Thursday, January 20, 2005

Free Car!!!

In an effort to make amends with any proponents of the "traditional definition of marriage" (to clarify: Not the "traditional" definition in the biblical sense of having multiple wives, or not the 19th century "traditional" definition in the sense of a man's wife being property, or not the early 20th century "traditional" definition where inter-racial marriages were banned...what I'm referring to is the "traditional" definition of marriage circa-2002) this site may have offended, I’m launching a brand new contest!

It’s the first annual “Know your Obscure Biblical Passages on what Constitutes a Sin” contest. Given recent comments by certain Calgary clerics, I’m offering up a FREE CAR to the first reader who can send in a biblical quote where Jesus condemns homosexuality! That’s right, this car could be yours!

Any passage in the New Testament will do! This is your chance to put those mornings in Sunday school to use! Enter now! Not only will you be driving off in an expensive car but you will be explaining the justification used by many in the Catholic Church to oppose same-sex marriage.

38 Comments:

  • wow, an enforceable unilateral contract offer. Someone better find the quote so CG can pay up

    By Blogger iloveLaP, at 6:25 PM  

  • Mark 10:6-7 Reads: 6 But from the beginning of creation, "God made them male and female.' 7 "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, F89 8 and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

    And like unto it:

    Matthew 19: 4-6 reads: 4 [Jesus] answered, "Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning "made them male and female,' 5 and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh.

    While agree with you that the bible doesn't have a "traditional" understanding of marriage that we, as 21st Century western people could not stomach, these passages assume that Jesus had a "one man - one woman" understanding of marriage.

    But I think the issue is larger than "what Jesus says." As a Lutheran pastor, I am bound to a certain hermenutical key to interpret scripture ("law vs gospel"). I see same-sex unions as a social justice issue/freedom issue. While Jesus "may" not have endorsed same-sex marriage (these passages notwithstanding), the bigger issue for him would have been how we treat "outcasts and sinners." Jesus seemed to have a soft spot for folks condemned by official church authorities, and saved his harshed words for self-righteous religious leaders. I think, even if Jesus couldn't sanction same-sex unions, he'd be even more appalled by the hate-filled vitriol being spat at sexual minorities.

    You can keep your car.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 11:53 AM  

  • I think a more relevant thing for Calgrit to be asking people is: What does Stephe nHarper read in the current same-sex marriage rights act that suggests to him that polygamy will be next on the agenda for the Liberals to legalize.

    Does Harper really want to use that argument as his crux for attacking this legislation? I know of people here I talk to that oppose the legislation on moral grounds or on principle.. and they are appalled that Harper would attempt to use this fear-mongering tactic; its totally ridiculous.

    By Blogger Scott Tribe, at 12:18 PM  

  • Thanks for posting Kevin. Those biblical verses do imply Jesus was for traditional marriage (but I can't imagine anyone even possibly suggesting SSM 2000 years ago) but they're definitely not anti-gay. I was actually trying to get at what you're saying - there's a lot more in the Bible about helping the disadvantaged, treating everyone equally, and recognizing love, than the few toss-away anti-gay lines in Leviticus.

    Jim Wallace was on the Daily Show this week plugging a book on religion in politics. His comment was basically that there are 3000 lines in the Bible about helping those in poverty, yet for some reason the religious groups dwell on stuff like SSM and abortion. I've never really understood why the fanatical Christians gravitate more to the right than the left. When I read the Bible, I see Jesus as a being a socialist and "radically left" for his time period.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 5:16 PM  

  • For my rant on Bishop Fred and the gang see
    Make the bigots pay! Tax the Churches!
    And the mosques, temples, synagogues, etc.
    http://plawiuk.blogspot.com/
    Ok it's a shameless plug.

    By Blogger eugene plawiuk, at 10:54 AM  

  • The polygamy angle wasn't started by Harper, it was started by a federal government department called "Status of Women", which is researching polygamy, and specifically whether religious groups with practice it could claim that polygamy is their Charter right.

    http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/funding/prfcfp-050110_e.html

    When this research came to light, it raised the possibility that instituting same-sex marriage as a Charter right could create a legal precedent for making polygamy a Charter right, which triggered media attention and got Canada's politicians talking about it.

    By Blogger The Invisible Hand, at 11:16 AM  

  • Wallis has been going around evangelical churches for about 25 years with a bible with all the pages about poverty and wealth torn out saying, "This is the bible we're reading! Shame!" He's absolutely right. I've a got a few books of his on my shelf and he's always been a faithful interpreter if scripture and a challenge to the power-hungry, wealthy Christians who's beliefs and lifestyle in no way reflect the life of the poor man from Nazareth. Wallis was excellent on Jon Stewart. I stayed up late to watch it.

    But to clarify: I am wholly supportive of same-sex marriages. But when people say "Jesus never spoke of the issue," I have to slightly disagree. It's true that neither Jesus, nor Paul, nor anyone else in first century Palestine (or the world) would have conceived of same-sex unions. But that doesn't mean that their ethical framework couldn't be applied. If ethics only flow from current lived experienced, then the bible has nothing to say about anything; including issues of poverty, racism, the environment, etc.

    As a Christian and as pastor, of course I believe that the bible confesses and proclaims the gospel of freedom and salvation, but this does not mean that it is a rule book for living (in fact Lutherans reject that notion) or a set of timeless truths. The bible is a proclamation of God revealed to Israel (Old Testament) and then in Jesus Christ (New Testament), and meant for the covenant people only, not to be imposed as law on unsuspecting peoples.

    Sorry for the theological lecture, but my denomination (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) has been batting this issue around for years and will probably vote on blessing same-sex unions at our convention in July.

    Kevin
    kevingpowell.blogspot.com

    By Blogger Kevin, at 11:36 AM  

  • Kevin,

    As a former Christian (evenagelical, even), I appreciate your reasoned interpretation of the scriptures. Even if the texts held any authority for me, they can provide insights, "life lessons" and perspective.

    If SSM were as big a "sin" as the right-wing, wannabee Christian right contends, I doubt Jesus would have omitted its condemnation and that of gay relationships. It would be a colossal omission.

    WeeDram

    (former Campus Crusade for Christ of Canada staff member)

    By Blogger WeeDram, at 5:35 PM  

  • Just to play devil's advocate (not sure if the expression is a propos or not), why the arbitrary distinction between new and old testaments?

    By Blogger matt, at 10:04 AM  

  • Kevin; Well argued and well said. I agree with you completely regarding the Bible.

    Matt; As for New Testament/Old Testament...well, it's slightly arbitrary but the New Testament is more modern and, because it speaks of Jesus, it's what really defines Christianity. Most people agree there's a major difference between the vengeful God of the old testament and the more forgiving/loving God of the new testament. And I find it hard to put to put much stock in opinions of gays from Leviticus, when that chapter also condemns shellfish and clothes made of multiple fabrics.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 11:15 PM  

  • This issue is not just a christian one. While Jesus most certainly did not abrogate any laws pertaining to the union of one man and one women and in fact reinforced it. All of the world religions maintain the same laws of union. Judaism, Hinduism, Budhism Christianity, Islam, Sihkism, and the Bahai Faith, all uphold the one man,one women, law of marriage. It is one area that unifies all of them.

    You may feel it is alright to be critical of the old testament. I doubt you would do the same to the Qur'an or the Rig Veda of Hinduism or the Kitabbi Aqdas, the newest testament to humanity.

    By Blogger Derek Richards, at 12:27 AM  

  • I suppose someone ought to give the party - er... Vatican line.

    "Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2351)

    The Church bases this statement (and its authority) on the Bible AND what is called Tradition. Tradition is the oral law passed down by the apostles directly and added to over the years, much as the Oral Torah (recorded in the Talmud) explains and expands on the written Torah revealed on Sinai to Moses, the basis of the Jewish faith.

    Whether you believe this statement from the Catechism or not, the Catholic church has built a remarkably consistent sexual ethic based on it. No birth control. No masturbation. No pre-marital sex. No extra-marital sex. No homosexual activity. If the sexual activity is not "open to procreation" the Church considers the activity immoral.

    They are not harsher on gays than they are on wankers. To the Church, both activities are equally immoral (of course no one is suggesting that the State issue masturbation licenses, which is probably the way the Fred Henrys of this world see the gay marriage issue).

    The Church is in no way being hypocritical. On the contrary, it is completely internally consistent. It is loving its gay neighbour (Jesus' command in the New Testament) by trying to lead him/her away from sin and thus save his/her soul. It is trying to prevent Canadian society from legalizing what it sees as a sinful thing.

    I'm not sure where I stand on the subject - I'm not gay, it doesn't affect me personally. I am a married catholic, and I certainly don't feel that same-sex marriage will be any kind of insult to my marriage. I don't really get why the gay community wants marriage (as opposed to civil unions). Since when is marriage a legal right for every citizen? People have always had to qualify - age, marital status, blood tests, nationality, residence.

    I will say this: the Church has not changed its view on sex in 2000 years, and I doubt it ever will. They are consistent. They believe they are the keepers of God's word, and that they would be betraying God by failing to defend it.

    So is it ok to bash the Church for sticking to its guns and trying to persuade the government to legalize their morality? Is it different from the GLBT community trying to persuade the government to legalize their morality? Just a thought. Bashing Henry is still ok, his statement was idiotic. ;-)

    As for the polygamy question, Harper may not be so far off: the town of Bountiful in BC is full of polygamists (or is it just one or 2 polygamists and a whole lotta wives?), and the RCMP is apparently not very keen to go in and charge them for fear of a Charter challenge to freedom of religion. It could happen.

    Please note, I'm not saying that I think the Vatican is right about all of these things, just that I think you ought to know WHAT it is that they are trying to do. Please don't shoot the messenger. ;-)

    By Blogger Talmida, at 10:56 AM  

  • Do you believe Queen Elizabeth II, "Defender of the Faith", will enact legislation that is contrary to the Christian faith?

    According to the Christian faith, marriage is honourable in all (Hebrews 13:4) whereas homosexual relationships (Romans 1:26-27) are not honourable.

    Also, "he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please [his] wife" and "she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please [her] husband" (1 Corinthians 7:33-34).

    The Lawful Definition of Marriage in Canada
    http://www.ocii.com/~dpwozney/marriage.htm

    By Blogger David Wozney, at 10:10 PM  

  • I think there is more to the story than simply religion, because many people who are NOT religious are opposed to the definition of marriage being applied to same-sex couples. If we could get around the finger pointing (from both sides) we could decide where the real issue is. First, gay couples are not demanding equal rights...so let's stop pretending they are. If equality was all they wanted then a civil union would be perfectly acceptable. The same for opponents who cite religious texts. Gay couples are DEMANDING that society recognize homosexual unions as being EQUAL IN VALUE TO SOCIETY as hetrosexual unions that traditional result in children, and hence the next generation of society. I can understand homosexuals wanting this recognition, but the fact remains, a lot of people are uncomfortable, and indeed deeply offended, by the idea that two men engaging in anal sex is on the same level as a man and woman having and raising kids together. Until people start discussing the REAL issue.....squeamishness over homosexual acts, there will be no satisfaction.
    That being said.....I think the only marriage one should be concerned about is their own. For the religious opponents of same sex marriage, they should take satisfaction that their GOD will recognize those who obey His word (on marriage) and punish those who they think God opposes.
    Other than that........the issue never would have arisen if it were not for the Gomery Inquiry. Chretian charged the judge with bias so he had a "fall back" position when his corruption came to light, and Martin is doing the same thing. Chretian testifies on Tuesday, and Martin in the week following. What better way to divert attention away from Liberal corruption, than to throw a non-issue (in my opinion) such as same sex marriage to the public. If voters are too busy chewing on same-sex marriage, they won't pay attention when Judge Gomery reveals the names of the LIberals who have been lining their pockets at our expense.

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