Can a Leopard Change His Spots?

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Can a homosexual change his orientation?

I'm sure the homosexuals, socialists, and atheists will say, "No, it's impossible; he's either lying, or was never really homosexual."

"Jesus replied, 'What is impossible with men is possible with God.'" (Luke 18:27)

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78 Comments

Terry M said:

Interesting grouping of people in your post..As always, this has little to do with your god and your religion.

It is the sad story of one gay man who couldn't cope with his own reality. He is and will always be gay in his heart. We are born into ourselves and either deal with it well or not. Has nothing to do with religion. Throwing yourself into god or denying in public who you are might feel good or even right in the short term, but it is only a cover. The truth will out eventually.

Shame on you Jack for trying to make it more than it is.

Jack said:

So predictable, Terry. Thank you for proving my point.

Kevin said:

I particularly find fault with the statement, "But there is no homosexual 'desire' that is apart from lust"

Heteros should either be included or the statement should read "But there is no lust that is apart from lust".

Or one should say something like, "Homosexuals have desires outside of lust just like everyone else; the desire to have long healthy relationships, the desire to have a secure family, the desire to be respected by a partner, the desire to be respected by society. . ." etc. etc.

It's sort of a silly statement to make. Or self-loathing.

Barb said:

Being gay is not a choice, it is how God created some. Religion however is a choice, this poor individual had a choice, chose to go against his creator and believe a book written by man, not God. For that, he will always be living a lie. I hope someday all this religious intolerance towards others will go away. Hitler tried it and it didn't work. Let people live the life God created for them and stop pushing other believes onto them. For Gods sake.

Nina said:

Jack I don't know you but after reading many of your posts I find you to be a very arrogant, self absorbent man with a high level of intelligence. I'm not sure what happened to you in your life, maybe you, a child or yours, a close friend or relative realized he/she or even you were gay? What I am VERY certain of Jack, is that you're wasting your life preaching intolerance towards others, you're much, much too smart for that. Life is too short, love is too precious, don't waste anymore of it Jack.

Jack said:

"Being gay is not a choice, it is how God created some."

No, Barb, God created male and female. The rest are corruptions of God's creation.

Nina: "Self absorbent?" Never. "Self absorbed?" Maybe. Anyway, do not let your heart be troubled, I have many other things going on in my life.

Jack said:

Let me ask you something, Barb: if a man is homosexual, and he asks God to make him heterosexual, is it beyond God's power to do?

Kevin said:

Jack, you are saying some lust is worse or better than other lust.

Jack said:

When did I say that?

There are unproven statements of axiomatic positions here that conflict.

Jack states: there is a God who is capable of changing a persons very nature without proof. This is his axiomatic position. It is taken as true without proof; it is his world view, and therefore all other statements are filtered through it.

Terry M states: a person is born either heterosexual or homosexual without proof. This is his axiomatic position. It is taken as true without proof, it is his world view, and therefore all other statements are filtered through it.

Barb has stated two things: being gay is not a choice but how God created, and "a book written by man" (I take it she means penned by men) cannot be inerrant and infallible without proof.

Kevin has not explicitly stated an axiom, but did imply a definition: lust is any sexual desire, even the sexual desire of a man/woman for their wife/husband (respectively) and therefore implies an axiom that whatever standard to which a homosexual is held should also be the standard to which a heterosexual is held without proof. It is the filter he sees his world through.

Nina implies Jack is wrong in his world view. While she has not stated an axiom, she denies his world view could be true. The negation is without proof. It filters what her world view is.

Why is this so important? Because without seeing the axioms that we start with, we will be talking past each other, not to each other. At least that is what I saw in the posts so far.

One of my axiomatic viewpoints: if we are going to have logical discussion, we cannot do so with the expectation that the person to whom we are speaking is going to accept the axioms from which we base our world view. Neither can the person to whom we speak expect that we should abandon our world view.

For instance, (please note: this is just by way of example -- Barb, please do not take offense, none is intended) Barb believes the Bible is not God's word, and so concludes arguments from the Bible are probably worthless. She may have some basis for why she believes what she believes, but has not communicated the basis for her beliefs.

My second axiomatic viewpoint is directly contradictory to Barb's. She believes the Bible not to be God's word, I explicitly believe it is God's word. She might ask for proof that it is, but asking for proof for an axiom is nonsense from the standpoint of logic. Just as it is nonsense to try to refute an axiom (that is, prove it wrong).

There is no way (or need) to prove an axiom true. There is no way (or need) to prove an axiom false. Neither can be done, as the axioms are the basis for all proof.

Kevin said:

"When did I say that?"

Find me a story about hetero lust and learning how to pluck out ones own eye and then rant and rave about the issue for, oh, about a year and a half at least.

zimzo said:

Unfortunately, Brian, you fundamentally misunderstand what an axiom is. An axiom is a "a maxim widely accepted on its intrinsic merit, a statement accepted as true as the basis for argument or inference, an established rule or principle or a self-evident truth." None of the statements in this thread are self-evident or widely believed to be true or accpted as true by both sides of a debate as a basis for argument.

You can claim all you want that your belief that the Bible is the infallible word of God should not be subject to evidence or proof in order to make debate impossible, but you are essentially saying that you are uninterested in persuading anyone of your point of view or listening to anyone else's, which is certainly your perogative.

But the fact is there is plenty of evidence that the Bible was written by men. The text includes many contradictions and varies widely in style. Manuscripts have been discovered that contain numerous textual differences. Some of the books are attributed to historical figures, such as the letters of Paul, who does not claim (as Muhammad did, that he is merely writing down what God told him). Taking everything in the Bible as literal truth takes a certain amount of logical acrobatics as we have seen in yours and Jack's pained attempts to prove that homosexuality is a worse sin than heterosexual sins, based on strained interpretaions of a few vague passages.

The idea that people are born homosexual or heterosexual and cannot change is also not an axiom but there is quite a bit of evidence that it is more likely true than not. There are numerous studies demonstrating a genetic component to sexual orientation and no evidence that anyone has ever had their orientation changed. You are perfectly free to debate this evidence or provide contadictory evidence. That is what science is about.

Your attempt to proclaim what everyone's statements as axioms is really an attempt to cut off debate and discussion so that your own world view cannot be subjected to questioning. This is something Christians have been doing for centuries. They accepted as an axiom that the earth was the center of the universe and punished those who tried to prove otherwise. It is now widely accepted as true that the Church was wrong and that the earth revolves around the sun. Heliocentrism has become, to most people, an axiom.

With their constant fulminations against science, Fundamentalist Christians are trying to return us to the Dark Ages when the Church decreed what could and could not be accepted as fact. You are free to live that way if you want. But you'll have to drag me and most people kicking and screaming to a time when people were not free to use their own brains.

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

"Thank you for proving my point."

Sloppy logic, Jack. Terry "proved" no "point" of yours. You predicted a valid criticism of your theory. Then you suggested that because you predicted it should be discounted as valid. Sorry you are going to have to do better than that. If you are going to claim that Terry's point is invalid, you need to provide some sort of evidence.

Terry M said:

Brian,

Since I am a gay man and have dealt with that fact over the last several decades, yeah I do tend to believe my statements about gays are correct. I ought to know a little better than a straight person what it is like to be gay, no? That is one of the most frustrating things for me personally about reading these blogs...people who have no clue about gays trying to lecture me on who I am, what I feel, what I should believe, etc. Tend to your own life please.

Jack, can god change a gay man and make him straight if asked? Well, no, since there is no god. Makes me laugh though, cause that question does illustrate the basic flaw of your religion. All a house of cards. You have to believe in all the stories in the bible (which are pretty fantastic in a Harry Potter kind of way)to be a true believer. And if you question/dispute even one of those stories or fantasies, then you begin to question all of them and the whole sham comes falling down. Given most people's desire to fit into the majority, it is easy to accept fantasy as facts and almost a requirement to go after those who challenge that kind of blind faith. So you see, as long as we make belief in god the basis for every argument, we will never respect each other's opinions or agree on much else. How can we each not feel threatened. Though mine is a birth trait and yours is learned behavior..

Kinda sad though isn't it? If 98+% of America believes in god, why the need to beat up on the gays? Do ya get bonus points in heaven if you convert one? What happens when you get 100% to say they believe? Does it feel good to hurt people different from you. Why is it so important to you? Having a little crisis of faith yourself?

I'm not suggesting you should stop believing in your god(another area where we differ, you want to change me, I'm OK to let you alone with your bible) just asking that you stop trying to make it the basis for telling me and other gay folks how to live. Or worse, trying to pretend that it is real science and a model for secular law making.

john said:

i find the conjecture on choice interesting.

"well reverend you said you made the choice to be heterosexual" (as opposed to homosexuals who chose to be gay)

since we know that for there to be a choice, there has to be an equal attraction to either possibility. that being the case, when was that period of your life that you were to attracted men as well as women?

Jack said:

"Jack's pained attempts to prove that homosexuality is a worse sin than heterosexual sins...." -zimzo

Actually, zimzo, I was arguing the opposite, because divorce causes ANOTHER to sin. Please try to pay attention.

"With their constant fulminations against science, Fundamentalist Christians are trying to return us to the Dark Ages when the Church decreed what could and could not be accepted as fact. You are free to live that way if you want. But you'll have to drag me and most people kicking and screaming to a time when people were not free to use their own brains."

Then one would think you'd be on our side in the war against Islamic Terrorists. That is exactly what they want to do, and let me tell you, if they win, it will be far worse for the atheists and gays than for the Christians.


Troll, Terry has no evidence to support his claim that the man is lying. Thus, his point is invalid by defualt.

Terry, you deny the existance of God. Fine, but that does not prove your point. The issue before us is, "Can God change a man from homosexual to heterosexual?" Well, certainly people have changed their sexual orientation through prayer. If God does not exist (a foolish notion, but I'll humor those who hold it), then could not the BELIEF in God have the same effect?

I contend that a man CAN change. Ask a thug on the street whether he would bugger another man, and he'll say, "Hell, no." But when he gets thrown in jail.... Did he become a homosexual in jail, or was he just lying or mistaken when he said he was heterosexual?

When a man is a alcoholic, and gets himself sober to the point that he has no interest in a drink at all, is he lying when he says that he has no interest, of was he never really an alcoholic?

Why is it any different with a homosexual who gets to the point that he is no longer interested in other men?

Terry M said:

Jack, No doubt humans are able to claim most anything and link it to a belief in god or religion or any other "motivation". That still does not make it true. The man in question may be telling himself and the world that he no longer is sexually attracted to men, but yes he is lying to himself and the world to believe that he has really changed deep inside. As with most "ex-gays", this guy will eventually return to his roots, pun intended. Sad part is the longer it takes for him to come home, the higher the risk of emotional/mental damage for himself and others who try to follow his new path.

PS: I don't deny the existence of god, you can't deny what is not there. Believing in something that does not exists is what's foolish, yes? Or do you still believe in the easter bunny and santa claus as well?

BTW, try not to measure ALL gay men by my posts. Many consider themselves to still be religious and god-believers. I just CHOOSE not to be one. Frankly, a world with out any gods or religions and their followers would be a safer place...But that's going way off topic, isn't it? ;-)

Jack said:

"As with most "ex-gays", this guy will eventually return to his roots"

I assume you have scientific studies showing this. I'd like to see them.

Now, either God exists, or He does not. You can believe in Him, or not.

If God doesn't exist, and you believe in Him, you may be a fool, but a fool with lots of company, and no-one around to say, "I told you so," because there is no afterlife.

If God doesn't exist, and you don't believe in Him, then you are right, but don't have the opportunity to say, "I told you so," because there is no afterlife.

If God does exist, and you believe in Him, then you will be rewarded.

If God does exist, and you don't believe in Him, you're screwed.

Considering the risk-benefit analysis alone, it is very foolish indeed not to believe.

"Frankly, a world with out any gods or religions and their followers would be a safer place..."

The godless societies of the Soviet Union and China have killed how many millions? Right. Much safer.

anonymous for a reason said:

Just because we possess strong sexual attractions does not mean we have to act on them. It's a trade off. Perhaps some men would rather sacrifice a feeling of total sexual fantasy fulfillment in favor of a more socially conventional lifestyle. A belief that God is real and personal enables him to feel the strength of God's grace helping to dull the ache of desires unfulfilled. Many men with gay attractions do live successful lives in a heterosexual marriage: as the old saying goes, "Sex is like pizza. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good."

So is a godly heterosexual marriage, even in the most painful moments of gay (or adulterous straight) temptation.

stay puft said:

Brian, what you're saying is that we all believe what we believe and since these beliefs are rooted in the unprovable there's no point is arguing that anyone's beliefs are more or less valid?

you're alright, even though I think you deleted one of my comments

for example, Jack believes that if you ask god to change something's nature, God will do it (of course, that's because Jack is so full of it that in his world-view God is his personal bitch, but hey...)

this leads into Terry's comment that it doesn't matter because there is no god. Alright, but I don't think you have to be an atheist to believe that homosexuality is not immoral...

whereas Jack would argue that there's One Christian God and that it's our job to find the True path to him, the reality is that even monotheism has it's polytheistic tendencies. Every religion, every denomination, every church, Christian has his own concept of "God." Jack's is one example, but I also know gay Christians. So what? the question isn't "can god" but "why would god"

stay puft said:

"assume you have scientific studies showing this. I'd like to see them"

oh yeah, because you've brought so much data to the table on this particular issue

Jack said:

the question isn't "can god" but "why would god"

Luke 11:11-13
"11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

stay puft said:

right,

I'm asking god to turn every comment I've ever posted on this blog into $100 in my bank account. I'll let you know what happens.

Jack said:

Even if He did it, you would deny that He did it, and put it down to "bank error."

Terry M said:

Jack,

Final thoughts. So, one only has to say they believe in your god to avoid being screwed by said god?? Wouldn't he know I was lying and punish me anyway?? Since neither of the options can really be proved, isn't what you are doing is just following the crowd mentality of the majority who are too afraid (or lazy) to question generations of religious traditions and threats of damnation? So easy to believe what everyone tells you to believe, isn't it? "Like, dude, my mom told me we go to Hell if we don't buy into it, so why risk it?"

Isn't a religion that glorifies death via a fantasy afterlife kinda sick?? Or one that rewards and punishes people based on their level of blind faith and allegience? Yikes.

If I had to pick one, I guess I'd go with the god the Unitarians worship..the one that is loving and not so much into gay bashing. Don't imagine your god talks to that one..

Jack said:

Actually, Terry, no, I am not "following the majority." I spent many years studying the major religions of the world. Christianity is the only one that made sense.

FYI -- the Unitarians don't have a god, they have a teddy bear.

Kevin said:

"FYI -- the Unitarians don't have a god, they have a teddy bear."

Ha!

zimzo said:

"Then one would think you'd be on our side in the war against Islamic Terrorists. That is exactly what they want to do, and let me tell you, if they win, it will be far worse for the atheists and gays than for the Christians."

I am against the Islamic Terrorists, Jack. Why do you assume that everyone who doesn't agree with you is on the side of terrorists? I am against both the terrorists and you. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

Eric the 1/2 troll said:

"Troll, Terry has no evidence to support his claim that the man is lying. Thus, his point is invalid by defualt."

He presented as much evidence that the man is lying as you did that he is not. His point is therefore just as valid as your theory.

zimzo said:

Two news items that bear on this discussion:

The APA has announced that it is launching a study to examine the efficacy of gay "reparative" therapy.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20070710/gays-psychologists/

And the name of David Vitter, one of the leading sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment was found on a list of customers of the DC Madam. Isn't it amazing how many of the most virulently anti-gay politicians turn out to be such hypocrites.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/09/AR2007070902030.html?hpid=topnews

stay puft marshmallow man said:

oh, Jack; it didn't happen. The only explanation is that He doesn't have the power to do it...

...or could it be that this is what He intended? ...nah

zimzo,

I am a mathematician, I know what an axiom is -- you obviously are using a different and flawed meaning in the context. For your information, an axiom is an unproven statement that is accepted without proof (axioms and postulates are synonymous). You don't get to choose the definition of the word I use, and if you need help in understanding, you don't choose the definition that makes the least sense, you choose the one that makes the most sense.

"An axiom is a sentence or proposition that is not proved or demonstrated and is considered as obvious *or* as an initial necessary consensus for a theory building or acceptation. Therefore, it is taken for granted as true, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferencing other (theory dependent) truths."

Axioms are not proven, and the idea that one proves an axiom true or false is essentially silly.

Now, the only way to "prove" the Bible is not God's word is to say that there are other standards which could judge it. Those other standards would be the axioms of the world view of the person attempting to make that judgment. If, however, the Bible is God's word, it is not "in the box" but we are "in the box." (I'll give you it was penned by men, but that does not mean it was not God's direct inspiration.)

Now it isn't up to me (or you) to say that there are contradictions in the Bible. In fact, at any point you think there are contradictions, you by definition *must* be wrong in how you are interpreting either, or both passages.

As to homosexuality having a genetic component, that is not something I would argue one way or another. It doesn't matter. Why? There are numerous studies that show there is a genetic component to violent behavior -- it is irrelevant as to someone being a serial killer (which has a genetic component). Killing is wrong. An individuals behavior is what is being discussed as right or wrong. If we decide that being a homosexual is having that genetic predisposition, then we should just as well say being a violent criminal is having the genetic predisposition for violence. Either it is true across the spectrum of genetics, or it is not.

My stating what I saw as axioms was not to cut off discussion, but to allow discussion that is not just talking past each other. Discussion by people of differing world views can occur, but not if either side is unwilling to accept that the other side is both honest and logical in their statements. Give me the full set of axioms that a person believes and I can deduce for myself why he believes what he believes. If people insist on evaluating one person's statements through the filter of their own axioms, no real understanding can occur. It is only when people can look at the other person's axioms -- even if they reject those as not valid -- and what they conclude from that world view does understanding start to happen.

julie said:

Unfortunately prejudice and religious persecution will always remain, but with time society will become more educated and evolve Example: slavery and women's oppression were once endorsed by the Catholic Church­. How soom we forget!

Linda B. said:

Brian, I think most of us understood where you were coming from the first time around. But it's sweet of you to take the time to explain it to zim.

Nina said:

Right on Brian, you had me from the start but Zimo (no insult Zimo) needed a tad more...If he doesn't understand it from here, he's a lost from discussion

Jack said:

Zimzo:

It is good they are doing the study. But if it shows that the current therapies do not work well, would not the answer be to find therapies that DO work?

In any event, the study will not be applicable to Glatze, because he was cured by faith, not psychology.

Now, please explain how being a repentant sinner makes a supporter of the marriage amendment a hypocrite.

Troll, Glatze says that, through prayer, he was "healed" of his homosexuality. He had a prominent position as a gay-rights activist. What reason does he have to lie?

Terry, however, is gay. He has every reason to deny the possiblity of a cure, and so to accuse Glatze of lying. Glatze says, "Part of the homosexual agenda is getting people to stop considering that conversion is even a viable question to be asked, let alone whether or not it works."

(Are you, Terry, by any chance, from Virginia Beach? I have a gay friend named Terry down there. A friend of my sister's really -- they went to school together. If you are from Virginia Beach, did you get into an accident on I-64 going to see The Who?)

Terry,

If you read my post, it states clearly that what I believe is axiomatic -- it also states what you believe is axiomatic. What I believe is _not_ based on what I feel, but on what I see in the Bible. That is my base for filtering the world. That said, yes, I believe what you profess to be doing ("Since I am a gay man ..." implies homosexual activity) is morally wrong -- but that you also profess that you do not believe in God means that I have no reason or desire to judge you, or, as you put it "the need to beat up on the gays".

That does not however mean that you should be able to force the view that being homosexual is just one alternative, that it isn't abhorrent, or that it is just as valid as any other lifestyle. To do so would be your saying that I would have to conform to your world view -- it is just as intolerant of people to say they want to use the force of law to require people to accept homosexual behavior (intolerant of religious belief) as it is for people inside the church to outlaw homosexual behavior for those outside the church. I don't expect people to outlaw homosexual activity, but I also don't expect people to try to legislate acceptance of homosexuals by those inside the church as if the church's standards are unacceptable. If you want tolerance, you also have to give tolerance.

Now as to your stating that we should not attempt to use our world view to influence the laws of the land in which we live (or think that there can even be a contradiction between science and the Bible) that is where I see you stating that only your world view should be allowed to influence the laws. I'm sorry, but that is exactly what you accuse others of doing to you. Do you want to have the reverse applied? Let me at least attempt putting the shoe on the other foot ...

I'm not saying you should believe in God, (another area where we differ but I'm OK with letting you alone with your unbelief) just asking you stop trying to make it the basis for telling me and other religious folks how to live. Or worse, trying to pretend that it is real science and a model for secular law making.

That is almost exactly what you said (as nearly word for word with the axiomatic statements switched and the logical result as I think I could get). Is that what you would have me saying (which I have not said -- it was an exercise to show the same statements you made with the different starting point). If you would call that statement inflammatory, then isn't your statement just as inflammatory to those with a different world view? Are you not saying in essence, "shut up and put up with the way I view the world, don't think that the way you view the world is worth influence in the public arena."

I am curious -- do you really think that all people that believe in God are just stupid, unthinking, and duped? I'd say there are plenty of people that fit that bill. But the characterization you use is almost as if all people of faith are that way.

John,

What makes you think that a choice has to have equal attraction to to either possibility? Do you believe that murderers have no choice if there is an unequal attraction to the possibility of killing or not killing? If you do, then you would seem to be arguing that murder should not be against the law -- are you consistent in that view?

Jack,

It is a foolish thing to even posit that God does not exist. Not even for the sake of argument. The only universe that can exist is the one that God created. There is no possibility of anything else.

Stay puff,

While I did state that everyone has unproven (and unprovable) beliefs, I did not say that it was unprofitable to discuss what those things are. It is fairly pointless to argue them. From which set of axioms would you start? I certainly would not want to argue from a set of axioms that I believe do not reflect the metaphysical world. Discussion does not have to be argument. It can lead people to examine their own world view without changing it. It can lead to understanding another's world view without attempting to have them change.

I would argue that a panoply of monotheistic religions does not equal a polytheism in any case. Even if those differing monotheisms all claim to be the same "religion", if they are espouse truly different gods, then they are not the same religion. But I would also point out that just because two people differ on what they believe are the characteristics of God, does not mean that they actually worship two different beings -- there are several possibilities: one of the differing groups is correct and all others are wrong, but not so wrong that they worship a different god; the differences are not mutually exclusive and thus are just differing aspects of the same God; none of the groups has the correct view (all are wrong), but they still worship the same God.

The way you are arguing is as if people invent God -- what I would call an error -- the creature does not invent the creator.

Terry,

One does not manipulate God. What stay puft seems to think is that a loving father would give to a son what the son wants regardless of what is best for the son. My kids ask for ice cream ($100 bills) all the time. I don't give it to them. You cannot cast a magic spell on God. Your words will not move him.

That said, if you repent, turn from all your sin (regardless of what it is), believe and trust that Jesus died on the cross as taking the penalty you deserved and lived a perfect life to your credit, accept his right to sovereign rule over your life, then you would be saved. I believe that is true, but I could no more convince you of that than I could teach a rock to sing. You could no more do that unless God changed your nature than a rock could sing. Therefore I don't attempt to change your mind. Only God could do that.

zimzo said:

Apparently, Brian, you are so locked into your world view that you don't even understand how most people think. Most people are not mathematicians and they don't start off with a set of unproven or unprovable assumptions from which they develop theories. So for you to ask Puffy "From which set of axioms would you start?" is pretty comical and shows an almost absurd lack of understanding for human psychology that confirms the stereotypes most people have of mathematicians.

I (and I imagine Puffy, though I don't want to put words in his mouth) don't start out by accepting a set of unproven or unprovavble assumptions. We may have some assumptions, but those assumptions have been backed up by some evidence and are to some extent proven to our satisfaction. Until then, we retain an open mind, a concept that is apparently completely foreign to you.

None of the examples you provided of other people's arguments constitute unproven or unprovable assumptions. They are all conclusions people have arrived at based on observation, experience and historical evidence. You, however, take as your starting point the idea that the Bible is consistent and inerrant, something that on its face most people cannot accept and that even you seem to struggle with as you attempt to make sense of apparent contradictions. By stating that your belief in the inerrancy of the Bible is an "axiom" you think this negates your having subject your beliefs to any kind of scrutiny, which is fine, but it completely cuts off discussion. Those you are arguing with don't accept your "axiom" (meaning there is no consensus, which would be essential in mathematics) and are not asking you to accept their beliefs as axioms either because we are actually open to debate and discussion and could be persuaded to change our views if strong evidence were presented to contradict them. You cannot "deduce" what I think from my "axioms" because I have no axioms and any deduction you make would be just to stereotype me the way Jack does with people who don't agree with him (case in point: his belief that people who disagree with him must be on the side of Islamic terrorists).

So I refuse to play your game. If you prefer to avoid discussing what is in the Bible then don't use the Bible to try to persuade me because I don't believe it is inerrant and consistent based on my observation and evidence I have gathered studying the Bible.

As to homosexuality, you are free to believe it is abhorrent just as you are free to believe that Jews are misguided in not accepting Christ. But you cannot tell Jews or gays that they should be deny certain rights by this society because of who they are, such as the right to marry or not be discriminated against in the workplace. Murderers violate society's principles in that they kill people who don't want to be killed, which violates society's laws. Gays do not force people to become gay and Jews do not force people to become Jewish. All they want to do is to live their lives free of interference from people like you who judge them. That is something you are going to have to accept sooner or later.

Jack said:

Zimzo, I say you are on the side of the islamic terrorists because you have expressed your opposition to just about everything this country has done to combat them.

stay puft said:

I like your style, Brian.

It seems that the True Nature of the True God is beside the point when talking about the beliefs of people. In that sense, the panoply of conceptualizations of the Christian god form a sort of de facto polytheism.

Perhaps the axiom here is that people do create their gods. Indeed, a god's "power" derives from the people who believe in him, and if no one believes in a god that god effectively ceases to be. What sway does Zeus hold over today's world, compared to the Christian God, or Allah?

but I wasn't using the word "argument" in the contentious sense, and I agree that attempting to understand different world-views is crucial in todays world more than ever.

back to the various concepts of God, the key is to embrace this fact, and to exploit it as a strength, rather than becoming divided over it.

The "argument" becomes contentious when people start trying to institutionalize a particular set of axiomatic beliefs. Rather than saying, "since we're discussing things which cannot be proven, we must ultimately accept each other's views" it's, "we can never REally prove it, but our beliefs are closer to some Objective Truth (which is itself an axiom) than are any others, so our beliefs should form the basis of policy."

a Jackist would argue that democracy is the power of the majority to impose it's beliefs on the minority. But the spirit of democracy is freedom, and safeguarding against oppression of any kind. Sure, in a democracy the majority does have that power, but it seems more of a "side effect" of the system rather than it's true aim and spirit.

Terry M said:

Dear Jack

Find it very hard to believe that you would have any gay friends. But sounds like your sister might be cool. I'm not the Va Beach gay Terry. I live in NOVA.

PS: Not looking for a cure since there is nothing wrong with me. Thanks.

Terry M said:

Brian, Jack, etc.

I remember now how you all hate to answer direct questions..you'd think after the amendment wars last year I'd have my fill of this place. Frankly I thought you all had moved on to demeaning Hispanic day workers.

But just to clarify, gay folks primarily want to be left alone, from anti-gay laws, from "well meaning" church folks with a "cure". We do not need saving, we did not ask to be saved. Any gay rights movement out there is a defensive reaction to, not an attack on, straight society.

That is the difference you see. We do not seek to stop you from believing in your god and and making rules in your church. But we do expect you to not try to spill over the church wall and force those religious laws into our shared government. We need to learn how to co-exist, not convert one another. Show me one example of where gays passed a law to restrict or dilute the rights of church going straight people?? This is clearly a one-sided war on your part. A war you will lose in the long run, but unfortunately for rest of us, a pain in the ass until then. And not in the good way... ;-)

Jack said:

"Find it very hard to believe...."

That seems to be the way with you, isn't it?

"But just to clarify, gay folks primarily want to be left alone..."

No, that's a lie. "Gay folks" sued the Boy Scouts, challenging their freedom of religion and association. "Gay folks" want their opinions taught in schools a "facts." "Gay folks" will sue Christian schools who expel homosexuals. "Gay folks" will sue religious charities that do not want to hire them or give their "spouse" benefits. "Gay folks" will sue private employers who do not want to hire them -- essentially denying those employers the right to excercise their religion and freedom of association.

stay puft said:

say it loud, Terry!

Jack, considering Terry's comment that the Gay Rights movement is a defensive reaction to anti-gay, your statement about gays suing groups that, "expel homosexuals," or "do not want to hire them or give their "spouse" benefits" is ...interesting

In all seriousness, do you support an employer's right not to hire black people or give benefits to an employee's spouse if s/he has green eyes?

If so, why do you believe that it's important or necessary for an employer to have no such "restrictions"?

Jack said:

"[Do] you support an employer's right not to hire black people or give benefits to an employee's spouse if s/he has green eyes?"

Absolutely.

"If so, why do you believe that it's important or necessary for an employer to have no such 'restrictions'?"

Sorry, but this doesn't seem to follow from the first question. Could you rephrase it?

Terry M said:

Damn straight gay folks sued in reaction to all of those groups trying to discriminate while accepting from public money or services. Notice how in every case you mention, there was an anti-gay bias by the accused which proves my earlier point. What, you think we should just stand by and let you people run all over us?? There is that thin line between church and state and private clubs and we expect to be free from state sponsored or supported discrimination. Damn that Constitution!

Frankly I don't care if you sacrifice chickens or bar all gays from entering your church, just don't expect to then turn around and use Government owned land for campouts or accept Federal grants for your programs, etc. And those school sex-ed programs are voted on by the PUBLIC school boards with parent and taxpayer input, not gay law suits. Christians do not own the governemnt just because there are more of you. Even Jesus has to follow the rule of law, no?

Nice to read you again Stay Puft!! Though I think my work here is done for now. I have to get back to my recruitment duties, almost have enough points for an I-Phone.

Jack said:

I don't see what the problem is. You can use government-owned campgrounds for your gay campouts, too. Sounds fair to me.

The vaunted "tolerance" of the left seems to go only one way -- yours.

stay puft said:

Jack,

You're saying that an employer should have the right to, for example, not hire a black person (because they are black), or say, "I'm not going to pay for your wife's coverage because I don't like the way she looks"

I'm asking, why do you think it's necessary or important to preserve this right?

One can imagine how discriminatory hiring practices could be harmful to society. Why should society allow an employer to discriminate in this way?

Jack said:

"I'm asking, why do you think it's necessary or important to preserve this right?"

Ah, OK. The first time I thought you meant restrictions OF the employers, not restrictions ON the employer.

My answer is freedom. Freedom of religion and freedom of association. Yes, in some cases it comes down to the freedom to be an asshole. But you are free to avoid that business, or to boycott that business. You are free to take out a full-page ad in a paper that says, "Bob's Widget Co. refuses to hire men whose wives have green eyes."

If you take away that right, you take away his right to freedom of religion and association. That is a greater threat to society.

stay puft said:

OK, I see.

I'm not sure, but I don't think the constitution is explicit about "right to association" and that it's been most typically used in the past to mean the right to speak in groups (ie. unions, demonstrations...)

I suppose an employer could argue that it's against his religion to provide work to homosexuals. But in that case, isn't he still free to practice his religious views by finding a job in which he is not responsible for hiring people?

re: your response to Terry:

I think he's saying that groups that get federal funds should not be allowed to discriminate

Is this not the same argument that was used against affirmative action programs in public universities?

Jack said:

"I suppose an employer could argue that it's against his religion to provide work to homosexuals. But in that case, isn't he still free to practice his religious views by finding a job in which he is not responsible for hiring people?"

We're talking about business owners, here, not employees.

"Is this not the same argument that was used against affirmative action programs in public universities?"

Public universities are public. We're talking about private institutions.

stay puft marshmallow man said:

oh, I was talking about people who hire people. It's a problem if this discrimination is institutionalized in the hiring practices of huge corporations.

it's also a problem if they exist within small businesses, although it's always going to be easier for small businesses to find ways around anti-discrimination laws. They can claim that they didn't hire the green-eyed girl for some other reason.

...that's not to say that such laws shouldn't exist. It seems like all that can come from this kind of discrimination is social division. It's in society's interest to prevent that, kind of like not yelling "fire!" in a theater. Does it really infringe on someone's religious views to provide work for someone with different views?

public universities receive a portion of their funding from public sources. Is the same not also true of the Boy Scouts?

Jack said:

I do not think it would be an issue in large corporations, because the stockholders would not allow it.

Yelling "fire!" in a theater is perfectly legal if there IS a fire.

"Does it really infringe on someone's religious views to provide work for someone with different views?"

It may. It can certainly infringe on their views if they are forced to provide benefits for same-sex "spouses." Similarly, the requirement to provide abortion coverage may infringe on their beliefs. But do you not think that an abortion is guaranteed by the constitution?

I do not know of any public funding for the Boy Scouts.

Betty Black said:

Is this site sponsored by the KKK?

The KKK put in a bid but we determined them to be posers.

Jack said:

No, but Robert Byrd is!

jacob said:

The BSA _is_ a privately funded institution.

Chris said:

I believe that everyone can have their view point but upon reading some of these view points, it makes me increasing weery of stepping out of my shell. As a gay man, I believe that I have not choosen to be in a relationships to be persecuted every day of my life. If this was a choice, why would I choose it? I respect others for their opinions and do not try to sway anyone in their thoughts but if I am able just to receive less persecution with the life God gave me. I am a spiritual person and raised in a Christian home. The Dalai Lama has stated that the one thing that crosses all religions is the fact that love, compassion, caring are areas that span everyone's life. Therefore, those who have so eloquently spoken here, I have compassion for your opinion and respect you because of that. But please let it be known, that most gay men and lesbian woman do not choose to be the way we were made. God is my savior and I believe that I too will see each one of you in heaven. Have a wonderful day!

Jack said:

"the life God gave me"

Are you trying to say that GOD made you gay? Sorry, but that is just not biblically supportable.

You may not have chosen to be homosexual, but you DO choose to have sexual relationships.

Betty Black said:

Jack yes, no matter how much you DONT want to believe that, he does make some people gay. Wake up and stop living in your small world.

Jack said:

Sorry, Betty, but God made male and female. All else is a corruption of His intention. I have a very long comment on the Equality Loudoun site that explains this biblically: http://www.equalityloudoun.org/2007/06/27/what-to-do-with-bullies

It's the next-to last comment, but you may want to read the whole page, rather than just jumping to the end. If you would like to discuss it, just say the word, and I'll repost it here.

Kevin said:

"Sorry, Betty, but God made male and female." Hopefully, even though Betty hasn't been commenting here very long, she's been reading for a while and knows that you have been previously instructed in the difference between gender and sexuality.

Jack said:

Yes, gender is a grammatical term that refers to how nouns are transformed for different case, such as nominative, accuative, genative, etc.

Sexuality is a biological trait.

ACTivist said:

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply,.." Genesis 1:27, 28

He made all living things male and female (as either seperate entities or as a unit) so that all living things could multiply. That is the whole purpose for all living things.

Darwin studied nature and he says that all things evolved (microbes from the sea, I believe).

One thing that seems to be clear as far as similarities between nature and God; that homosexual nature is "queer" to both. That is why that word is used because it is NOT of the norm. Knowing that it is an abomination from either viewpoint should kind of give you a clue that something is amiss.

Betty seems to think that God has made homosexual people. Sorry but that just ain't so. The animal kingdom (for the most part but not totally) doesn't put up with homosexual activities (they know something we don't?) either. Yes, they will be discriminated in both beliefs (God and Darwin) because it is not normal.

The essence of male and female of a species is to MULTIPLY! If we did not multiply then everything would become extinct. Scientists are experimenting with ways to turn pests homosexual so that they will become extinct. That said, it doesn't appear that it would be a learned behavior since I don't know anybody who can talk to bugs and get a legitamate answer.

It would appear that homosexual behavior in man (includes women. Man was the collective term of old) is either;
1. a learned behavior that can be changed, or
2. a short circuit.

God made us perfect in the beginning. That is what God professed to have done. Since that time, man has produced on his own and is a subject of the environment that he has created. That is why we have genetic defects and diseases. That wasn't God's doing. Man did that for himself. All God gives is the soul for the flesh. I don't think a retarded individual wants to be retarded but they do learn. And they can know right from wrong. People need guidance to start the learning process so that they may continue on their own. That doesn't mean we don't need help and support along the way. First things learned are usually the difference between right and wrong.

Now comes the good part; free will! God gave that to us also so that we can figure out our own lives. What he wants and expects is for each person to exercise that free will on their own for His sake. What Jack is trying to tell you is that you can believe whatever you want to believe and if God is not your thing, well, so be it. But it will always be better to believe in God and do His bidding.

God is kind and the world cannot exist without Him. If you had your "positive proof" that he didn't exist their would exist riots and mayhem and a very short existance. God is the wildcard that holds it all together. If you don't believe, die, and then find that He exists-damnation to you (or as Jack says "your screwed"). If you believe, die, and find that He doesn't exists, what have you lost or really given up. And why would it matter since their would be no afterlife? He does exist and I will hang by His thread all my life. It's well worth it.

Betty Black said:

the bible - blah blah blah blah blah - it was written by man not God, preach all you want, quote all you want, deny all you want - the bible is for the weak, the weak who can't or don't want to think on their own. I choose to use the brain God gave me, not a book man wrote for me.

jacob said:

Betty,
Agustine, Aquinas , Calvin, Edwards, and Wilberforce are weak and can't think? As opposed to whom? Noted towering intellects of the 20th century like Chomsky and Shirley MacLaine? I know, Rousseau, maybe you will hold him in esteem, nope he was not an atheist either.

Good luck Betty, for blatant denial is not an argument. BTW, 'blah blah blah ..." is not much of a convincing argument either.

Have you actually read the Bible? I find it useful to research the positions and documents of those whom I disagree with. Maybe you should take a foray into the oppositions camp.

stay puft said:

are you arguing about the divinity of the bible?

maybe it is, but I'm leaning toward the bhagavad-gita as the true inspired word of G-d. It's got the same basic motifs, but without all the rape, murder, incest, torture, and polygamy. ...doesn't give me nightmares.

" Even if the most sinful person resolves to worship Me with single-minded loving devotion, such a person must be regarded as a saint because of making the right resolution. (9.30)

Such a person soon becomes righteous and attains everlasting peace. Be aware, O Arjuna, that My devotee never falls down. (9.31) "

see, it's just as good, if not better.

Betty Black said:

I believe in a God, just not your God. My God loves all, doesn’t discriminate, judge or puts fear into people. My God, is all about love. Life is that simple, you should try it. "

Jeff S said:

So you don’t want to hear the "truth", therefore you read from a book written by “MAN” thousands of years ago? the same time when "MAN" wrote about the earth being flat, the gods creating thunder - and women being subservient? I think that "book" is a little out of date. I’m sure you'll come up with some sort of a come back that will continue to prove my point. Listen and learn what we know TODAY and stop living by words written long ago.

jacob said:

Jeff,
the heart of man has not changed a wit. the toys mankind has available for the killing of his fellow man have gotten better. but the nature of man has not change at all.

Jeff S said:

The brain as evolved over time – therefore we can now think and comprehend a lot more than we could thousands of years ago. The heart is an organ, that too has developed like the rest of man. Look how much we have evolved as a species since the bible was written and how much more we understand and know now. Very little if anything is still used from that time period, we should all learn from that - I and many have, you should too.

Jack said:

Our brains and bodies are no different than they were 10,000 years ago. Technology has changed -- we have not.

Jeff S said:

You’re proving my point by that response.

jacob said:

Jeff S.,
When I say the 'heart' I mean emotions and impulses that are inherent in man. I thought that was quiet obvious. You have managed to miss the mark anyway so I will spell it out for you.

Pride, envy, lust, greed, hate, love, generosity, passion, satisfaction and humility. It is these things (and more like them) that make up our hearts. These things have not changed one bit form the days we tended sheep and hunted deer.

the book you dismiss, the Bible, discusses these drivers that at length. You dismiss the Bible because it is 'dated'. Why is it dated, because we drive SUV's? Because instead of swords we now wield guns and nukes? Humans are no smarter now than they were then, especially when it comes to human nature.

We have more technical knowledge, but do not confuse technical ignorance with social stupidity. We also have more TV, games etc. This only causes us to become dumber socially.

That book is about the human condition. That condition is not impacted by our technology. That condition is a function of what drives us. We want, we fear, we covet, we care for, we imagine. That has not changed since Cain was jealous of Able.

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