General Question

ubersiren's avatar

Christians, is gay marriage still wrong if the couple never has sex?

Asked by ubersiren (15140points) April 24th, 2009

The Bible mentions that the act of gay sex is an abomination (lying with another man as your would a woman), but nothing about actual gay marriage. So, what if two men wanted to marry into a sexless marriage? I’m pretty sure this scenario would never be a real one, but let’s just say there is a couple who wants to marry strictly for one another’s company and tax credits. Maybe they even have separate bedrooms. The Bible doesn’t forbid this as far as I can tell, so would this be ok to you?

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84 Answers

Qingu's avatar

@ubersiren, your question presumes that Christians actually give a shit what the Bible says. I doubt most Christians even know about 95% of the laws in their so-called holy texts.

I mean, the law outlawing gay sex is a couple chapters before the law allowing you to buy and own foreign slaves.

casheroo's avatar

I’m not Christian, but I’ve been told gay people can be together, as long as they don’t have sex. not sure if together means marriage though. What fun is it if you can’t have sex?!

kevbo's avatar

Generally, this is referred to as the “priesthood.” ;-)

Nimis's avatar

Without sex, I’m guessing there’d be a lot of erm…spilled seed.
The Bible’s against that too, right?

Judi's avatar

I am a pretty conservative Christian (personally) but quite liberal politically. I don’t think it’s a Christian’s role to judge the behavior of non Christians. We have got enough behavior problems of our own. I have however, pondered similar questions within the Christian community. What you are proposing is not dissimilar to what Catholic priests do. They take a vow of celibacy. I wonder (just wonder) if, in the Christian community, people who know they are gay are called to celibacy? I don’t have the answer, and I could be completely wrong, but this is part of the process I ponder when trying to reconcile my humanity and compassion, which IS close to the core of my faith, with the blatant statements in scripture.
I want to reiterate, that I have no judgement for people outside of my Christian community. That would be like trying to impose American law on Denmark or something. It just doesn’t make sense. waiting patiently for the rotten tomatoes

ubersiren's avatar

@Qingu : I tend to agree. The world would look a lot different if people followed all the Bible’s laws.

@kevbo: hahaha… right on! Although, did you hear that priests who “look” gay are being audited (or whatever they do…)? It’s like a witch hunt!

@Judi: You are a rare flower. :)

@Nimis : Yeah, every sperm is sacred… but I never understood how someone can be held accountable for that, I mean sometimes that just happens in your sleep and it’s out of your control.

@casheroo: I responded to everyone else and didn’t want to leave you out, so- I know right?

oratio's avatar

Pondering silently about at which point a sperm stops being sacred.

Judi's avatar

@ubersiren Whew….sighs in relief~ I figured you to be the first in line with the tomatoes, after that marijuana debate!

Facade's avatar

They still want each other. Everything starts in the mind. Lusting for someone is the same as having sex (according to the Bible). And as I (probably) said before, a sin is a sin is a sin. I’m not going to condemn anyone for sinning when I do it every day.

ubersiren's avatar

@Judi: You don’t know how much I appreciate people like you. I tried, once upon a time, to be a Christian, but it just didn’t take. For most of my life I went to church, and went willingly. But I just couldn’t be honest in my heart… I never once really believed! And I tried, I really did for a long time. The Bible and Christianity in general still “interests” me even if I can’t embrace it. I hold all religions away with the same length of stick. Meaning, I want to know about all of them, but I doubt I’ll ever be won over by one any more than the other. I think we agnostics/atheists “pick” on Christians more only because they are more prevalent were we live. Maybe agnostics in China question Buddhism the most. I ask questions to get real input, not to test one’s faith… as some atheists do. Having been on both sides of these issues now, it hurts to see Christianity being under attack. And I love when I come across folks like you who honestly answer a question instead of assuming I’m attacking. People on all sides of a case just get so riled up when they can’t understand how someone can think differently than they do. Unfortunately, I think most people are concerned with being “right” instead of learning more about something. I’m definitely guilty of that sometimes, which only weakens my case… but anyway, I guess the point I’m making is thanks for not being a crazy person, thanks for being non-judgmental, thanks for your tolerance, and thanks for listening.

Btw, what marijuana debate did we have?

Judi's avatar

@ubersiren ; I confused you with uberbatman lol!

MissAusten's avatar

@Qingu Have you read the book “A Year of Living Biblically?” Many of the biblical “rules” the author tried to live by were things I’d never heard of. Every branch of Christianity picks and chooses what rules to follow, even the most fundamental of the fundamentals.

Personally, I’d be happy to see more people adopt the “love they neighbor” clause. I’ve never understood how people can get into such a tizzy over the choices made by consenting adults. Sometimes I just want to shake people and say, “Dude, get over it already!” And I know there are Christians who fully support gay marriage rights. Lately I’ve been seeing commercials on TV for a church near us, welcoming all people. The pastor wears a rainbow scarf-thing (not up on the priestly garb vocab, sorry). My sister-in-law has always been active in her Episcopal church, and she is a vocal supporter of gay marriage rights.

ubersiren's avatar

My stupid name… I wish I could change it!

@Facade: In my scenario the two men wouldn’t want each other sexually. They’re not interested in sex. I’m trying to pin point where in gay marriage specifically lies the sin. Maybe these guys are eunuchs. Or… have you ever known anyone to say, “Ok, if we’re not married by age 50 we’ll marry each other?” I have 2 gay best friends who say this jokingly to each other. They are not and probably will never be sexually attracted to each other because they’ve known each other since birth. If they got married in order to adopt a child, or to fill out a joint tax return, or to split a payment on a house, or any other reason, would that be a sin in itself?

Qingu's avatar

@MissAusten, I actually just read that book! Though I feel like he totally copped out on the more violent rules. There are a lot of rules calling for you to stone people to death; you don’t get to sweep them under the rug by tossing a pebble at a dude in Central Park and then running away.

Facade's avatar

@Facade I don’t see that type of marriage as sinful at all. Good for them :)

cwilbur's avatar

I’m a Christian, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with gay marriage in the first place.

(Certain of the interlocutors in this thread seem to derive great joy from taking bits of the Bible out of context and misinterpreting them. They are best ignored on this subject.)

avalmez's avatar

and not really off topic, certainly entertaining, and maybe even educational to some: Why can’t I own a Canadian?

avalmez's avatar

…of course, could just be adding fodder for some to use later…

fireside's avatar

My friend who is gay said that he really enojyed Trembling before God which is a documentary about someone who was Jewish but had the same questions. The answer that seems to come out of the movie is that the acts are what is “sinful” not being gay.

My friend said that he had studied other religions and found the same basic conclusion.

Ivan's avatar

@Facade

So it’s wrong to even think about sinning? Isn’t that….what’s the word….stupid?

cwilbur's avatar

@Ivan: it depends on what your particular religion believes.

In Judaism, it’s the acts that are sinful. Jews have a contract with God, in essence, and He has told them how to behave in order for them to be considered His people.

In Christianity, desiring to sin is as bad as sinning itself. The theory is that people who are spiritually in harmony with God will show this by not behaving sinfully—good faith and God’s grace are what saves us, but good works are the evidence of faith and grace.

Facade's avatar

@Ivan There’s no need to try to insult me or my beliefs mmmk? mmmmk :)

Ivan's avatar

@Facade

You? No, I wasn’t insulting you. I was insinuating that punishing people for having certain thoughts is stupid. You are free to explain to me why you don’t feel the same way.

MissAusten's avatar

@Qingu I thought the pebble-throwing incident was pretty funny! As was the part where he tried to discipline his son with a Nerf bat. Yeah, he copped out, but if he’d actually stoned someone he’d be in jail and probably would have lost his book contract.

oratio's avatar

@Ivan I guess it is the dualistic christian thinking of the world of the spirit and the flesh. Jesus said that the thief commits his sin two times. One in his mind and one in action. A kind of thought crime.

From a certain view I guess it’s correct, and harboring ill will and dark feelings won’t do any person any good. But I don’t think it should be considered a sin. Sins differ from time to time, and culture to culture. I don’t think a person needs a book to tell him/her what is right and wrong.

ubersiren's avatar

@Facade : I have to disagree that merely thinking of sinning is a sin. I think if you think about it and decide, “Yes, I will pursue my neighbor’s wife,” then perhaps you’ve sinned. But if you think about it and decide, “I better not…” I think you haven’t sinned. I don’t believe that God would condemn you for every thought that enters your mind. As @oratio mentions, Jesus says that the thief commits the sin 2 times. But I don’t think the first sin manifests until he actually intends to carry out the sin.

avalmez's avatar

@ubersiren i believe the text of what Jesus purportedly said is quite clear – the thought is equal to commission. now, no one should take what i just wrote as an expression of what i actually believe. i simply want to state my opinion as to what the text literally states. everything after that is interpretation and personal belief, which i think persons of any faith are not just prone to but free to do and have.

avalmez's avatar

as an example, Jesus exercised interpretation and personal belief when he over rode certain old testament texts, “Eye for an eye” e.g.

oratio's avatar

Yes, but Jesus is God himself: Not personal belief. Universal truth. :p

avalmez's avatar

@oratio i respect your view and actually expected someone to respond similarly to your response. was once my view, but i’ve come to think differently over the years, right or wrong.

oratio's avatar

@avalmez Im sorry, avalmez. I was teasing. Sorry, got into a playful mood. It’s two o’clock in the night here. I went to change it but you already answered. Ah well. It’s not that I don’t respect your views. Should refrain from making comments like that I guess.

avalmez's avatar

@oratio dang, and here i thought you were serious! no prob’s and didn’t feel any disrepect at all, just wanted to prevent you or anyone else from feeling disrespect by me.

gotta be nice when discussing topics of this nature, right?

oratio's avatar

@avalmez Yup. Respect is key to be taken seriously if you are of a different view. Easy to say, easy to feel, and easy to forget to include sometimes. I try. Sometimes I fail miserably. It’s easy to create an opponent, not so easy a friend

ubersiren's avatar

I have some Bible reading to do. Does anyone have verses to support or break down any side of the thinking of sin = sin argument? I’d like to see for myself what this is all about.

Nimis's avatar

Hrmm…if thoughts could be considered a sin,
are you also held accountable for your dreams?
Or the ten thousand other random thoughts that flit through your head?

Judi's avatar

@ubersiren; Matthew 5:28
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

ubersiren's avatar

That verse, to me, doesn’t mean that simply thinking of someone sexually is the sin. It’s when those thoughts turn to lust… Is simply thinking sexual thoughts of someone automatically LUST? I guess that’s the real question, then. I don’t believe that’s so. I think lust is the intense escalation of those thoughts past thinking, “Mmmm Matthew McConaughey is totally rippin’ with his shirt off!” Just because I think that doesn’t mean I’d cheat on my husband and go at it with him if I was given the chance. I would call my reaction “lust.”

I’ve daydreamed about killing my boss before, but I didn’t “lust” toward doing it. I didn’t have an intense desire (m-w.com’s definition of lust) to actually do it. So, I don’t believe I committed that crime already.

fireside's avatar

@ubersiren – Just because I think that doesn’t mean I’d cheat on my husband and go at it with him if I was given the chance. I would call my reaction “lust.”

Umm, isn’t Lust a sin?
—————
Not that i think thoughts are sins, just warning signs that you are straying from the intended path.

ubersiren's avatar

@fireside : Yes, the lust is the sin. My point is that I think until the thought becomes lust it’s not a sin. At least that’s what the Bible is telling me. If I think someone looks sexy, I don’t think I’m straying from the intended path. But, if I allow those thoughts to escalate (if I don’t pluck out my eye) then it becomes the deadly sin of lust.

jilxly's avatar

Marriage is meant to be the unity between a man and a woman. It is not meant for the unity of a same sex couple

Ivan's avatar

@jilxly

And who determines what marriage is “meant” to be?

avalmez's avatar

@Ivan it’s a historical tradition that over time has accumulated legal case history (much like the state of Delaware has a wel established record of corporate case history and so has advantages for entities seeking to establish corporate domicile).

i guess the issue is whether the legal system should redefine the meaning of marriage. personally, if you remove the legal aspects from marriage, then i suspect the issue of same sex marriage has no motivation, or is not required in order to obtain the legal benefits of marriage, and so, in both cases, “marriage” becomes moot

ubersiren's avatar

@jilxly : According to whom? Not everyone believes that, you know…

avalmez's avatar

@ubersiren according to historical and legal tradition.

avalmez's avatar

@ubersiren doesnt mean that can’t change, but answers your question

avalmez's avatar

also, historical and legal tradition at one time allowed a female to be married off upon reaching sexual (reproductive) maturity. that has changed in the majority of modern civilizations

Ivan's avatar

@avalmez

As you hinted at, the historical and legal tradition of marriage is incredibly turbulent. Marriage has changed countless times over our history.

avalmez's avatar

@ivan but has it ever changed to recognize gay marriage? i really know no such case. homosexuality is a sexual practice and i know of no case where it gained status as a form of union equal to marriage

Ivan's avatar

@avalmez

Are you serious? Lots of stuff was never incorporated into marriage if you go back to a particular time period.

avalmez's avatar

i asked for an example of gay marriage not lots of other stuff.

Ivan's avatar

@avalmez

What? No, gay marriage has not traditionally been accepted. My point was to say that it is an illogical argument to say that it should be traditionally accepted in order for it to become legal. Interracial marriage wasn’t traditionally accepted either. However, marrying a 10 year old against her will was traditionally accepted. What does tradition have to do with anything?

avalmez's avatar

@Ivan it and the law everything at this point. read more carefully, and you may just discover that i wrote the question is whether the traditional/legal situation should change, either to recognize same sex marriage or grant similar legal benefits to life partners.

Ivan's avatar

“it and the law everything at this point. read more carefully”

oratio's avatar

What does it matter what people do with their genitals as long as there is consent. Nail them to a frisbee, toss it over a rainbow, who cares what you do.

If christians care, fine. It’s good to care. Not to impose their own opinions on others. If christians don’t want to be gay, that’s fine. They don’t have to be.

Marriage is not a christian custom or belong to the church. We married long before Yehoshua. The reason we marry in the church is because it’s in our cultural frame work, but the marriage belongs to the people that marry. Nobody else.

ubersiren's avatar

Well, “traditionally” people never had iPods either, but things change and I wish people would just get over it. @Ivan: I like your point that just because people disapprove doesn’t mean it should’n’t be legal. That’s just a silly reason. I don’t like those giant sunglasses that women wear, but I don’t think it should be illegal. I have yet to see one gay couple’s marriage harm anyone else, no matter what conservatives say about “the sanctity” of it. The sanctity of marriage was destroyed long before the gay rights movement.

avalmez's avatar

@oratio gays would disagree that, “if christians don’t want to be gay, that’s fine”. the majority of gays believe sexual inclination is not a choice – for anyone including christians.

@ubersiren i recently posted a thread very much in agreement with you that the sanctity of marriage is very much in question. got a “meh” for that one.

my entire point is that marriage is defined by society at large. what it means today versus yesterday and tomorrow is determined by society at large, and the legal system is very much a part of society at large.

my point is further that if the benefits and privileges accorded to married people were more generally accorded to persons essentially united in common law unions regardless of sex, then marriage becomes for many same sex couples, unnecessary.

where legal benefits and previleges are not a factor among a couple, then marriage reduces to a public declaration of committment, and marriage with all the legal ramifications that go with it as it’s defined today, is not necessary – just say in a public place, “I love you and want the entire world to know that!”

oratio's avatar

@avalmez Well. I think christians who has a problem with homosexuality, are not gay. Thats my assumption. That they want to impose their views of proper conduct is not good. Having gay sex is certainly a choice. Being gay is not. Whatever. We get born, stuff happens, and we die. Over and out.

avalmez's avatar

ok but before you go, ascribing to a religion or philosophy of any kind is ascribing to a set of beliefs, norms, morals, whatever, that pertain to the religion or philosophy. and saying that one can’t impose their views on others is a multilateral kind of thing. acceptance is the key. now, as you, i’m done, but…‘ere!

Disc2021's avatar

@ubersiren It depends on who’s interpreting. Many Christian’s believe that gays are downright “wrong” and shouldn’t even be kissing, let alone sleeping in the same bed.

Some gay Christians do believe that if they’re not sleeping together, they’re not technically sinning and thus choose to carry out their relationship without ever having sex.

@Facade I have heard the same doctrine (or even read somewhere in the bible) that lusting after someone is already engaging in adultery – but the context of that was on marriage and adultery. I dont think it was as literal as some people took it, that God acts as some sort of “thought police” and every sin you think about becomes equal to actually committing it.

My own personal belief – I’m not a christian nor religious, but it’s of my understanding that the condemnation of homosexuality is mostly in the old testament. I know Christians also try to follow the old testament but dont consider themselves spellbound by the old text and put Jesus word first. However, it seems there are many parts of the old testament modern Christians leave out – such as women not being allowed to speak in church, or eating pork and shellfish. I think such a double-standard is best explained by people’s own personal emotions (homophobia, prejudices) and fears.

With that being said, I think there’s a big difference between Christians and Christianity, and I think in actual Christianity, Jesus would not forbid/criticize homosexuals so harshly the way they are by most followers of Christianity. Jesus also warns that it is no one’s job to criticize or persecute anyone anyone, regardless.

ubersiren's avatar

@Disc2021 : Very good answer. I still don’t get why gay marriage itself is sinful. It’s sinful to “be” gay, I get that. But does getting married mean they’re MORE gay and therefore, more sinful or something? It just doesn’t make sense to me. But, yeah I know what you’re saying. Very good answer, again.

miasmom's avatar

@Ubersiren This is a very good question. My first reaction is to look at the Bible to see if God defines marriage in any way. Our first reference to that is in Genesis 2:24, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Why didn’t God say they would be united male to male or female to female? I would ask if there are other verses that define marriage also. I think that taken into consideration with the passages that describe homosexual acts as sinful is why Christianity defines marriage between a man and a woman.

I do agree that just because you think something, it doesn’t make it a sin. Jesus was talking to the Pharisees at the time because they were caught up in the legalities of the Old Testament Law, they thought as long as they didn’t commit the actual murder or adultery that they were ok, but Jesus was explaining to them that it is a heart issue, when you lust or are angry (for the wrong reasons), then that is just as sinful as commiting the actual deed.

I don’t think it’s always wrong to think of different, but when it becomes an issue of the heart…lust, jealousy, coveting, etc. Then it is sinful.

Also, we aren’t bound by the Okd Testament Laws any more because those were for the Israelites at the time, we are bound by the new covenant that Jesus established when he was here. That’s why we don’t stone people anymore, Jesus asks the crowd who wants to stone the adulteress, you who is without sin be the first to throw the stone. Everyone leaves and Jesus tells the woman he doesn’t condemn her, but she should go and sin no more.

cwilbur's avatar

@ubersiren: To understand where they’re coming from, you have to start with the premise that being gay is either a choice or a mental disorder. (Bear with me here. I don’t agree with that either, but it’s necessary to accept it temporarily to follow their argument.)

So, if it’s a choice, then society shouldn’t reward it by allowing gay marriages, because that validates what many people think is an incorrect choice. (This is where the “we don’t let people marry their dogs” argument comes in—bestiality is also an immoral choice.) Also, if young people who are considering homosexuality see that there is no social stigma attached to it, they are more likely to choose homosexuality. But if it’s a mental illness, then the appropriate response is treatment—we don’t let people who think they’re Napoleon actually command armies!

Of course, the whole argument collapses when it’s no longer a choice or a mental illness. But those are the premises they start from.

@miasmom: I have refuted the claim that homosexuality is inherently sinful no fewer than twice on Fluther, and I’m not getting into it again. Any pastor who tells you that homosexuality is a sin is lying to you, plain and simple; at best he’s doing it out of ignorance, at worst out of malice.

miasmom's avatar

@cwilbur How do you explain Romans 1:26–27? Or do you have a link to your prior explanations?

ubersiren's avatar

Gah! Why is it so confusing? I’m still not convinced that gay marriage is wrong. The ghey seks, maybe, but why the marriage itself? Why do so many people say, “I don’t have anything against gay people, but I just don’t think they should be married?”

avalmez's avatar

the problem with mainstream christianity is that the tradition of prophets ended in new testament days. by which i mean, the most recent direction christians have that can be considered divinely inspired is contained in the new testament. and on that basis, it’s not unreasonable for a christian to state homosexuality is forbidden by God. so, it might be a bit strong to make the claim that any minister that teaches homosexuality is wrong is lying or speaking out of malice.

that said, i think much of what is contained in the bible, start to finish, is more a reflection of the times in which it was written than a declaration of absolute truth. i also believe the bible in fact contains many absolute truths.

but where the case in question is concerned, i think christians need to expand on the example set by Jesus when he prevented the crowd from stoning the prostitute (see above for details).

jesus didn’t tell the crowd the prostitute was not sinful, rather, he reminded the crowd they are not without sin. and he didn’t tell the prostitute that she was not sinning, but in fact told her to go and sin no more.

what is the real lesson of this story? tolerance and better to mind your own morals than those of others. if society and the legal system decide to make gay marriage legal, then God isnt going to rain down on his righteous ones just because they live in Iowa!

though some would say that’s punishment enough :)

miasmom's avatar

@alvalmez I’m totally with you on the prostitute situation, Jesus was making a point that none of us is without sin and we shouldn’t be judging others. That doesn’t make her sin ok, Jesus acknowledges that she sins, but he tells her to not do it anymore. I think often times we are quick to judge others, when we need to look at our own lives first. (The plank in the eye analogy.) But at the same time, God does give us a handbook for our lives, the Bible, and we need to look to that for answers, not necessarily what we feel is ok.

It’s just hard because you believe something is wrong, but someone else doesn’t agree with that, someone who doesn’t share your beliefs, that doesn’t mean I impose what I believe on them….somewhere there is a healthy balance.

cwilbur's avatar

@miasmom: Paul is trying to get the Jews in the Roman congregation on his side, so he uses the example of Gentile misbehavior that he thinks will gross them out the most. It’s a rhetorical device, and you need to read it in the context of the argument he’s developing and the audience he’s speaking to. You can’t take one freaking verse out of context and interpret it any way you see fit.

And hell, even if you do take this brief passage out of context and read it literally, you read that God, in one instance of people committing the sin of idolatry, punished them with desires that would have made them ritually unclean. The homosexuality in this story is a punishment for idolatry.

avalmez's avatar

brother @cwilbur take care, your passion is leading you close to losing your religion! :)

oratio's avatar

@cwilbur That seems really profound and objective. You are agnostic, n’est-ce pas?

@miasmom I think it’s in the roots of democracy that you are free to have any opinions, and if you believe it’s wrong with homosexuality, that’s your right. And since you say you don’t want to impose your opinions on others, I guess it means that you don’t agree but you wouldn’t oppose gay marriage. That’s all that matters.

According to an article I read not long ago, the real power in the church lies in the hands of the christian women, since they outnumber the men and are the most active. I don’t know if that’s true, but I think it’s likely. It wasn’t long ago women fought for the most fundamental rights in society. Hell, it is not over. If christian women can identify that this is a group of people in the present day society – and not sinful people from the bible – that is now likewise fighting for equality, then I don’t see how anybody could oppose to their goals.

miasmom's avatar

@cwilbur I was just curious how you interpreted that passage, I didn’t mean to offend you with my question. Thank you for giving me your interpretation.

cwilbur's avatar

@oratio: no, I’m not. I’m a Christian.

oratio's avatar

@cwilbur Oh, sorry. It’s just felt that it’s not often I see such level headed assessments of bible texts from quoting christians. I guess I am a bit prejudice. That’s a lesson.

Disc2021's avatar

@ubersiren First off, thank you!

The token Christian argument is something along the lines of “Wanting to protect the sanctity of marriage”, as they view gays as a threat to traditions and what not. As discussed by others, it’s a load of BS and that marriage really doesn’t have to have anything to do with tradition. I argue that it’s just a cover-up for their own homophobic, prejudice mindset.

It isn’t that it’s “more” sinful, I mean, if the bible-thumpers had it their way gays wouldn’t exist in the first place. They want marriage to only exist in a Christian setting. However in the modern age, marriage is much more than just a Christian tradition.

(edit) I should also add, the reason why you get the rather wishy-wash response, “Oh, nothing wrong with gays but they shouldn’t be allowed to marry” is because people are still trying to warm up to the idea of homosexuality. Homosexuality, although not a new phenomenon by any means is a relatively new idea to our culture – or at least the acceptance/tolerance of it is. There’s some that dont support it but dont have any direct qualms with it – some that support it all of the way, and some that are strongly against it. All of the prejudices aren’t completely washed out yet, though, homosexuality has been becoming more and more accepted.

cwilbur's avatar

@Disc2021: indeed, progress is made one funeral at a time.

Disc2021's avatar

@cwilbur Lol. It’s quite shameful that given as intelligent we are as people nowadays that it even comes to that. I guess good lessons are learned the hard way.

toleostoy's avatar

I consider myself to be a Christian, but I speak for myself, not the church or Jesus. I think marriage without sex is wrong, but I don’t understand while a committed homosexual relationship is wrong. Some are probably a good bit more healthy than heterosexual relationships, but if you were to take sex out of marriage when two people are sexually attracted to one another, I don’t see that being healthy.

ubersiren's avatar

@toleostoy : I agree with you. I don’t mean to suggest that if gay people want to get married you just shouldn’t have sex. This was a hypothetical question in order to find out exactly WHAT is so wrong about gay MARRIAGE.

avalmez's avatar

@ubersiren i’ll begin by making the following declarations: first, i am not a fundamentalist or a conservative christian – in fact, i can’t remember the last time i went to church to receive some fire and brimstone. second, while i do not believe it’s right for me to impose my views on others, i retain the right to have my own views. that said -

one thing no one can dispute is that the Bible really has nothing kindly to say about homosexuality, but rather quite the opposite.

and as i mentioned previously, christians have been given no direction that is considered divinely inspired more recent than the new testament, no updates from God, if you will, on any topic let alone homosexuality.

so, in a sense, an answer to your question is that where some christians are concerned, especially people who believe that the bible is the only source of religious and moral direction for christians, the belief that gay marriage is wrong is not ill founded.

doesn’t make them right absolutely, but no person who respects the beliefs of others can claim such folks are simply bigoted, or prejudiced, or malicious. Some may be, but then their beliefs are not bible founded, are they?

and if you recognize that marriage is not simply a religious let alone christian institution but a secular one as well, it’s not that difficult to accept that states and society can chose to legalize gay marriage as a secular institution.

And how it happens to be “consecrated” is up to the happy couple, as today the state does not dictate that marriages must be performed in any particular manner. If a minister chooses to consecrate such a marriage, that’s his/her choice.

cwilbur's avatar

@avalmez: On the contrary, the Bible does have some good things to say about homosexuality. Look at how Ruth and Naomi and David and Jonathan are held up as exemplars. And look at what Jesus says about the Roman centurion who asks Jesus to heal his slave—only, in the Greek, the word used for “slave” has a sexual denotation: Jesus does not condemn the centurion, but praises his faith.

So yes, one can dispute the assertion.

oratio's avatar

@cwilbur Interesting. Haven’t seen that argument before. Maybe if we just tossed the old testament, things would be fine and dandy.

toleostoy's avatar

this conversation seems to deal with the role of the bible in a discussion of ethics. i think most Christians would agree that we have learned to read the bible in a certain way because of the way certain biblical principles override explicit statements of the bible.

slavery is a prime example. in Philemon, a slave is sent back to his master, and it seems scary to think that God would not shout with a trumpet from heaven, “Masters release your slaves, all are equal.” however, we can read that God frees slaves from Egypt, in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free. submit to one another, consider others better than yourselves. those verses, coupled with an extrabiblical conversation about liberty and rights led to the emancipation of slaves.

in the same way, non-judgment, humbling ourselves, discussions of love and intimacy in the biblical text override a few rare passages about homosexuality being wrong. @avalmez: when you say that there is nothing divinely inspired beyond the text i agree in part, but there is divine interpretation and response to the text. In that way, Dr. King is a prophet, Frederick Douglass is a prophet, Mother Teresa is a prophet, and there is also prophecy about how the church should commune with homosexuals.

The issue then is how to work between loving your neighbor as yourself and not judging others which are themes throughout scripture, and a very few passages concerning homosexuality.

ubersiren's avatar

Maybe we are supposed to think of some things on our own, without the Bible spelling things out for us.

mattbrowne's avatar

Supporting gay marriage is the right thing to do. Having sex before marriage is an individual choice to be made.

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