Not Again !

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  • Gay sex is a questionable parody? Objection, hate speech, and poisoning the well.

    Yes, from a Christian viewpoint if sex is designed for male with female, what two men can do together is a questionable parody. From other viewpoints that is not so, so in a plural society we discuss it. We don't try to close the discussion down by just declaring that something we disagree with is 'hate speech'.

    No. That's from your point of view.

    Fairly obviously there are other views available than yours.
  • Gay sex is a questionable parody? Objection, hate speech, and poisoning the well.

    Yes, from a Christian viewpoint if sex is designed for male with female, what two men can do together is a questionable parody. From other viewpoints that is not so, so in a plural society we discuss it. We don't try to close the discussion down by just declaring that something we disagree with is 'hate speech'.

    Well, I think it is hate speech, whatever your motives. I'm not suggesting going to the police, but I assume this forum is regulated by rules against racism, homophobia, and so on. "Questionable parody" is homophobic.
  • Actually, discussions can be closed down over hate speech. If I use the N word, or start calling gays faggots, should I be given free rein?
  • DafydDafyd Shipmate
    Of course, in the Genesis passage it is Adam who turns down all the partners God provides for him as not fitting until God comes up with one that Adam, not God, decides is fitting.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    edited February 2020
    @Steve Langton
    Precisely because male and female are physically different and complementary in nature, designed to become one flesh in a sexual way. Two men really can't do that because they don't have between them those complementary parts. They can in that area only do a rather questionable parody, not 'the exact same reason'. Likewise two women.
    Host hat on
    The Purgatory guidelines expect shipmates to
    be courteous in your debating style
    This is not a merely academic discussion. People are personally invested and both the denotation and the connotation of language like ‘questionable parody’ fail to meet that guideline. You need to avoid such loaded language.
    Host hat off
    BroJames Purgatory Host
  • Answering as best I can several recent posts

    1) Yes, 'my' point of view - but not I submit just personal. Paul makes an essentially similar
    but more strongly stated point in Romans 1 (which in turn needs some further discussion in this context).

    2) One of the problems here which again requires further discussion is that gay issues have been somewhat miscategorised by the assumption that 'being gay' is in the same simple category of 'being' as when someone is say blue-eyed, ginger-haired, or of a different ethnic appearance. Again needing further detailed discussion which I won't be able to get back to till tonight, the 'sin' in gay is emphatically in what people do and have a choice whether to do it or not, namely the sexual acts. And in such a context what people 'are' is not quite a straightforward as being blue-eyed or whatever, but is related to urges and desires to do the thing - the kind of urges which in other cases might reasonably be regarded as 'temptations'. Because 'gay' is in this different category it can't properly be treated in exactly the same way as issues of race.

    3) I'm unlikely to either use the 'N-word' or call gays 'faggots'. Agree that such language is not acceptable. But it should be possible in a plural society to discuss the rights and wrongs of different 'takes' on sexuality without discussion being cramped by almost automatically regarding disagreement as 'hate-speech'.

    4) Briefly because I need to be elsewhere quite soon, I'd repeat my point that love between men including a good deal of physical attraction seems to be regarded in the Bible as natural and proper - see, eg, David and Jonathan, Paul and Timothy, Jesus and John. We have just been through a period starting in the late Victorian era whereby a lot of previously acceptable demonstrations of male affection became suspect (the Oscar Wilde scandal being significant) and from circa 1960 there has been an over-reaction, as I would see it, in terms of asserting specifically sexual same-sex relationships. It has not helped that even before that shift the improper establishment of churches in Europe/the West led to different opinions in sexual and other matters being criminalised and persecuted in a way that should not have happened had Christianity remained a 'free church' and a 'kingdom not of this world'.
  • BroJames ruling arrived while I was composing the above. I will take it into account.
  • I have often thought to myself that claims about Christianity would be much easier to believe if they were self-evidently true.

    That the "ideal" was undoubtedly better and so on.

    The obvious truth that this is not the case is a big reason for my unbelief.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    @Steve Langton" "male and female are physically different and complementary in nature, designed to become one flesh in a sexual way."

    Does this mean a married couple are only one flesh when they are having sex (in a Langton approved manner, obviously)? I thought it was a beautiful metaphor for the sharing of two lives in every way, but I expect that's another simple point that I've missed.

    @Steve Langton, I'm still on tenterhooks for your definition of what it means to be gay. I'd like to know if I qualify or not.
  • I don't see a problem in discussing gays and lesbians, and labelling them sinful is accepted even on atheist forums. But using vile language isn't, and hate speech includes hostile or abusive or intimidating language. It's also bizarre to label gay sex a parody. Srsly?
  • (not in church*, obv)

    Why obviously? Do TEC and SEC weddings not count?

    Gah. Sorry. I was being far to CofE-centric to the exclusion of all else. I’ll be more mindful in the future.
  • @Steve Langton re point 2 above. Being gay really is like having blue eyes or ginger hair. And about as harmful. I think your use of the word urges could do with some clarification. In terms of harmful urges, yes, I’m sure gay people have them - to have sex outside a committed relationship for example. To be unkind. That sort of thing. These are the same urges straight people have. The results of those urges cause harm. Call it sin if you like.
  • And anyway, arguing that the Bishops are acting as upholders of Biblical principles doesn't hold much water when you realise how long ago the Bible was written, and how much medical understanding has developed since then. For example, the idea that genuine sexual attraction / love towards someone of the same sex is now understood as part of the normal variety of human relationships, rather than deliberately wilful, going against nature, and therefore sinful.

    The law recognises this, and allows same sex partnerships (marriage or civil), but the Anglican Church has a long way to catch up. Meanwhile, individual churches of other denominations (eg. URC) go ahead and allow marriages and blessings to all types of relationships.
  • Jemima the 9th
    The point I'm making is this.

    There are things about you, me, and other human beings which really simply 'are' - as per my examples of blue eyes, ginger hair, or a different ethnic appearance. Such examples are fairly clearly in one category for purposes of moral judgement.

    There are other things where there is at least the appearance that they are things that people decidedly 'do', and choose to do, and it is generally assumed that because of that 'choice to do' element such things are in a different moral category. And your own post seems to recognise that the urges/desires/feelings that lead to the action are not necessarily right just because they exist.

    It is certainly possible to hold a world-view in which the choice is considered illusory, only an appearance and not a reality, and it is considered that people have no more choice about what they 'do' than about what they 'are'. One of the troubles with this is that if it is followed through consistently it really has to be applied to everything - up to and including murder, theft, lying, etc as well as sexual conduct. Are you sure you want to go there??

    At this stage my point is that if a person's worldview does make that distinction whereby the things 'done' are in a different category to the things people truly just 'are', then 'doing' gay sex is clearly in the category of things people 'do', not the category of things that people just 'are', and it needs to be discussed in those terms, alongside the other things people do and choose and have responsibility for doing. If people are pretty much deliberately holding the discussion in the wrong category, then they're not having a fully true and valid discussion.

    Plus it is rather the point of a plural society that people are allowed to have different worldviews - heck, we even in this country allow people to believe in an established church! And those diverse views, and the deeds to which they lead, are in a plural society properly open to criticism in ways that blue eyes/ginger hair/ethnic differences are not.

    Slightly shifting the ground, on a previous thread where I tried to clarify this 'being/doing' distinction I received several replies setting out at considerable length what 'gay' people might do together - "a day in the life of a gay couple" or similar. And either explicitly or implicitly asking "And what's wrong with any of that?" As far as I can recall I basically never found anything in those replies that seemed biblically objectionable as perfectly proper activities for two people of the same sex.

    BUT - interestingly, these posts always left out one 'gay' act; the sex. And, Robert Armin, this is related to the 'definition of gay' issue. These massive areas of same-sex love and affection are often defined as 'gay' but to my mind and from the Bible are simply normal. It is the sexual act going against God's clearly stated 'male/female' creation which is in Christian/Biblical terms the problem.

    The other point to make is that coming at this from a broadly 'Anabaptist' position (though not originally from that tradition), I am very emphatic in saying that I don't want to coercively impose my views on society at large. Christians as I see it are supposed to be establishing a 'kingdom not of this world' of voluntary belief/faith, spread by persuasion not by military or legal compulsion. Contrary to what some people seemed to suggest above, I'm very aware of there being different views which even if I think them wrong, people are entitled to hold. Understanding society as plural is a major aspect of what Anabaptism is about.
  • Chorister's contribution cropped up while I was off-thread writing my last post. will now have to respond tomorrow....
  • @Steve Langton - the sex act isn't 'gay'. Anal sex isn't gay, cunnilingus isn't gay. It's why you're doing it with the person you're doing it with that might mean it's 'gay', but as it is, you're just engaging in a wilful and just-a-little-bit-obsessive category error. It's not a good look.
  • Yes, Langton seems to be saying that a penis up a man's arse is gay, and up a woman's arse, is not. For the love of God, who cares? Oh well, God does according to some.
  • You can't use logic to argue someone out of a position they arrived at without logic.

    Of course, even that is not a great description of Steve Langton's position in that he appears to believe his position is an open-and-shut case.

    To me, it seems like a strange thing to obsess over.

    Ignore them, get on with your own little life in your own little world where you probably never need to actually address the issue.

    Going on about it just makes you look idiotic at best.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited February 2020
    At this stage my point is that if a person's worldview does make that distinction whereby the things 'done' are in a different category to the things people truly just 'are', then 'doing' gay sex is clearly in the category of things people 'do', not the category of things that people just 'are', and it needs to be discussed in those terms, alongside the other things people do and choose and have responsibility for doing. If people are pretty much deliberately holding the discussion in the wrong category, then they're not having a fully true and valid discussion.

    OK.

    So, imagining that being gay and choosing to have sex is something a gay person would ‘do’ and could choose not to ‘do’.

    What then?

    There is no harm whatever done to anyone when two consenting, unattached women or men have sex together. So why shouldn’t they?

    Imagine the boot was on the other foot. You are heterosexual, you are attracted to women. Imagine that - for that reason alone - you are told to be lifelong celibate.

    Would you not ask ‘why’?

    Your reasons as to ‘why’ are dodgy, cruel, unkind and totally illogical. God is not is dodgy, cruel, unkind or totally illogical - or s/he’s a false god.

    Looks to me like you need to question your view of God - not where men happen to put their penis.
  • orfeoorfeo Suspended
    edited February 2020
    by Orfeo
    Precisely because male and female are physically different and complementary in nature, designed to become one flesh in a sexual way. Two men really can't do that because they don't have between them those complementary parts. They can in that area only do a rather questionable parody, not 'the exact same reason'. Likewise two women.

    I'm genuinely chuckling.

    You have an odd compound idea there, it's not clear whether you see "in nature" as simply meaning "in a sexual way", in which case you've pretty much reduced human relationships to sexual reproduction in exactly the way I was critiquing. But I'll be slightly generous and assume that's not what you meant.

    Any notion of complementarianism in terms of nature and personality, when prodded at, inevitably ends up with declarations of what men are like and what women are like that various members of a heterosexual audience find offensive. At this point homosexuals such as myself can just sit back and munch popcorn.

    And a notion of complementarianism that focuses entirely on whose genitalia go where just ends up being an argument that sex is solely about procreation. As to which, you can see how anteater is going on a different thread...

    I've been gone several years and your arguments don't seem to have changed one iota on this or some other subjects, nor have they become any more convincing.
  • I suppose lots of Christians accept "designed" as part of the argument. There are interesting arguments about the evolution of sexuality, when earlier life managed without it, but just think, without it, you'd be identical to your mum.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    @Steve Langton, you still haven't said what your definition of "gay" is. I think it would help this discussion if you could make that clear. (Also, I'm about to renew my membership of the Gay Club. If it turns out I no longer qualify I'll save my money.)
  • orfeoorfeo Suspended
    @Steve Langton, you still haven't said what your definition of "gay" is. I think it would help this discussion if you could make that clear. (Also, I'm about to renew my membership of the Gay Club. If it turns out I no longer qualify I'll save my money.)

    But then you'll miss out on your quarterly copy of the Gay Agenda.
  • This seems incendiary: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/04/c-of-e-sex-guidance-row-synod-member-calls-out-deep-hypocrisy

    I have no knowledge of the accuracy of these claims however if it turned out that people high up in the church were making and supporting these comments about marriage whilst simultaneously conducting illicit affairs and so on, then that would appear to be a major problem.

    If there is wider knowledge within the church that this is happening, that would presumably be even worse

    :scream:
  • orfeo wrote: »

    I'm genuinely chuckling....

    I am wondering what would happen if we really did allow 'nature' to guide our sexual behaviour. Perhaps, as per the salmon, the conjugal act should only be performed in the bed we were born in. Or like the male praying mantis, we men should accept the ultimate form of passion killer. Or should we procreate in an orgiastic threshing of limbs like frogs and toads?

    So much choice and so little time.
  • Spiders ...
  • Boogie wrote: »
    Spiders ...

    as I said, so little time :smiley:

    But yes, Mum festooning herself with baby spider eggs like a Christmas tree and then waiting for them to hatch and devour her :/
  • Yeasts are interesting. NSFW.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    @Steve Langton, you still haven't said what your definition of "gay" is. I think it would help this discussion if you could make that clear. (Also, I'm about to renew my membership of the Gay Club. If it turns out I no longer qualify I'll save my money.)

    But then you'll miss out on your quarterly copy of the Gay Agenda.

    This made me laugh out loud, and I thank you for it.
    It is certainly possible to hold a world-view in which the choice is considered illusory, only an appearance and not a reality, and it is considered that people have no more choice about what they 'do' than about what they 'are'. One of the troubles with this is that if it is followed through consistently it really has to be applied to everything - up to and including murder, theft, lying, etc as well as sexual conduct. Are you sure you want to go there??

    Well, I do think the idea of free will is overrated a bit, but no, I wouldn't want to go where you're suggesting. And I haven't suggested it, which leaves me slightly at a loss as to why you bring it up.

    Otherwise, DocTor has put it far better and more succinctly than I am able to, here:
    Doc Tor wrote: »
    @Steve Langton - the sex act isn't 'gay'. Anal sex isn't gay, cunnilingus isn't gay. It's why you're doing it with the person you're doing it with that might mean it's 'gay', but as it is, you're just engaging in a wilful and just-a-little-bit-obsessive category error. It's not a good look.

    I wouldn't be getting as involved with this discussion if you hadn't said "the Christian view of sex". Many, many, many Christians hold a different view to you - that much is evidenced by the endless rows in the CofE, the latest of which sparked this whole thread, and the differing views of Christians on the ship. And you can't get round it by saying "context, dude" either. Many Christians have studied what they consider the Bible has to say about sex & sexual relationships, including the context of the passages, and have arrived at a different conclusion.

    So your view simply isn't "the Christian view." It's the view of many Christians. But stating your view is the Christian view isn't a pronouncement you get to make, I think.
  • orfeo wrote: »

    I'm genuinely chuckling....

    I am wondering what would happen if we really did allow 'nature' to guide our sexual behaviour. Perhaps, as per the salmon, the conjugal act should only be performed in the bed we were born in. Or like the male praying mantis, we men should accept the ultimate form of passion killer. Or should we procreate in an orgiastic threshing of limbs like frogs and toads?

    So much choice and so little time.

    I think that hospitals might have something to say about that idea! (I doubt they'll still have the actual bed by the time anyone could lawfully marry though.)

  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    orfeo wrote: »
    @Steve Langton, you still haven't said what your definition of "gay" is. I think it would help this discussion if you could make that clear. (Also, I'm about to renew my membership of the Gay Club. If it turns out I no longer qualify I'll save my money.)

    But then you'll miss out on your quarterly copy of the Gay Agenda.

    And the next issue contains the last part of the Gay Agenda for World Domination!
  • orfeo wrote: »
    @Steve Langton, you still haven't said what your definition of "gay" is. I think it would help this discussion if you could make that clear. (Also, I'm about to renew my membership of the Gay Club. If it turns out I no longer qualify I'll save my money.)

    But then you'll miss out on your quarterly copy of the Gay Agenda.

    And the next issue contains the last part of the Gay Agenda for World Domination!

    Spoiler: it is explained through the medium of musical theatre.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    I was hoping for interior design, but musical theatre will do.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Hell Host, 8th Day Host, Glory
    I was hoping for interior design, but musical theatre will do.
    I was assuming it was opera, so we're even.

  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    I was hoping for interior design, but musical theatre will do.
    I was assuming it was opera, so we're even.

    You would, wouldn't you?

    I was showing a friend a photo of me and another guest taken at a party. I explained to friend that guest and I were animated because we were arguing about Madame Butterfly.
    My friend paused, and said, "Man, I thought you looked gay in the picture. You sounded it too."
  • orfeoorfeo Suspended
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    I was hoping for interior design, but musical theatre will do.
    I was assuming it was opera, so we're even.

    At this point I roared with laughter. There's about 6 posts I need to figure out how to cut and paste into a Quotes File narrative.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    orfeo wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    I was hoping for interior design, but musical theatre will do.
    I was assuming it was opera, so we're even.

    At this point I roared with laughter. There's about 6 posts I need to figure out how to cut and paste into a Quotes File narrative.

    Get a straight to do it for you. They're so clever with practical things.
  • orfeo wrote: »
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    I was hoping for interior design, but musical theatre will do.
    I was assuming it was opera, so we're even.

    At this point I roared with laughter. There's about 6 posts I need to figure out how to cut and paste into a Quotes File narrative.

    Get a straight to do it for you. They're so clever with practical things.

    Nah, it just looks that way 'cause we get our wives to do all the practical stuff.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    The latest issue of Private Eye makes some serious allegations about +David Urquhart, who has voted against same sex marriage. I don't want to spell this out, in case there are legal issues for the Ship, but he sounds worryingly hypocritical - if everything is as Eye suggests.
  • Lord Gnome is very well connected (and has good lawyers): if he has printed something in the Eye you can put your money on his being able to back it up.
  • Well if rumour is correct - and there have been many such allusions to such from both sides of the debate - then there's more Bishops whose living arrangements (whilst their own business), would startle some of their congregations.

    As for Birmingham, the Eye will have done its homework from all sorts of perspectives. It may be that the Bishop has his own cook living in ….
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Lord Gnome is very well connected (and has good lawyers): if he has printed something in the Eye you can put your money on his being able to back it up.
    Host hat on
    The Ship may or may not be well connected, but it certainly cannot afford even to think about lawyers. Please can shipmates be very careful to confine postings to admitted or established facts.

    Thank you
    Host hat off
    BroJames Purgatory Host
  • Lord Gnome has two allegations. One is an established fact and is confirmed here (basically, a report criticised him for mishandling a safeguarding issue). The other, if true, does not imply anything illegal, nor does it even necessarily imply that he breached the standards required by Issues in Human Sexuality (to put it coyly).
  • If you need to debate the limits (without detailing the allegations) to which we can go on the Ship, Styx is the place.

    Otherwise, please respect the Host post.

    Doc Tor
    SoF admin
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    This is why I was rather vague in my comment, which won't make sense to anyone who doesn't have a physical copy of the Eye in front of them.
  • Chorister's contribution cropped up while I was off-thread writing my last post. will now have to respond tomorrow....

    Still waiting....
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    BBC News - The 200-year-old diary that's rewriting gay history
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51385884

    Interesting article that shows attitudes in the past could be more tolerant than we often assume.
  • Robert ArminRobert Armin Shipmate, Glory
    Oh, and I'm still waiting for @Steve Langton to tell me if I'm gay or not. The suspense is killing.
  • Sorry Robert Armin and Chorister. Found myself facing lots of different challenges and needed to back off and work things out a bit before responding. Then for a bit also wasn't sure if the thread had kind of died anyway.

    The difficulty in responding to Robert Armin is that in a way there isn't a Christian 'definition' of the concept 'gay'. It is more that there is a Christian description of how sexuality is meant to be which excludes certain actions as inappropriate. And in turn this is not just about sexuality but part of wider issues.

    The quick version would be that people in general are meant to love people in general. And because we are physical beings in a physical universe there is and should be a considerable element of physical attraction and physical expression of those feelings. But sex as such is, as per Jesus' statement in Mark 10, emphatically for male with female and same-sex sex is in Christian terms never appropriate. As I've been trying to get across in other posts, what you call 'gay' is just not the same kind of 'just-being-with-no-choice thing as being blue-eyed/ginger-haired/ethnically-different but is in a different category about things people do and choose.

    It would probably require a quite detailed exposition of Romans 1 (as a whole not just the passage on sexuality) to make the wider point about 'sin'.

    Chorister, sorry but for now I think I'll have to put you off a bit longer while I deal with some of the other issues that have been chucked at me.
  • Just to deal with some of the more personal things that have been said by various people....

    'Obsession' Hmmmm....

    If anything the 'obsession' here is not about the sexual issue in itself but about the way wider issue of 'established religion' (not just Christianity!!) and about how as I read the Bible Christianity is not meant to be that kind of religion anyway. One of the problems produced by attempting established/state-religion Christianity is seen in the Anglican antics which inspired this thread.

    And basically, look, I watch the news and also read it, and read a lot more as well, and between the number of things to which established religion is relevant and the seriously life and death nature of many of those things, I'm inclined to the view that it is not that I'm unhealthily obsessed with the issue but that other people are nowhere near concerned enough. Just to pick a few points recently prominent as well as the issue of this thread, the several recent Islamic attacks in London, the issues between Israel and Palestine and the ways the USA and Europe try to intervene therein, the part played by the USA 'Religious Right' in 'Trumpton', the ongoing saga of IS; and there are many more.

    In terms of gay issues the problem was that an improperly established/state-church form of Christianity more or less inevitably criminalised many things which are wrong in Christian terms including 'gay sex'. And that in turn has distorted, complicated, exaggerated and exacerbated the whole issue. I'm trying to unravel that in ultimately I hope a constructive way that respects both the major worldviews involved.
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