Are your moral objections principled?

I was listening to a morning radio show which included a segment called ‘Six on Sex’.  Ordinarily, a contestant (usually a young girl) is asked six very personal questions about her sex life while her father is listens to his daughter’s exploits.  If he can make it through all six questions and answers without hanging up, she wins a prize.   Rather than a young girl on this particular day, it was a young gay man.

A few things stood out to me.  Oddly, through out the call, the father sounded eager about hearing about his son’s sex life.  He made sure to constantly tell his son how much he loved him and supports him and his sexuality.  Though it was subtle, there was a sense that the father was trying to convince his son that he supported him as enthusiastically as he projected.  Then toward the end of the call, the father confessed that he used to be “really anti-gay” but after his son came out, he changed his mind.  Do you oppose same sex marriage or think homosexuality is morally wrong?  Would you change your mind if someone close to you told you they were gay?  Maybe or many not.  But a lot of people do, like the father from the call.

This isn’t uncommon.  Often when someone’s child tells their parents they’re gay, maybe not immediately, they change their tune and suddenly they no longer fells that homosexuality is morally wrong.  But what changed, what’s different?  Just because now it’s your child who says they’re gay, it’s no longer immoral?

I’ve been asked this before by others and even my own daughter.  I explain that my view on the issue doesn’t change.  It’s still morally wrong no matter who claims it as their identity.  And why should it?  If you hold that homosexual sexual relationships are immoral for principled reasons, then it shouldn’t matter who ‘comes out’.    I would suggest that if that factor alone changes your mind then you didn’t hold a principled objection, rather,  it was a personal one.

The same goes for abortion.  Usually, though, defenders of abortion frame the scenario to ask if I’d support abortion if my daughter or wife was raped or believed they “needed” an abortion.  My answer still doesn’t change.  We don’t take the lives of innocent human beings simply because one of their parents is a criminal.  Sure, half the child is the rapist’s, but the other half is your daughter’s — and it’s my whole grandchild.

This really applies to any moral issue.  And I think it happens more than we notice.  We think certain things are wrong when someone else does them, but for ourselves, there’s some justification as to why we (or someone close) is given a pass.  If we hold our moral convictions for principled reasons, and not just superficial matters of taste or preference, then someone close to us engaging in that immoral behavior doesn’t change anything.

Comments

  1. paynehollow says:

    Hang on a second… There’s a game show where they ask a “young girl” about her sex habits? WHILE her father listens? To what end?? Who does this?? Define “young girl…” This sounds horribly unhealthy and exploitative.

    To your question…

    It’s still morally wrong no matter who claims it as their identity. And why should it?

    In my experience of ~30+ years in the conservative Christian world, oftentimes, conservative/fundamentalist types are under the presumption that there is no such thing as a Christian who happens to be gay or lesbian. IF someone begins a sentence with, “As a gay Christian, I…” many conservative Christians would object right away. It’s just a contradiction in terms for many of them (including me, once upon a time).

    And so, when we finally start having dear, trusted friends, family and loved ones come out, we can no longer as easily say, “Well, he/she must NEVER have been a Christian, I must have been mistaken about that because there is no such thing as a ‘gay Christian…'”

    In having to come to terms with the reality that someone we know first hand is a Christian, we often hit the Wall of Cognitive Dissonance and can no longer just shirk off “those fake gay Christians who only make the claim…” at least not as easily. I have dear friends who thought that way and even simply “coming out” as being welcoming and affirming of gay folk has challenged them, in just the same way it would have challenged me, once upon a time. But it’s not like they can say, “Well, he’s not a Christian…” they know me, they know me intimately, personally and well enough to know they can’t just deny my Christianity… or at least it becomes harder to do so.

    So, when you ask, “Why should it?” I think that is why.

    One man’s opinion.

    ~Dan

    • I think you’re answering a different post, since I didn’t write about a professing Christian coming out as gay.

      But it’s a morning radio show, not a game show. Once a week they have a segment where a young girl (usually, once I heard a guy with his mother on the phone) knows their father is listening and answers the questions. They get the reaction of the father after each question. When I say young, the ages range between 21-25 or so. I’ve never heard anyone younger than 21 I think.

  2. paynehollow says:

    Oh. Young adult women, not girls.

    Still, sounds less than healthy to me, and exploitative.

    As to not writing about Christians coming out as gay, you said…

    Often when someone’s child tells their parents they’re gay, maybe not immediately, they change their tune and suddenly they no longer fells that homosexuality is morally wrong. But what changed, what’s different? Just because now it’s your child who says they’re gay, it’s no longer immoral?

    You did not specify if these were church kids/young adults coming out or not, but since most of us raise our kids in the church and many of us, our children become Christians, I made the assumption that “when someone’s child tells their parents they’re gay…” would include the Christian children who come out as gay.

    ~Dan

    • I am speaking in generalities. I think it’s fairly common in christian and non – christian circles. The point is if you thought it was wrong and immoral before your child or someone close comes out, if you believed that based on principled reasons, the person coming out should change nothing. Just because someone close now is either gay or considering abortion doesn’t change whether they are moral or immoral.

  3. paynehollow says:

    But it may help clarify for you IF it was immoral in the first place. For many people, this doesn’t mean “Oh, I thought it was immoral before and I still think it’s immoral, but I’m going to give it a pass…” For many people, it’s a point to stop and reconsider your previous moral evaluation. Sometimes, we are mistaken and it takes something directly personal to open our eyes.

    It’s fairly easy to demonize “the gays” as just shallow pleasure seekers as long as you don’t know “those people” personally, right up until someone you know comes out and you are faced with the reality that perhaps you were mistaken in the first place.

    For some people.

    ~Dan

    • It doesn’t matter whether those things are immoral or not. The post is about people who think it is. I’m not arguing the morality of homosexuality or abortion in this post.

  4. John,
    I’ve seen this phenomenon more that a few times. Where I’ve seen it is a (married) “Christian Pastor” who has taken a fairly conservative stance of the issue of marriage starts to “reconsider”, then his pastor friends begin to do the same, “all of a sudden” the first “Christian Pastor” comes out of the closet. In my experience that involves leaving/divorcing the wife and kids, and revealing that he has been in a relatively lengthy affair with a dude. At this point many of his pastor friends begin to use that “Well of such a wonderful christian pastor like Bob is gay, then it must be OK to be gay and a christian. Note, there is little or no acknowledgement of the breaking of both wedding and ordination vows, little or nothing about the wives and kids left behind, just accolades for being so brave. Now I realize this is anecdotal with all of the limitations that implies, but, I’ve seen it enough times to know it happens. In one case the “pastor” in question openly and actively lied to his congregation for a period of several years.

    Under what circumstance is breaking both marriage and ordination vows, engaging in an extramarital affair, and lying about it something that a “good Christian” would engage in?

    So, while Dan may be right, that someone coming out might make people re think their position, it seems likely that any significant position change is just as much the result of emotion as anything else.

    Also, I’d suspect that had your example used anything besides standards of sexual appropriateness, Dan might have responded differently.

  5. “It’s fairly easy to demonize “the gays” as just shallow pleasure seekers…”

    Especially since there is so much research available that seems to suggest exactly that.

    • I want this post to stay on topic. It’s not really about whether those things are immoral or not. This is about people who change their view on the issue when it effects someone close to them and not because of some argument moving them from their view. It’s pure emotionalism.

      Doesn’t it show that any objection the person had was superficial and not principled?

      • John,
        I would agree with you that if you have a principled objection to anything, then your opinion of the morality of the whatever it is should stay consistent no matter what the circumstances. I don’t know that you could say definitively whether the original stand was superficial or not, although I suspect it is a reasonable conjecture. What it does say is that sometimes people allow their emotions to override their principles. Which may be saying the same thing a different way.

        My point earlier was that in these kinds of situations, all of a sudden other principled positions can get thrown under the bus as well.

  6. paynehollow says:

    …but when it’s your son or your daughter – good upstanding people you know, will you continue to do so?

    I would hope not.

    ~Dan

  7. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I’d suspect that had your example used anything besides standards of sexual appropriateness, Dan might have responded differently.

    So, when the son of pacifist parents decides to join the military, do they reconsider their views? Oftentimes, yes. I have no problems with reconsidering one’s views and deciding if you’re holding the right view (as best you know) or not. If one STILL thinks that gay folk should be shunned, even after their kids come out, then I guess to be consistent, they’d still should think that. I just would disagree with the conclusion.

    As to reconsidering one’s position when a loved one goes into the military, it’s not quite the same thing. Even though our church is a Peace Church and we have a belief statement denouncing war as “always sin…” we also include in the statement that we fully support the liberty of conscience of other members, so when our sons or daughters (or others) consider the military, we still love and embrace them and don’t ask them to leave the church as long as they are “practicing” warriors. The difference between that approach and what you often find in more fundamentalist churches is that it’s an “our way or the highway” approach, where “practicing” GLBT folk are NOT welcome.

    So, no, Craig. As a matter of fact, your suspicion is mistaken. That’s the good thing about coming from a grace-full church that strongly holds our positions, but also affirms the liberty of conscience of other believers. Sweet, amazing grace.

    ~Dan

    • “The difference between that approach and what you often find in more fundamentalist churches is that it’s an “our way or the highway” approach, where “practicing” GLBT folk are NOT welcome.”

      As someone who is in and around a number of churches you would consider “conservative”, I have never been exposed to a church who would suggest that any “practicing” sinner is not welcome. While I’m sure you could troll for some examples, I’d suspect it’s not as common as you believe it to be.

      • paynehollow says:

        Again, anecdotally, it happens. Our church – along other local welcoming and affirming churches – is full of members and friends literally kicked out of their churches for believing wrong or for being “unrepentantly” homosexual.

        How common is it? It would be interesting to know.

        So, if you had a married gay Christian couple, you would accept them as fellow Christians at your church? Or would you “accept them” insofar as you wouldn’t literally kick them out of your church, but people would tell them they’re wrong, that they’re not Christian, etc?

        I’m actually interested in knowing. I am quite sure there are moderate conservative churches out there who would absolutely not kick out even a gay couple who were married, but how would they/do you handle it? Do you have any GLBT members? If so, do you have any married GLBT couples (not that you would consider it “married,” perhaps)?

        If so, do you go to their houses for dinner? Invite them to your house for lunch? Hang out together?

        If so, does the topic just go ignored or do you try to lovingly broach the topic and, if so, what does that look like?

        I’d be interested in hearing and it seems relatively on topic to me. John’s call, of course.

        ~Dan

      • paynehollow says:

        From Rolling Stone…

        Research done by San Francisco State University’s Family Acceptance Project, which studies and works to prevent health and mental­health risks facing LGBT youth, empirically confirms what common sense would imply to be true: Highly religious parents are significantly more likely than their less-religious counterparts to reject their children for being gay – a finding that social-service workers believe goes a long way toward explaining why LGBT people make up roughly five percent of the youth population overall, but an estimated 40 percent of the homeless-youth population…

        The resulting flood of kids who end up on the street, kicked out by parents whose religious beliefs often make them feel compelled to cast out their own offspring (one study estimates that up to 40 percent of LGBT homeless youth leave home due to family rejection), has been called a “hidden epidemic.”

        http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-forsaken-a-rising-number-of-homeless-gay-teens-are-being-cast-out-by-religious-families-20140903#ixzz3EkF7huli

        ~Dan

        • paynehollow says:

          Craig, IF those numbers are sound and IF the research held up, would you be disappointed to learn that more religious folk more often kick their children out for being gay?

          ~Dan

  8. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Doesn’t it show that any objection the person had was superficial and not principled?

    We should ALWAYS be prepared to change our positions if we come to believe our positions are mistaken. Do you disagree?

    Being willing to change if convinced of the need is a sign of moral growth, not superficiality. Wouldn’t you agree?

    Now, changing MERELY because a friend or loved one has changed, that is rather superficial. And maybe that happens sometimes. In the example you gave of a loved one coming out, the only changes I’ve known/heard of have been principled ones, not superficial ones.

    ~Dan

  9. paynehollow says:

    For instance, when I struggled and eventually changed my position on the gay issue, all my old, close, conservative friends (including my best men in my wedding) had an extremely hard time with it, but I held to the position as a matter of principle and didn’t change my view simply because dear friends disagreed with me – or even when some chastised me. That’s not a good reason to change one’s position.

    But re-evaluating one’s position and being open to the possibility of being mistaken? I’d say that’s a positive moral trait to hold.

    ~Dan

    • There’s nothing with reevaluation. This isn’t the case with these issues it seems. Rather, the person changes their mind in virtue of someone close being involved. That in itself is not a good reason, and in and of itself doesn’t actually rebut or refute arguments against those things.

  10. paynehollow says:

    Just anecdotally, in the cases I’m familiar with, the “outing” was the cause to re-evaluate, but the new stand was also a principled stand, one that came after re-evaluating and deciding that the original position was shallow and wrong.

    For what it’s worth.

    • How is it that all of a sudden it turns out you were wrong? Now of all times the arguments that you rejected suddenly ring true?

      • paynehollow says:

        If you want an answer for this: For many people, not accepting homosexuality is just a given, it’s not anything they’ve given prayerful, biblical contemplation upon. They just know that it’s wrong cause, “Sodom and Gomorrah, right?”

        For people like that, the non-acceptance of homosexuality is more of a cultural thing that they just have not given deep thought to. When pressed on it and stopping to think about it, they may just decide that they’d never really worked their way through the issue in any significant way. When they do, the old arguments sound shallow and not very biblical, in some cases.

        This is the case for me, although I wasn’t re-evaluating because I had gay friends/family, but just because I thought it was time to research it. Interestingly, my initial research was for the purpose of “proving” what I already “knew:” that homosexuality is wrong.

        But, for me, deep, prayerful, biblical research did not hold true for that and I was forced – by virtue of wanting to follow God as best I understood God’s ways – to change my position.

        ~Dan

        • Dan

          I see a glaring bit of information here. You say yours was a cultural given that homosexuality was wrong cuz “Sodom and gamorrah” not something you came to prayerfully and through biblical study. However many times in the past you insist you were opposed to homosexuality precisely because you had studied and that was a strong conviction you had.

  11. paynehollow says:

    ? You said you didn’t want to discuss the topic of whether or not it was moral or not, didn’t you? Are you wanting me to answer these questions?

    ~Dan

  12. paynehollow says:

    Craig, John, if a transgendered woman wanted to start coming to church, would she be allowed to? That is, if a person born male but who was dressing as a female (either transitioning or fully female), would you be in favor of your church allowing them to attend? Would they be welcomed with open arms (hugs and all), even while disapproving? What would that look like?

    If I may ask.

    ~Dan

    • I’m in favor of allowing any fellow sinner who desires to come closer to God to attend any church.

      • paynehollow says:

        So, what does that look like? You have a gay couple sitting on the front row every week, they have been “allowed” into your church services. Do you go visit them in their homes? Do you celebrate their anniversaries with them? When they try to adopt a baby, do you provide support? If they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus as their Lord and savior, do you accept them as fellow Christians, not just fellow sinners?

        If you don’t accept them as Christians, but do accept them into the church services, do you talk to them about their “sinful living conditions” or do you say nothing?

        What about the transgender woman? Do you let her into your woman’s restrooms? Do you talk to her about her “lifestyle…”?

        Thanks.

        ~Dan

        • Dan
          Why are you so obsessed with gay sex? I gave you a blanket answer that applies to anyone who struggles with sin their lives and who desires to be a part of the church community should be welcomed. Why would you suggest that those who struggle with sin in the area of sexuality be treated differently than those who struggle with other sins?

          • paynehollow says:

            I’m asking a reasonable series of questions. Do you know WHY I am asking them? Because I am interested in how you handle them at your church and I DO NOT KNOW. When I don’t know something, I oftentimes ask questions.

            Yes, you answered in general, vague terms that you would “allow” them to come into your church building. But that is not all I’m wanting to know, I’m wanting to know the answers to the others because I’m curious.

            And you know, don’t you, that my question has NOTHING to do with gay sex? It has to do with how you handle (would handle) the questions I ask at your church.

            Why balk at answering them? Do you know it makes you look bad? I mean, don’t answer them, it’s no skin off my nose, I’m just curious how the churches of conservative people here would handle them. If you’re embarrassed by your answers, or don’t know, don’t answer, no problem.

            ~Dan

            • Dan,
              It’s frustrating when you are hoping for a detailed answer and don’t get one.

              Why do you always assume the worst about people? Why do you assume that your questions somehow inspire fear?

              How about some grace?

              Perhaps I’m enjoying the evening with my wife.
              Perhaps I’m not near a computer and am responding on my phone, which is less than conducive to lengthy comments.
              Perhaps Monday night football is more compelling than this conversation.
              Perhaps you’re just too damn impatient.

              Or perhaps it’s all of the above.

              Chill out and try a little of that grace you talk so much about, but rarely show.

              • paynehollow says:

                You don’t want to answer, don’t answer. You were the one who brought up a red herring paragraph complaining about the question, saying I was asking about gay sex. You asked why I wanted more details, I answered, because I’m curious.

                What’s the problem?

                When you asked a question at my blog about which I did not have specific answers, I gave an example based on a similar, but not the same, situation rather than making up an answer on which I had no data. Presumably, you know what your church would do, or have an idea. If not, you could say simply, “We never have openly gay people come, I don’t know how we’d handle it, beyond that we wouldn’t kick them out of the service…” That would have been shorter than your paragraph complaining about the questions.

                ~Dan

              • Perhaps you didn’t read my actual comment but instead chose to impatiently read something into it that wasn’t there.

              • “What’s the problem?”

                The problem is that I have a life that includes more than answering every question you ask the second you ask it. I actually gave you a list of things that were filling my evening, which you seem to regard as less important than answering your questions.

                “When you asked a question at my blog about which I did not have specific answers, I gave an example based on a similar, but not the same, situation rather than making up an answer on which I had no data.”

                Actually your example was not at all similar, I was asking you what YOU would specifically do to deal with an EXTERNAL threat (you know your opinion), while you chose an example that was dealing with a segment of a population rebelling against their government. Which is something completely different, it is also a situation where I specifically agreed with your premise that would be a situation where your hunches might work.

                The fact remains, it’s frustrating when you hope for a specific answer and don’t get one.

                You don’t seem to understand, that just because I didn’t answer your questions the way you wanted right then, does not give you license to make up silly reasons why I won’t answer your questions. It means (just like I said last night) that your questions were a lower priority that what I was doing. That’s it. I know it’s hard for you sometimes, but the rest of us occasionally have better things to do than sitting in front of a computer waiting to promptly answer your next series of questions.

                Again, how about showing some of that grace, you prattle on about?

              • To be clear, accurate, and factual. I did NOT write a paragraph about your focus on gay sex. It was an eight word sentence. To be fair, it was not really even a serious question.

                also to be clear, accurate, and factual. I did NOT complain about, the question, I answered that question with a general principle regarding how we treat everyone. That is not a complaint, it is an answer. The fact that you presume that we single out gay folk is your presumption, not the fact.

                Again to be clear, accurate and factual, I did NOT ask why you wanted more details. I did ask a question, which I will copy/paste below. The actual question I DID ask, was somehow not answered. I guess you were too busy making unfounded assumptions.

                “Why would you suggest that those who struggle with sin in the area of sexuality be treated differently than those who struggle with other sins?”

  13. paynehollow says:

    John…

    However many times in the past you insist you were opposed to homosexuality precisely because you had studied and that was a strong conviction you had.

    I HAD studied. I WAS aware of all the verses used against “the gay argument…” I had an extremely strong conviction against it. What I am saying is that, because it was never contested, I just accepted all those teachings and internalized them all quite strongly. I knew the verses, I knew the reasoning… I just had not gone into any depth with it (although I would have told you I had). And the reason I had not gone into any depth with the topic is that there IS no depth to it. The arguments against “homosexuality” is an inch deep and a few inches wide. There’s just not much there but tradition.

    When I finally challenged myself to look into it, to shore up my firm foundations, I found there simply wasn’t much there compelling.

    Clarified?

    How about it, John: Would your church let a transgender person worship there? A married gay couple? If so, what does that look like? Do you “confront” them with their “sin…”? Ignore it? Or do you just not have any who come?

    ~Dan

  14. paynehollow says:

    Do you require all people to agree on all sins in order to be saved? Does your church believe that smoking, drinking, pot, speeding, texting/driving are wrong? Do people have to repent of all those sins in order to be a member? Do you have a list of sins you have to repent of in order to be a member?

    That sounds facetious, probably, but I’m seriously asking.

    Beyond the membership thing, would they be welcome otherwise? Would people sit with them in church, celebrate their anniversaries? Their kids’ birthdays? Would people try to repeatedly talk to them about their “sinful lifestyle…” or would it just go unaddressed?

    I guess you don’t have any openly gay/lesbian attendees currently? Not ever?

    Does that concern you that you don’t have any gay folk who attend?

    Would a transgender woman wearing woman’s clothes be accepted? Allowed to use your restroom? (I ask seriously, because some places have tried not allowing transgender folk to use the “normal” restrooms…)

    Thanks.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,

      Do you require all people to agree on all sins in order to be saved?

      The church I attend believes that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone. We do not believe that the Church has anything to do with it. Nor do we believe that salvation is conditioned on human requirements. So, the answer is no.

      Does your church believe that smoking, drinking, pot, speeding, texting/driving are wrong?

      Wrong/illegal/potentially harmful yes, sinful not necessarily.

      Do people have to repent of all those sins in order to be a member?
      In my current denomination all who want to become a member must answer the following questions. One would presume that the answers would be honest and sincere.

      Do you know yourself to be sinful in God’s eyes and deserving of God’s displeasure?
      Do you believe in the risen Jesus as the Christ, the deliverer of sinners who alone offers salvation to you?
      Do you vow to live with Holy Spirit making every effort to serve as a follower of Jesus Christ?
      Do you promise to be under the leadership and authority of our church government as it is duly constituted, and do you promise to work for the purity and peace of the church?
      Do you promise to be a faithful member of this congregation, giving of yourself in every way, and so fulfilling your calling as a disciple of Jesus Christ the Lord?

      Do you have a list of sins you have to repent of in order to be a member?

      See the above answer.

      Beyond the membership thing, would they be welcome otherwise?

      Sure, as I pointed out, if sinners aren’t welcomed in church something is seriously wrong.

      “Would people sit with them in church…”
      Sure
      “… celebrate their anniversaries?”

      Since we don’t corporately celebrate anyone’s anniversary the answer would probably be no.

      “Their kids’ birthdays?”
      Again, we don’t corporately celebrate kids birthdays

      “Would people try to repeatedly talk to them about their “sinful lifestyle…” or would it just go unaddressed?”

      Both, I’m sure. As a church composed of folks who all have a sinful lifestyle to some degree or another, it is completely appropriate to discuss our struggles with sin and how to better live in accordance with God’s plan for us.

      “I guess you don’t have any openly gay/lesbian attendees currently?”

      It’s a 5000+ member church, I’m sure we have all types of folks who attend. We just don’t poll about it.

      ” Not ever?”

      I haven’t been there forever, therefore I can’t speak to forever.

      “Does that concern you that you don’t have any gay folk who attend?”

      Again, since I don’t know everyone, nor are there poll results regarding sexual preference, It’s not something I think about much. So, do I think we should specifically be trawling the Gay 90’s for attendees, not to any greater degree than we should be trawling any bar looking for attendees.

      “Would a transgender woman wearing woman’s clothes be accepted?”
      Never really thought much about it, but sure.

      “Allowed to use your restroom?”

      I don’t know I’d have to ask the minister of potty monitoring what their policy is in terms of verifying…..

      See, I even answer the stupid questions.

      I won’t hold my breath, but this might be an appropriate time to apologize for your comments last night about me avoiding your questions.

      Just because I didn’t answer your questions the very second you wanted me to, does not mean anything except that I had better things to do.

      You realize that being unpleasant, impatient, and narcissistic is not a good thing, don’t you?

  15. LOl… so, yet another ”moral” post that degenerates into a form of Christian gay bashing.
    And why is it that you lot seem almost obsessed with male homosexuality and hardly ever raise the issue of lesbianism?

    • Talk to Dan about that. I made no judgement either way about homosexuality. I used it as an example of compromising principles.

      Nice try.

      • Yes, but in several posts you use homosexuals, when discussing your particular take ”morals”and invariably focus on male rather than female.
        You you seem to have a predilection with gay men for some odd reason.

  16. How youy feel, morally, about people that change sex?

  17. paynehollow says:

    I think this is an interesting question, Ark, since the Bible (of course) never once condemns sex change procedures. It’s not condemned by God or by the Bible, so why would they oppose it? On what basis would they call it a sin?

    And yet, they almost certainly do/will call it a sin and that it is wrong.

    I think a more interesting question would be, “If you oppose it as morally wrong, on what basis do you do so, since the Bible doesn’t condemn it?”

    Some might say “Because then the male-now-female would presumably date guys and that would be homosexuality…” but, no, of course, it would be a female dating a male, or heterosexuality (and, of course, gender orientation does not necessarily correspond to sexual orientation one way or the other, but that’s another topic…)

    ~Dan

  18. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    In my current denomination all who want to become a member must answer the following questions. One would presume that the answers would be honest and sincere.

    So then, in your church, a LGBT folk WOULD be accepted as fellow Christians, then, as long as they can sincerely answer the questions you reference? Cool. I think John, Bubba and Marshall (among many others) would disagree, if I read him correctly.

    Craig…

    I don’t know I’d have to ask the minister of potty monitoring what their policy is in terms of verifying…..

    See, I even answer the stupid questions.

    You may not be aware of it, Craig, but there are places (schools, for instance) where rules have been instituted about where transgender people can and can’t use the restroom. So, it’s not a stupid question at all. It SHOULD be a stupid question (ie, of course it should not be a matter of debate where folks use the restroom), but still in our society, it’s not.

    You do realize, don’t you, that not all transgender folk are already “the new gender…”? That is, some folk identifying as women and perhaps in the process of becoming biologically a woman are still a male, in their naughty bits? For that reason, some people would/do insist that transgender females who are not yet biologically female must use the men’s restroom. Sadly, then, it is not a stupid question.

    ~Dan

    • Dan,
      I hate to break it to you, but a transgender female who is not yet biologically a female (Interesting as I thought the arrangement of chromosomes was the determining biological factor), is NOT a female. He is a man dressing like what he lopes to become.

      I’m reluctant to indulge you any further down this road as John has already made it clear that he wants to stay on topic.

      It seems as though you are prepared to blindly accept a man who announces (pre surgery) that he is a woman as a woman. A couple of hypothetical.

      Suppose said (pre op) transgender female decides that in addition to being transgender that she is also a lesbian and begins a relationship with another woman. Now supposed said transgender woman starts beating on his/girl friend. Is this a case of a woman abusing another woman or a man abusing a woman?

      Suppose a (pre op) transgender woman (In other words a biological male) decides that she wants to become a MMA fighter and exclusively fights against women, are you cool with that?

      .

      .

    • Instead of sincerely, I’d say honestly. I’d also point out that in honestly answering the questions, it is assumed that the person is actually going to live up to their word.

      Unfortunately, there are in increasing number of pastors who don’t take their vows so seriously.

      • paynehollow says:

        Craig…

        I’d also point out that in honestly answering the questions, it is assumed that the person is actually going to live up to their word.

        I assume this comment is in reference to your church’s rules for becoming a member and accepted as a fellow Christian. The thing is, myself and most of my gay Christian friends CAN answer honestly all those questions and live up to our word. Are you implying that we wouldn’t? Based on what?

        Looking at the questions individually (if John does not mind…), I would find this to be NOT a church I’d want to attend, based on the narrow and, to my mind, negative framing of the Gospel message, but still…

        Do you know yourself to be sinful in God’s eyes and deserving of God’s displeasure?

        We all know we are sinful.

        Do you believe in the risen Jesus as the Christ, the deliverer of sinners who alone offers salvation to you?

        Sure. I certainly wouldn’t frame it quite like that, but I can affirm it.

        Do you vow to live with Holy Spirit making every effort to serve as a follower of Jesus Christ?

        Yep.

        Do you promise to be under the leadership and authority of our church government as it is duly constituted, and do you promise to work for the purity and peace of the church?

        Coming from the baptist/anabaptist tradition, “under the leadership and authority of our church gov’t…” strikes me as contrary to religious liberty and our individual responsibility to follow God as best we understand it. This is problematic for me, personally (well, and most in my traditions), but certainly many gay folks raised more traditionally could affirm it. Now, if the church started saying, “…AND here is a list of rules you must obey to be under our authority…” THEN I’d suggest that all followers of Christ SHOULD balk. Salvation and membership in the church by GRACE not by following some man-made list of rules…

        Do you promise to be a faithful member of this congregation, giving of yourself in every way, and so fulfilling your calling as a disciple of Jesus Christ the Lord?

        Yup.

        So, the main one I’d have problem with (and potentially, many of my gay and lesbian friends) is the anti-religious liberty one, depending on what exactly they mean by that.

        But disagreeing with other church members on this sin or that sin does not preclude us from gladly affirming all of the above.

        So, you have a gay couple who DO honestly agree with all of that. I’m hearing you say that they are accepted as full Christian brothers in your church? If so, Good for you all! I don’t think John and others here would be as open or affirming as that.

        ~Dan

  19. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Since we don’t corporately celebrate anyone’s anniversary the answer would probably be no.

    “Their kids’ birthdays?”
    Again, we don’t corporately celebrate kids birthdays

    But surely individual members get to know one another and do go out to celebrate life events like anniversaries, right? And you all don’t announce anniversaries during the worship service, like in a prayer sharing time? Not even big ones like a 50th?

    One reason I don’t care for big churches, just as a matter of taste.. it seems too impersonal to me.

    Craig…

    I won’t hold my breath, but this might be an appropriate time to apologize for your comments last night about me avoiding your questions.

    I don’t really know what you’re reacting to here. I asked some questions, respectfully, about how you all would handle gay folk in your churches and asked about some specific instances/situations. You responded with a vague answer to the question, “Do you accept gay folk in your church?”

    I politely responded with some more detailed questions, trying to draw out if they are not only “allowed” to come in (your word) but if they are welcomed and celebrated as beloved fellow members. John made it clear that gay people are allowed to come into the church but not welcome as fellow Christian members of the church.

    I was not rude, I did not say “Answer now!” I just asked the questions, saying that I was curious as to how you all handle things.

    You responded…

    Why are you so obsessed with gay sex?

    Which, 1. is factually mistaken, since I was absolutely NOT bringing up “gay sex…” but rather, questions about church policy; and 2. seemed a rather rude and impetuous (not to mention false and ridiculous) charge. You then proceeded to act all huffy, saying…

    I gave you a blanket answer that applies to anyone who struggles with sin their lives and who desires to be a part of the church community should be welcomed.

    And asking…

    Why would you suggest that those who struggle with sin in the area of sexuality be treated differently than those who struggle with other sins?

    Again, I did not AT ALL suggest that “those who struggle with sin” should be treated differently. Not in my words. Not sure what’s up with that. But also, I think it is clear why I ask the questions, but in case it’s not: It’s because conservative churches so often DO reject gay folk to one degree or another. As John said, they would NOT be accepted as members as long as they don’t agree with the church on that topic. I’ve noted a study where it points how religious families/groups often ostracize/kick out gay members. I’ve cited the anecdotal stories I hear all the time from folk in my town on the topic. So, from my perspective, it’s a reasonable questions to ask, because I’m curious how you handle it.

    I responded with “Why NOT answer the questions?” and asked “Is it because you think the answers make you look bad?” I asked those questions because I was curious as to your answer. You appeared to be avoiding the specific questions because you gave a generic answer, to sort of the umbrella question, but not to the specific details.

    If my asking these questions that seem reasonable to me in the way I asked it seemed too pushy, I apologize. It was not my intent. I was just wanting to know the answers to the questions.

    ~Dan

    • Yes Dan individual members do celebrate life events, unfortunately I chose to answer the question you asked.

      “Why NOT answer the questions?” and asked “Is it because you think the answers make you look bad?”

      To which I pointed out that I had better things to do than answer your questions on your schedule. Only in your little world does me not immediately answering questions make me “look bad”. It makes me look like someone with a life.

      To be clear, I did answer your questions with a general principle, that covers every one of the specific situations you mentioned. Seriously, saying that we as a bunch of sinners saved by grace welcome any other sinners who are interested to come in should be plenty. Unless you assume that when I say “any other sinners” you presume that ‘any” really doesn’t mean “any”. But that’s your presumption problem, not a problem with my answer.

      • paynehollow says:

        Again, Craig, given the reality on the ground of how many churches DON’T accept gay folk in their churches as full brothers and sisters, it’s not unreasonable to ask the clarifying questions. I’m glad that your church is as open and affirming as you suggest, but that is way too often not the case.

        Perhaps you should spend some time listening to the stories of oppression and rejection out there, to give you a more complete idea of how poorly many churches and Christians have handled this topic.

        ~Dan

  20. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    do I think we should specifically be trawling the Gay 90’s for attendees, not to any greater degree than we should be trawling any bar looking for attendees.

    Just a question for contemplation: Your approach to fellow gay Christians seems couched in negative terms. “Just like we’d allow ANY sinner to attend…” and the suggestion above that you’d find “the gays” in gay bars just like you’d find other sinners in other bars.

    You know that LGBT folk are your teachers, your doctors, your PTA members, etc… Why would you not frame that response in those terms rather than in negative “sinner” terms? It points to an air of hostility and looking down upon gay folk as lesser sinners that people pick up and which causes them to stay away, because they would not be welcome as fellow humans, but as wretched sinners.

    I know part of that is the whole Calvinist “utterly depraved” attitude that many evangelicals hold to, but I’m just pointing out that more conservative churches might consider how to reframe their thinking and language on the topic, if you truly would love to have gay folk sit beside you as fellow beloved Christians in your church.

    ~Dan

    • Yes Dan, despite the condescending nature of your comment I do know that @2% of the population identifies as gay, and that not all of them are constantly in gay bars. Nonetheless, if one was specifically targeting gay folks for some reason, then an effective way to do so would be to concentrate on places where said folks congregate.

      I frame my response in terms of “sinner” because that’s what we all are. That’s why we need Jesus. You know “For all have sinned…” Jesus himself said something like “If you are healthy you don’t need a Dr…”. So for some strange reason, it seems reasonable to start in an area where we all have common ground. I’m a sinner saved by grace, not because of anything I’ve done, and I think that’s pretty good news. However, if someone won’t accept the starting point of we “All have sinned…”, and realize the common ground, then the whole thing becomes pointless.

      Having said that I think that you’ll find that a lot more people hanging out in bars are pretty receptive to a message of grace, while a lot of your “I’ve got everything wired” types are less so.

      I’m not sure how to re-frame “All have sinned…”, to make it more palatable. Quite honestly, since it’s really the only common ground I may have with some people, it seems stupid not to.

      But, I’m done digressing.

      • I frame my response in terms of “sinner” because that’s what we all are.

        I do not abide by theological clap-trap and you have nothing to demonstrate the validity of such a nonsensical term.
        Furthermore, even though you might consider yourself a ‘sinner’ no matter how much you ‘clean up’ your act you will never be part of the 144,000, so why bother?

  21. paynehollow says:

    Re: Craig’s…

    “See? I even answer your stupid questions…”

    In the news:

    “Houston area pastors and their congregants gathered Sunday in protest against Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s “Equal Rights Ordinance”…

    …Ministers and wives from all over the city gathered during a pre-event prayer meeting. Pastor Riggle told the religious leaders that folks had been “burning up the phone lines” and that “it was 10 to 1 against the ordinance.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-Texas/2014/05/20/Ordinance-Allowing-Transgendered-Men-in-Womens-Restrooms-Spurs-Protest

    Not such a stupid question, given these sorts of attitudes about transgender folk.

    Were you unaware of the great controversy over such a simple thing as using the bathroom? Do you understand that now?

    ~Dan

  22. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    It seems as though you are prepared to blindly accept a man who announces (pre surgery) that he is a woman as a woman.

    Aha, so it IS a problem for you (and your church) if a pre-fully transistioned transgender individual wants to go to the “wrong” bathroom?

    As to your statement above, I am SURE not going to “inspect the parts” to verify how far along a transgender person is in the process. So, yes, I’m taking someone who is dressed as a woman’s word that they are a woman, whatever stage they are in the process.

    What do you suggest, instead? Filling out an affidavit prior to using the bathroom?

    To your hypotheticals:

    Suppose said (pre op) transgender female decides that in addition to being transgender that she is also a lesbian and begins a relationship with another woman. Now supposed said transgender woman starts beating on his/girl friend. Is this a case of a woman abusing another woman or a man abusing a woman?

    If the person is identifying as a woman (ie, in their psyche, they recognize that they are a woman, even though their body parts are male), then it is a woman abusing a woman. Why? What difference does that make?

    Suppose a (pre op) transgender woman (In other words a biological male) decides that she wants to become a MMA fighter and exclusively fights against women, are you cool with that?

    I’m not cool with MMA or boxing, I find them to be a rather pointless and dangerous endeavor and don’t call it a sport. So, I disapprove of people beating one another regardless of gender. As to the rules of MMA, I don’t know how they work. I would presume that they are probably divided into weight divisions, so I would guess it might be evenly divided abuse of each other, if they are taking part in it.

    But, as noted, I don’t care for fighting as a “sport…”

    ~Dan

    • “Aha, so it IS a problem for you (and your church) if a pre-fully transistioned transgender individual wants to go to the “wrong” bathroom?

      As to your statement above, I am SURE not going to “inspect the parts” to verify how far along a transgender person is in the process. So, yes, I’m taking someone who is dressed as a woman’s word that they are a woman, whatever stage they are in the process.”

      If you want to make unfounded assumptions about what is and is not a problem, feel free, but it would probably be safe to stick with what I actually said, rather than what you choose to read into what I said.

  23. paynehollow says:

    Note the question mark? I’m asking if it is a problem for you. It sounds like you are saying it is. I noted that I/we DO take the person’s word as to their gender and I asked how you handle it. I’m not sure what you think I’m reading into what you’ve said, but clearly you are reading into what I said that I have read into your words, since it didn’t happen in my actual words…

    funny.

    ~Dan

    • “Ah so it is a problem…” is not proper sentence structure for a question, so it kind of negates the question mark at the end. Had you said “So, is it a problem…” then you could have avoided the confusion.

      Now, until John rules, I’m done with this. I’ve answered your off topic questions and addressed everything you’ve brought up so out of respect for Johns wishes I’m temporarily done unless you have something clearly on topic.

  24. “Why? What difference does that make?”

    I would have presumed that you would have been aware of the basic biological facts that men are physically different from women. Their are differences on muscle and bone structure that give men physical advantages over women. So, as I said, if a man is biologically a man then he’s a man. (I noticed you ignored the whole chromosome thing and are sticking with “if a dude thinks he a woman, then he’s a woman) I’m sure that you have vast amounts of scientific evidence and facts that demonstrate that biology doesn’t determine male or female and that it will all be forthcoming soon.

    It shocks me that you don’t like MMA (neither do I), but it doesn’t address the point, men have a bio-mechanical advantage in these sorts of endeavors, but as long as he thinks he’s a woman it doesn’t matter right?

  25. John,

    I apologize for following Dan down some of his potentially off topic wanderings. To the extent that I have gone off, feel free to delete of edit my comments as you see fit. The problem I have is, as you see, if I don’t answer then the “You realize that your not answering makes you look bad” or “Stop dodging” or whatever, but if I do I contribute to going off topic. I’ll try to stop, but you do what you want.

  26. paynehollow says:

    Of course, Craig is right. If this is too off topic for you, John, feel free to handle how you want. I just find it an interesting question to answer in the same vein as your thread here.

    Craig, to the bio-mechanical advantages, I just factually don’t know how that plays out in transgender women. Do the physical advantages go away with the change? I don’t know. It would be something to consider, I guess, if you’re going to do the sport. That would be a call for the experts in the field to make and I am not an expert in the field.

    Sorry, but that’s the case.

    ~Dan

    • http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-mens-brains-are-wired-differently-than-women/

      http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/biological-differences-between-the-sexes-lesson-quiz.html#lesson

      http://www.sportsshoes.com/advice/technology/biomechanical-differences-between-men-and-women-running-

      http://www.bolandathletics.com/4-5%20The%20difference%20between%20men%20and%20women.pdf

      Dan,

      A few resources for you regarding the biological and bio mechanical differences between men and women.

      I must say this recent fascination with transvestites/transgender is strange. Given the fact that gay folk comprise only 2% of the population, yet get a degree of attention beyond their numbers, I can only imagine what compels you to base your argument on a statistically insignificant % of the population.

      However, it does raise questions.

      The big one being, what makes a man a man and a woman a woman?

      Is it biology? If it is biology then what specifically biologically?
      Is it genetic/chromosomal?
      Is it mental? If so then how does that work?

      • paynehollow says:

        According to the APA…

        “There is no single explanation for why some people are transgender. The diversity of transgender expression and experience argues against simple or unitary explanation. Many experts believe that biological factors such as genetic influences and prenatal hormone levels, early experiences and later experiences in adolescence or adulthood may all contribute to the development of transgender identities…”

        Other research shows differences in the brain exist in transgender folk…

        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn20032-transsexual-differences-caught-on-brain-scan.html#.VCv-sueYVJk

        So, is it biology that helps us identify our gender? Yes. Does being biologically a male (having male sex organs) mean that biologically, our brain identifies as “male…”? No.

        As to the specifics, I haven’t researched the and it sounds like the researchers don’t know for sure, other than gender identity, apart from biological body parts, exists as a real thing.

        As to the “fascination” with transgender folk (I have not brought up transvestites, which is a different thing, you know), I have always tried to have a concern for the oppressed and abused. In our society (and many others) this would include transgender folk. And given that churches and religious folk are often part of the group that to one degree or another is mocking, denigrating and otherwise oppressing transgender folk, I’m asking a reasonable question, one that John did not answer here, but said should be taken to the Discussion page where we’ll see if anyone answers it there.

        Do you think it’s wrong to ask questions about how we’re treating oppressed groups? Do you think that question is an accusation?

        ~Dan

        • So, you chose not to answer the questions I actually asked. I guess you did partially answer one, maybe two.

          It seems then that you answer is I just don’t know what makes a man a man and a woman a woman.

          I note that you choose ONLY to refer to genitalia (which, I believe are actually referred to as secondary indicators of gender), not the other more significant indicators I raised.

          Let’s try again.

          What makes a man a man and a woman a woman?
          Is it biology, if so what specific biological markers are determinative?
          Is it genetic/chromosomal?
          Are you now suggesting that there is settled scientific research that demonstrates that what someone thinks, trumps biology?
          A couple more,
          Can a man breast feed?
          Can a man get pregnant?

          A hypothetical.

          Lets say you have a man transitioning to being a woman who is in a lesbian(?) relationship to another woman. But before the surgery, they decide that the biological woman wants to get pregnant. So the biological man impregnates his wife(?). Yet, under the construct you seem to be putting forth, one woman has just impregnated another, correct?

          It’s pretty obvious that the deeper you go biologically, the harder it gets to make your case, which seems to be why you haven’t answered that genetics, biology, bio-mechanical questions.

          Look, if it just comes down to you wanting to advocate for the oppressed,just say so, and stop trying to justify it any further than that.

  27. Dan

    I’m sorry if my wanting to respect John’s wishes is a problem for you. Fortunately I’ve answered all of your questions and addressed all your issues. As far as the biomechanics issue I’m pretty sure that chopping off a few parts and adding hormones change things like the arrangement of the hips and pelvis, bone or muscle size. I’d think that you would be aware that men and women are bio biomechanically different it seems pretty basic.

    Just to be clear I’m on my way from job 1 to job 2 and will not have access to a computer or the internet before tomorrow. I am not dodging your questions, I would hope that doing my job instead of talking to you would make me look good not bad, nor am I afraid of your questions. Now you have no reason to draw conclusions from my absence.

  28. paynehollow says:

    John, Craig appears to say that they would accept as fellow Christians those gay folk who can affirm their questions. Do you think they are mistaken in so doing?

    If you’re allowing this theme, would you be interested in answering for your own church/self?

    ~Dan

    • My church as far as I know would allow anyone to attend. They would not allow unrepentant sinners to join as members. This would go for practicing homosexuals as well as current adulterers, for example.

  29. paynehollow says:

    So, you’d think Craig’s church would be wrong in accepting gay folk as fellow believers, as he describes it? Would that make their pastor a false teacher?

    Do you have a list of sins you have to repent of in order to be a member?

    Beyond the membership thing, would they be welcome otherwise? Would people sit with them in church, celebrate their anniversaries? Their kids’ birthdays? Would people try to repeatedly talk to them about their “sinful lifestyle…” or would it just go unaddressed?

    Would you accept a transgender member as a fellow Christian? They’re not engaging in any biblical “sin,” so if not, on what basis would you deny them membership?

    Thanks,

    ~Dan

    • It’s not a list that you have to repent of. No church of any integrity would allow people who knowingly, and unrepentantly persist in sin. They wouldn’t allow a known burglar who openly continues to steal and isn’t trying to stop. Or a homosexual who continues to engage in homosexual relationships without trying to stop. Or an adulterer who continues to cheat on their spouse without trying to stop.

      You k ow exactly what I’m talking about. Your feigned coyness is repulsive.

  30. paynehollow says:

    John, there is no coyness, feigned or not. I’m simply trying to find out what your church would and wouldn’t do. They’re just questions. So, you would not allow an “openly gay” person to be a member, and Craig’s church (and mine, and others) would be wrong to do so? But at least at mine, we don’t consider it a sin, so we’re not “allowing” an unrepentant sinner to continue to be a member.

    Do you think Craig’s pastor and church’s leaders are false teachers for potentially allowing gay members? Is his church apostate?

    Where you say you don’t have a list, on which behaviors is it okay to disagree? Christians disagree on many behaviors as to their sin nature, so it seems like you’re saying that there are some sins/behaviors Christians can disagree upon but not others. Being opposed to war/being a pacifist… is that a sin that one must repent of or is there room for disagreement there? Being opposed to saying the pledge of allegiance? Can or can’t disagree?

    Do you get my point?

    Is it a sin to be transgendered? If so, why?

    If you don’t want to answer, that is fine, I’m honestly just curious.

    ~Dan

  31. paynehollow says:

    John, can I post that as an open question to all our conservative brethren here?

    I’m assuming that John, Craig, Marshall, Bubba, Glenn, and any other conservatives here all are opposed to transgender folk… to the sex change procedure and the whole notion. I’m further assuming that most of you all (maybe with the exception of Craig, based on what he said above, although since he didn’t answer directly, it’s hard to say), would not or would be wary about accepting a transgender person as a fellow Christian in your church, that you think it is sinful/wrong/sick/perverted…

    If so, can any of you explain WHY you think it’s sinful, since the Bible never touches the topic?

    If you don’t want this question asked, feel free to delete, I’ve always been curious as to what the answer is, if there is an answer.

    Thanks,

    ~Dan

    • That’s what the discussion page is for.

    • Dan,
      Why is it that you a) assume anything about those who disagree with you and/or b) assume the worst in them?

      • paynehollow says:

        This is off topic here, but I’ll answer and John can tell us to stop if he wants.

        I don’t assume the worst in those I disagree with. I often, when confronted with comments that seem to express horrible ideas, will ask, “Surely you don’t mean…?” and otherwise give the benefit of the doubt. You recall, don’t you, how very often I ask you all questions? The point of questions is to get clarity so that I’m NOT assuming anything about you all.

        However, given how often you all repeat what you think I’ve said and get it completely wrong, it’s a good question for you all to consider (why do you assume anything about those you disagree with?).

        The other side of it is, on this topic here, I’ve heard of/known/been part of churches that have treated people poorly, I’ve read the reports and research about how gay folk are often treated by religious folk, so I know that maltreatment exists. So, often I’ll ask you all what you do/how you behave/what your opinion is to see if you’re in with that group that I’ve seen/heard/read about.

        What is it you THINK I have assumed? Are you looking at my QUESTIONS and assuming they are accusations?

        If so, you really would be better off, collectively, treating questions as questions, not accusations or claims.

        ~Dan

        • “What is it you THINK I have assumed?”

          I THINK you have made multiple assumptions in the following statement you made earlier, it’s just a hunch I have, or maybe an opinion… This is copy pasted from your comment at 9/30/2014 at 10:39 PM.

          “I’m assuming that John, Craig, Marshall, Bubba, Glenn, and any other conservatives here all are opposed to transgender folk… to the sex change procedure and the whole notion. I’m further assuming that most of you all (maybe with the exception of Craig, based on what he said above, although since he didn’t answer directly, it’s hard to say), would not or would be wary about accepting a transgender person as a fellow Christian in your church, that you think it is sinful/wrong/sick/perverted…”

          Lets make a list of your assumptions. Hint, the fact that you used the word ASSUMED seems like a reasonable clue.

          1. Opposed to transgender folk
          2. To the sex change procedure
          3. The whole notion
          4. Would not accept a transgender person
          5. Would be wary of accepting a transgender person
          6. Transgender is wrong
          7. Sick
          8. Perverted
          8.5 We think it’s sinful
          So what we have here is 8 assumptions all of them negative. Again, I assume that your use of the word assume indicates that you are making an assumption. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

          So, in your 10:39 comment which I was responding to, you clearly did NOT ask the following.

          “Surely you don’t mean…?”

          Instead you chose to assume.

      • paynehollow says:

        Why is it that you a) assume anything about those who disagree with you and/or b) assume the worst in them?

        ^ Irony.

  32. paynehollow says:

    John…

    No church of any integrity would allow people who knowingly, and unrepentantly persist in sin. They wouldn’t allow a known burglar who openly continues to steal and isn’t trying to stop. Or a homosexual who continues to engage in homosexual relationships without trying to stop.

    But what of those behaviors where people disagree on the sin nature? What of the man who was married, had an affair, left his wife for the new woman and is now married to her and with children? Would they insist they divorce from that new marriage and stopped living together before they joined the church/became Christians at your church? Or would it suffice for them to confess their sins, but it’s too late to undo the marriage and family?

    What if it were a gay couple who are legally married and with children? Would they have to divorce and split up the family before they could join? Or would confessing the “sin” of marriage suffice, but you wouldn’t want them to break up the marriage and family, now that it already exists?

    ~Dan

  33. paynehollow says:

    My apologies.

  34. Not having the time to peruse all the comments, I will just go to the point of the post.

    I do not believe those who would say that their change of heart was the result of some deep soul-searching after a loved one is found to be engaging in behaviors that conflict with the standing principles of the person in question. It’s too easy to say that such people held to principles with no thought of their own, but only as matter of cultural influence. What of the person who’s son steals? It is typical that many parents will regard their son as really a good boy and dismiss the seriousness of the theft, whereas if the thief was not related, they would maintain their firmly held disgust at the thought of a thief in their midst.

    There have been a few politicians who have claimed to have come to a new understanding of SSM since their kid came out. I don’t buy it for a second. Nothing changes about the nature of homosexuality. All that changed is that someone they know and love came out. I have no doubt that Alan Keyes still loves his daughter dearly. But his devotion to God and principles forced his hand in booting his daughter once she insisted her desires were just fine and she had no intention of trying to overcome them. If only more people were so devoted to God and principle!

    Dan offered a link to some study. I haven’t read it. I’m not impressed with the results of such studies that study the people whining about being rejected for refusing to show some moral spine. I would wager that most, if not all of those people were rejected by their church or families for refusing to put in the effort to overcome their sinful desires. This is just. They are in rebellion and their churches and families showed maturity.

    • Of course you don’t ”buy it” simply because you have not likely ever had to confront it.
      Thus it is easy for one such as you to climb on your soapbox and shout the odds.
      That you stand in judgement is yet another indicator of how hypocritical you are.
      You are a disgrace to your religion.

      • Coming from you, Arkie, well, I’m totally yawning. If you think I’m a disgrace to my religion, I’m certainly on the right track.

        • Right track?

          No, not really marshallart. You are simply hypocritical and ignorant. An indoctrinated fundamentalist who has no true grasp or understanding of the situation.

          • So where is he wrong? What is the refutation?

            • How entire worldview is based on fallacious doctrine.

              • What’s the refutation?

              • What am I supposed to refute, John?
                Oh, and how’s the post wot your evidence for the man god coming along?

              • It’s coming along fine.

                But if you think his view is wrong, then surely you have reasons. I assume you base those reasons on facts. So what are the facts and reasons Marshal is wrong?

              • I thought I had explained. His worldview – as with any fundamentalist is based on erroneous religious text, and especially when it comes to morals, which you lot clam are from your god.
                Ergo, those who do not believe in your god have no morals. What nonsense!
                How much more succinct can I be?

                So … the ”Evidence ” post? Howl;s is coming along?

              • But that’s just an assertion. Merely claiming the text is erroneous is not an argument.

                And I just said not more than 15 minutes ago that the post is coming along just fine.

              • Ah … so there is verifiable evidence that morality is derived from your god, is there?

                Fundamentalists such as yourself and marshalart assert this so it would be nice to actually see this evidence.
                As you base your condemnation on such text, yes?

                In fact , in this particular case you base it on your interpretation of this text as there is nothing specific.

                So I dont have to provide evidence to dismiss any or all of your assertions until you can clearly demonstrate you have a divine mandate to tout such crap.

                This is the difference between a secular democracy and a theocracy.
                In the former the religious do NOT get to call the tune;
                be very, very glad you are not living in a theocracy, John.
                And remember, in the not too distant past the likes of you and Marshallart would likely have been some of the first on the bonfire.
                That should be chilling enough to pause for thought.

                And if you were residing in many places in the Middle East, right now, you might even lose your head!

                That s ALL the evidence I need to know that what you espouse is unsubstantiated garbage and has no moral or legal hold over anyone.

                So are we going to see this evidence for Jesus of Nazareth/Yahweh/your god post any time soon?

              • So you have no reasons, or you just won’t share them?

              • Lol … you won’t bait me with that shit, John.

                As I said. You should be very, very grateful you live in secular democracy.

                If you feel so hard done by, so morally offended by the whole transgender/homosexual issue why not rush over to ISIS and see if you can convert a few ”heathens.”
                Oh .. wait a moment. They already have such mind warped beliefs.
                You should gt on like a mason en flambe.
                Oh, and please take Marshall with you?

                When you’re there, send me a postcard. Best send it early as I have a feeling you won’t be there ( in one piece) for too long.

                How on earth do you live with your hypocrisy, John?

                I am surprised you don’t suffer cognitive dissonance all day long.
                I suppose this is what indoctrination does to a person.
                Based on what Nate Owens and the deconverts recount in their stories it seems this is the case.

                So, when will we be seeing this Jesus of Nazareth/Your god post, then?

              • Just to clarify..Why is it I have to present first?

              • Because you claim you have divine right on your side and that it is your god that dictates this stuff.

                This is why, John.

              • All you’ve done is state what you think is my view.

                I could likewise state that you claim to have the right view that secular ethics are correct and that those secular ethics dictate stuff. Therefore you need to justify that…first.

              • Because there is no evidence that morality is based upon the divine. Period.
                Thus all such arguments can be dismissed with impunity.

              • So you have no reason then. The ol’ “just cuz”. That’s what I thought.

              • That is the reason. Stop being dense.
                There is absolutely no reason whatsoever that anyone must genuflect to the nonsense contained in a religious text, especially as it cannot be demonstrated to contain any margin of truth based on its claims.

                If you like to think you have a modicum of intelligence, then please show it.

              • LMAO!!! Bubba was right, you are the kind of thinker that you should buy for how smart you really are, and sell for how smart you think you are! Just some web warrior who thinks they’re so intelligent that it’s just a given.

              • No, John, you make claims about morality on a post that you defend based on biblical text, which can be demonstrated to be fallacious.
                That I don’t write reams and reams is simply because you are an indoctrinated fundamentalist and thus are unable to recognise this in yourself and would reject every factual statement.

                I have mentioned several times, simply discuss this matter with a deconvert and you will soon see that they were exactly the way you are now.
                Or, read Nate Owens’ blog, I provided you with the link and will do so again if you ask.

                Your indoctrination is built around arguments to defend against secular reason.
                Thus you feel no compunction to offer any sort of factual justification for your worldview, as it is based upon a foundation of faith.

                This is the hypocrisy. You claim verifiable evidence for your reason but cannot provide any.

                Very much like the indoctrination of Germans against the Jews during the war. The church were part and parcel to this crime in many ways and have only recently apologised.
                As they have now admitted there is no purgatory and the Church of England has stated there is probably no actual Hell.
                And yet this was official doctrine that kids were poisoned with for nearly two thousand years!
                And now they admit it was a mistake?
                So what else will they admit to be wrong about in the years to come? How much has been simply ”made up”?

                This is why indoctrination – especially of children – is crucial to the survival of fundamental religious beliefs.
                And also why it is crucial to defend against other fundamental religious beliefs.
                Why do you think you reject the Mormons, the Catholics and so called liberal theological views?
                Yet you also reject the other extreme of Christianity : Young Earth Creationists.
                You carve a niche for yourself, unable to recognise that this is exactly what ever other religion does.

                In many respects it is akin to mental illness – as you would probably consider those religious fundamentalists who cut off the heads of ”heretics” are mentally ill.
                They think they are perfectly normal, carrying out the will of their god.

                Maybe one day something will ”çlick” for you, John and you will be able to break free?

                Meantime, one must be grateful that mentally ill people such as yourself, – and it is a form of mental illness, make no mistake whatsoever, do not have the power to establish a theocracy.

                Your version of morality is rejected by all sane people.

              • Which biblical text did I cite?

              • You are a fundamental Christian – every part of your worldview is based upon this text. You see – you just demonstrated the central point of my comment.
                And you cannot even see it.

              • It’s not that I can’t see, you presume too much. I don’t make arguments like that from the bible. You’re what you condemn: you’re an atheist presuppositionalist.

              • And yet again, you do not tackle the question: why do you consider your version of morality right and other peoples’ wrong?
                It is central to getting to the bottom of the way you think.
                I am not presuppositional at all.
                My worldview is based on the rejection of everything yours is based upon simply because of insufficient evidence to justify.

                With verifiable ( even plausible) evidence I may reconsider.

                Truly, John, based on your blog, you are not well.
                There is a preconditioned mental blockage that is the hallmark of the religious fundamentalist.
                Either you are a fraud and are merely having a bit of fun, ( something I would applaud by the way!) or there is something seriously wrong that prevents you from exercising critical thought.

                I state openly, I will consider verifiable evidence – all you have to do is provide some. If faith is not the overriding factor that underpins everything you believe then the evidence should be sound enough to not only convince me, but every other who has a different worldview that you.

                If your moral standpoint is NOT based on your religious conviction then what is it based upon?

              • Where are your morals from? You just make em up?

              • You know the answer to that, so please stop being facetious.

              • Relativism is not morality, it’s preference

              • Now you’re falling back on the indoctrination you suffer from.
                Why are you simply unwilling to provide evidence for your point of view?
                It was strong enough to convince you – so you claim – so share it.
                Why are you not prepared to consider that you are no different from the millions of others from the hundreds of other fundamental religions?

                Or are you truly afraid to confront the serious possibility that you could be wrong and might well be indoctrinated and suffering a minor form of mental illness, John?

              • paynehollow says:

                Ark asked…

                why do you consider your version of morality right and other peoples’ wrong?

                It is central to getting to the bottom of the way you think.

                If I may: Indeed, this is central to getting to our differences (not just differences between believers and unbelievers, but betweeen fundamentalists and everyone else).

                If I’m not mistaken (and PLEASE, correct me if I am), the fundamentalists (Christians, like John, et al, Muslim extremists, Mormon extremists, etc) get their version of morality “from God…” Thus, they can KNOW (ie, “know”) that their view is the right one because it isn’t “their” view at all, but God’s.

                Everyone else – from non-fundamentalists in all religions to non-believers, in general – would probably not say we are objectively right and others are objectively wrong. We would tend to say, “This is what makes sense to me – THIS is good because it promotes healthy, happiness, the common welfare, general well-being… and THAT is bad because it harms, it oppresses, it undermines the common welfare… or so it seems to me.”

                So, for many of us, ESPECIALLY when it comes to telling others they’re “wrong” and/or enforcing our view of morality by weight of law, it comes down to harm. We can reasonably legislate against harm, we can intervene in cases of harm… otherwise, we leave it to the individual to decide for themselves and generally give them grace to do so.

                Fundamentalists tend to want to say “Our way or the highway… if you’re disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with God…”

                So, John, being able to answer that question is vital to making your case on so many of these issues we discuss…

                It seems to me.

                ~Dan

              • So I’m an extremist among the likes of Islamic terrorists, eh Dan?

              • paynehollow says:

                Did I say that? I said that you’re a fundamentalist, which I’ve been defining as one who believes with certainty that their interpretations of holy text are the right interpretations.

                TODAY, there is a HUGE difference between Muslim extremists and nearly all (with a few outliers) Christian extremists. Muslim extremists (who are condemned as “not following in the Muslim way at all” by the majority of moderate Muslims) too often take that certainty as a pass to force their view of god/allah on others by weight of law, threats, oppression and killing. Very few Christian fundamentalists are that far gone. Of course, it is small percentage of Muslim fundamentalists who are this extreme, but the percentage is much higher for Muslim extremists than Christian extremists.

                All of that to say, NO, I’m not comparing you to Islamic terrorists, except to say that you share in the fundamentalist approach to your holy text. You diverge from there, by way of tactics.

                Instead of getting offended at that misunderstanding on your part, why don’t you all just answer the question?

                ~Dan

              • You lumped me In with Islamic extremists, who by every working understanding means “terrorist”.

              • paynehollow says:

                And NOW it has been clarified that you misunderstood me. Move on to the question, John. Or not. But it’s a reasonable question and you appear to think you have an answer, WHY NOT move on to the question?

                Or, re: “Lumping you in with Muslim extremists” offense… You all agree that homosexuality is wrong, for instance, so clearly, one can say “Many religious groups agree that homosexuality is a sin, a great offense to God/Allah… Included in that group of those who find homosexuality to be a sin are fundamentalist/evangelical Christians and Muslim extremists…” That, TOO, is lumping you in to a group together, but it’s a simple statement of facts. By stating that you and they agree that homosexuality is a sin, we are not stating that you share all things in common with Muslim extremists, just that you share that philosophy. There is nothing offensive in that statement, unless you consider factual statements to be offensive.

                Or, look at this: Stalin, some liberal and anabaptist groups and the early church all believed in some form of communism…

                I am not offended by that. Clearly, even though I share that with Stalin, I do not share the murderous part of Stalin, it’s just a statement of facts.

                Get over it and move to the question, please.

                ~Dan

              • Ok, child molesters like you, Dan, do deserve an answer and I shouldn’t have gotten bent out of shape. What was your question?

              • paynehollow says:

                Ark asked…

                why do you consider your version of morality right and other peoples’ wrong?

                It is central to getting to the bottom of the way you think, Ark said. I agree.

                ~Dan

              • Er …. please explain John’s disgusting ”child molester” quip?

              • Dan compared me to Islamic terrorists. He justified this by saying that Islamic terrorists think homosexuality is a sin and so do I, therefore the comparison is fitting. I will now compare Dan to child molesters because there are child molesters who live in Louisville and so does he. Therefore that is the similarity I will use to justify my comparison.

                What I’m actually hoping for is Dan to realize that was an inappropriate comparison. But that won’t happen because his M.O. is to demonize those he disagrees with.

              • paynehollow says:

                John, I made the point and explained it. Fundamentalists (as I’m defining it, anyway) are those who answer this question of Ark’s by saying, “We can KNOW morality based upon our holy text, which is the supreme guide to morality, because it is god speaking to us, telling us what is moral, so that is how I can completely know what is right and wrong…”

                Fundamentalists have in common an “inerrant god’s word” approach to their sacred text that tells them definitively what is and isn’t moral. Fundamentalist Christian and fundamentalist Muslims have that in common. I never mentioned terrorists.

                Tell me that I am mistaken, that you do NOT “know” morality because “god’s word…” and I will gladly apologize for mistakenly placing you in the group of fundamentalists. But I don’t think I’m mistaken.

                For that reason, I was ignoring the directly calling me a “child molester,” because it was a goofy, shallow, slanderous false witness that needs no response.

                Answer the question, John. Quit dodging and just answer the question.

                ~Dan

              • Ahh. You didn’t say fundamentalist muslims. You said muslim extremists.

                So I don’t need to really go any further with Dan or who is like child molesters.

              • @Dan
                Agreed. And it is another example that reinforces the belief that fundamentalists such as John are suffering from some form of minor mental illness due to indoctrination.
                This is why he has not offered a shred of evidence for his claims and done exactly as I outlined – defend his position simply by attacking everyone else’s – including those of other Christians’.

              • Ark, you’d fit right in at Dans church.

              • @John
                Don’t flatter yourself. When Dan makes a contentious remark I will tear into him as well.

                Now, please,answer the question regarding the source of your morality and how you know it is better than everyone else’s.

              • paynehollow says:

                Fundamentalist, extremist, what’s the difference? And why is that an excuse not to answer the reasonable question?

                It’s Ark’s question you’re dodging, not mine, I just said it was a good – vital question.

                DO you get your morality from your sacred text and therefore you “know” that your morality is right? What is your source for moral knowledge?

                Dan

              • Right. Dan, child molesters, what’s the difference?

      • “Of course you don’t ”buy it” simply because you have not likely ever had to confront it.”

        Another point you need to believe in order to maintain your corruption. The fact is that I don’t buy such studies because, as I stated quite clearly, their conclusions are based on the testimonies of the people whining. Families and churches don’t typically kick out anyone simply for having wicked desires tempting them routinely. The pews would be empty. So these people were not cast out for “being homosexual”. They were cast out for blatant refusal to repent. They weren’t just homosexual, they were homosexual and insisting their desires and the behaviors based on those desires were a moral good that the families and churches were somehow obliged to respect. It’s like a thief whining that he was cast out for stealing. Indeed, criminals often complain they’re treated unfairly held to account for engaging in their criminal behavior.

        Every parent faces this exact form of “poor me” nonsense from their children to one degree or another. This isn’t new. This isn’t some rare disease. To say I haven’t confronted it is very weak and another belief to which you need to cling in order to feel morally superior.

        “You are simply hypocritical and ignorant. An indoctrinated fundamentalist who has no true grasp or understanding of the situation.”

        Yeah. We cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like us, right? And you sad and sorry atheists cling to that goofy notion. No one clings to inanity like indoctrinated secularists. Your ongoing name-calling, insults and assertions do not make a case, nor are they factual in any way.

        “Ergo, those who do not believe in your god have no morals.”

        That’s not a case any of us have ever made. Not sure you specifically have any, but that’s different. No. We say that without God, there is no basis for morality. You certainly have none but your own subjective feelings. In this way, Dan is very much the atheist as he determines good by personal feeling and what for him passes as reason. But that’s very fluid and can change at the drop of a hat. You base what you call morality on consensus opinion. We base ours on the clearly revealed will of God.

        “And if you were residing in many places in the Middle East, right now, you might even lose your head!”

        Perhaps. The question would be whether we would be before or after you in line. Your baseless assertions for the lack of deity would get your head lopped off fairly quickly. However, I doubt you’d have the stones to stand by your “morality” in rejecting the “foolish notion” of deity.

        “If you feel so hard done by, so morally offended by the whole transgender/homosexual issue why not rush over to ISIS and see if you can convert a few ”heathens.””

        If you feel so hard done by, so morally offended by the whole existence of a deity issue why not rush over to ISIS and see if you can de-convert a few believers. In the meantime, we’ll continue to support proper morality in our own house. Let me know how your trip turns out, tough guy.

        • We say that without God, there is no basis for morality

          Then let’s stop right there ….

          Now, before we move on another step, you demonstrate how this belief is based upon anything other than faith.
          Off you go ….

  35. paynehollow says:

    There’s that anti-intellectualism I’ve spoken of recently…

    Dan offered a link to some study. [ie, actual research on the topic]

    I haven’t read it. [ie, he HAS NOT EVEN READ the report! And yet…]

    I’m not impressed with the results of such studies that study the people whining about being rejected for refusing to show some moral spine.

    1. Marshall has NO data to support his opinion.
    2. He has NOT even read the study.
    3. And yet, sight unseen, he “thinks” the study is flawed based on nothing since he HAS NOT READ THE STUDY, nor has he done any research on his own (not that he’s mentioned).

    THAT is the epitome of the anti-intellectualism I’ve spoken of recently.

    Thanks for the object lesson, Marshall.

    ~Dan

    • No Dan. As much as you need to believe what you say, your description of the study spoke volumes. You stated it dealt with homosexuals telling their stories and their conclusions, at least in part, are based on that. You expect me to believe that they are not biased regarding their own stories. This is typical of pro-gay research in general. For example, most studies purporting that kids do just as well being raised by homosexuals rely on the homosexual parent testifying that, “hey, no problems here” and that’s that. IF a study regarding why a church or family disowned a homosexual is to be taken seriously, it would have to rely on the testimony of the church or family since they are the one’s deciding why the homosexual is no longer welcome. To pretend that the homosexual will testify against himself, that is, tell the truth about every detail, including insisting that he will live according to his “orientation” rather than the will of God, the rules of the church or the sentiments and beliefs of the family, is a real stretch.

      AS if that isn’t enough, I stated honestly that I haven’t read the piece. This is different than never even acknowledging links offered that directly address a goofy position you’ve taken.

  36. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    So what we have here is 8 assumptions all of them negative. Again, I assume that your use of the word assume indicates that you are making an assumption.

    Again, Craig, it was a QUESTION. The 8 assumptions were followed by, “If so [ie, IF MY ASSUMPTIONS ARE CORRECT], can any of you explain WHY you think it’s sinful?”

    But yes, that WAS a question about some assumptions I think I have gathered correctly about your positions. So my question to you…

    What is it you THINK I have assumed? Are you looking at my QUESTIONS and assuming they are accusations?

    Appears to be true. You appear to think that I’m “accusing” you of holding those positions. Clearly, I THINK those are your positions, but I ASKED to clarify.

    So, DO you think that being transgender is morally wrong?

    ~Dan

    • Now I’m confused. You say “What do you think I assumed?”, then I provide you with a quote of your own words listing your assumptions, now you are saying that simply following your incorrect and negative assumptions with a question mark somehow makes them not incorrect, or not negative.

      My question that prompted this was “Why do you make negative assumptions?. Your response was “What assumptions…”, my response was “These assumptions…”, now you come back with essentially I can make all the negative assumptions I want as long as there’s a question mark.

      So, now, how about you answer my original question?

      “Why do you make negative assumptions?”

      “You appear to think that I’m “accusing” you of holding those positions.”

      No, your own words make it clear that you assume we hold those positions.

  37. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    you chose not to answer the questions I actually asked. I guess you did partially answer one, maybe two.

    I answered factually that I am not an expert and then I cited what the experts in gender research had to say.

    What do you want me to do? Take guesses from a place of ignorance?

    I’d rather speak from a place of being informed and, so, I turn to the experts. If you have a problem with the experts in the field, take it up with them.

    What are your answers to your own questions and based on what?

    What makes a man a man and a woman a woman?
    Is it biology, if so what specific biological markers are determinative?
    Is it genetic/chromosomal?
    Are you now suggesting that there is settled scientific research that demonstrates that what someone thinks, trumps biology?

    Not what someone “thinks,” but how they personally self-identify. Brain, body, psyche. All of the above, that is what I understand from the experts. What are your own answers?

    • Got it, so one linked magazine article now qualifies as enough expert testimony for you to declare the case closed?

      Did I miss your rebuttal of the 4 articles I linked to that demonstrate that there are actual physical (I’m referring to the physical aspect of the brain as well) biological differences between men and women. Where did your experts counter those?

      “What do you want me to do? Take guesses from a place of ignorance?”

      That hasn’t stopped you before. But seriously, I’m asking YOU as a reasonably educated intelligent layman what YOU think. If you are truly ignorant then maybe it’s not wise to base your position in ignorance. Perhaps you should investigate more than one article that sort of supports your position (I know you are aware of the flaws in drawing large conclusions from a small sample size). But ultimately the experts in the article you quote said “We don’t really know anything for sure”. Doesn’t seem like a good foundation for your argument.

      “What are your answers to your own questions and based on what?”

      What makes a man a man and a woman a woman?
      Is it biology, if so what specific biological markers are determinative?
      Is it genetic/chromosomal?
      Are you now suggesting that there is settled scientific research that demonstrates that what someone thinks, trumps biology?

      Now you demand that I answer questions that you’ve dodged, what gall. Nope, you want answers, you have to answer. It’s how conversation works, right? It’s only fair, Right?

      “Not what someone “thinks,” but how they personally self-identify. Brain, body, psyche. All of the above, that is what I understand from the experts. What are your own answers?”

      Except your “experts” haven’t made any sort of conclusive statement, they don’t know and admit it. You haven’t addressed the deeper biological issues at hand, nor have your “experts”.

      Again, you dodge, and expect me to answer. I’ve given you 4 links, how about you start by debunking them? Then you can answer the questions, then you can ask me for answers.

  38. paynehollow says:

    Craig, what makes you a heterosexual (making that assumption)? IS it because you have a penis, or is it the desire for/attraction to females that is in your psyche?

    Is this desire “not real” since there is not a body part that can isolate that desire? Is heterosexuality a myth because we can’t identify it biologically? Or are you willing to accept that there are parts of our psyche, our Selves, that is just is real and innate as how many fingers we have on our hand or the sexual organs on our body?

    It sounds as if you are saying if we can’t physically identify a physical component of our selves, then it isn’t real, but maybe I’m misreading you. Can you confirm one way or the other?

    ~Dan

  39. Warning, the goal posts have been officially moved. The shift from what makes someone male/female (Biology/Psyche) to what makes someone heterosexual.

    Not playing your games, you can either answer the questions on the table completely and with some degree of detail or you can stop asking me questions. You haven’t come remotely close to proving that the biology doesn’t determine gender, nor to proving that it’s all in the mind.

    So, lets get some clarity on the issues on the table before you start muddying the waters with a bunch of new unrelated stuff.

  40. paynehollow says:

    “You appear to think that I’m “accusing” you of holding those positions.”

    No, your own words make it clear that you assume we hold those positions.

    Craig, it is tiresome talking to you. I DID say that this is “how it seems to me…” and laid out what it SEEMS TO ME your position is on that topic. I THEN ASKED YOU, “IF so…” that is, “IF this is your position, then…” which provided you a chance to say YES, this is my position or NO, this is NOT my position.

    What is negative about that? IF you believe that being transgender is a moral failing, then it is not a negative statement to say “You believe it is a moral failing….” IF you don’t believe so, I asked it in the form of a question, so you could clarify.

    IF INDEED, you do not believe that transgenderism is a moral failing, THEN in that case, you could say I made a negative assumption. IF that is the case, then I apologize for making a negative assumption.

    As it is, though, I don’t know that I made a negative assumption. I asked a question and it remains unanswered. Feel free to clarify, but quit the whining about the “negative assumptions.” IF, indeed, it is not your position, then all you have to do is say so and I WILL GLADLY apologize, with ashes on my forehead and tearing my clothes, if that helps.

    But until you answer the questions directly, I can’t know what your position is, I am only left with my assumptions based on what you all have said thus far and based on how most conservatives I know view the topic.

    Feel free to clarify.

    ~Dan

    • “I’m assuming that John, Craig, Marshall, Bubba, Glenn, and any other conservatives here all are opposed to transgender folk… to the sex change procedure and the whole notion. I’m further assuming that most of you all (maybe with the exception of Craig, based on what he said above, although since he didn’t answer directly, it’s hard to say), would not or would be wary about accepting a transgender person as a fellow Christian in your church, that you think it is sinful/wrong/sick/perverted…”

      Once again, above is YOUR ENTIRE QUOTE in it’s entirety. No where in this entire group of assumptions is there a question.

      AFTER, you make a statement about what you assume, then you ask a question.

      “If so, can any of you explain WHY you think it’s sinful, since the Bible never touches the topic?”

      Even your question is phrased as if your assumptions are correct.

      I know it’s tiresome when your own words come back to haunt you, but in this case, you overstepped, and want to pretend otherwise.

      So now that I’ve copy pasted your actual words, you might notice that the phrase below does NOT appear in the comment I referenced. So when you said that you said, “how it seems to me…” , you did NOT in fact say “how it seems to me”. You actually said “I assume that…”. Now you could just own up to what you actually said, apologize and move on or you can pretend that you said something that you did not say, your choice.

  41. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    one linked magazine article now qualifies as enough expert testimony for you to declare the case closed?

    No, as a point of fact, the APA’s expertise says that we don’t know but it’s not as simple as simply pointing to the junk and saying, “he’s got male junk, he’s a male.” I cited the APA. I then linked to another article about research on the brain and gender identity. It may be the case that you are ignorant about this, but the experts in the field of gender identity all are roughly on the same page. That’s not one article, that is the opinion of the experts in the field as I’ve read them. I’ve not heard any experts object except with those with a religious bias (and usually, those aren’t experts).

    It is the dominant opinion in the field, as I understand it. Do you have other data? Feel free to share.

    But if you’re just asking me to agree with you because you can point to a penis, I’m not impressed.

    Just as with orientation, our gender identity is innate and on a spectrum. That is the research that I’ve read in the field, the opinion of the APA and what makes sense to me, rationally speaking.

    Unless you have something else, feel free to move on. I’m not impressed with Craig’s opinion alone.

    ~Dan

    • OK one unattributed unlinked out of context quote and one magazine article, I misspoke, I’m sorry.

      “…not as simple as simply pointing to the junk and saying, “he’s got male junk, he’s a male.”

      Unfortunately for you I never said it was, I believe the term I used was secondary sexual characteristics. What I did address was the deeper issues of biology, bone structure, muscle mass and construction, chromosomes, brain activity, even you should be able to admit that that’s a bit more than “He’s got male junk”, but you won’t admit it, you won’t rebut it, and you’ll keep ignoring it and misrepresenting what I said.

      “It is the dominant opinion in the field, as I understand it…”

      Based on one unattributed out of context quote, and one magazine article, impressive. To summarize, the “dominant view in the field is “, “We don’t know”.

      “But if you’re just asking me to agree with you because you can point to a penis, I’m not impressed.”

      But I didn’t do that, as I pointed out above, you’ve chosen to ignore much. So, you may not be impressed, I’m impressed with your ability to pretend that I’m focusing on secondary characteristics not primary characteristics. I’m also impressed with your persistence in dodging question and pretending I haven’t provided sources to back up my position.

      “Just as with orientation, our gender identity is innate and on a spectrum. That is the research that I’ve read in the field, the opinion of the APA and what makes sense to me, rationally speaking.”

      Thank you so much for all of the extensive peer reviewed research studies you’ve provided to back up this statement. Can you please direct me to ONE source that unequivocally backs up your claim.

      “Unless you have something else, feel free to move on. I’m not impressed with Craig’s opinion alone.”

      You’ve already done exemplary work ignoring anything you find inconvenient, dodging questions, so it’s not surprising you’ve managed to convince yourself that I’ve just pulled some whacky opinion out of my ass, and you have smothered it in a landslide of verified contrary data.

  42. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    Warning, the goal posts have been officially moved. The shift from what makes someone male/female (Biology/Psyche) to what makes someone heterosexual.

    Analogy, Craig. JUST LIKE your sexual orientation is innate and you can’t point to a place on the body and say, “See? Straight!” so, too, you can’t point to a place on a body and say “See? Female!” The experts say it’s not that simple, and experience in the real world bears that out.

    No goal posts have been moved. On the other hand, there IS another set of questions left unanswered/dodged. Which makes THIS all the funnier…

    Not playing your games, you can either answer the questions on the table completely

    First of all, VERY funny. Irony just totally escapes you, I guess, but you sure can make me laugh.

    Secondly, I’ve answered the questions. I don’t have the expertise to voice an opinion on “biological markers…” I’m looking at what the experts have to say and it seems rational to me. What else is there to answer?

    Do you have some questions about how best to do brain surgery on the frontal lobe? Because I have no expertise and no opinion on that to offer any details, either. My opinion is to look to what the experts have to say, not to leave it to some wanker on the internet who has an opinion he really, realllllly likes.

    ~Dan

    • “No goal posts have been moved.”

      You mean other than trying to change the subject from what makes men men and women women , to what makes heterosexuals hetro. Once you can establish the fact that gender is absolutely NOT a matter of biology, and entirely a matter of orientation or feeling, then maybe you can move on, but not until.

      ” On the other hand, there IS another set of questions left unanswered/dodged. ”

      Yes, the original ones I asked, as well as the additional ones I asked.

      So, you can either answer the questions asked, in which case I will gladly answer the questions you asked AFTER the questions I asked, or your can bail, I’m fine with either option.

  43. paynehollow says:

    Here, Craig… While I am not a medical expert or a researcher on the topic, I can use google to locate some info about “biological markers…” Knock yerself out…

    “The fact that the brain and the genitals develop at different times in the womb mean that a misalignment between the genitals and brain may develop, leading to either an intersex condition, or a transgender individual…

    omen with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS) develop bodies which are almost entirely female, and they tend to be sexually oriented towards men – despite having an XY karyotype. (Bao, Gooren 2006) Often, there is no indication the child is anything but female until surgery or an x-ray reveals the presence of undescended testes. (Gooren, 2006)

    Example 2: Either a 5α-reductase-2 or a 17β-hydroxy-steroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency will prevent the formation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which will result in an XY karyotype baby girl with a large clitoris. However, when puberty arrives the girl will discover to her alarm that her clitoris grows significantly, her testes descend, and she will begin to take on masculine features. (Bao, Gooren 2006) Even though children with these birth defects are raised as girls, about 60% will become heterosexual males. (Bao) A Brazilian study found that of 25 5α-reductase-2 affected babies who were raised as girls, 13 changed their gender identity to male after puberty. (Gooren, 2006) Another study found that about 50% of 17β-hydroxy-steroid dehydrogenase-3 affected babies changed their gender identity back to male at puberty. (Gooren, 2006) What these results indicate to us is that testosterone likely more directly impacts the organization of the fetal brain than dihydrotestosterone. (Bao)

    Example 3: Boys with an XY karyotype who are born with a cloacal exstrophy (where they are either partly or completely missing a penis) are typically changed surgically into “girls” just after birth, and are given female hormone therapy and counseling. However, about half of these new girls later determine that they are really boys, and change their social gender when they become teenagers or adults. (Bao, Gooren 2006)

    Example 4: Girls with an XX karyotype born with congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) (meaning they were exposed to high levels of testosterone in the womb) tend to develop male social tendencies and male personality features. (Hines, Zucker) They tend to be described by their parents as “tomboys”, with a high energy level. (Gooren, 2006) CAH girls are 100-300 times as likely to be transsexual”

    More where that came from.

    http://transascity.org/the-transgender-brain/

    ~Dan

    • Dan,
      Perhaps you missed the part where I specifically said that I was not simply talking about genitals. Maybe that’s why you posted a link that does not address the areas I suggested were a problem for your hunch about this.

  44. paynehollow says:

    re: My assumptions, Craig. What’s even more ironic is that in my actual words, I said “maybe with the exception of Craig, based on what he said above, although since he didn’t answer directly, it’s hard to say” so I allowed that I didn’t think my assumptions held true for you. So, what you need to do to prove that my assumptions were incorrect and “negative” is to get these other fellas to affirm that they WOULD accept transgender folk as fellow Christians, that they DON’T think the procedure/process is immoral, wrong, etc.

    Let me know when you get word on that!

    Ha! You so funny…

    ~Dan

    • So, now you admit you based your comment on assumptions. Thanks for bolstering the point I made earlier.

      Again, the question (still unanswered) was,

      “Why do you make negative assumptions about those who disagree with you?”

      The fact that you “made an exception for me” doesn’t mitigate the point that you started with a series of negative assumptions, then attempted cover it with a tangentially related question.

      It hard not to keep repeating when you keep asking the same things over and over again. So, when you have answered my questions which were asked before your questions, I will gladly move on in an orderly fashion and answer questions in the order which they were asked.

  45. paynehollow says:

    And perhaps clarify for yourself, as your vague answers have not made it clear to me. If you truly mean that you DO accept transgender folk as fellow Christians and that you DON’T think the transgender process is morally wrong, why not clarify directly?

    ~Dan

  46. paynehollow says:

    Craig…

    I know it’s tiresome when your own words come back to haunt you, but in this case, you overstepped, and want to pretend otherwise.

    So now that I’ve copy pasted your actual words… Now you could just own up to what you actually said, apologize and move on or you can pretend that you said something that you did not say, your choice.

    ? I’m sorry, apologize for what, exactly?

    The only thing I can see you saying is that you think I made “harsh assumptions…” but I don’t see any evidence that I did. As evidence, you keep pointing back to my assumption (my hunch, what it seems to me, what I suppose they’d think) about your comrades, that they would not accept a transgender person as a fellow Christian (“would not or would be wary about accepting a transgender person as a fellow Christian in your church…”). None of them have answered so we don’t know for sure, but, IF my hunch is right, then it is not a “harsh” assumption, but an accurate one.

    Do you understand that?

    If there’s something else you think I should apologize for, please post it specifically. If I’ve made a mistake, I’m glad to admit the error, but I have to know what the mistake is, and I’m just not seeing one.

    ~Dan

  47. I’ve clearly and repeatedly asked you why you automatically make negative assumptions about those with whom you disagree. You’ve misrepresented what you said. I’d suggest that an apology is in order for both the unsupported negative assumption as well as for misrepresenting what you had said would be appropriate. Oh, in the interest of accuracy I said “negative” not “harsh”, if you’re going to quote people it’s more effective if you actually use the actual words.

  48. paynehollow says:

    AGAIN, you’d have to demonstrate that I’ve MADE negative assumptions. IF my assumptions are correct, then they are not negative, but just an indicator that my guess about what Marshall, et al, believe, was correct.

    So, when you produce some evidence that I have made negative assumptions, I will note it and, if appropriate, apologize.

    I am sorry for accidentally using “harsh,” just a slip, no harm intended.

    The ball is in your court to produce some evidence. If you merely point back to what I said about my guess about Marshall, et al, (STILL IN THE CONTEXT OF A QUESTION), then I will just say that there is no evidence that my guess is mistaken. THAT is what you are missing, Craig.

    sheesh.

    And I did NOT misrepresent what I said, I EXPLAINED AND CLARIFIED what I said so you might better understand the point I was making. That you needed an explanation is not an indication that I misrepresented. Understand?

    ~Dan

  49. Whatever Dan, you’ve ridden this little distraction as far as you can, maybe you could start answering questions.

  50. paynehollow says:

    Funny. Seriously, I laugh out loud each time you say that. It really brings a smile to my day.

    I do feel a bit of sadness that you apparently just don’t get the irony and perhaps I shouldn’t be laughing at your expense.

    I guess it’s sort of a bittersweet laugh.

    In this much you are right:

    Whatever.

    Peace.

    ~Dan

  51. Oh, believe me, I get the irony. The fact that you are dodging questions, refusing to provide proof for your assertions, and all the other stuff you whine that we don’t do. It’s absolutely hilarious that you don’t see that I’m just doing what I learned from you. It’s a pattern, don’t answer, ignore repeated requests to answer, pretend that you can’t find the questions and don’t remember them, then play the phony grace/peace card.

    Yep, I’ve learned from you.

    But what’s really ironic, is that all you have to do is go back and answer the questions, then you’d actually have standing to complain. Instead, just the same old crap.

  52. Of course Arkie, you are correct, no one could ever stand up to such amazing intellects as you and Dan, we should just give up.

    • Well, being the colossal asshat that you are, Craig, you simply reinforce your fundamentalist indoctrination with every asinine comment you make. And religious fundamentalism is the epitome of anti-intellectualism.
      I believe that, like our host, you also suffer from a minor mental illness.

      • You know what we call people who thinks everyone else is crazy?

        • I have no idea what people like you think regarding such matters as it it difficult for a non – medical professional like myself to accurately assess the thoughts of the mentally ill.

          So, I take it you are simply going to refuse to answer the question regarding the source of your morality, then?
          Par for the course.
          Hypocrite and fraud.
          Good one!

  53. paynehollow says:

    Or conversely, just answer the questions asked of you. Or try to. Then, when you realize that you have no way of answering them rationally and consistently, perhaps you will re-think your positions and admit to some poor judgments.

    ~Dan

  54. “Or conversely, just answer the questions asked of you. Or try to. Then, when you realize that you have no way of answering them rationally and consistently, perhaps you will re-think your positions and admit to some poor judgments. ”

    Or, I can wait for you to answer the questions asked in order so that we can move through the questions in an orderly logical fashion. I’ve been quite consistent on this, as soon as you answer the questions asked I’ll will answer yours. You can certainly pretend that this is not the case, which is fine, but in the real world you could take your own advice, at which point I will gladly answer your questions.

    Again, I’ll note the irony, all you have to do is answer the questions asked, and you’ll have a great big club to swing around. You’ll be able to say “Look, I’ve answered each and every question, and provided evidence that refutes yours so now it’s your turn.”, Instead I say “Dan, what about biological differences between men and women.” And you answer, “It’s not just about a penis.”, I say, “Dan what about the differences between men and women brains” and you say “It’s not just about a penis.”. So, here’s your chance use your vast knowledge of science, your immense reserves of Reason, and your copious intellect, and answer the questions and prove me wrong. Look, if you want to argue that perception trumps biology, go for it. But, I see no reason to play your little power games any more. I’ve tried answering your questions and hoping you’ll reciprocate, and it didn’t work, so now I’m just adhering to the same standards you hold yourself to. I’m giving you the opportunity to make your point in an emphatic manner, but predictably you’ve moved on to the “I’ll just make snarky comments” portion of the conversation. So, I’ll refrain from asking any more questions, while working on answers to yours elsewhere, ready to be copy/pasted at a moments notice.

  55. Dan compares and contrasts fundamentalists and “everyone else,” and lumping us in with Muslim extremists is only the beginning of the inanity.

    The problem with fundamentalists, Dan says, is “they can KNOW (ie, ‘know’) that their view is the right one because it isn’t ‘their’ view at all, but God’s.”

    “Everyone else – from non-fundamentalists in all religions to non-believers, in general – would probably not say we are objectively right and others are objectively wrong.”

    He says that as if the confidence of the former is uniformly less moral than the latter, and it’s not.

    Skepticism about our knowledge of objective morality can lead to skepticism about the existence of objective morality, and — as Nietzche wrote — if nothing is true, then everything is permitted, and human behavior is the result of nothing more than the will to power, the strong oppressing the weak. In less than a century, Communism racked up a death toll of about 100 million, with millions more in poverty and virtual slavery, and that cannot be laid at the feet of religious fundamentalism.

    On the other hand, I know somebody who supremely exhibited the belief that his view “is the right one because it isn’t [his] view at all, but God’s.”

    I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.“- Jn 8:38

    I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak.” – Jn 12:49

    The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.” – Jn 14:10

    This man’s hand-picked apostles seemed pretty confident that they were communicating God’s message to man, and they seemed pretty confident that their audience was capable of discerning the true gospel from its false rivals and discerning God’s commands enough to obey those commands and grow in holiness.

    But, otherwise, yeah, fundamentalism sucks.

  56. Hi John.

    Interesting post, although I think any commentary on morality that does not address the evolutionary principles underwriting it will always be fundamentally flawed.

    I’d like, though, to delve a little into this sentence of yours:

    We don’t take the lives of innocent human beings simply because one of their parents is a criminal.

    Neither a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus (until a specific moment in its gestation) meets the legal, medical or scientific requirements to be called a human being. Deliberately misleading, factually erroneous statements like that serve no purpose other than to lower the intelligence level of the dialogue, and ultimately distract attention away from the “better conversations” we should be having about abortion; namely, education and prevention.

    • Actually, John, medically and scientifically, a new human being begins to exist at the point of conception. This is uncontroversial in the embryology science community. Couple that with the fact that many, if not most states have fetal homicide laws on the books. This charges with murder anyone who kills a fetus inutero who isn’t a doctor commissioned by the mother to do so.

      It’s only up for debate with proabortion activists and defenders of “choice”.

      I urge you to read up on the science. I cite multiple embryology text books and other medical sources in my post titled “Get a life, part 1” if you search it above.

      • I would also like to add to the statement:

        We don’t take the lives of innocent human beings simply because one of their parents is a criminal.

        That is precisely what your god did regarding the story of Adam and Eve. He relegates all offspring to an eternity in hell as a result of their alleged criminal behavior. Now I’m sure you’ll point to the opportunity for salvation, but it is clear that this god you believe in certainly doesn’t take the high ground when it comes to morality.

        Besides, you still ignore the fact that your god aborts far more human beings than man ever could. Moral indeed.

        • Actually, Z, you’re showing your ignorance of the bible. People aren’t punished because of Adams sin. They are punished because THEY themselves sin.

          • Your whole notion of “sin” was put in motion by the story of Adam and Eve. We are punished because they disobeyed god. I thought you were smarter than that.

            • And I thought you were smarter than to misconstrue the actual story of it.we are not punished because they disobeyed.

              • Please feel free to explain that story as you interpret it when you get a moment.

              • There’s not much to explain. Eve sinned, and through Adam we gained a propensity (so to speak) to sin. We are punished when WE sin. We aren’t obligated to sin, but we will do it. So to say we are punished because of Adams sin is to misunderstand WHY people are punished.

        • Z, John’s right that the Bible teaches that all of us sin and fall short of God’s standards (Rom 3:23), and while it’s certainly true that the Bible teaches that we inherited a sin nature, we are still held accountable for our own choices.

          You write, “your god aborts far more human beings than man ever could,” but the Bible teaches that taking even innocent human life isn’t intrinsically immoral such that even God could not do it, but that it is God’s sole prerogative as our Creator.

          It is true that we believe that God, sovereign and omniscient, has at least permitted a great number of miscarriages, but let’s not stop there. With rare, temporally or geographically localized exceptions such as wars and mass killings, more people in EVERY demographic dies from natural causes than from deliberate acts on the part of human beings.

          But you don’t just object to “our” deity as described in the Christian canon, but to the omniscient and sovereign God of the universe, if in fact He exists. If your quite understandable outrage at the fact of human mortality leads to you conclude that God does not exist, I must wonder why you think that the random activities of an unguided universe should ensure our immortality.

          The moral outrage at death can only be valid if there is an objective morality, and an objective moral law requires a transcendent Lawgiver.

          Z, the Bible recognizes and even endorses our outrage at death: it’s the terrible but just consequence of sin, our rebellion against God, all creation groans under its weight (Rom 8:19-23), and God Incarnate wept when His friend died.

          In recognizing the horror of death and proclaiming how God died to defeat death, the Bible offers a more coherent response to death than railing at God for His supposed immorality, and then denying His existence and undermining the very basis for morality.

          • I appreciate your input here, Bubba. I like to get other perspectives, but let’s examine your reply in more detail.

            It is not logical to be automatically guilty and supposedly accountable of something that is unavoidable. You might as well say that breathing is a sin. Again, the entire notion of sin by Christians stems from the Garden of Eden and we are all held accountable by the actions of Adam and Eve.

            “God’s sole prerogative” is simply giving your deity a pass for behavior that you otherwise find to be immoral.

            “Natural causes” is exactly what we would expect to find in nature with no need to inject the belief a deity.

            “Human morality” does not lead me to conclude that god does not exist. The lack of evidence to support the claim that one exists leads me to that conclusion.

            “Moral outrage at death…” is a nonsensical statement that reaches an even more nonsensical conclusion.

            • Z, there are Christians who believe that the doctrine of the sin nature means, not only that every decision of an unregenerate man is somewhat tainted by sinful motives, but that every decision before regeneration is ITSELF a sin. I don’t believe that, and more importantly I don’t believe the Bible supports that view.

              Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” – Matthew 7:9-11

              Even sinful men are evidently capable of good deeds; when we do choose to sin, it IS a choice.

              Now, the sin nature means that all men inevitably choose to sin, but we can still be held accountable for that choice. You may say that we cannot help having that sin nature, and you’re right: we cannot help that, but God can and has addressed that problem and calls us to receive His solution. If we balk at the diagnosis or His cure, that’s on us, not Him.

              I’m not “giving [my] deity a pass for behavior that [I] otherwise find to be immoral.”

              I find it immoral for a human to demand worship or supreme devotion from another human being, or for a human to provide such worship or devotion to another human being, but I certainly don’t find it immoral for God to make such demands, because I believe that worship and supreme devotion rightly belong to the only supreme, non-contingent, and holy being.

              The reason I believe murder is immoral matters. I believe that dishonesty is wrong even for God, because God revealed that He does not and will not lie (Numbers 23:19), but taking human life is wrong for us because God revealed that it’s His prerogative (Genesis 9:6).

              About morality, I think you miss my point: if objective morality is real — and most people do believe that to be true, whether they admit it or realize it, and some who explicitly deny it in the words evidently live by the belief in their actions — then it IS evidence for a transcendent Lawgiver.

              • Now, the sin nature means that all men inevitably choose to sin, but we can still be held accountable for that choice. You may say that we cannot help having that sin nature, and you’re right: we cannot help that, but God can and has addressed that problem and calls us to receive His solution. If we balk at the diagnosis or His cure, that’s on us, not Him.

                You don’t seem to understand the irrational and illogical conclusion reached here.

                1. We all sin. It is unavoidable and inevitable.
                2. We are/will be eternally punished for sin.
                3. The only cure is God and it’s your fault is you don’t accept it.

                Christianity is a fear-based religion.

              • Anti smoking ads are a fear based campaign

          • … but that it is God’s sole prerogative as our Creator.

            For such a statement to have any legs at all you have to demonstrate the veracity of your deity claim.
            Off you go …. No sidestepping. Please present the evidence.

            The moral outrage at death can only be valid if there is an objective morality, and an objective moral law requires a transcendent Lawgiver.

            Rubbish! This is presuppositional apolgetics at its worse!

            • Ark, I agree that a Christian ought to be willing and able to explain why he believes in the existence of God, but, in the general case, it’s not reasonable to demand that he preface his EVERY thought on a specific question about God with a thorough argument for God’s existence.

              In your specific case, Ark, I don’t see the point in trying to convince you of anything, when you just dismiss what I already write as “rubbish” without even a cursory effort to address my arguments on the merits.

              • Merits? Oh, boy!
                I consider your arguments rubbish solely because you approach everything based on presuppositional apologetics and judge your fellow man from this standpoint.
                Thus, the term ”rubbish”.

                Please, feel free to demonstrate why this is not so.
                One scrap of evidence will do me fine.
                Off you go … let’s see what you got, Bubba.

      • Hi John.

        Not sure where you’ve received your information from, but it’s in error. You’re implying a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus (until a specific moment in its gestation, of course) can be killed, and that is where your mistake is occurring. Death is not a possibility. The legal, scientific and medical definition of death is quite clear, and well established:

        In 1979, the Conference of the Medical Royal Colleges, “Diagnosis of death” declared: “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.”

        This was updated in the 1980s and 1990s to state that brainstem death, as diagnosed by UK criteria, is the point at which “all functions of the brain have permanently and irreversibly ceased.”

        Further still updated in 1995 (to present), “It is suggested that ‘irreversible loss of the capacity for consciousness, combined with irreversible loss of the capacity to breathe’ should be regarded as the definition of death’

        There’s no room for conjecture here. The legal, medical and scientific definition of Death is the cessation of brain activity. So, we know precisely what “death” is, and the opposite of death is “life,” is it not? Without death there is no life. The former begets the latter. The latter assigns meaning to the former. One delineates the other, and the definition of death is not in dispute: the cessation of brain activity.

        Now, neither a zygote, a blastocyst, or embryo has any brain, let alone brain activity, and the foetus does not begin to exhibit sustained EEG activity until week 25, after which time it may be considered “On.” Now I’m sure you’ll agree, only after something is “On,” can it be turned, “Off,” correct? This is why the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. National Library of Medicine call natural abortion (which is upwards of 70% of all successful pregnancies) after this quite specific moment “preterm deliveries,” while before that date it is labeled “miscarriages.” The definitional demarcation is there on quite on purpose.

        If you are to imply something is being “killed,” then the question presented to you is this: how can you turn something “Off” that is not “On”? How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

        • You’re saying that professional embryologists are mistaken?

          You’re trying to define life with a definition of death. That’s not how it’s done. Things without brains die all the time. A living thing doesn’t need a brain the be alive.

          If you want to argue that the science is wrong, fine, but you’re uninformed.

          • Hi John.

            Again, you’re in error, but I can appreciate where you’re making the mistake, and can at least sympathise with your error. “Life” does not begin at fertilisation. At no stage does life magically appear in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Ever. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. The sperm and the egg were already a part of the living system; a system that began 3.8 billion years ago. Defined human life is therefore determined only by the presence of sustained EEG activity. Before that moment there is only potential, and upwards of 70% of such potential is naturally aborted. Do you call this mass of aborted potential (7 out of 10 successful fertilisations) “killing”?

            So the question remains: how can you turn something “Off” that is not “On”? How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

            • John, respectfully, you’re being stubbornly ignorant of the issue. Did you check the post I referred you to where I cite medical text books and cite medical professionals themselves?

              • If you’re going to insist that we consider a zygote or embryo to be equal to that of a breathing human being, how do you account for your god not allowing such a significant number of pregnancies to be successful?

              • God has a unique position of authority over his creation in virtue of being the Creator that we do not have over each other.

              • Hi John.

                I gave you the legal, scientific and medical definition of death. Are you questioning its accuracy? If so, by all means present an alternative (and recognised/published) definition.

                As I said, “life” never magically appears in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Ever. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. Do you dispute this? Your confusion, it seems, is occurring at conflating “potential” with an actual “human being” that can (by the legal, medical and scientific definition) die.

                If you wish to make the claim that something is being “killed,” then the question presented to you is this: how can you turn something “Off” that is not “On”? How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

                Can you address this question without another deflection?

              • John

                I am questioning your line of reasoning to define life. Especially when a new living human being begins to exist.

                You aren’t arguing against me, you’re arguing against the actual scientists in the embryological field as I cited in the post I directed you to.

              • Hi John.

                Is there any particular reason why you have failed to the address the rather simple and straightforward question four times?

                Again, your error is occurring in conflating “potential” with an actual “human being” that can (by the legal, medical and scientific definition) die. 70% of all successful pregnancies abort: do you call this “killing”?

                So, for a 5th time: Given the legal, scientific and medical definition of death, how can you turn something “Off” that is not “On”? How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

                It would be greatly appreciated if you could address this question to the best of your abilities without further deflection and unnecessary evasion.

              • John, your question is invalid.

              • Hi John

                Quite on the contrary, as I have clearly demonstrated through the legal, scientific and medical definition of death. Evasive efforts don’t work when the evidence is there for all to see.

                W0uld you like me to re-post the legal, scientific and medical definition of “death;” the one and only thing that defines and delineates human “life” in the legal, scientific and medical arena?

                “brain death represents the stage at which a patient becomes truly dead.”

                So, for a 6th time: Given the legal, scientific and medical definition of death, how can you turn something “Off” that is not “On”? How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

                Should you choose to evade addressing this question (for a 6th time) I, and everyone reading this thread, will take that as you admitting your error, as initially identified in my first comment.

              • Being able to pinpoint death doesn’t indicate when human life begins. Your question based on this mistake is invalid. Your refusal to consider the multiple scientific medical sources I cite tells me your stubbornness borders on willful ignorance.

              • Hi John

                I’m sorry, but repeating your already debunked erroneous arguments won’t make them any more valid a second, third, or fourth time around.

                As I have already established, your appeal to “life” is entirely meaningless. At no point does “life” magically appears in a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus. Ever. Life began on earth 3.8 billion years ago and hasn’t been interrupted since. A foetus was never inorganic and suddenly becomes organic. Defined human life is, therefore, determined only by the presence of sustained EEG activity. Before that moment there is only potential, and most of that potential (7 out of every 10 successful pregnancies) is naturally aborted.

                Do you call this killing human beings?

                So, you evaded answering my tremendously straightforward question a total of six times. Congratulations.

                As I see no reason to suspect why you might grow an intellectual spine anytime soon, and actually address the matters presented to you in a rational and adult manner, free of evasive childish tactics, a 7th attempt won’t be offered. I value my time too greatly to have it wasted on the likes of you.

              • John. You haven’t debunked anything. You cited something from 1979 that was updated in 1995 about death. I cite actual university embryology text books used to teach future medical professionals about human life in its earliest stages. These publications are even more recent than your irrelevant citation. Like I said, you’ve debunked nothing.

              • …and that makes seven times you’ve evaded addressing the question/s presented.

                How surprising!

                Good day, child.

            • Obviously, John Zande is confusing the notion of when a particular human’s life begins with life in general. This won’t help his argument.

        • “Cessation” implies something had begun. A new life has begun with conception and the fact that a brain has not yet formed to your satisfaction is not the same as a brain that has formed ceasing to function. This is a false parallel. By your own admission, an embryo or zygote has yet to form a brain, thus there is no brain function that can cease.

          • “Cessation” implies something had begun.

            Cessation of “brain activity:” correct, and sustained brain activity (EEG) begins at week 25 of the pregnancy. It is the moment the foetus is turned “On.” My question was, therefore: How can you turn something “Off” that is not “On”? How can you “kill” something that cannot “die”?

            By your own admission, an embryo or zygote has yet to form a brain, thus there is no brain function that can cease.

            Precisely, so neither a zygote, a blastocyst, embryo, or foetus (until after week 25) can die.

            Thanks for affirming exactly what I said.

  57. God has a unique position of authority over his creation in virtue of being the Creator that we do not have over each other.

    Wow, you’re willing to bend over backwards to make excuses for your god.

    You might as well throw in the ol “God works in mysterious ways” while you’re at it.

    Pathetic.

  58. paynehollow says:

    John…

    Being able to pinpoint death doesn’t indicate when human life begins.

    So, scientifically speaking, when DOES full-on human life begin? Is it human life if there is no brain? According to what source? If a person is in an accident and their brain is destroyed, but the doctors can keep the body living, is that person really living?

    On what authority do you base your answer?

    Are your appeals not to unprovable opinions, not science, not a god?

    ~Dan

    • Dan, I base it on what the medical and scientific community has discovered. This is laid out in my post, Get a life part 1. A new human being begins life at the moment of conception.

  59. paynehollow says:

    You base it on THE OPINIONs of SOME in the medical/scientific community. So, again I ask:

    Are you appeals not to unprovable opinions, not science, not god?

    It appears you are answering “YES,” since you are citing the opinion of some human doctors, but I’m just trying to clarify.

    ~Dan

    • SMH. Dan, are you familiar with the acronym GFY?

    • “THE OPINIONs of SOME in the medical/scientific community.”

      I’m confused, you spent lord knows how much time and effort attempting to argue that what experts say about a given topic is much more valid than what a casual observer might say, now you are suggesting that the experts (who by your definition are experts) are wrong because you don’t agree. Inconsistent much?

  60. paynehollow says:

    Not familiar with SMH or GFY, either one.

    Smart Move, Hombre?

    Good For You?

    Does that mean that your answer to my question is your hunch about beginning of life is, yes, it is a human opinion, not provable?

    ~Dan

    • Dan, it seems to me that to you nothing is provable. And you seem to think that because to you it’s unprovable, we just do as we see fit on any issue.

      • This is accurate, John. Dan’s new strategy is to every argument he places “on whose authority?” It’s the new “sez who?” that he thinks is a mature rebuttal.

  61. paynehollow says:

    Your and my opinions about morality are NOT provable. If they are, John, just prove one thing. Objectively, with data and support.

    Do you understand that not one opinion you hold about morality, about what God thinks is provable?

    If you think even ONE is, just step up and prove it. You all have been saying “IT IS provable/factual/knowable…” without ever proving it. Prove it or admit it’s an opinion.

    Now, IF we can agree that it is mere opinion, does that mean that “we can do as we see fit on any issue?” HELL, NO. Lord, forbid it, no!

    I certainly have never argued that, I’m pretty sure that the non-theists here have ever argued that. No, no, no! A thousand times, No!

    John, NOW do you understand that just because it “seems” to you that I think that, that I do NOT, as a point of fact, think that? Would it help if I said, “NO, I do not think that…” some more?

    ~Dan

    • Dan,

      You say that both sides’ positions on morality — “your and my opinions” — are un-provable and un-knowable (never mind your continuing to conflate what can be known with what can be proven, an equivalency you’ve never proven).

      And you also say that this does NOT mean that we can do as we see fit: “HELL, NO. Lord, forbid it, no!”

      Okay.

      So what the hell is your point? Why make the claim at all? What bearing does it have on the discussion?

      Why harp on your belief that our positions are hunches, if your positions are hunches, and your harping gets us no closer to determining whether we are morally free to destroy human life if it hasn’t reached a certain stage of development, but we’re NOT morally permitted to consider a person a man if he has a Y chromosome and testicles but does not identify as such?

      What’s the effing point?

  62. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    So what the hell is your point? Why make the claim at all? What bearing does it have on the discussion?

    Why harp on your belief that our positions are hunches, if your positions are hunches

    These are GREAT questions, Bubba and I’m glad you ask.

    Precisely because we all have our opinions on these unprovable points, I push for us all to RECOGNIZE it for precisely what it is. Unfortunately, some among us are so certain that they are “right” in their opinions, to the degree that they are able to speak authoritatively on behalf of God and what is universally moral, we NEED to remind ourselves that these are opinions, not facts. We need the humility to recognize this because, when it comes to divisive matters, it is VITAL that we are not arrogant to the point of presuming WE speak for God – and, by extension, THEY speak AGAINST God and all that is moral.

    The “We speak for God and they speak for the devil, we speak for morality and they speak against morality” approach to solving disagreements, beyond just not being rational or factual, is poison to humanity.

    If we are both offering our genuine personal opinions, based on reasons that we find compelling – if I’m doing that AND I recognize that you are doing that, as well – that sets a whole new and healthier frame to disagreements than the toxic, “I speak for God and you don’t…” approach.

    THAT is why I point it out. THAT is my point.

    The world is dying and killing and bullying itself to death and we have to learn to disagree on even ground with a rational, humble mindset. That is the Way of Grace, the Way of Heaven.

    The “I speak for God/allah/all that is moral” approach is the path to hell on earth. May it die a quick death!

    Can I get an Amen?

    ~Dan

    • No “amens” for idiocy and ambiguity. While few here are in any way accurately described as being members of “We speak for God and they speak for the devil, we speak for morality and they speak against morality” club, you are definitely a member of the “whatever” club that serves on one but yourself. You do not speak of “the Way of Grace”, but of the path to destruction because you are so concerned with preserving your preferred definitions than in seeking actual Truth. Try proving your own bullshit for a change. If you lack the conviction to do more than hide behind “my opinion”, you’re wasting our time. For me, I can indeed speak for God if by “speaking for God” I am simply restating what Scripture records as God’s will. That’s easy to do, doesn’t require more evidence than Scripture itself, and is no different than what Christ Himself had done while He walked the earth. Hell on earth has been established by such as you, Dan, for presuming that there is nothing of which we can be certain, thereby providing gaping chasms of room for every possible corruption.

      • @Marshal
        <blockquote. If you lack the conviction to do more than hide behind “my opinion”,

        Hide? Conviction? Lol…yo, D***H**D, Here’s a word you might be unfamiliar with –
        Honesty.
        1.
        the quality of being honest.
        “they spoke with convincing honesty about their fears”
        synonyms: integrity, uprightness, honorableness, honor, morality, morals, ethics, principles, high principles, righteousness, right-mindedness;

        You rant from your soap box and claim the moral high ground on all issues yet have not an ounce of integrity to provide evidence of this authority. Not a single solitary scrap.

        Cast the mote out of thine own eye and all that … right?
        The fundamentalists of your ilk are the perfect example of why there was/ is internecine ‘war’ between the religious factions.

        Why for the better part of 2000 years Christians have been at the forefront of slaughtering opponents of their brand of religion, be they Christian or non Christian. And the Christians with the biggest army or the ones able to instill the most fear were/are the most corrupt.
        Study your frakking history, marshal. Just for once show you have a modicum of humility and intellectualism in this regard.

        • “Honesty” Arkie? I don’t see how you’ve demonstrated a working knowledge of that word or any of the synonyms listed afterward. I haven’t claimed either moral high ground OR authority. I’ve only relayed what has gone before us for generations and generations regarding morality and right behaviors. So there is no evidence for authority that I need to provide. Nothing I’ve stated regarding morality is the least bit radical (except for this fallen and corrupt generation) nor unknown to most people even slightly familiar with the concept of “honesty”.

          Nor does “honesty” manifest in your revisionist understanding of history.

          • Morality and right behaviour! RFLMFAO
            Your all- loving Christianity has a diabolical history of some of the most heinous examples of morality the planet has ever witnessed, you jumped-up hypocritical,ignorant little prat!

            I wouldn’t allow you to teach my dog morality!
            In fact, my dog could demonstrate morality to you.

  63. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    new strategy is to every argument he places “on whose authority?”

    Consider: The doctor tells the distressed parents, she’s going to have to amputate their child’s foot to save her life. They ask “Why? On whose authority would we permit this?” The doctor responds: On the authority of my training as a medical professional. Please get another medical professional’s opinion…

    And the doctor is right. On serious questions – especially involving OTHER people and what they should do, “On whose authority? On what basis?” are reasonable questions. What is incredibly telling is the degree of fight you all put up to answering the question, the degree of ridicule/demonization you assign to people (TRY to assign to them) for asking these reasonable questions?

    Why do you fight s hard against such a reasonable question?

    ~Dan

    • Nice try Dan (not). My training as one versed in Christian morality goes back 53 years, so I guess I have authority in this field at least comparable to a doctor in his. So if that’s the standard, you’ve endowed me with far more authority than I would ever had assumed for myself. Thanks a bunch. Now you know and can stop asking that stupid question.

      Here’s more of what my new found authority has informed me: Your insistence that your questions are reasonable does not make them so. Indeed, on whose authority do you dare suggest you can so label a question?

  64. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    Try proving your own bullshit for a change. If you lack the conviction to do more than hide behind “my opinion”, you’re wasting our time.

    And there it is, at least in part. You all appear to think that, “This is my opinion” is some sort of weak answer or some sort of dodge, when, in fact, it is simply stating the fact that my opinion IS, in fact, an opinion.

    Are your opinions something to hide, Marshall? Are they embarrassing to you and that is why you attack others for pointing out the fact that, “This is my opinion” IS an opinion?

    Perhaps thou dost project too much?

    Listen quite closely, Marshall, and understand reality:

    I. CAN. NOT. PROVE. THAT. JESUS. DOES. NOT. APPROVE. OF. WAR.

    Do you understand that? Further…

    YOU. CAN. NOT. PROVE. THAT. JESUS. DOES. APPROVE. OF. WAR.

    Factually speaking, these are OUR opinions, and we can not prove or disprove them. Disagree? Then provide objective data to prove your opinion is a fact.

    Or just slow down, take a breath, look at what I’m saying and recognize it as a simple fact and that there is no shame in holding opinions that are not provable, the only shame is in pretending that it is and then continually not proving it.

    ~Dan

    • What we “think”, Dan, is that you hide behind your opinion as if we don’t know it is your opinion, or that the “fact” that it is only an opinion is even in doubt. So it is YOU who needs to “listen quite closely”:

      WE. KNOW. YOU. ARE. EXPRESSING. OPINION!!! WE. WANT. EVIDENCE. OR. PROOFS. OR SOMETHING THAT. JUSTIFIES. HOLDING. YOUR. OPINION!!!!

      Is that in any way confusing to you, Dan? Stop wasting our time with this crap about opinion. NO. FREAKIN’. SHIT!!!

      And you can also 86 that lame crap about “taking a breath” as if I’m suffering from some emotional trauma. What I put forth as factual I have been constantly supporting with Scripture. You then call that support opinion when it is directly drawn from Scripture. The gracious move on your part would be to counter what I’ve put forth with Scriptural support of your own. You don’t. So as far as what I attribute to God is supported with evidence of Scripture. I do exactly what you demand, but instead of being the gracious Christian you pretend I am not, you whine. Cut the crap and grow up. Provide for your OPINIONS what you demand of us for ours, if you insist what we state is only opinion. For we do back ours up. You do not.

  65. Dan:

    The ‘I speak for God/allah/all that is moral’ approach is the path to hell on earth. May it die a quick death!

    “Can I get an Amen?

    No.

    You sound so damn certain in your opposition to certainty — how in the world do you know that confidence in God’s revelation is “the path to hell on earth”? — but I reiterate that Christ repeatedly claimed to speak only what the Father told Him to say, Christ’s hand-picked Apostles claimed to have the authoritative word on the true gospel and God’s ethical commands, and they acted as if God’s revelation could be understand by their audience.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong in being confident about what God has clearly revealed through His prophets and apostles, preserved in the written word that records their teaching.

    You undermine your own point about skepticism when you insist that everyone agree with you, and since I’ve never seen you be one-tenth this belligerent when leftists display a similar level of confidence making claims with which you agree, I cannot help but conclude that you make this point only when it’s convenient to your partisan agenda.

  66. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong in being confident about what God has clearly revealed through His prophets and apostles, preserved in the written word that records their teaching.

    Sure, there is, at least potentially. If one is confident, for instance, that they are interpreting “God’s Word” correctly in thinking they should emulate Israel following God’s own orders to kill the enemies and their wives and babies, they would be horrifyingly wrong in being confident in their hunch.

    If one is confident they should take Jesus literally and pluck out their eyes, they would be horrifyingly wrong in being confident in their hunch.

    If one is confident that God hates “the gays” and they are gay themselves and they grow to loathe themselves for their pathetic sinful nature, they would be horrifyingly wrong in being confident in their hunch.

    If one is confident that God doesn’t want gay folk marrying – and they work to deny fellow citizens the right to do so – they would be horrifyingly wrong in being confident in their hunch.

    If one is confident that Allah wants them to destroy the infidel, they would be horrifyingly wrong in being confident in their hunch.

    I could go on but I hope you get the point. Of course there is something wrong, potentially, in “being confident” in what they think God/Allah has said.

    With “Allah” at least, wouldn’t you agree? Regardless if you agree, clearly my examples point out some horror story potentials for being confident in THEIR interpretations of ancient texts.

    ~Dan

  67. Dan, there’s nothing “horrifyingly wrong” about believing that homosexual couples should be free to live together out in the open without the radical redefinition of the legal institution of marriage. You’re just being silly now.

    But, okay, there’s POTENTIALLY something wrong in being confident, that potential rooted in a MISPLACED confidence. In actuality, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in a well-placed confidence.

    If one is confident they should take Jesus literally and pluck out their eyes, they would be horrifyingly wrong in being confident in their hunch.

    And if one is confident he should take Jesus literally and love God and trust in His provision, and love even his enemies and forgive them — oh, the absolute horror! The inhumanity! The outrage! The bells, the bells, sanctuary!

    You still haven’t acknowledged much less rebutted my point that, if confidence was intrinsically immoral, then Christ and His Apostles were wrong for exhibiting it and for acting as if Christians could be confident about the contents of the Gospel and God’s law.

    But never mind that, your examples of misplaced confidence is conclusive proof that confidence should be avoided at all costs.

    • It’s worse than that, Bubba! Dan is suggesting that we are confident in things that are blatantly NOT what we support. We do not:

      …believe we should emulate Israel following God’s own orders to kill the enemies and their wives and babies, because we don’t believe God has ordered us to do so. We simply believe that we should comply with any direct mandate or order from Him. I haven’t had the incredible, awesome and fearsome pleasure of direct contact by God, nor do I know of anyone who has.

      …believe that Jesus literally meant that anyone should pluck out their eyes. We’re not progressive Christians and thus are not that stupid as to suggest that anyone would.

      …believe that God hates “the gays” nor do we believe homosexuals should loathe themselves any more or less than any other sinner should loathe himself. I don’t even know where that second part comes from. Have you ever heard anyone suggest that? I can certainly insist that no one should be proud to identify by their sinful lusts as some homosexuals do. But I know my sinful desires bring me no pride or gratitude except that it gives me the opportunity to let God strengthen me during my weakest times.

      …deny that God most certainly abhors the notion to two of the same sex “marrying”, since it enables the couple in the behavior He described as an abomination. That doesn’t suggest logic in God at all. It is a most idiotic notion that He would bless or condone such unions at all given the clear admonition against it. We also don’t believe that God needs to prohibit anything more than once for it to be forbidden us, nor do we need to have a picture painted for us in order for us to understand something so plainly revealed.

      …deny homosexuals their insistence on pretending they are marrying, nor do we support laws preventing their living in sinfulness with each other. We simply do not support our civil law reflecting cultural tolerance and/or encouragement of such dysfunctional behavior. We care too much for future generations to be complicit in such blatant immorality.

      …care what muslims believe.

      …want Dan to go on with these idiotic statements that do not in the least bit reflect any position we’ve taken and then pretend they are relevant to these discussions. His “horror stories” are meaningless here and do nothing to mitigate our positions in the least.

  68. paynehollow says:

    Marshall, I didn’t say you believed those things, although you do believe at least some of them. Rather, I was demonstrating that confidence CAN be a bad thing. That point stands and I think at least Bubba can agree my point is made.

    Bubba…

    You still haven’t acknowledged much less rebutted my point that, if confidence was intrinsically immoral, then Christ and His Apostles were wrong for exhibiting it and for acting as if Christians could be confident about the contents of the Gospel and God’s law.

    ? Where have I said that confidence is intrinsically immoral? Oh wait, I remember: No where.

    I said that confidence was potentially a great horror. And yes, you and I can agree that a well-placed confidence is a good thing.

    It is well placed confidence that it is a good and moral teaching to do good to others, to love yourself and others, to even love your enemies and do good to them. We can agree that a confidence in thinking forgiveness and mercy and living simply and sharing with those in need, etc, is a well-placed confidence.

    The place where confidence goes wrong is when your confidence allows you or encourages you to do harm to others, especially innocent people. Or if your confidence is in money and material things and the “good” in accumulating them at all costs, that’s a bad confidence.

    Bubba, what it comes down to is this: I fully encourage you to be confident about those things that encourage good behavior in your own life, about helping appropriately (ie, when the help is wanted and timely). If you are convinced that eating meat, or dating men, or being prompt are important moral values, I FULLY encourage you to embrace those values in your own life with confidence.

    But let that confidence end with you deciding for you what others should do. Be confident in the teaching that we are each endowed with the right to figure things out for ourselves. Intervene in others lives if and when they are causing harm to others – stop the drunk driver, intervene in the abusive man beating a woman (or vice versa), etc – but when it comes to non-harmful behaviors, let your confidence in others’ allow them to figure out for themselves without your confidence to tell them what is right and wrong.

    Since our confidence in moral behavior DOES come from our own reasoning and our reasoning is human and therefore, fallible, be confident in the wisdom of tempering your confidence when it comes to telling others what they can and can not do and be confident in grace, mercy, kindness and embracing others as fellow children of God without your confident judgment of them.

    Good confidence and bad confidence, have the wisdom and humility to recognize the difference.

    ~Dan

  69. “Marshall, I didn’t say you believed those things, although you do believe at least some of them.”

    I just showed that I don’t believe in any of the things you listed, with the exception of God’s view of SSM. But you are certainly horrifyingly wrong in being certain that such a logical position could be horrifyingly wrong. God calls an act an abomination and we’re to believe that He would possibly bless, condone, tolerate or encourage any union in which that behavior would take place? That’s more than just wrong, Dan. That’s stupidity personified.

    What is galling is your use of such examples as if they apply to anything we have said. This is a common tactic of yours and is dishonest, thus constitutes behavior that is harmful to others. Lying is harmful to others. Examples of behaviors in which none of us engage are irrelevant to these discussions, so please, as a sign you don’t just give lip service to the concept of grace, cut that crap out once and for all.

  70. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    But you are certainly horrifyingly wrong in being certain that such a logical position could be horrifyingly wrong.

    sigh.

    Prove it.

    You know, data, facts, exact info. NOT guesses, hunches, interpretations taken from a text that you can’t prove should be interpreted the way your culture has taught you to take it.

    And the EXAMPLES were exactly examples of horribly misplaced examples. As such, they are perfectly apt. You can’t just say, “NOT APT! NOT APT!” and be taken seriously. It would appear that even Bubba gets the perfectly rational point I was making, take it up with him.

    ~Dan

    • Bubba’s acceptance of your nonsensical list of examples is irrelevant to my point, assuming he did indeed “accept” them. My point is that no one here has taken those positions and as such they are pointless to the discussion. Your problem is with OUR confidence in OUR positions. Address those if you take issue with them. Making up crap in a dishonest attempt to imply comparisons and parallels to our actual position is not a manifestation of the grace about which you pretend to care so much.

      I’ve proven over and over again why my positions are, at the very absolute least, more likely than yours. I use actual Scripture, (you know, verses and passages from Scripture that directly address the position) in support of my position. You use verses into which you force meaning that Scripture cannot support, such as “marriage is a good, so homosexuals marrying each other is a good”, when there is nothing in Scripture that could possibly lead an HONEST and SERIOUS student of Scripture to conclude that marriage is meant to be anything more than a union of man and woman. There is nothing that supports a progressive “Christian” position to that regard. There is only fantasy land. Thus, it is incumbent upon YOU to provide something akin to proofs or evidences FROM SCRIPTURE for your positions.

  71. paynehollow says:

    “horribly misplaced confidence…” dt

  72. paynehollow says:

    Marshall…

    You use verses into which you force meaning that Scripture cannot support, such as “marriage is a good, so homosexuals marrying each other is a good”, when there is nothing in Scripture that could possibly lead an HONEST and SERIOUS student of Scripture to conclude that marriage is meant to be anything more than a union of man and woman.

    Again, factually, that simply isn’t true, because it happened exactly like that for me, a conservative (at the time) honest and serious student of the Bible.

    Again, you are welcome to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Saying, “Nu uh, nu uh! Did NOT happen!” does not change the fact that it did happen, in the real world.

    Beyond that, you fail to contend with the other fact that not everyone approaches the Bible as you do. I don’t look to the Bible to “find” support for something as reasonable and obviously good as a healthy marriage, I see that marriage – gay or straight – is obviously healthy and good, just on its own merits. As a separate issue, I also think that those who try to lift rules and lines from the Bible to impose a moral judgment on marriage between gays are doing so in a manner that 1. is NOT supported in the Bible and 2. Is irrational and baseless in reality.

    ~Dan

    • Dan:

      Marshall writes, “…there is nothing in Scripture that could possibly lead an HONEST and SERIOUS student of Scripture to conclude that marriage is meant to be anything more than a union of man and woman.”

      You reply, “Again, factually, that simply isn’t true, because it happened exactly like that for me, a conservative (at the time) honest and serious student of the Bible.”

      If it’s true that something in Scripture led you to believe that marriage is essentially androgynous, it would have been helpful if you had pointed out what that something is — what passage, chapter and verse.

      It’s easy to sneer that old line about how people are not entitled to their own facts, and it’s difficult to argue that the Bible ever justifies an androgynous conception of marriage. It would be nice if you would take the difficult but intellectually serious road, at least once in a blue moon.

  73. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    If it’s true that something in Scripture led you to believe that marriage is essentially androgynous,

    I went through it in great detail on my blog.

    1. I didn’t come to believe that marriage is essentially androgynous through “scripture…”

    2. I came to realize that A. the Rules-based approach to the Bible is a poor (irrational, immoral and unbiblical) way of biblical interpretation and B. That the Bible does NOT condemn all instances of gay behavior, universally for all time. It simply doesn’t, as a plain fact. The only way you can reach that conclusion is if you approach the Bible as a holy Rule Book/Holy Magic 8 ball to shake and find Answers for Today’s Questions.

    3. Seeing that there is no universal prohibition against all gay behavior for all time in the Bible, AND seeing that, reasonably and morally speaking, marriage IS a good thing, gay or straight, I moved to the only rational, moral and biblical position I could find.

    Does that help this time?

    That you hold to a different idea about what the Bible is and how to read it is in NO way a reflection of dishonesty or lack of serious respect for the Bible on my part.

    Do you understand that? Do you understand that good people of good intent can read the Bible in a different manner than Bubba and still be honest and sincere? If not, ON WHAT BASIS would you presume to read their minds? Because, “They can’t, they just can’t!”?

    pfff.

    ~Dan

    • Dan:

      “1. I didn’t come to believe that marriage is essentially androgynous through ‘scripture…'”

      I know that, but even if it’s true that a people in good faith can have vastly different approaches to how they interpret Scripture — and I’m not conceding that it is true — what Marshall wrote is still correct, there’s NOTHING there pointing to an androgynous view of marriage.

      What he wrote, you say is “factually” untrue, but you’re quite simply wrong on that.

  74. paynehollow says:

    And, in case you still misunderstand…

    If it’s true that something in Scripture led you to believe that marriage is essentially androgynous, it would have been helpful if you had pointed out what that something is — what passage, chapter and verse.

    It’s not a matter of pointing out the verse where it says “Ya know, I, God, am very cool with gay folk marrying. Of course I am, why wouldn’t I be?!” THAT is the problematic rule-based approach to reading the Bible that I find so irrational, immoral and unbiblical.

    It’s the problem that the Pharisees had, I would argue.

    No, rather, since the Bible does NOT proclaim itself as a rule book, it does NOT proclaim that “Any rules you find in THIS section right here are universal rules for all people and places… but not THOSE rules over in THAT section (the ones Team Bubba already dismisses as not literal for all times and people because… well, just because)…” The Bible does NOT proclaim that God says “Marriage is WRONG for gay folk and will always be and THIS one is one of those universal rules for all times and people….”

    Facts, simple, observable facts.

    Given that, WHY would I need/want to find a verse that says “This is okay…”?

    Do you need a verse to allow you to drive a car? The Bible NEVER overtly supports it, and it DOES have a verse about God destroying those who destroy creation and cars DO destroy creation, sooo…. don’t you need a verse to “allow” you to drive a car?

    No, of course you don’t and you don’t think you need one. Why don’t you? Because you are not a complete and total idiot, that’s why.

    We don’t go to the Bible to lift ancient rules and mores and apply them literally to today and, if we can’t find permission, we don’t do it.

    That would be a wholly unbiblical and idiotic approach to deciding on what to do about cars.

    And, it is similarly a wholly unbiblical and idiotic approach to deciding what to do about marriage.

    Understand why I don’t “play Bible” the same way you do on the gay issue?

    ~Dan

    • Well, Dan, according to you none of it is God’s word, it’s only the word of men who claim it’s God’s word.

    • Dan, if the automobile “destroyed creation,” then there would be an argument from Scripture for its moral impermissibility, but since it doesn’t — cities like London and NYC are in fact far cleaner with cars than with horse-drawn carts — it’s not.

      About the rules-based approach I have repeatedly denied using, you say, “It’s the problem that the Pharisees had, I would argue.”

      Would you? Have you ever actually, you know, ARGUED this? You’ve CLAIMED this plenty of times, but when I argue FROM THE TEXT that the Pharisees’ problem was being too lax with the law rather than taking it too seriously, you have never seem interested in replying with substance.

      I quoted at length from John Stott’s commentary on Matthew 5, and you never could be bothered to address it on the merits.

      What the Pharisees did was add to Scripture their own traditions, which had the effect of making their ethical code MUCH more permissive than the Law. The Law said, love your neighbor and it ALSO implicitly taught love for one’s enemies (compare Deuteronomy 22:1 and Exodus 23:4).

      In Matthew 5:43, the Pharisees’ oral tradition taught the former but ignored the latter to teach that the Law demanded less than it did.

      It was Jesus whose favorite phrase wasn’t an appeal to ever-changing oral traditions, but to the permanent revelation of God’s word written: gegraptai, it stands written.

      I think it’s obvious whose example you really follow.

  75. paynehollow says:

    It IS the work of men, do you disagree?

    If so, on what basis do you make that claim?

    As to whether or not the various authors declared their works “God’s Word…” I don’t think they did, not a one of them. Who declared the 66 “God’s Word…”?

    Was it not men, years/centuries after the texts were written?

    Were these men infallible when they did so?

    If so, on what basis would you make that claim?

    If not, then how do you know the fallible men were right to proclaim these 66 books “God’s Word…”? On what basis?

    Having dismantled THAT silly line of reasoning, I will affirm that I treat the 66 “as scripture,” I think they are God’s revelation to humanity, in my opinion. I have no hard data to support it though, it is just a tradition that I take on faith.

    Having said that, I think the 66 ARE reliable and profitable for teaching and instruction, etc, AS LONG AS you don’t treat it like a Holy Rule Book, because doing that would be internally inconsistent with the teachings found within the Bible itself.

    So, I presume I am correct that you do NOT need a verse that allows you to drive a car/that tells you driving cars is moral… that this is just a decision you made all on your own?

    So, then, do you understand why I reject your demand for me to provide a verse that “allows” gay people to marry? That I reject the demand as unbiblical and stupid?

    Good.

    ~Dan

  76. paynehollow says:

    ? You didn’t answer any of my questions so I don’t know what it is you disagree with? Was the Bible NOT written by men?

    • It’s God breathed, through men, not of men.

      • How do you explain then no one (including Jesus) knowing Moses wasn’t a real historical character? Rather large blunder, wouldn’t you say?

        • Who says Moses wasn’t historical?

          • Are you serious? It’s been known for generations. Moses was a legendary motif; a fable which the majority of Jewish rabbis today openly concede was knitted together in the 7th and 6th Century BCE, and whose birth story was, for example, adapted straight from the far older Babylonian tale of King Sargon of Agade:

            “My humble mother bore me secretly. She put me in a basket of rushes and sealed me in with asphalt. Then she put me into the river…. The river held me up, and carried me to Akki, the irrigator who drew water from the river for the people. As he dipped his jug into the river, Akki carried me out. He raised me as his own son.”

            Sound familiar?

            When I say the “majority of Jewish Rabbis,” I mean the majority. Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Jewish Science, Renewal and Humanistic movements, (85% of all practicing Jews today)… none of them recognise Moses as being a real, historical person. So definitive is the evidence against a historical Moses (and the Exodus he supposedly led) that the second edition Encyclopaedia Judaica concludes that the entire narrative was “dramatically woven out of various strands of tradition… he [Moses] wasn’t a historical character.” Indeed, so definitive is the evidence against Moses that the word “myth” has now even penetrated the thought-to-be-impenetrable walls of Orthodox Judaism. In 2012 Rabi Louis Jacobs sent shockwaves through the Orthodox world when he declared in his book, Torah from Heaven, that Moses and the story surrounding him was little more than a “foundation myth;” an origin dream, not a descriptive historical fact.

            Now Jesus’ colossal blunder in naming Moses as a real person is as conspicuous as it is damning to his credibility, wouldn’t you say? It doesn’t, after all, speak too highly of a witness’s authority, intelligence, competence, insight or judgment if he couldn’t distinguish the difference between inventive geopolitical myth and actual historical fact, correct? Indeed, if Jesus’ claims are to be taken seriously then there can be zero tolerance for even minor bungles in his knowledge of any earthly event, let alone one he supposedly participated in (being part of the god-head, after all), and yet here is an oversight so outrageous that it is the equivalent of a charismatic preacher three-hundred years from today proclaiming Batman existed. This bumbling ignorance of basic regional history exposes Jesus (if he indeed existed, which is doubtful) to be little more than an amateurish charlatan masquerading as a supernaturally inspired magi… a naïve magician whose word was and is, by definition, thoroughly worthless.

            • So you mean it’s been alleged for years, and some people believe it. And when you say majority of rabbis you mean the majority of liberal rabbis akin to how Dan is a Christian. Not surprised, doesn’t mean much coming from a group like that.

              • No, it’s been known for generations, not just years. Even Israel’s oldest daily Newspaper, Hareetz, announced recently: “Currently there is broad agreement among archeologists and Bible scholars that there is no historical basis for the narratives of the Patriarchs, the exodus from Egypt, and the conquest of Canaan, nor any archeological evidence to make them think otherwise.”

                Dismissing every Jewish movement as “liberal” is absurd, ultimately meaningless, and reveals your ignorance of Judaism. Consider, though this simple fact: rabbis have far more invested in their origin tale being true than you could ever hope to have in a thousand life times. Do you honestly think they’d dismiss their origin tale (accept it as myth) if it weren’t for overwhelming evidence?

                Sorry, but ignorant hand waves and deflections don’t alter the facts. As Rabbi Sherwin wine said:

                “Facts are facts. They are enormously discourteous. They do not revere old books, they do not stand in awe before old beliefs. They do not bow before famous ancestors. They are simply the stuff out of which reality is made and the final judge of truth”

                Neither your godman, nor the authors of your book, knew basic regional history. Quite the blunder, yes?

              • Ah yes, newspapers, the beacon of historical investigation.

              • How surprising, once again with the deflections. It seems that’s all you have.

                You really are quite pathetic, you know that?

          • Absence of evidence at Jericho, of course. Just in case anyone suggess I meant it wasn’t there … have to be clear.

        • John, Jesus had a very good reason for not “knowing” that Moses wasn’t historical: they talked to each other, as documented in the carefully researched gospel of Luke, in 9:30-31.

          • Moses is in fact mentioned a whopping eighty-five times in the New Testament with Jesus directly naming him twice in Matthew (including the rather bizarre face-to-face meeting detailed in 17:3-4), and in John 5:45 where he says: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.”

            Now this is an unambiguous statement; a clear and definitive declaration that Jesus believed Moses was a real person.Whoops!

            • Indeed: I agree that Jesus thought Moses was real, but that “rather bizarre face-to-face meeting” is why Jesus had a perfectly good reason for doing so.

              Jesus and Moses met and talked to each other. No wonder Jesus acted as if Moses were historical.

              • You are obviously struggling to understand what John is telling you hre, Bubba.
                Jesus could not, in fact , have had a face to face meeting with the biblical character named Moses as Moses did not exist.
                Therefore the account is spurious.

              • Moses didn’t exist according to the Jewish versions of Dan.

              • Moses did not exist according to the scientific evidence, not what Dan says for the gods sake!
                And also the total absence of evidence after digging in the Sinai for decades.
                And the absence of evidence in Egypt.
                And the absence of evidence in Palestine, including such iconic landmarks as Jericho,
                If you disagree with the findings of scientists, historians and biblical scholars alike could you please explain their motivation without simply dismissing what you find unpalatable?
                Have you at least an ounce of integrity in this regard to offer a reasoned, well thought out response, John B?

              • How science is done is different from how history is done. Just because some of the most liberal rabbis reject the historicity of Moses impacts nothing.

              • John Z already stipulated that the number who acknowledge it as a myth cuts right across the entire Jewish spectrum.
                Don’t try to wheedle out by suggesting he is cherry picking. He was very specific, and he is not like that.
                Now, I dare to challenge him to provide references for his claims.
                As far as I am aware John Z is very thorough when he makes such inflammable statements.
                He wouldn’t likely post such stuff just for a wind-up. From what I know of the bloke, he has a lot more integrity than that.

                So, go on. Ask him. Let’s see how you handle his reply
                .

              • Actually it didn’t cut across the spectrum. I mean, he said it did to some degree, but that about as substantial as your “everybody knows” claims.

              • Then stop whining and behaving like a spineless wimp and ask him … demand that he provide references to each and every claim he made.

              • I don’t need to chase him down. I don’t expect much from him. He cited some obscure clip from 1979 to claim what the definition of death is, then acted as though that trumps everythjng. So when he wants to be taken seriously I’m sure he’ll give citation.

              • And will you afford it respect?

              • I’ll look it over and double check the claims and the person making the claims, of course.

              • And if they pan out?

              • Ark, then I’ll have to take it into consideration. But i have my doubts if I’ll have to.

              • Well, at least for the first time you have admitted you are prepared to consider the evidence.

              • I’ve always been open to it. That’s how I got where I am. Like I’ve said many times, I don’t HAVE to be a christian. I’m not emotionally vested in it. I believe it because I think k it’s true.

                I had always been willing to consider anything you’re willing to present. But you never did really. Just dropped a bunch of names and then claimed you don’t have to give any arguments.

                In the end, I want to believe what’s true, not what’s popular or emotionally satisfying.

              • I believe it because I think k it’s true.

                Based on ….?

              • You’re an absolute idiot! The legal, medical and scientific definition of death was first articulated in 1979, and then I provided the updates since. I gave you the evolving history of the definition. Damn, you just love lying, don’t you?

              • You could give me the definition of what a pumpkin pie is, it doesn’t matter to the topic. What matters is when human life begins. And every scientist in the field of embryology says is that it’s at conception.

              • Then man-up and answer the question you avoided eight times….

              • You’re precious. Here’s a simple challenge for you: find a single non-Orthodox rabbi, tenured biblical archaeologist, or university-based biblical scholar who’ll say, in writing, “Moses was a real historical character, the Jews were enslaved in Egypt, the Exodus actually happened, and was followed by the Conquest of Canaan.”

                Just one.

                Simple right? Over to you…

                (and please don’t come back with either Kitchen or Hoffmeier)

      • paynehollow says:

        So, what does “inspired” (ie, “God-breathed”) mean to you, John? That the men were sitting at the table with the pen in hand, but God was pushing the pen? That God was literally putting the literal words into their heads?

        If so, on what do you base that? Do you have any hard data to support this guess or is it just a guess based on faith and tradition?

        ~Dan

        • “That God was literally putting the literal words into their heads?”

          How fantastically bizarre! I mean it’s not as if Paul claimed that he and the other Apostles imparted wisdom in words taught by the Holy Spirit. Nope, he just claimed that Scripture is God-breathed and Scripture nowhere elaborates on the concept at all.

          • paynehollow says:

            Literalism when you want, symbolism when you don’t want. Regardless of whether it is rational, moral or biblically consistent.

            pff.

            • You’re quick to invoke words like “figurative” and “symbolic,” but since you don’t then wrestle with what the passage must then mean, it seems you use those words to dismiss the passage altogether. If you really think that Paul’s explanation of the Holy Spirit’s work in inspiring the Apostles and illuminating their listeners was symbolic, you should answer the obvious question, symbolic OF WHAT?

              And for that matter, if you think it’s irrational, immoral, or biblically inconsistent to believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the very words with which the prophets and apostles taught, you should elaborate.

              Regardless, the passage IS sufficient proof against the claim that the Bible only says that Scripture is God-breathed and gives no other indication about what that means.

              • paynehollow says:

                SO, to YOU, you think, guess, believe in your heart of hearts that God put words in those authors’ heads and so, literally, “wrote” the Bible? Is that what you’re saying? That it’s not the inspired work of men, not really, not at all, more so God’s words that the men just transcribed?

                If so, on what basis do you make that claim?

                Tell you what, Bubba, et al, just save me some time and, each time you write some claim, just PRESUME that I want to know what basis you make the claim and then, at that point, you can go ahead and ignore the request and save us all some time…

                ~Dan

              • Dan I’ll reiterate:

                If you really think that Paul’s explanation of the Holy Spirit’s work in inspiring the Apostles and illuminating their listeners was symbolic, you should answer the obvious question, symbolic OF WHAT?

                And for that matter, if you think it’s irrational, immoral, or biblically inconsistent to believe that the Holy Spirit inspired the very words with which the prophets and apostles taught, you should elaborate.

                The position I hold isn’t idiosyncratic. You could look up The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy from 1978 if you’re curious, which you’re obviously not. The questions you ask suggest that your view of God is quite different from and less than what the Bible clearly teaches, and I do wish you would elaborate on your beliefs so we can see just how far on the periphery God sits in your post-modern, humanistic, and borderline deistic belief system.

                You won’t, because you give the game away if you do so, but you shouldn’t think you’re fooling anybody who’s paying attention.

              • paynehollow says:

                And I will reiterate:

                SO, to YOU, you think, guess, believe in your heart of hearts that God put words in those authors’ heads and so, literally, “wrote” the Bible? Is that what you’re saying? That it’s not the inspired work of men, not really, not at all, more so God’s words that the men just transcribed?

                If so, on what basis do you make that claim?

                As to your question to me, I don’t think I said that Paul’s claim that his words are inspired are symbolic. What your quote says…

                And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

                Paul believed his wisdom he was passing on was God’s wisdom. Or at least he was emphasizing the point, trying to shore up his points.

                Were they LITERALLY “taught” by the Spirit, as in a classroom? I don’t have any way of knowing what Paul’s intentions were. Do you? Do you think Paul was intending to relay that he was literally “taught” directly by God’s Spirit? What did that look like? Or, would you guess that he meant generally that he felt his words were “inspired…” (MW: to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural)? Does that mean you think they were “influenced” by God? Does “influence,” to you, mean WRITTEN by God? That the very words were God’s, just using Paul’s pen??

                If you claim to know exactly what Paul’s (or the author, whoever it was) intentions were or ANY of the answers to the questions above, on what basis do you make the claim to this knowledge?

                We keep asking, you keep dodging.

                The Bible is not a rule book and I HEAR you say that you don’t believe it is one, but you appear to be taking it pretty much like a literal rule book, where we lift lines (when you want to) and say, “Look, Paul says he was ‘taught’ by the HS, THAT MEANS [ie, here’s your interpretation/extrapolation of meaning] that God GAVE him the words literally…” or whatever it is you believe. You find a line and apply it literally and appear to insist that others do, too, but without saying WHY that is what everyone else should believe.

                Or, perhaps to be more clear, you appear to be treating the Bible like a rul-ING book, a book where we go to get definitive, authoritative rulings on what to believe. “Should we believe that God gave literal words to literal human authors to compose ‘the 66’? 1 Thessalonians says… YES! Yes, God did because that is how I, Bubba, am interpreting this verse, and so now, everyone can authoritatively know…”

                Again, the Holy Magic 8 Ball approach. Am I mistaken?

                Not in the name (holy magic 8 ball… HM8B), but in the approach: DO you say, How do we know the answer to ‘should we divorce…’ Matt 19:122 says… NO! No, we should not divorce… NOW we all know the answer…

                Isn’t that how you treat the Bible? If not, in what way am I mistaken?

                ~Dan

        • @John Z

          (and please don’t come back with either Kitchen or Hoffmeier)

          Er ,why not Kitchen or Hoffmeir. I mean, if we are going to look at all angles, right?

          • LOL! Not sure the nutty voices of an evangelical Egyptologist and a lunatic from the Evangelical Divinity College qualify as worthy.

            I forgot to add the Third Horseman whom the evangelicals alwaysroll out: Bryant Wood, the Young Earth Creationist from the inerrantist Associates for Biblical Research.

            Quite the trio…

            • Shouldn’t we at least hear them out? I mean, even the fringe crowd deserve to be heard … now and then.

              • Oh, I’ve heard it, heard it all, and its all unpublished nonsense. Don’t you remember the weeks devoted to explaining it all to Brandon, and we shan’t forget Diana… although I do like her. Nothing changes. It’s the same script, over and over again.

              • I agree, but there are many fundamentalists, like John B, and the folks over here that are unaware that it is all so much rose fertilizer. Theses alternate scholars should at least be allowed to present what evidence they have, yes?
                That is what science is all about. Maybe there are chariot wheels on the Red Sea floor?

              • I’ve heard there are…. Shiny one’s, too.

  77. paynehollow says:

    Also, John, on what basis do you guess that “the 66” are “scripture,” ie, “God-breathed” (whatever that means to you)? Do the 66 books tell you that the 66 books as a whole are inspired? [Literally factual answer: No]

    Do ANY of the 66 claim in their own pages claim to be “God’s Word…”? [Literally factual answer: No]

    What do you base any of this on? Is is not simply the tradition of fallible men?

    [Literally factual answer: Yes]

    …Which is fine if that’s what it is, I’m just wanting you to be clear on what it is you are basing your hunches.

    ~Dan

  78. Dan,

    On the subject of confidence, you write:

    ? Where have I said that confidence is intrinsically immoral? Oh wait, I remember: No where.

    And where have I ever suggested that I treat the Bible like a rulebook? I’ve never done so, and in fact I have REPEATEDLY AND EMPHATICALLY rejected that description, but that hasn’t stopped you from using it in attacking my approach to Scripture. More than that, you’ve even directly attributed to me words that I’ve never uttered, distorting my arguments while putting your strawman version of my arguments into a wholly fabricated dialogue. You insist that others never do anything more than quote you, and you’ve lived up to your own standard.

    Here, if you wanted to make clear that you were distinguishing between “good confidence” and “bad confidence,” you would have been better served contrasting Mother Teresa and Muslim extremists: bringing up secularists and skeptics obscures the point you now say you were trying to make,

    Earlier you criticized fundamentalists for believing that they can “KNOW” what’s moral, and you wrote, “Everyone else – from non-fundamentalists in all religions to non-believers, in general – would probably not say we are objectively right and others are objectively wrong.”

    That’s not an argument for “good confidence,” it’s for an argument for a lack of confidence.

    But, now, you distinguish between good confidence and bad, and for you the distinction is whether that confidence leads to harm, in which case, it’s (at a minimum) not obvious that opposition to the radical redefinition of marriage results in any real harm, and there’s nothing “horrifyingly wrong” about the position.

    • @Bubba
      I have no idea why you ( and the other pro-bible crowd) need to soap-box rant on almost every comment.
      If you consider what it says valid, and carries authority then simply post the evidence ( or reasoned argument) for this claim.
      Honestly, just how difficult is that to do? This way you can avoid all this ”bitch slapping” and I might get to read a worthwhile blog topic on this site once in a while.

  79. paynehollow says:

    Bubba…

    it’s (at a minimum) not obvious that opposition to the radical redefinition of marriage results in any real harm, and there’s nothing “horrifyingly wrong” about the position.

    To be sure, “horrifyingly wrong” is not a provable line. But I think it safe to say that, years ago, when slaves could not marry or remain with their family, they thought it was horrifyingly wrong, and when folks from different races were ostracized or even abused for loving one another and were prevented from marrying the loved one of their choice, they thought it horrifyingly wrong. Just the same, gay folk today who wish to live in peace and be free to marry the loved one of their choice, THEY (and those who support and love them) will also think it is horrifyingly wrong.

    No doubt, the slave owners, the “anti-miscegenists” and those opposed to marriage equity today… none of these found/find their views to be horrifyingly wrong. I would argue that all were/are on the wrong side of history and morality and it was, indeed, horrifyingly wrong.

    ~Dan

    • And Bubba. No doubt that when thieves are told they can’t take what doesn’t belong to them, they view that as horrifyingly wrong. And when adults wish to have sex with the underage they believe it is horrifyingly wrong to also be denied. You see, they may wish to live in peace and do as they see fit. Jeez.

      • And of course, Dan’s gay brothers and sisters don’t need the permission of the people of their state via licensing to live in peace and happiness in their sinful ways. But I guess they don’t have the normal level of mental and emotional wherewithal to live without licensing. According to Dan, they aren’t capable of living monogamously without one.

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