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dancer67

Can you be a Christian and still

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I have Christian friends who are in homosexual relationships. I do believe there is a genetic component to homosexuality-that this lifestyle is not a choice. Personally, it isn't any of my business who my friends have a realtionship/marriage with. Oh, and I am very much a Christian.

 

 

I haven't read thru the whole thread, but I agree that there are some genetic issues for some people. Others, I believe, have sexual identity issues because of things that happened to them when they were younger.

 

I am a Christian, and I believe that homosexuality is wrong. I also believe that gossip, gluttony and alcoholism is wrong. I do not pick out one sin to be worse than the other. But I do try to keep my kids away from certain sins until they are old enough to understand the situation.

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She is a very outspoken polititician in Oklahoma. The fact that she keeps getting re-elected speaks to the sentiment in OK.

 

She recently apologized for her views on African Americans. :glare:

 

 

Wow. Thanks for the education. :001_huh: :crying:

 

When I see gays trying to prevent heteros from marrying, I'll see both sides behaving badly :)

 

I agree! :-)

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When I see gays trying to prevent heteros from marrying, I'll see both sides behaving badly :)

 

I am sorry if you thought that is what I was saying. My point was simply that neither side needs to force "acceptance" for or against on the other. To use the guttony analogy: Maybe I view gluttony as a sin, but I still think people have the right to commit it if they want. ;)

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But, I think there's still a point to be made--Do you think gays feel hated because of the voting like this? I do. I darn well do.

For some reason it won't let me quote tonight. ARGH. Anyway. They might feel hated. I hope they don't, but they might. I am sorry if they feel hated. If anyone that feels hated would like to sit down with me over coffee, I would be happy to explain my reasons for voting as I do. However, their feelings on it won't change my vote. I vote how I feel would be glorify God and His ideals for our world. I wouldn't vote (as the example earlier) for some normalization of gluttony. I wouldn't vote to make any sin lawful. If the person within that sin feels hated, I truly am sorry. I want no one to feel hated. I want them all to feel God's love. But I HAVE to vote how I feel would best please God.

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I am sorry if you thought that is what I was saying. My point was simply that neither side needs to force "acceptance" for or against on the other. To use the guttony analogy: Maybe I view gluttony as a sin, but I still think people have the right to commit it if they want. ;)

 

No more gluttony. Oh, please. :lol:

 

I think I'm agreeing with you, though. In the end, I really don't care what AGMC (anti-gay-marriage-Christians) think about gay marriage, so long as they don't prohibit gays from marrying. The AGMCs surely don't have to like it. :)

 

If that's not your point, I apologize for putting that in your mouth (er, post, whatever)

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Originally Posted by Joanne

 

 

I've said it before in similar threads. I see the "homosexuality is a sin" or "acting on homosexual orientation is a sin" as on the same continuum of active, violent hate.

 

It is hate if homosexuals are told (or thought of) as willfully continuing in sin, and therefore are going to hell. It is *hate* to tell anyone they are going to hell. Particularly so when you are condemning them to hell for the way they love.

 

It *is* hate to tell an entire group of people that God considers them an "abomination". It *is* hate to say "Hate the sin, love the sinner" when the "sin" you hate is part of their core, their being, their intimacy, their connection, their love, their affection.

 

It *is* hate to speak of "homosexual lifestyle" as if that communicates anything about their behavior, character, or values. It *is* hate to say "it's between them and God" when homosexuals aren't given the same protection by the laws of the land for property rights, medical access, financial benefits, insurance coverage. It *is* hate when you say "I don't mind homosexuals but I want them to keep their PDA private" and you aren't comfortable with the same level of affection as you would be with a heterosexual couple.

 

It *is* hate when believing homosexuals can't serve in Christian settings as Leaders, Pastors, volunteers. It *is* hate when people don't proclaim loud and clear that homosexual is not synonymous with promiscuity, or perversion of sexuality.

 

It *is* hate when marriage is defined as "man and woman". Or when the Christian Bible has ideas superimposed onto it such as because God's biology creates children out of heterosexual engagement, *homosexual physical engagement* is not God's design (also).

 

It *is* hate when sexual minorites have a higher rate of suicide, addiction, and other mental health issues. Research shows this is not because of their orientation (or gender related issues) but because of the culture's and their family's reaction to it.

 

Hmm Well, Joanne, I must say that I do hate the sin but love the sinner on many occasions. And truthfully, hate is NOT involved. I truly do NOT hate the person. I just hate their behavior. As far as not letting Homosexuals be pastors etc. Is it hate when I, as a female cannot join the boyscouts? Because I'm female? Do they hate girls? No, they just have certain rules.

 

Churches have certain rules. A lot of churches that I know wouldn't let a gambler, alcoholic, sex offender, or felon serve as pastors. Do they hate them? No. Just following the guidelines that they believe God set for their group.

 

jmho

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But, I think there's still a point to be made--Do you think gays feel hated because of the voting like this? I do. I darn well do. (...)

 

If the legitimacy of your relationship was cast in such a bad light by a group of people, who typically said you were perverted and a danger to the American culture, could that make you feel hated?

ITA that some people in same-sex relationships might feel hated because some other people believe that this is morally wrong. And I really don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. (I am Canadian, after all. We apologize when other people step on our feet. ;)) But does their feeling that way mean that those other people really are hateful? Some posters seem to be suggesting that. To me, hate is something that comes from inside a person. There are people who use religion and morality as a vehicle to express their inner hateful tendencies, but IMO that's very different from having views that might make someone feel "disapproved of."

 

BTW, in Catholic circles, this is more often an issue with straight family members marrying outside the church. Though we love them, we can't recognize that as a valid marriage. It's really tough for all concerned.

 

I hope that makes sense.

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But, I think there's still a point to be made--Do you think gays feel hated because of the voting like this? I do. I darn well do.

 

For some reason it won't let me quote tonight. ARGH. Anyway. They might feel hated. I hope they don't, but they might. I am sorry if they feel hated. If anyone that feels hated would like to sit down with me over coffee, I would be happy to explain my reasons for voting as I do. However, their feelings on it won't change my vote. I vote how I feel would be glorify God and His ideals for our world. I wouldn't vote (as the example earlier) for some normalization of gluttony. I wouldn't vote to make any sin lawful. If the person within that sin feels hated, I truly am sorry. I want no one to feel hated. I want them all to feel God's love. But I HAVE to vote how I feel would best please God.

 

This is where I feel many Christians get it wrong. A healthy government should not be representative of a particular religion or lack thereof. It should protect the rights of ALL. There is a reason Lady Liberty is blindfolded.

 

It is the church, parish, synagogue, and mosques job to teach about their particular religious beliefs. We need a religously neutral government. If a government is Christian it can just as easily be Jewish or Muslim.

 

I really like the separation of church and state ;). By voting to protect peoples rights to live according to their beliefs, we protect our own rights to practice our beliefs without fear.

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This is where I feel many Christians get it wrong. A healthy government should not be representative of a particular religion or lack thereof. It should protect the rights of ALL. There is a reason Lady Liberty is blindfolded.

 

It is the church, parish, synagogue, and mosques job to teach about their particular religious beliefs. We need a religously neutral government. If a government is Christian it can just as easily be Jewish or Muslim.

 

I really like the separation of church and state ;). By voting to protect peoples rights to live according to their beliefs, we protect our own rights to practice our beliefs without fear.

 

Yes. I really don't think we *should* be trying to make sin (of any sort) illegal. If God is going to judge those who sin, let him do so. What we should be doing is allowing people to make their *own*, adult choices.

 

Sins which infringe on the ability of others to make their own choices should of course remain illegal (such as murder, theft) but sins which are personal such as gluttony (since we seem to be on a gluttony kick) etc. shouldn't be illegal.

 

When you vote to make your religious concept of sin illegal, you open the door for someone else to make his religious concept of sin illegal.

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ITA that some people in same-sex relationships might feel hated because some other people believe that this is morally wrong.

 

I don't think that's what makes gay people feel hated, primarily. Now, I don't know much about the Canadian situation, but do you think that gay people in Canada feel as hated by Christians as gay people in the U.S.? Are there are many efforts by Christians in Canada to legislate against rights for gay people and gay couples? Because, in the U.S., I think that's really the issue. I don't think most gay people care all that much what churches say about them; if they aren't gay Christians, it's not an issue. What upsets them is the efforts Christians are making to legislate against equal rights for GLBT people/couples in the secular realm.

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[i wouldn't vote (as the example earlier) for some normalization of gluttony.

 

But gluttony IS normalized. So is greed and drunkenness and gossip and idolatry. And, I'd say that many Christians, especially those who vote against gay marriage, actively work against legislating aimed at things like curbing greed, because of the stance they take on economic policy.

 

One thing I always wonder is why the Christians who say they vote against equal rights for gay people and couples because they are sinning don't attempt to legislate against not being a Christian. After all, isn't putting anything before God the greatest sin? It seems odd to me that the same people who are so insistent that it be illegal for same-sex couples to marry actually support the right of Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists to practice their faith. Aren't they participating in idolatry, according to the same biblical interpretation that leads to the belief that homosexuality is always and inherently sinful?

 

It seems to me that, if the idea is that sin must be legislated against and God must be glorified in our laws, then religious freedom would have to be the first thing to do. And if we can allow people freedom in how they worship, even if they choose to worship something or someone other than the God of the Bible as conservative Christians understand him, it seems like a very, very small thing to let same-sex couples marry.

 

Or, let's use another example: adultery. Adultery is clearly a sin. It's clearly a huge threat to the family. So, should we make it illegal? Should people who commit adultery be subject to legal penalties? As wrong, damaging, sinful, and dishonoring to God and others as I think adultery is, my answer is no. I don't think it should be legislated against. But, if Christians were interested in making sure that sin wasn't legal, I'd say that adultery is a far more serious and pervasive sin than homosexuality, and perhaps working to get it made illegal would be a better use of their time and money.

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This is where I feel many Christians get it wrong. A healthy government should not be representative of a particular religion or lack thereof. It should protect the rights of ALL. There is a reason Lady Liberty is blindfolded.

 

It is the church, parish, synagogue, and mosques job to teach about their particular religious beliefs. We need a religously neutral government. If a government is Christian it can just as easily be Jewish or Muslim.

 

I really like the separation of church and state ;). By voting to protect peoples rights to live according to their beliefs, we protect our own rights to practice our beliefs without fear.

 

Further to that, if a government is Christian it is generally a certain kind of Christian and other Christians who don't conform to that view may suffer at least as much as those who are of different or no faiths.

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I'd say that adultery is a far more serious and pervasive sin than homosexuality, and perhaps working to get it made illegal would be a better use of their time and money.
I didn't think that there was legislation in progress to make homosexual acts illegal?

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I didn't think that there was legislation in progress to make homosexual acts illegal?

 

I thought they were still illegal in some states/counties. :confused:

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There seems to be two different issues in this thread:

 

1. Do you think homosexuality is a sin?

 

2. Do you think homosexuals should be allowed to marry?

 

Sometimes the answer to those two questions is linked... But sometimes it is not. Not ALL Christians who think homosexual behavior is a sin ALSO believe gays should not be allowed to marry.

 

I have stated previously that I believe homosexual behavior is a sin. BUT I am not against gay civil unions as I believe that is a government issue not a Christian issue. If two people want to live together and share their financial resources then fine. Not my business.

 

You can't ask someone to vote against their conscience. That's why we have a democracy. I don't vote for or against gay marriage. When the ballots come up, I just don't vote. I can't vote for it because I have to do what I feel honors God. But I don't vote against it either because I'm not sure it is something we should be deciding for others.

 

I am not sure I am getting my point clear. :tongue_smilie:

 

Voting FOR something says I agree with it. Voting AGAINST something says I disagree with it. I feel that gay marriage is none of my business. I am not going to answer for the life choices of other people. So I am not going to make choices for them. Therefore, I do not vote on those things.

 

I also wouldn't vote on a ballot regarding divorce or gluttony, etc. either as those are personal choices that those people have to answer for, not me.

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I am reading all of this knowing that I have much to catch up on, having not ever followed politics at all. When thinking about it though, I used Heather's basic reasoning to tell myself I could probably vote for it. Shrug.

 

I am thinking that if the Baptist Reverend that I quoted earlier were to vote against homosexual marriage, this would be his reasoning:

 

Voting for homosexual marriage makes homosexuality normal in our society, therefore homosexuals will not realize that they are sinners and won't have a reason to repent or come to Christ.

 

Do you think this is the reasoning that some Christians use in their voting?

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There seems to be two different issues in this thread:

 

1. Do you think homosexuality is a sin?

 

2. Do you think homosexuals should be allowed to marry?

 

Sometimes the answer to those two questions is linked... But sometimes it is not. Not ALL Christians who think homosexual behavior is a sin ALSO believe gays should not be allowed to marry.

 

I have stated previously that I believe homosexual behavior is a sin. BUT I am not against gay civil unions as I believe that is a government issue not a Christian issue. If two people want to live together and share their financial resources then fine. Not my business.

 

You can't ask someone to vote against their conscience. That's why we have a democracy. I don't vote for or against gay marriage. When the ballots come up, I just don't vote. I can't vote for it because I have to do what I feel honors God. But I don't vote against it either because I'm not sure it is something we should be deciding for others.

 

I am not sure I am getting my point clear. :tongue_smilie:

 

Voting FOR something says I agree with it. Voting AGAINST something says I disagree with it. I feel that gay marriage is none of my business. I am not going to answer for the life choices of other people. So I am not going to make choices for them. Therefore, I do not vote on those things.

 

I also wouldn't vote on a ballot regarding divorce or gluttony, etc. either as those are personal choices that those people have to answer for, not me.

 

I think that if believed homosexuality was a sin I could quite comfortably vote FOR secular gay marriage. That would be a vote to support the separation of church and state and to recognize that the state has to fairly represent and protect the rights of all citizens. To vote against it or to not vote would seem to me to support those who attempt to push religious agendas onto secular government.

 

At the same time I could oppose any measure in my church to bless gay marriages and not feel hypocritical at all.

 

t

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I am reading all of this knowing that I have much to catch up on, having not ever followed politics at all. When thinking about it though, I used Heather's basic reasoning to tell myself I could probably vote for it. Shrug.

 

I am thinking that if the Baptist Reverend that I quoted earlier were to vote against homosexual marriage, this would be his reasoning:

 

Voting for homosexual marriage makes homosexuality normal in our society, therefore homosexuals will not realize that they are sinners and won't have a reason to repent or come to Christ.

 

Do you think this is the reasoning that some Christians use in their voting?

 

Yes, I think that is some people's reasoning. I do not think it is the governments job to point out who are sinners in such a diverse nation.

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I am reading all of this knowing that I have much to catch up on, having not ever followed politics at all. When thinking about it though, I used Heather's basic reasoning to tell myself I could probably vote for it. Shrug.

 

I am thinking that if the Baptist Reverend that I quoted earlier were to vote against homosexual marriage, this would be his reasoning:

 

Voting for homosexual marriage makes homosexuality normal in our society, therefore homosexuals will not realize that they are sinners and won't have a reason to repent or come to Christ.

 

Do you think this is the reasoning that some Christians use in their voting?

 

Could well be. I find it disturbing myself as it seems to be an attempt to make that secular institution serve the interests of someone's view of Christianity.

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Yes, I think that is some people's reasoning. I do not think it is the governments job to point out who are sinners in such a diverse nation.
I think that if believed homosexuality was a sin I could quite comfortably vote FOR secular gay marriage. That would be a vote to support the separation of church and state and to recognize that the state has to fairly represent and protect the rights of all citizens. To vote against it or to not vote would seem to me to support those who attempt to push religious agendas onto secular government.

 

At the same time I could oppose any measure in my church to bless gay marriages and not feel hypocritical at all.

 

t

 

Thanks for adding that. Whew, this being a citizen stuff is difficult.

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This is where I feel many Christians get it wrong. A healthy government should not be representative of a particular religion or lack thereof. It should protect the rights of ALL. There is a reason Lady Liberty is blindfolded.

 

It is the church, parish, synagogue, and mosques job to teach about their particular religious beliefs. We need a religously neutral government. If a government is Christian it can just as easily be Jewish or Muslim.

 

I really like the separation of church and state ;). By voting to protect peoples rights to live according to their beliefs, we protect our own rights to practice our beliefs without fear.

 

I can agree with this but when the government dictates what is and isn't "hate speech" and then what a minister/pastor/priest/etc can and cannot preach-- this is where I take issue. There have been major ramifications that go along with this issue around the world. Pastors being sued if they preach against homosexuality or if they don't marry a gay couple.

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Here's my angle on the "Christian-voting-your-conscience" deal:

 

Using a human-made institution to attempt to legislate morality or immorality, out of other people's lives, is a sin.

 

Why? Because God already demonstrated the futility of that exercise in the Old Testament. As Paul said, the Law only brings death. You cannot cure the brokenness of the human condition by simply telling people to stop being broken.

 

To pretend otherwise is an offense against the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

P.S. I do not see same sex relationships as an effect of "brokenness" anymore than I see het relationships as such. Love is not the problem: just the opposite, the problem is when we fail to relate to each other in love.

 

That is why I actually see fundamentalist anti-gay Christians as being more broken than any loving gay couple could ever be.

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I can agree with this but when the government dictates what is and isn't "hate speech" and then what a minister/pastor/priest/etc can and cannot preach-- this is where I take issue. There have been major ramifications that go along with this issue around the world. Pastors being sued if they preach against homosexuality or if they don't marry a gay couple.

 

I would definetly not agree with anything that violates freedom of speech. I have found that this type of logic is a bit of a smoke screen. We do not know that one will automatically lead to the other and I cannot excuse doing what is right...now, because I fear what may happen in the future.

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I can agree with this but when the government dictates what is and isn't "hate speech" and then what a minister/pastor/priest/etc can and cannot preach-- this is where I take issue. There have been major ramifications that go along with this issue around the world. Pastors being sued if they preach against homosexuality or if they don't marry a gay couple.

 

This is something you need to supply links for. I say that because I sometimes see strange claims about what goes on here in Canada in terms of hate speech or gay marriage and very often there's little truth to the concern or claim.

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I would definetly not agree with anything that violates freedom of speech. I have found that this type of logic is a bit of a smoke screen. We do not know that one will automatically lead to the other and I cannot excuse doing what is right...now, because I fear what may happen in the future.

 

:iagree:

 

That kind of thinking sounds to me like, "I'm sorry, but I can't defend your rights or protect me because there's a chance it might hurt me in some way in the future."

 

It's a self-centered measuring of what we give and do for others first by what we might gain/lose ourselves. Jesus did not say, "love thy neighbours but only after a thorough risk/benefit analysis to see what's in store for yourself." :)

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This is something you need to supply links for. I say that because I sometimes see strange claims about what goes on here in Canada in terms of hate speech or gay marriage and very often there's little truth to the concern or claim.

 

Maybe I don't have the best examples, I haven't researched this issue with much depth. But towards the bottom of this paper (starting at the bottom of pg 13) there are a few instances cited from Canada, Sweden, & UK.

 

And I'm not trying to say that I don't agree because it might be potentially bothersome for me in the future, but I definitely do not want to be mandated by our government at some point to accept homosexual relationships, if I believe the Bible says they are sinful.

And it seems as if this is the trend starting to occur in other countries.

 

A few US stories that follow suit (again, at the bottom of the articles)

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So, I have to admit, based on my belief system, I did vote for the definition of marriage (one man one woman) when it came up in my state.

I have to say, though, it never really occurred to me that it was something that was a civil union and didn't have anything to do with beliefs. I don't know if I'm making sense... I don't know what I would do, were I to go back and vote again. But it definitely is something I hadn't thought about before. I don't think a church (well, my church! lol) could do a marriage ceremony for homos*xuals, but do I have a problem with them being legally married by the government? I don't really think I do.

I am definitely all for separation of church and state, also.

Another thought - aren't most of the people in America not Christians? I mean, based on the comments I've seen here, most people are NOT against homos*exuality so to speak...so then why is it not legal already? Or have most states just not put it on the general ballot? (I'm seriously curious, I promise I'm not trying to be rude or anything!!)

And, just out of curiosity, what exactly is an 'Evangelical Christian'?? Or 'fundamentalist'? How are they defined? And how are they different from others?

(I hope I wrote that all out the way I am trying to say it... :tongue_smilie: )

 

ETA: I've also heard (I haven't had a chance to click on the links above) rumors of 'some people' (quite ambiguous, don't you think?) trying to say that Christian pastors can't speak against gays or anything like that from their pulpits because it would be construed as hate speech. I don't know if that is true or not...but it seems that it wouldn't be possible, with the separation of church and state being as it is?

I'm also against 'prayer in schools' so to speak - no organized prayer needs to be going on in a school setting. Kids can pray on their own if they want to - no one can stop them from that if they aren't bothering anyone else, right? I don't get the whole thing with that...

Also, I haven't seen many Christians really speaking out publicly against gay rights. But, I don't watch the news or anything much :lol: And I don't count that Westboro guy. He's...despicable.

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Here's my angle on the "Christian-voting-your-conscience" deal:

 

Using a human-made institution to attempt to legislate morality or immorality, out of other people's lives, is a sin.

 

Why? Because God already demonstrated the futility of that exercise in the Old Testament. As Paul said, the Law only brings death. You cannot cure the brokenness of the human condition by simply telling people to stop being broken.

 

To pretend otherwise is an offense against the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

P.S. I do not see same sex relationships as an effect of "brokenness" anymore than I see het relationships as such. Love is not the problem: just the opposite, the problem is when we fail to relate to each other in love.

That is why I actually see fundamentalist anti-gay Christians as being more broken than any loving gay couple could ever be.

 

I couldn't have said it better! :D

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Now, I don't know much about the Canadian situation, but do you think that gay people in Canada feel as hated by Christians as gay people in the U.S.?

Sorry, but I don't have any way of knowing who feels that way in either country, let alone how it compares between them. I was just agreeing that it's a possibility.

 

Are there are many efforts by Christians in Canada to legislate against rights for gay people and gay couples?
"Traditional" or "conservative" religious people in Canada (evangelicals, Catholics, Muslims, etc.) tend to hold similar views on these issues to their counterparts in the US. But there are fewer religiously observant people in Canada overall. It's a more secularized country -- closer to Europe in that sense.

 

This doesn't give the whole story, though. According to various polls done between 2000 and 2005, only about 1/4 of Canadians attended church weekly, but about half believed that homosexuality was immoral, and the majority were against redefining marriage to include same-sex partners. In other words, there was a substantial chunk of the population who likely weren't particularly religiously observant, but still thought homosexuality was morally wrong. And there was another chunk who didn't think homosexual relationships were immoral, but still wanted to keep the traditional definition of marriage.

 

In any case, the people didn't have a vote on the issue. It was decided by the provincial courts, and then the federal government made it official. I guess it would seem strange to Americans that this could happen without a huge amount of controversy, when polls suggested that most people wanted to keep the traditional definition of marriage (ETA: e.g., this one cited by CBC -- which is not known as a conservative media outlet), but Canadians tend to be mild-mannered and reluctant to rock the boat. Some might also have been concerned about being prosecuted under the human rights laws. These didn't include sexual orientation as a protected category, but judges began to "read in" this interpretation starting in the 1990's. Since then, a lot of people have been brought before the tribunals for saying and doing things that might be considered disparaging toward homosexual people, including a priest and a bishop who were simply presenting Catholic teaching. (Their cases were overturned, but they had to pay for their defense, while the commission paid the complainants' costs.)

 

I sometimes tell my American friends, "to understand Canada, picture the midwest, if it were taken over and ruled by people from Berkeley." ;)

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Also, I agree with peacefulchaos. It seems almost unconstitutional for the government not to allow gay marriage. I understand if certain churches don't want to perform them... whatever, but for the government to discriminate in that manner reminds me of when there were black schools and white schools. The church is an entirely separate entity from the state. That is the whole reason America was founded. We were sick and tired of the church being all intertwined in the government. Gay is the new black.

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I see such a clear difference between my religious beliefs and the laws of the country as they apply to everyone...I can't comprehend legislating your religion onto others. Is it illegal then to go to other religious institutions? Jail for adultery?

 

Gah, how frustrating.

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Hmm Well, Joanne, I must say that I do hate the sin but love the sinner on many occasions. And truthfully, hate is NOT involved. I truly do NOT hate the person. I just hate their behavior. As far as not letting Homosexuals be pastors etc. Is it hate when I, as a female cannot join the boyscouts? Because I'm female? Do they hate girls? No, they just have certain rules.

 

Churches have certain rules. A lot of churches that I know wouldn't let a gambler, alcoholic, sex offender, or felon serve as pastors. Do they hate them? No. Just following the guidelines that they believe God set for their group.

 

jmho

 

None of these are valid comparisons to being homosexual and\or acting as such intimately.

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This is where I feel many Christians get it wrong. A healthy government should not be representative of a particular religion or lack thereof. It should protect the rights of ALL. There is a reason Lady Liberty is blindfolded.

 

It is the church, parish, synagogue, and mosques job to teach about their particular religious beliefs. We need a religously neutral government. If a government is Christian it can just as easily be Jewish or Muslim.

 

I really like the separation of church and state ;). By voting to protect peoples rights to live according to their beliefs, we protect our own rights to practice our beliefs without fear.

 

Simka, thank you for this. Well said.

 

Voting FOR something says I agree with it. Voting AGAINST something says I disagree with it. I feel that gay marriage is none of my business. I am not going to answer for the life choices of other people. So I am not going to make choices for them. Therefore, I do not vote on those things.

 

I also wouldn't vote on a ballot regarding divorce or gluttony, etc. either as those are personal choices that those people have to answer for, not me.

 

Heather, I respect what you're saying here and thank you for your thoughtful answer, but I think there's an important distinction to make: We're talking about whether someone has the right to choose for themselves, not whether the voter personally approves, right? The voter isn't voting for same-sex marriage; the vote is for the right of others to decide for themselves. By withholding a yes vote, or by voting against same-sex marriage, the voter is making the choice to not allow others their own decision. The only way to really voice your belief that it's up to individual decision-making is to actively vote for the right to choose, to vote on the side of freedom.

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Also, I agree with peacefulchaos. It seems almost unconstitutional for the government not to allow gay marriage. I understand if certain churches don't want to perform them... whatever, but for the government to discriminate in that manner reminds me of when there were black schools and white schools. The church is an entirely separate entity from the state. That is the whole reason America was founded. We were sick and tired of the church being all intertwined in the government. Gay is the new black.

The thing is, American history is full of moral causes that were inspired by religious values. For example, the whole Social Gospel movement was led by people who were following their Christian convictions, including many ministers. One could just as easily say that the welfare laws for which they campaigned were a violation of the separation of church and state. And people did use that argument at times, in opposing efforts by Christian groups on behalf of issues ranging from temperance to the abolition of slavery.

 

I don't know if present-day evangelicals take much interest in the natural law tradition, but it seems to me that the Founding Fathers did, as did many other great American leaders:

 

Natural Law, Natural Rights, and American Constitutionalism

 

Natural law theory goes back to classical times (Wikipedia has a brief history), but the most famous version was set down by St. Thomas Aquinas in the middle ages. He said that there are some aspects of Christian belief that are only available through God's direct revelation in His Word. Other things are taught in Scripture, but are also revealed in the law that's been written on every human heart and in the "book of nature." In the latter case, non-Christians can also come to the same conclusions if they seek the truth and observe the world around them.

 

As an immigrant to the US, I'm no expert on the constitution, but the above link suggests that arguments based on the natural law haven't historically been considered to violate the principle of separation of church and state. This is not to assert that contemporary evangelicals use these types of arguments to support their views on marriage. As mentioned, I don't know if they do or don't. If they only quote the Bible, and expect everyone to accept it, then that would be a little peculiar. :001_huh:

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Since my minister is a gay man (partnered with a wonderful man who is a teacher), I say yes. Since my transsexual gay brother is a Christian, again, I say yes.

 

As for love the sinner, hate the sinner type arguments I just do not believe that is is a sin, period. The OT says a lot and sets out many things as sins that are no longer considered sin. The NT does not make much, if any depending on the translation, mention of homosexuality specifically. If I am to follow the OT teachings on this, am I also to follow the OT on slavery and killing adulterers? It is inconsistent at best to cling to the idea that homosexuality is a sin. It is not and frankly, seeing how hurtful some Christians are to gay people leads many, many folks away from the church and in some cases away from faith completely. The hateful attitudes and bullying that go on because people teach their children that homosexuality is a sin can not possibly be considered Christlike.

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None of these are valid comparisons to being homosexual and\or acting as such intimately.

 

Not to you, but to a Christian who believes all of the things mentioned in what you quoted are sin just the same as homos*xuality is, they are very relevant.

 

ETA: I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm just saying that, to me, the comparison makes sense. :)

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Simka, thank you for this. Well said.

 

 

 

Heather, I respect what you're saying here and thank you for your thoughtful answer, but I think there's an important distinction to make: We're talking about whether someone has the right to choose for themselves, not whether the voter personally approves, right? The voter isn't voting for same-sex marriage; the vote is for the right of others to decide for themselves. By withholding a yes vote, or by voting against same-sex marriage, the voter is making the choice to not allow others their own decision. The only way to really voice your belief that it's up to individual decision-making is to actively vote for the right to choose, to vote on the side of freedom.

 

I see your point. And based on how you have defined it here if there were a ballot that stated I was voting for gays to have the right to choose to enter into a same-sex civil union then I would probably vote yes. I would not vote for it if it was referred to as "marriage" as I feel that is a God-ordained covenant.

 

In fact, if it were worded as a civil union there are more Christians who would vote for it (yes I know many personally).

 

Choosing to contractually bind yourselves together in the eyes of the government (and all that comes along with that... Good and bad) seems like something that should already be allowed.

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Voting about gay marriage does not mean voting for or against other people's right to do what they want. People will always choose for themselves who they are going to enter into a lifelong committed relationship with. It means voting whether your tax money is going to be used by the government to provide the same benefits to gay couples as to straight couples. Voters On either side are taxpayers and have a right to express their beliefs democratically by voting.

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Voting about gay marriage does not mean voting for or against other people's right to do what they want. People will always choose for themselves who they are going to enter into a lifelong committed relationship with. It means voting whether your tax money is going to be used by the government to provide the same benefits to gay couples as to straight couples. Voters On either side are taxpayers and have a right to express their beliefs democratically by voting.

 

Civil rights should not be up for public votes in 2011. Voting on gay marriage is no different than voting on "miscegenation" laws, Jim crow laws, a woman's right to vote or own property or slavery in my opinion. Just because it has been done does not make it right, ethical or moral.

 

Most of the benefits of marriage cost no money and the lack of those benefits is heartbreaking and soul crushing...even just status as next of kin. Straight people take these rights for granted. Denying them to others is wrong.

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Wait. What?

 

Has it occurred to you that many divorced people tried their best to save their marriage?

 

Interestingly, you cut off the actual point of that sentence.

 

Here's what you quoted:

 

If it's is a covenant, why don't so many keep to it? I know many, many, many Christians who are divorced and remarried, yet attend church...

 

And here's the sentence with what you didn't quote, which was the actual point.

 

If it's is a covenant, why don't so many keep to it? I know many, many, many Christians who are divorced and remarried, yet attend church regularly and feel free to judge gays and lesbians.

 

Do you see the difference? I don't care if divorced people attend church. I do care though that they do it, when divorce is considered a sin, and still feel that they can judge homos*xuals.

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This is where I feel many Christians get it wrong. A healthy government should not be representative of a particular religion or lack thereof. It should protect the rights of ALL. There is a reason Lady Liberty is blindfolded.

 

It is the church, parish, synagogue, and mosques job to teach about their particular religious beliefs. We need a religously neutral government. If a government is Christian it can just as easily be Jewish or Muslim.

 

I really like the separation of church and state ;). By voting to protect peoples rights to live according to their beliefs, we protect our own rights to practice our beliefs without fear.

 

I get that many believe we should have a religiously neutral government. I couldn't disagree more. I believe the Creator of all things should be in charge of all of His creations. So, since I follow the Creator above the created, I vote how His word dictates life should be.

 

You are right that it can be any other religion. I will fight to keep that from happening because it's not what I believe God feels is right. If I believe God is true and real, then I can't live any other way by mere definition of that belief.

 

Yes, separation of church and state is awesome. It is to keep the government out of the church, not the church out of the government. It's a wonderful idea. It's not a law, it's not in the constitution, but it's a wonderful idea.

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But gluttony IS normalized. So is greed and drunkenness and gossip and idolatry. And, I'd say that many Christians, especially those who vote against gay marriage, actively work against legislating aimed at things like curbing greed, because of the stance they take on economic policy.

 

You are right, some people have skewed ideas on economics in our nation that don't fit with Biblical principles. I hope my views line up with Biblical principle and look for errors in my judgement with each opportunity to vote or speak out. I try to keep my voting in line with Biblical principles in all areas.

 

One thing I always wonder is why the Christians who say they vote against equal rights for gay people and couples because they are sinning don't attempt to legislate against not being a Christian. After all, isn't putting anything before God the greatest sin? It seems odd to me that the same people who are so insistent that it be illegal for same-sex couples to marry actually support the right of Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists to practice their faith. Aren't they participating in idolatry, according to the same biblical interpretation that leads to the belief that homosexuality is always and inherently sinful?

 

I refuse to vote to hurt or harm someone for not deciding to follow Christ. We are not to do that according to the Bible. So, it's logical that we wouldn't. God tells us to let everyone decide that. He speaks out against homosexuality and commands it to stop. He never commands us to make all people Christians, just to share the gospel.

 

No, those people aren't participating in idolatry. I am not sure how you came to that conclusion. How is someone else refusing to follow God me committing idolatry?

 

It seems to me that, if the idea is that sin must be legislated against and God must be glorified in our laws, then religious freedom would have to be the first thing to do. And if we can allow people freedom in how they worship, even if they choose to worship something or someone other than the God of the Bible as conservative Christians understand him, it seems like a very, very small thing to let same-sex couples marry.

 

Show me why religious freedom would have to leave? God laid down His law and said all should do it. Then He said come to Him if you want.

 

It is small. It's not unimportant, however. Just like I vote against abortion, against spending that's totally out of whack, and so many other things, I vote against homosexuality. It's one of many things this nation, this world, needs to get right. Just because it's only one thing doesn't mean we let it go.

 

Or, let's use another example: adultery. Adultery is clearly a sin. It's clearly a huge threat to the family. So, should we make it illegal? Should people who commit adultery be subject to legal penalties? As wrong, damaging, sinful, and dishonoring to God and others as I think adultery is, my answer is no. I don't think it should be legislated against. But, if Christians were interested in making sure that sin wasn't legal, I'd say that adultery is a far more serious and pervasive sin than homosexuality, and perhaps working to get it made illegal would be a better use of their time and money.

 

They used to be subject to punishment. If a legitimate bill came up, I would vote on it. No one in Washington seems to bring this type of bill to light. Hmmmm, you have to wonder about why that is? :lol:

 

You have to remember, God was the law before man took it into his own imperfect hands. They begged God for a man-led goverment that was supposed to uphold God's law. He gave it to them and it's been bad ever since. It's just further proof we don't know what's best and we mess it up each time.

 

I vote God's word, simple as that. If it's wrong to say God's way is right, then I will answer for that. But I am not sure how that's so wrong.

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I am reading all of this knowing that I have much to catch up on, having not ever followed politics at all. When thinking about it though, I used Heather's basic reasoning to tell myself I could probably vote for it. Shrug.

 

I am thinking that if the Baptist Reverend that I quoted earlier were to vote against homosexual marriage, this would be his reasoning:

 

Voting for homosexual marriage makes homosexuality normal in our society, therefore homosexuals will not realize that they are sinners and won't have a reason to repent or come to Christ.

 

Do you think this is the reasoning that some Christians use in their voting?

 

Sure could be. It's not why I vote that way, but I can't see why some Christians wouldn't vote for that reason. There are a myriad of reasons for every subject and every vote.

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So, then why even vote on anything. Make everything legal and do what you want. No, seriously. Since we all have our own personal reasons for how we vote, how can we dictate which reasons are valid for any vote. Why should your own personal morals dictate the law? Your personal beliefs? Your personal religion? If a Christian's reasons aren't good enough, then neither are your reasons. So we toss out all voting, make everything legal, and hang on for any personal ramifications.

 

It's ironic to say that a Christian shouldn't vote based on their religion while non-christians vote based on their own beliefs. It's the same thing. Just maybe a different vote. A non-christian belief based vote is no more valid than a Christian belief-based vote. You always vote based on beliefs. You believe it's right, you vote. You believe it's wrong, you vote. So, it seems you either stop all voting or you relax and realize our reasons are just as valid as your reasons.

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I think that if believed homosexuality was a sin I could quite comfortably vote FOR secular gay marriage.

 

Personally, I think divorce is wrong in nearly all circumstances. However, I would never vote in favor of a bill that would make it illegal for people who divorced for the "wrong" reasons to marry or that limited somebody's right to a divorce. If people were attempting to do so, I'd fight their efforts.

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I refuse to vote to hurt or harm someone for not deciding to follow Christ. We are not to do that according to the Bible. So, it's logical that we wouldn't. God tells us to let everyone decide that. He speaks out against homosexuality and commands it to stop. He never commands us to make all people Christians, just to share the gospel.

 

I'm not talking about voting to force people to be Christians. But, the Bible clearly states that worshiping any other God is wrong. It's a sin. It's the basis of the first three commandments. So, why support people's legal right to blatantly sin in that way?

 

AFAIK, nowhere does the Bible state that Christians are required to use legal means to prevent gay and lesbian people from having equal rights or entering into legal partnerships, just like it doesn't state that Christians are required to use legal means to stop people from worshiping other gods.

 

No, those people aren't participating in idolatry. I am not sure how you came to that conclusion. How is someone else refusing to follow God me committing idolatry?

 

I'm not saying that the voters are. I'm saying that, by supporting people's right to worship a false god, they are supporting idolatry with their vote. At least, that would have to follow, if by supporting people's right to marry a same-sex partner, they'd be supporting homosexuality with their vote. In both cases, they are doing the same thing: political supporting people having a choice to do something they think the Bible clearly declares to be sinful.

 

Show me why religious freedom would have to leave? God laid down His law and said all should do it. Then He said come to Him if you want.

 

You want to legislate God's law into secular law when it comes to homosexuality, but not when it comes to religious observance. I'm not sure why that would be a consistent position.

 

They used to be subject to punishment. If a legitimate bill came up, I would vote on it.

 

You would vote for legal penalties for adultery?

 

That's fine. That's certainly a legitimate position if you'd vote against gay rights. But, I'm still not sure why you would vote for legal penalties for committing adultery but not for legal penalties for committing idolatry, unless you think that sexual sins are somehow worse than other sins and that the government should legislate people's consensual sexual behavior in some unique way.

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So, then why even vote on anything. Make everything legal and do what you want. No, seriously. Since we all have our own personal reasons for how we vote, how can we dictate which reasons are valid for any vote. Why should your own personal morals dictate the law? Your personal beliefs? Your personal religion? If a Christian's reasons aren't good enough, then neither are your reasons. So we toss out all voting, make everything legal, and hang on for any personal ramifications.

 

It's ironic to say that a Christian shouldn't vote based on their religion while non-christians vote based on their own beliefs. It's the same thing. Just maybe a different vote. A non-christian belief based vote is no more valid than a Christian belief-based vote. You always vote based on beliefs. You believe it's right, you vote. You believe it's wrong, you vote. So, it seems you either stop all voting or you relax and realize our reasons are just as valid as your reasons.

 

That's true. Voting does involve morality.

 

But, I think there's a difference between voting based on a limited, sectarian morality, and voting based on a moral general, secular morality.

 

I have my own personal, limited, sectarian moral beliefs. These are things I feel are based on biblical/Christian principles and that I do my best to live by in my own life. For example, I believe that divorce is wrong. I believe that premarital sex is wrong. I believe that abortion is wrong. I believe that owning more stuff than you need is wrong. I believe that accumulating massive wealth while others are in need is wrong. I believe that killing another person in self-defense is wrong.

 

However, I recognize that those are not beliefs that are shared by most people. They are based on a specific set of moral/spiritual tenets that matter to me. I'm not going to attempt to enact them into law, and I wouldn't want to. I can believe that non-violence is a moral imperative and so killing another person even in self-defense is wrong without feeling the need to try to make it illegal for anybody to do so.

 

In fact, I wouldn't want it to be illegal for anybody else to do so. I recognize that reasonable, kind, decent people have genuine disagreements on these issues. I would never, ever, ever want to see another person legally barred from using violence to protect their life, even if I don't think it's right. I think using the law to coerce people to act in accord with my personal moral beliefs on genuinely contested issues would be an act of violence of a kind, and one I'd not want to commit.

 

There's a difference between legislating that sort of morality, and legislating the kind of morality that all reasonable people agree on and that is necessary to keep society from falling into chaos or to keep innocent bystanders from being genuinely harmed. So, we have laws against murder, against theft, against running red lights, against setting fires. Sure, that's legislating morality in a sense, but it's legislating a universal, practical morality.

 

It's very easy for me, personally, to see the difference between moral principles that are universal and practical in nature, and those that are more specific to my personal religious ideology. I have no problem legislating the former, but I would be completely unwilling to legislate the latter.

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I'm not talking about voting to force people to be Christians. But, the Bible clearly states that worshiping any other God is wrong. It's a sin. It's the basis of the first three commandments. So, why support people's legal right to blatantly sin in that way?

 

Because God allows for that to be an individual right to choose. He left that one up to each person to decide their eternal fate. Why would I go above God's head? How to live a life (and He did set those rules for all) is all I am speaking about, not where to go for eternity. God set those two things up differently in the Bible.

 

AFAIK, nowhere does the Bible state that Christians are required to use legal means to prevent gay and lesbian people from having equal rights or entering into legal partnerships, just like it doesn't state that Christians are required to use legal means to stop people from worshiping other gods.

 

It doesn't say we should use computers either, should we all stop? No. We read the Bible and do what it says. He set up government. He sets all kings on their thrones. We are to follow the laws of the land as long as they don't break God's laws and we are to render unto Ceasar what is his. Voting is ceasers. The way we vote is God's. So, we vote according to His law in a way that ceaser set up. No conflict there at all. None.

 

 

I'm not saying that the voters are. I'm saying that, by supporting people's right to worship a false god, they are supporting idolatry with their vote. At least, that would have to follow, if by supporting people's right to marry a same-sex partner, they'd be supporting homosexuality with their vote. In both cases, they are doing the same thing: political supporting people having a choice to do something they think the Bible clearly declares to be sinful.

 

Read above. God's rule to let people choose their religion. I am not sure what the issue is there. I can't explain it any better. The Bible can lead you to that direction if you need further detail. And, show me the last time we had a bill forcing a religion on people. Why are we being griped at for not voting to force a religion on people (which would go AGAINST God's law, thus we would have to vote against it) when there's never even been a bill to vote on with that as an issue?

 

 

You want to legislate God's law into secular law when it comes to homosexuality, but not when it comes to religious observance. I'm not sure why that would be a consistent position.

 

It is a very consistant position, one consistant with God's word. I just follow it. I think you are taking exception with how He set it up. That's fine. Many do. You don't have to agree with me. You can vote against what I vote for, and vice versa. Doesn't mean I am wrong, inconsistant, or going against God's word.

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I'm not talking about voting to force people to be Christians. But, the Bible clearly states that worshiping any other God is wrong. It's a sin. It's the basis of the first three commandments. So, why support people's legal right to blatantly sin in that way?

 

You don't think the government should force people to be Christian, but they should force them to follow Christian teachings? :confused:

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