on this issue! I agree 110%!!
LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.
Not just straight uptight white christian people, but for all.
If you can't understand that concept, how can you really be considered an American?
Simple – you cannot.
Scott, yes, equality for all. Don't forget the polygamists, pedaphiles, zoophiles, and so on! Equality for all! Nothing is wrong or immoral. Nothing at all.
Ok, now you're just going to the other extreme.
Accusing people of being unAmerican, while typically american, goes against the very values you state, Libertiy for all, i.e. freedom of speech. Americans have the right to speak about almost anything, even if it's against America.
You said, "Scott, yes, equality for all. Don't forget the polygamists, pedaphiles, zoophiles, and so on! Equality for all!"
You have to be a very special kind of stupid to equate the loving relationship of two consenting adults with the abusive relationships between adults and children, or animals. If you can't understand the concept of "informed consent", maybe you should stick with religion. It has been a pretty effective tool to keep the masses under control.
You said, "Nothing is wrong or immoral. Nothing at all."
If it doesn't do any harm, there is no reason to prohibit it.
That also means that, if everyone enters of their own free will, even polygamy should be allowed.
"Scott, yes, equality for all. Don't forget the polygamists, pedaphiles, zoophiles, and so on! Equality for all! Nothing is wrong or immoral. Nothing at all."
I love it when christians spin off into this argument. It shows how truly stupid they are. It ignores the concept of consent and tries to persuade with emotion. A dog can't consent to marriage, a child can't consent.
Alright smarty-pants Bet. What is the magic age of consent? Wait, for what state? Wait, what country? Wait, biologically, aren't children "ready" around 12-13 years of age? You can laugh. I don't. Suggesting "equality" for one type of immorality means accepting (now or later) other types of morality in the name of equality, and many of the same arguments apply. People must draw a line somewhere. I draw it here. Gay behavior is immoral.
Typical tactic of claiming allowing gay marriage will lead to rampant pedophelia. Can't you do anything except parrot what your preacher tells you?
What a logical jump. I agree that all people should have the opportunity to be baptized regardless of their past life, so long as they choose to follow Jesus now. But you never justify how you're lumping marriage and baptism together. One is an ordinance necessary for salvation, the other is not. I don't buy your stretch saying that they are all, "a bond with God and the Holy Spirit of the kind that we find through baptism, communion, and marriage," and even if I did, you would need to support that marriage falls under that same category as baptism instead of just telling us it does. Your huge logical jump invalidates your argument, try connecting all the dots instead of going from 1 straight to 50 and then saying you kno what the entire picture looks like.
The author appears to have no grasp of Christian tradition and theology. It just sounds like another person who doesn't want to be hated by society because of their views, so they modify their views to line up with those of the world. The world has always been full of heretics who are people-pleasers.
Marriage has nothing to do with religion. It has everything to do with a legally binding contract with the state. Your marriage doesn't mean anything as regards rights if the state isn't involved. If it was only about religion, does that mean you are not opposed to not allowing atheists to marry?
Yep, this guy is more interested in his own thinking that Biblical thinking. It's a nice story about the smooth stones but the rest is hogwash.
There is no logical jump. They are all sacraments. Would you deny communion to a gay man?
How about people not worry about how people choose to live their lives, and let God do His job and be the final judge.
It's called repentance.... Sure Jesus ate with sinners. Sinners who are repentant. Gay's are flaunting their sin as a badge of honor..... THAT's the root of this issue. Same reason gay people should not fill the pulpit...........
but pedophiles should?
But gat people do fill the pulpit and are not sinners.
Brother, of course not, relig., but I'm not sure why that sort of behavior should bother you even so. If you're an atheist, you have no moral code to point to in order to condemn it, so why do you act like it is wrong? Christians know why it is wrong.
Not believing in some of the christian religions does not mean people have no moral compass.
I can't tell if Whatever's comments are satirical in nature, or just wildly ignorant, but they made me laugh, do to their obsurdity, nonetheless.
So, David, point me to your moral code that says peda. is wrong. Do you have a sky-daddy who's going to punish you? Or, are you just saying it's wrong because that's what the majority of religous society around you believes? Enlighten us with you wisdom, oh laughing-one, and quantify your beliefs for us.
@ Whatevrer – for the 10 millionth time – pedophilia is wrong because it violates the rights of another human. Children lack the capacity to give consent and enter a contract.
This has been explained to you fundiots ad nauseum. Yet for some reason you folks are unable or unwilling to uinderstand this.
Prime, that is a dishonest argument. Tell me exactly when children become cognizant. I'm sure you realize that "age of consent" differs from state to state. Does that mean that children in one state are more cognizant than children in another? Once you pick your magic age, then explain why it can't be one year younger and then perhaps one year younger than that. You people who argue for equality are hypocrites because you don't fight for true equality, you only fight for what benefits your own selfish interests. True equality would be lowering the age of consent for those whose orientation is toward the young. True equality would be making polygamy legal and acceptable. True equality would be making zoophilia legal. None of that is what you want, however. You don't want equality. You want special rights. To me, some things are immoral and need to stay that way.
Thank you, Brother Osler, for a beautifully written article. I can truly see the love of Christ in your words. May God bless you.
Brother Osler is only interested in getting rammage,
Christians think Sharia Law is immoral but impose their own Sharia Law in America.
No matter what version, it's immoral to impose your religious superstition and deny others civil rights.
Thank you, Brother Osler, for a beautifully written article. I can truly see the love of Christ in you. May God bless and keep you.
Most Christians see a heretic.
I agree with Alicia... well done. I have never understood how people can preach hate from a Christian pulpit. God gave Jesus so that we can have internal life. He did not say we, except for you and you and you. Keep it up Mr. Osler.
Whatever, most christians do not see a heretic, MOST christians either support gay marriage, or have no official opinion on the matter. Perhaps in your church, where they preach intolerance and judgements, but most churches teach their congregations to tolerate, love, worship and praise, and leave the judgements to God.
If a church doesn't teach intolerance for immorality and sin, then they are a heretical church. A majority of Christians certainly do not believe this issue is acceptable.
I reject everything you say, Whatever. "Let he without sin cast the first stone". Forgiveness is the prime tennent of Christianity. If you are intolerant of a person because they don't fit in to your interpretation of what the Bible says, you are not following the word of God. God teaches to preach His word, not condemn others. Let people do what they are going to do, and do your part by trying to educate them on the teachings of the Bible, but let God judge them, that's not your job.
David, you couldn't misread me more than you have. I did not say I was intolerant of a person. I said I was intolerant of sin that God condemns in the Bible. All Christians should be intolerant of sin and immorality. A true Christian could not do otherwise. Point out tolerance of sin in the Bible? Did Jesus not say "Go and sin no more."? Is there love in the Bible? Yes. Does that mean we condone and promote sin and immorality? No. Is there forgiveness? Yes. However, is repentance not also strongly suggested? Those who accept sin and immorality do it to be people-pleasers. They do it so that they don't have to feel the sting of others calling them bigot and idiot and many other fun things. Narrow is the way that leads to life, and only a few find it...
It's kind of telling that the same people who are against gay marriage are also for teaching intelligent design in schools as an accepted scientific theory. Sort of tells you all you need to know right there. It is amazing to me that most people are unable to grasp what the separation of church and state means. Without church there is absolutely no reason to deny gay marriage. There is no reasoning behind it besides "the Bible says it". I am completely dumbfounded that in this day and age people can't see how this is violating the const-itution.
Believe it or not, I agree with you. We Christians need to get out of the way for what the Government decides is a LEGAL marriage. Christians can still define their RELIGIOUS marriage as what they recognizes as valid by the Bible.
And sadly those people are not intelligent enough to recognize the inherent hypocrisy of using the rationalization "because the Bible says it".
Frankly, I think there are all sorts of evolution reasons to think it is unnatural and counter-productive. But, you are right that the majority reason for most is the Bible, and I see absolutely nothing wrong and everything right with actually having a moral code that you can point to for society.
Hey Whatever, you know who else has that? Countries like Iraq. You should move there. It seems right up your alley.
Also Whatever, what is unproductive about a same se-x couple adopting? Look at the population of the world. It can't possibly sustain the rate of growth we have right now. Allowing same se-x couples wouldn't be an evolutionary hindrance in the slightest.
I'll stay right here, thanks Jacque, and fight for what was once my Christian country.
It is not a Christian country. How hard is that to grasp? It was founded on the principle that there would not be a state-sanctioned religion. That was why the fled England in the first place. Just because there are more Christians than any other religion doesn't make it a Christian country. If there were more women than men living here would you say that this was a female country?
I look forward to the day that will come when bigots will once again be put in their place and forced to hide in the shadows.
@ Whatever, please post the citations to peer-reviewed science that support your contentions about evolution.
Also, the United States was never a "christian nation". Or do you also choose to be ignorant about the constîtution?
Whatever, you talk of this moral code, but where do we get this moral code? Do we get it from the Bible? If so, then we have to get it from the Koran and Torah as well. While we're at it, we'll ask all the Sikhs and Buddhists to pitch in their own moral code. Can't forget the atheists, let's let them submit their list of moral demands.
We derived our moral code hundreds of years ago, by defining a list of rights that are inalienable, and are given to all people by their creator. Our morality dictates you do not deny anyone these rights.
Calvin wrote, "except.... no one is born gay."
This cuts to the heart of the matter. Tens of thousands of times folks like Calvin have posted this, or the variant that gays choose to be gay. And tens of thousands of times we have asked these folks to back up what the claim. We ask them to provide the citations to the peer-reviewed scientific research showing that gays choose to be gay, and by corollary, that we straights choose to be straight.
To be fair, we have posted the citations to hundreds of scientific research papers showing the biological multivariate nature of human sèxual orientation.
Sadly, after these tens of thousands of requests, not a single solitary one of these folks have ever posted a single solitary citation. Not one. Not once. Ever.
I wonder why these folks refuse to support what they claim is true?
I love the confession inherent in these tes baggers claiming being gay is a 'choice'.
What they are essentially saying is that THEY could get erect for another man, THEY could enjoy sleeping with another man, THEY are attracted to other men, but they CHOOSE not to.
Are you jealous of people who "tea bag"? or maybe you would like to be "tea bagged"?
I've seen the research you've presented. The problem is that it is a bunch of "we hypothesize that this might be a factor"..."and this..."..."oh, and this too". The reason you don't get a response is because you don't have a "smoking gun" that definitively proves what you claim.
But it doesn't follow that being born with a tendency means that it's condoned. For cheating husbands, try justifying it to your wives by saying "I was born this way." Many of the tendencies we are born with are unhealthy - we crave junk food, would rather sleep in, sit on the couch watching TV, etc. - but we have to, through acts of will, overcome what comes naturally to us.
Why don't you christians show us how it's done, then, instead of having such horrible marriages and infidelity and all the rest of it?? Aren't you guys supposed to be the ones with "renewed" minds in Christ–thinking exactly like Christ?
Abrondon, YES! I'm glad to finally see someone else with a rational post. Just because a person has a genetic predisposition toward violence and/or addiction doesn't mean that behavior based on their innate tendencies should be acceptable to society!
Momoya, show you how it's done? I've been married for over a decade. My parents have been married for over 4 decades. My grandparents were married for over 60 decades. What were you talking about again? Just because there are some who fail, that doesn't mean no one holds to the standards. Oh, and what's that saying..."Two wrongs don't make a right"?
Not that I agree with your scenario, but there aren't any laws against junk food, or laying around watching tv, are there?
Wow, so now we're comparing being gay to liking junk food or having violent tendencies??? Is this the new argument that people will make to continue to discriminate? "Well, we can't say that you aren't born the way you are, even though we'd like to ... but regardless, you just have to resist your tendencies and deny who you are ... yeah that's what we'll say"
Look down deep into your soul people. If you have someone you love deeply and want to be with forever and ever, could you deny that and pretend to be someone you're not? Then why would you even think of asking that of a gay person. We only want the same thing as all of you: to love and care for someone, something that we will NEVER have with a person of the opposite gender ... I don't know why people can't understand that simple fact!
Kevin, no one is denying anyone the ability to love anyone else. You can love whomever you please. Are you really talking about love? Hmmm...
Yes Whatever, I'm talking about love ... I want to wake up every day next to the person I love .... I want to spend the rest of my life with him ... I want to combine our resources, grow old together, have everything that straight people often take for granted having the ability to do. For you to insinuate somehow that my love for someone else is nothing more than lustful desires is down right shameful. No one ever asks men and women who are getting married if it is really about love. How dare you presume that my love for someone else is any less real or special than that!
Whatever wrote, " I've seen the research you've presented. The problem is that it is a bunch of "we hypothesize that this might be a factor"..."and this..."..."oh, and this too". The reason you don't get a response is because you don't have a "smoking gun" that definitively proves what you claim."
Your post also cuts to the heart of the matter. You, like many fundiots (fundamentalist îdiots) purposefully choose to be ignorant about science. You don't even have a clue about the most basic concepts of the scientific method. Otherwise, you would know that in science we never "prove" things, we explain things. Proofs are for maths and ethanol.
Neither you, nor any other fundiot has ever refuted a single one of the thousands of peer-reviewed papers on the multivariate biological nature of sèxual orientation. Neither have you, nor any fundiot ever posted a single citation to a paper supporting your contention – that gays choose to be gay.
You choose to ignorant about the scientific method. You choose to be ignorant about the basic lexicon used in science. You choose to be ignorant about how science is done, You choose to be ignorant about the science of sèxual orientation.
However, no one is forced to be or stay ignorant.
Comparing gay marriage to violence, addiction, and infidelity?
Violence – gay marriage does not deny anybody their rights. Violence does.
Addiction – addiction is not illegal, so I'm not sure how this argument holds.
Infidelity – same as above, but a bit more interesting, given the arguments presented. Yes, a cheating husband could say to his wife "I was born this way." But it was his choice to make a commitment to his wife. If he could not keep that commitment, he could've left his contract.
Abrondon wrote, " But it doesn't follow that being born with a tendency means that it's condoned. F"
Again, it's an orientation, not a behavior or a tendency. It's a natural variant of human sèxual orientation. Just like heterosèxuality is a natural variant of sèxual orientation.
Primewonk, you see the same thing when fundamentalist christians try to refute evolution. They all yell "what about the missing link!?!" Then we show them a fossil showing a link between one species and and another. "Well, what about the missing link between the new one!?!" Then we show them. "Well what about the missing link between the new one!?! Where's that smoking gun?"
These people are blindly going to believe what they're going to believe, regardless of the facts that are right under their noses. We just have to be thankful that the newer generations are starting to become more tolerant, and educated, and these others, like Whatever, will eventually just die off.
Prime... You choose to be ignorant of who and what I am, and you choose to make all sorts of erroneous assumptions about my beliefs and background. I am well aware of science considering I work in a scientific field. I read scientific journals. I have more science in my little toe, but you wouldn't know that because you seem to jump to conclusions about me, just like you jump to conclusions about being gay based on disparate scientific reports that suggesting anything and everything as a cause for being gay. Just for the record, I don't disbelieve that being gay is more than a choice, I'm simply saying the data doesn't support it yet. Regardless, if it is genetic or whether its causes are conveniently "multivariate" (is the word you like to use when showing out) then that still does not make behavior based on a genetic predisposition ok, right, or good.
No one is denying marriage to gays. Anybody can get married now. This issue is state recognition. In my opinion, the state should does not need to license marriage.
In many areas, if you get married without filing a marriage license, you have committed a crime. In most areas gays cannot get married. And please don't pull the "they can marry a person of the opposite gender" cràp. That is about as intellectually dishonest as you can get.
Umm Tony, marriage is being denied to gays. The whole point is they want it to be legally recognized which it can't be in most states. It has nothing to do with "getting married in a church". It is about having the legal rights afforded to those who are married to one another.
In my state the Pastor who performed the ceremony would be charged with a crime and would lose his or her power granted by the state, to join anyone else in matrimony.
Prime, tell us exactly why it is dishonest? Are you male or female? Then you have exactly the same rights as every other male or female. What you desire is extra benefits over and above the ones you have, plain and simple.
Does it hurt your feelings that gay people want to get married? Maybe you should stop worrying about gay people wanting equal rights and go back to burning a cross on your neighbors lawn
What I don't like is for know-it-all young people who think they can overturn thousands of years of morality within a few decades and call immoral moral. Disgusting. Listen to your elders boys and girls.
Whatever, gay people will have se-x, marriage or not. Denying them marriage is not going to make them fit in your ridiculous notion of morality. You know the Bible also said ra-pe, slavery and incest were okay right? How do you feel about those?
If all you are worried about is what gay people do in the bedroom, and all marriage is about is se-x, how do you feel about a man who is paralyzed from the waist down getting married? Seems to me you think the only reason to get married is about se-x so there you have it.
You have a wrong-headed view of morality.
Whatever, why is it immoral? And PLEASE don't quote the Bible, the Bible has no place in State Legislation. Also, thousands of years? What is thousands of years old about your arguments? Marriage, as we perform it today, has only been around for a couple hundred years. And various societies, dating back through all of recorded history, have allowed gays to unite in what most would call 'marriage'.
I will listen to my elders when my elders speak from a place of wisdom and experience. Not when they are just being stubborn and ignorant.
@ Whatever – you wrote, "Prime, tell us exactly why it is dishonest? Are you male or female? Then you have exactly the same rights as every other male or female. What you desire is extra benefits over and above the ones you have, plain and simple."
Ignorant religious bigots made the same claim about keeping interracial marriage illegal. All folks have the same right to marry a person of the same race. SCOTUS shot that down. They shot it down based on the 14th. They did this 44 freaking years ago. The fact that you still choose to ignore this shows how dishonest you are. You claim gays want "special rights" This, of couse is bull. The want the exact same rights as the rest of us.
You also wrote, " What I don't like is for know-it-all young people who think they can overturn thousands of years of morality within a few decades and call immoral moral. Disgusting. Listen to your elders boys and girls."
Fine. I'm almost 60. I've been married to the same woman almost 30 years. And I'm telling you ignorant religious cretins that we are not a theocracy, and your god has no standing in our secular laws. Now grow up, sit down and shut up about things you clearly do not understand.
Is that the right to marry WHOMEVER we choose? Or is it the right to marry whomever we choose, as long as they are of the opposite se x? That would by definition deny the right to certain individuals.
I am male. I do not have the right to marry someone of the same s.e.x. I do, however, have the right to marry someone of the opposite s.e.x. Joe claims to be gay. He does not have the right to marry someone of the same s.e.x. He does, however, have the right to marry someone of the opposite s.e.x. Both of us have the right to love or live with whomever we wish. We have equal rights as males of our society. Gay activists are pushing immorality and extra benefits. Cut and dried. Plain and simple.
Why is it the Repugs who claim they want less government, who are issuing bans against gay marriage? And why aren't they concerned with topics that Jesus actually spoke about, like divorce and remarriage?
Matthew 19: (Jesus Speaking) 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for $e xual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
1 Corinthians 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
Why aren't they trying to ban remarriage when the divorce was due only to irreconcilable differences???
Why are DemoRats so enthralled with h.o.m.o.s.e.x.u.a.l.i.t.y? What exactly does that say about them?
That comment and the term "DemoRats" tells me everything I need to know about you.. You're a fvckwad..
The state will recognize it but most churches will not hold the ceremony unless it follows these guidelines. So why can't that be the case for same se-x marriage?
Yes Whatever, Demo"Rats" (I'm not Democrat or Republican by the way and I think anybody who labels themselves with such partisan terms are part of the reason this country is in the shape it is in) are very enthralled with ensuring equal rights for all citizens. You totally pinned them down. Well done.
Momoya, that was very nice of you. Why do you think I responded as I did? Was it perhaps because the OP used "Repugs"? Pot...Kettle...Black...
I'm sorry you don't understand this. It's about equality for all AMERICANS. Gay or straight. Any one consenting adult should be able to marry any other consenting adult. That's called equality. I'm sorry if you believe you're superior to people, but you probably aren't.
Scott, where did I say I was superior? I believe it was some of you who acted like no one follows the Bible they believe, so I was merely pointing out that you're quite wrong. I never said I was perfect and won't. What I will say is that I will never vote to make the immoral moral. I categorically deny that it has anything whatsoever to do with equality. Every male and female have exactly the same rights. Extra benefits are being requested as is an expansion or dissolution of traditional marriage. Sorry, but that's unacceptable in my book.
Let's see, Whatever, same-s3x marriage is already legal in numerous states and in other countries. Can you produce any evidence that 'traditional marriage" in any of those places has been harmed in any way whatsoever? What great disaster has occurred?
Don't even bother. Gay marriage will eventually be settled in the courts and you won't have a thing to say about it that will matter anymore than your blather here.
So your morality is the same as an atheist?? Wow, ok.. I thought you were going for something better, but ok, you're on equal footing.. It's your call.
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