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Thread: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

  1. #1221
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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Your Star View Post
    Sometimes you have to jump through a lot of hoops to understand a book written thousands of years ago in a completely different language.
    Well, I've spent a lot of time over the course of four decades working to understand the Bible. This includes studying the original texts and the meanings of the original words; the principles of Hermaneutics; and the thoughts of various noted theologians and commentators.

    The first principle of hermaneutics is that you interpret scripture, with more scripture. That is, you find other scripture that addresses the same topic or a very similar one, and see what that says.

    Looking at the whole bible, it seems improbable that homosexuality would not be viewed as sin, simply because "it is modern homosexuality".

    Don't you folks contend that homosexuality is inborn and a certain percentage of people have always been of homo orientation? Including in ancient times? Then why the assumption that ancient homo practices were one thing, and abominable to God, but "modern" homosexual practices are something new and different? Seems unlikely.

    As I say, it comes across as a convoluted attempt to wriggle around what the Bible says, and claim "it doesn't really mean what it seems to say".

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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Expanding on that thought, here is some wisdom about what scripture has to say about homosexuality, since it's been called into question.
    These are posts from another thread some time ago, in which the question of whether the bible actually condemns homosexuality was raised...


    Old Testament
    1) “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18: 22)

    2) “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them.” (Leviticus 20: 13)
    New Testament

    3) “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” (Romans 1: 26-27)

    4) “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    5) “Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned…and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter.” (2 Peter 2: 2 and 6)

    6) “just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them , since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.” (Jude 1: 7-8)

    Yep!, Six is about right…

    “If you go by the Old Testament declarations that homosexuality is sinful then why isn't working on the Sabbath or eating shellfish considered sinful?” – CriticalThought

    Context, please!

    The Old Testament laws only applied to Old Testament Jews and only during Old Testament times. Today we are under the New Testament laws; the covenant of grace.

    “Jesus never spoke on homosexuality but if you go by the New Testament declarations of sinful behavior…” – CriticalThought

    As I explained in an earlier post, we don’t know that. The Gospels are not exhaustive as John 21:25 make clear so we don't really know what--if anything--Jesus had to say about homosexuality.

    What we do know is that when He did speak of human sexuality he re-affirmed what had already been established in the Creation account in Genesis of one man / one woman (see Matthew 19).

    “…then homosexuality is considered sinful simply because it doesn't lead to procreation and it occurs outside of marriage.” – CriticalThought

    How do you draw this conclusion?

    The truth is that the Bible does not tell us “why” homosexuality is a sin or why God considers “it” (vs. “he” or “she”) an “abomination”. So it’s very difficult to be dogmatic about this issue.

    Having said that, I would like to offer an opinion of my own.

    Theologians tell us that if there is a “theological center” to the Bible or a “central point” about which the rest of the Bible centers or revolves around that it is this…that man was created in God’s image.

    And Genesis 1:27 gives us the Biblical definition of a man.

    Genesis 1:27 (NASB)
    “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

    So the Biblical definition of a man is:

    1 male + 1 female = 1 man = the image of God.

    My guess is that any other combination other than 1 male + 1 female is a “twisting” or a “perversion” of God’s image.

    And my opinion is that this is why God calls homosexuality a sin.

    “The first argument is solved by allowing gay couples to adopt and the second is solved by allowing gay couples to marry.” – CriticalThought

    And if I am correct then gay marriage and adoption solves neither problem.

    “The Bible seems to provide a far more compelling argument for the liberal's side than the conservative's side.”– CriticalThought

    Based on what? And what are you referring to as being "liberal" and "conservative"?

    “I'm not convinced that the arguments aren't actually against what equates today to pedophila rather than long term, monogamous relationships between same sex adults. Can anyone demonstrate conclusively that it doesn't?” – CriticalThought

    Yes, Goshin did just that in his post no. 32 with his explanation of “arsenokoite” meaning “homosexual”.

    In addition, if you look at 1 Corinthians 6:9, it says…

    1 Corinthians 6:9
    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”

    Notice the word “effeminate” used here. The original word in Greek is “malako/v” and is used to refer to:

    1. a boy kept for homosexual relations with a man.
    2. a male who engages in the passive role of homosexual sex.
    3. a male prostitute.

    So it would seem that Paul condemns not only the homosexual act but the pedophilia to which you were referring.

    “The Bible requires an understanding of history and the philosophy that was used at that time, which very few "Christians" seem to possess. I'm surprised that maybe only 1 out of a 100 Christians actually know what teleology is and how it applies to their own belief system.” – CriticalThougt

    Actually, I think we do a pretty-good job, overall (with some notable exceptions, unfortunately). I don’t think you need to have too much cause for concern (but you should probably lock your doors at night just-in-case! ).

    “Frankly, I don't refer to people who consider Paul's testimony over that of Jesus and their own reasonable interpretation of the Old Testament to be ‘Christians’, they are more like ‘Paulians’.” - CriticalThought

    You are assuming that the Gospel accounts are somehow superior to the other New Testament Scriptures and there is no basis for this belief. All Scripture is inspired (see 2 Timothy 3:16)...not just the Gospels.
    1Cr 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,


    Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
    The bolded phrase is in the original Greek the word arsenokoites, which Thayer's lexicon translates as one who lies with a male as with a female, sodomite, homosexual.

    Seems pretty clear. If you're going to cut out those parts of the New Testament you don't like, you may as well throw the whole thing out.
    “So basically, your entire argument is based upon your interpretation of Greek words which…” – CriticalThought

    Absolutely not. My argument is based the interpretation of arsenokoite and not “my” interpretation of it. There has been 2,000 years where everyone clearly understood the meaning of this passage and then about 20 years ago someone decided that the Bible doesn’t really mean what it says and people bought into the lie.

    Amazing.

    But let’s take a look at how this word “arsonokoite” was coined by Paul. Let’s look at Leviticus 20:13:

    Leviticus 20:13 (NASB – English Translation)
    “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.”

    Leviticus 20:13 (NASB – Greek Translation)
    “kai ov an koimhqh meta arsenov koithn gunaikov bdelugma epoihsan amfoteroi qanatousqwsan enoxoi eisin”

    Notice the words “arsenov koithn” (roughly translated as “male bed”). Paul simply went back to the Levitical prohibitions and took the wording from there to coin a word of his own (something he did repeatedly).

    The similarities in language would not have gone unnoticed by the Jews in Paul’s day just as it does not go unnoticed today.

    Paul’s meaning was clear.
    Originally Posted by CriticalThought
    It's reasonable to be skeptical, not to settle for an answer with insufficient information. You may call my argument weak, but you have failed to provide sufficient evidence to support the claim that the Christians in question at the time would have seen monogamous homosexual couples in the same light as they would have seen a pedestry couple or even that monogamous homosexual couples existed during Greek times as they exist in the modern day. The concepts may be completely different and thus modern day Christians may be condemning behavior completely unrelated to what the behavior that was being condemned during that period.
    If you choose to ignore the fact that there are multiple sources within the Bible which express the sinfulness of homosexuality in both Hebrew and Greek, NT and OT, that would be a disingenuous position. Many of these sources express homosexual behavior as men with men, and make no provision for whether it was pederasty or monogamous-adults. Your argument that it refers to Greek pederasty is suspect at best, and when other scriptures are brought in as supporting evidence your point falls completely apart, as shown below.




    We already discounted the Old Testament. As Baron said...

    "The Old Testament laws only applied to Old Testament Jews and only during Old Testament times. Today we are under the New Testament laws; the covenant of grace."
    You misunderstand the distinction between Old Testament and New Testament. Christians are not subject to OT law because they are under Grace. However, those who are not under Grace are still subject to the condemnation of OT Law because their sins are still upon them, not having been atoned for by the acceptance of Grace.

    The OT is not as directly applicable to believers under Grace as is the NT, but nonetheless it is still suitable for use in hermeneutics to support a position, where there is question about what NT scripture means or refers to. Such interpretation must be done with care but it is not automatically invalid because it draws from OT sources.


    ...so that reduces the argument to the New Testament verses in which two interpreted Greek words are the sum of the evidence against it. Provide sufficient evidence that the definition of those words include monogamous, loving homosexual couples like exist today or admit that its questionable.
    Sorry, you don't get to define the argument in such a narrow fashion. It isn't remotely that simple. Baron posted six verses that express homosexual practice as biblical sin, four of which were from the New Testament. If you can credibly and intellectually discount all six of these sources as being misunderstood or mischaracterized then possibly you have a case. Making it about the misinterpretation of two Greek words is an oversimplification, if not outright disingenuous.


    Parse this, if you wish:


    te homoiōs kai arsēn
    aphiēmi physikos chrēsis
    thēlys ekkaiō en
    autos orexis eis allēlōn
    arsēn en arsēn
    katergazomai aschēmosynē
    kai apolambanō en
    heautou
    antimisthia autos
    planē hos dei
    Which is the greek of Romans 1:27


    And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    Note that arsen en arsen means "men with men", and that aphiēmi physikos chrēsis thēlys means "leaving the natural/sexual use of women", I think it would be quite challenging to interpret this verse as anything other than a sharp condemnation of homosexuality, especially taken in context with Rom 1:26 and 1:28, the surrounding verses.

    Are you prepared to parse and interpret each of these items of scripture, all six of them, and refute each as a misinterpretation or misunderstanding?

    If you can prove to me that my position (that the bible declares homosexual activity to be sin) is wrong, I will have to review my beliefs on the subject; but don't think for a moment that it is going to be easy.

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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Well, I've spent a lot of time over the course of four decades working to understand the Bible. This includes studying the original texts and the meanings of the original words; the principles of Hermaneutics; and the thoughts of various noted theologians and commentators.

    The first principle of hermaneutics is that you interpret scripture, with more scripture. That is, you find other scripture that addresses the same topic or a very similar one, and see what that says.

    Looking at the whole bible, it seems improbable that homosexuality would not be viewed as sin, simply because "it is modern homosexuality".

    Don't you folks contend that homosexuality is inborn and a certain percentage of people have always been of homo orientation? Including in ancient times? Then why the assumption that ancient homo practices were one thing, and abominable to God, but "modern" homosexual practices are something new and different? Seems unlikely.

    As I say, it comes across as a convoluted attempt to wriggle around what the Bible says, and claim "it doesn't really mean what it seems to say".
    There would be a quite easy explanation. It would be considered a sin for men who could be impregnating women to refuse to sleep with women, because they are sexually attracted to men. The same for women who refuse to sleep with men to become pregnant (although women really didn't have much of a choice in this back then anyway) rather to be with other women. Much of the thinking back then was to propagate the species. People who were not working towards this, especially who were not in high enough positions to really complain, would be viewed as sinning.

    Today, we are pretty much overpopulated (at least if you consider are use of available resources), so propagating the species is not really important enough for most people to consider it a sin if a person, male or female, chooses for whatever reason not to do it.
    "A woman is like a teabag, you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water." - Eleanor Roosevelt

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  4. #1224
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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    And one more, regarding the notion that scripture is referring to ancient homosexual practices and not modern
    homosexual practices...

    Results from some of my first inquiries into homosexuality in ancient Greece:

    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Greece]Homosexuality in ancient Greece - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]


    Some scholars, such as Kenneth Dover and David Halperin, claim that it was highly polarized into "active" and "passive" partners, penetrator and penetrated, an active/passive polarization held to be associated with dominant and submissive social roles: the active (penetrative) role was associated with masculinity, higher social status, and adulthood, while the passive role was associated with femininity, lower social status, and youth.[5] In this view, any sexual activities in which a male penetrated a social inferior was regarded as normal; "social inferiors" could include women, male youths, foreigners, prostitutes, or slaves; and being penetrated, especially by a social inferior, was considered potentially shameful.[5]

    Other scholars, however, argue that male-male relations usually involved an adult male and a youth: the older male took the active (penetrative) role.[6][7] They also describe them as "warm," "loving," and "affectionate," [8] and argue that the Greek tradition of same-sex relations was central to "Greek history and warfare, politics, art, literature and learning, in short to the Greek miracle."[9]
    The most common form of same-sex relationships between males in Greece was "paiderastia" meaning "boy love". It was a relationship between an older male and an adolescent youth
    I would note that paiderastia ("boy love") is not the same word as arsenokoites. One wonders if scripture meant paiderastia why didn't is say paiderastia.


    Given the importance in Greek society of cultivating the masculinity of the adult male and the perceived feminizing effect of being the passive partner, relations between adult men of comparable social status were considered highly problematic, and usually associated with social stigma. However, examples of such couples are occasionally found in the historical record.


    [edit] Achilles and Patroclus
    Main article: Achilles and Patroclus

    Achilles and PatroclusThe first recorded appearance of a deep emotional bond between adult men in ancient Greek culture was in the Iliad (800 BC). Although Homer does not explicitly depict the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus as sexual, by the beginning of the Classical era (480 BC) the two heroes were interpreted as pederastic icons.[citation needed] Since the ancient Greeks were uncomfortable with any perception of Patroclus and Achilles as adult equals, they tried to establish a clear age difference between the two. There was disagreement on whom to make the erastes and whom the eromenos, since the Homeric tradition made Patroclus out to be older but Achilles dominant. Other ancients held that Achilles and Patroclus were simply close friends.

    Aeschylus in the tragedy Myrmidons made Achilles the protector since he had avenged his love’s death even though the gods told him it would cost his own life. However Phaedrus asserts that Homer emphasized the beauty of Achilles which would qualify him, not Patroclus, as “eromenos”.


    [edit] Historical adult male couples
    Among the historical male couples, where both partners were adults, are Euripides, in his seventies, and Agathon, already in his forties. The legendary love between Alexander the Great and his childhood friend, Hephaistion is sometimes regarded as being of the same order.
    So it would seem that while pederasty was most common, adult male relations were far from unheard of.


    The Sacred Band of Thebes, a separate military unit reserved only for men and their beloved youths, is usually considered as the prime example of how the ancient Greeks used love between soldiers in a troop to boost their fighting spirit. The Thebans attributed to the Sacred Band the power of Thebes for the generation before its fall to Philip II of Macedon, who was so impressed with their bravery during battle, he erected a monument that still stands today on their gravesite
    The "youths" spoken of here were apparently of age to serve in the military, and therefore almost certainly past puberty. This would seem to argue that it was not pederasty in the modern sense so much as the higher/lower status issue some scholars assert.

    Greek homosexuality


    This view now seems outdated. Not all Athenian women have been passive and not all men were dominant. Prostitution, which was an important aspect of Athenian life, had little to do with male dominance; nor was -and this is important- Greek homosexuality restricted to pederastry between a dominant adult and a shy boy.
    Recent ideas
    Meanwhile, however, this image of "pedagogical pederasty" has been challenged by a series of important publications like Charles Hupperts' thesis Eros Dikaios (2000). It is now clear that homosexuality was not restricted to pederasty, and that we have to study our evidence more carefully.
    For example, not every older erastes had a beard, and it turns out to be a modern fairy tale that the younger eromenos was never aroused. From literary sources, we know that boys had their own sexual feelings. The sixth-century Athenian poet Theognis, for example, complains about his lover's fickleness and promiscuity. Several vases show young men with an erect penis. Even when he pretends to shy away, he does not protest and does not obstruct his lover's attempt to court him.

    Another objection to the traditional reconstruction of Athenian homosexuality is that there is simply no evidence that the presents shown on vases had any pedagogic or didactic value. They are just meant to seduce.

    It also appears that the difference in age did not really matter. Not youth, but beauty was important. (The ancient ideal of male beauty: broad shoulders, large chest, muscles, a wasp's waist, protruding buttocks, big thighs, long calfs. A man's forehead was not supposed to be too high, the nose had to be straight, and he had to have a projecting lower lip, a round chin, hawk eyes, and hair like a lion. His genitals had to be small; men with big penises looked like monkeys.)
    There are many pictures of boys courting boys, boys playing sexual games, and adult men having intercourse. Yet, the latter was probably unusual or not spoken about, because the passive partner (pathikos) was -as we have already seen- subject to ridicule.

    It is not true that homosexual love for boys was an aristocratic phenomenon. The reportory of vase paintings does not change when, in 507 BCE, democracy was introduced in Athens. On the contrary, there appears to be an increase of pederastic and other homosexual representations.


    Vase showing male lovers,having sex in public. (Musei Vaticani; !!!)


    Yet, a decent citizen was supposed not to sell his body, and in c.450 BCE, when the Athenian economy had become fully monetarized, a law was proposed that people who had once prostituted themselves could not run for an office. Someone who had once sold himself was believed to be capable of selling the interests of the community as well. From now on, we find no vase paintings on which the erastes offers money to an eromenos anymore, which shows that these paintings are more or less realistic representations of what actually happened.

    Later, this law was no longer applied. In the fourth century, it was not uncommon when two grown-up men shared a home. There must have been jokes about these men, but obviously, they found this an acceptable prize to pay for living with their beloved one. There was a large discrepancy between the official morals, which were expressed in the ancient laws, and everyday life.



    Plato (Musei Capitolini, Roma) Plato
    As we have seen, the traditional image of pedagogical pederasty is simply mistaken, so what is its origin? The answer is the philosophy of the Athenian Plato. He has painted a very remarkable picture of his teacher Socrates, who is shown -in Plato's own words- as boy crazy. When Socrates was in the company of beautiful boys, he lost his senses. Some sort of mania (divine madness) took possession of him and he was almost unable to resist it. He often complained about the fact that he was helpless towards adolescents, and said that he could only cope with the situation by asking difficult questions to these beautiful boys and teaching them philosophy. So, according to Plato, Socrates sublimated his passion.

    Xenophon (Prado, Madrid; !!!)

    There would seem to be more than a little debate on this matter, and little consensus that Greek homosexuality was limited to pederasty. I will examine the matter further, but so far your assertion appears questionable.

    G.


    PS: while I'm not Catholic, this page has some good explanations of scriptural support and the church's attitude. Homosexual Practices and the Bible
    Last edited by Goshin; 06-13-10 at 10:36 PM.

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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Expanding on that thought, here is some wisdom about what scripture has to say about homosexuality, since it's been called into question.
    These are posts from another thread some time ago, in which the question of whether the bible actually condemns homosexuality was raised...
    First of all, I've already posted earlier how no where in the story of Sodom, is homosexuality actually mentioned as a reason why God destroyed it, so the passages referring to Sodom and Gamorrah really don't relate well to your argument.

    Second, being "effeminate" is almost certainly a hormone issue or at the very least, out of a person's conscience control. How in the world could someone believe that God would condemn something that is almost definitely natural? It would be like God condemning a hermaphrodite for being born with both male and female sex organs. And why only effeminate males? Why not manly women?
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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    There would be a quite easy explanation. It would be considered a sin for men who could be impregnating women to refuse to sleep with women, because they are sexually attracted to men. The same for women who refuse to sleep with men to become pregnant (although women really didn't have much of a choice in this back then anyway) rather to be with other women. Much of the thinking back then was to propagate the species. People who were not working towards this, especially who were not in high enough positions to really complain, would be viewed as sinning.

    Today, we are pretty much overpopulated (at least if you consider are use of available resources), so propagating the species is not really important enough for most people to consider it a sin if a person, male or female, chooses for whatever reason not to do it.

    Again, this strikes me as an attempt to wiggle around what the Bible actually says. The proof of that is that you have to ignore the fact that scripture condemns homosexuality in many different places, and does not specifically address that it is because of an avoidance of reproduction.

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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Quote Originally Posted by roguenuke View Post
    First of all, I've already posted earlier how no where in the story of Sodom, is homosexuality actually mentioned as a reason why God destroyed it, so the passages referring to Sodom and Gamorrah really don't relate well to your argument.

    Second, being "effeminate" is almost certainly a hormone issue or at the very least, out of a person's conscience control. How in the world could someone believe that God would condemn something that is almost definitely natural? It would be like God condemning a hermaphrodite for being born with both male and female sex organs. And why only effeminate males? Why not manly women?
    I would assume that it means men who deliberately adopt a feminine persona, such as transvestites.

    And saying Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality is simply disingenuous and untrue.

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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    This is so much nothing, I am just going to say OK, you win.
    So much nothing? Terms don't have definitions? Is that a joke? Ignore reality then, but if I win it is because I win... and I won because I am right. That is all.
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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Goshin, the problem is that it looks very like you are only seeing the possible interpretation you want to see. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that other interpretation are right. It is further within likely that the people who wrote the scripture interpreted things based on their own ideas.
    We became a great nation not because we are a nation of cynics. We became a great nation because we are a nation of believers - Lindsey Graham

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    Uh oh Megyn...your vagina witchcraft is about ready to be exposed.

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    Re: Gay Marriage, is it right to stop it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Goshin, the problem is that it looks very like you are only seeing the possible interpretation you want to see. It is entirely within the realm of possibility that other interpretation are right. It is further within likely that the people who wrote the scripture interpreted things based on their own ideas.
    And you're favoring the one YOU would rather see as correct, are you not?

    Redress, I am seeing the most direct and straightforward interpretation, the one with the most support from other scriptural sources, and therefore the most likely correct one.

    The other viewpoint involves making three laps around cultural relativism and closing your eyes and ignoring several points of scripture that say something you don't like.

    One interpretation is direct, literal, historical, grammatical and if charted would look like a straight arrow.

    The other is convoluted and contrived and if flow-charted would look like an M.C. Escher painting.

    I'll stick with the straightforward interpretation. It makes much more sense.
    Last edited by Goshin; 06-13-10 at 10:52 PM.

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