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December 21, 2012



"If the Bible is treated as a document that requires justification for its claims, and it should be, what is the jutification[sic] for prohibiting same-sex marriage or homosexual sex?"

Just for clarification: do you mean the church/denomination needs to make public its justification in terms of supporting secular legal prohibitions, or for internal teaching within the church/denomination, or both?

Also for clarification: how would the church/denomination admit that its wrong? By announcing in some fashion that same-sex prohibitions are not morally wrong, or would it need to also endorse and begin the practice of same-sex marriage?

Greg Horton

Kevin, that seems pretty irrelevant. Do you mean to imply that the church should be able to teach shit that's wrong as long as they can justify it internally? I mean justification in the epistemological sense, as I usually do. If you can't make a case for it, why are you teaching it? If you can't make a case for it, why are you taking a public position on it? If it's without merit, it's without merit.

How did the church/denomination announce it was wrong about slavery? This is not difficult stuff. Curious about your "clarifying" questions.


Hasn't that been the mantra since the election? "Our message is right. We just have to figure out how to present it the right way." Many of us got the messages loud and clear. Guess it didn't make through the "bubble."


I'm not pushing you if that's what you are asking. I've been reading your blog for over a year now, and I appreciate the challenges you bring forward. If it came off as an attack, I apologize, it was not intentional.

In reverse order - those congregations/denominations that were in error announced that they had not done a complete reading of scripture. It leaned heavily on the sections of the Bible where slavery was "okay" and failed to take into account any of the passages about "setting the captives free." I would be nervous about using the term church there since it was a divided house - you had congregations arguing both for and against.

This issue is similar in that there is also a divided house. Which is why I guess I ask for clarification. There are denominations that have already done what you have outlined above, and, obviously, some that have not. And some that have said: "We don't agree with this, but we are not opposed to those who wish to be married, and don't wish to see any legal impediments to them."

That's what I was curious about. For those churches that have taken a "live and let live" stance, what would you say to them?


Kevin, thanks for the clarification. Live and let live is not an acceptable answer, not in the context of the 14th amendment. Even if they decide that homosexuality is a sin, they still have to push for justice in a constitutional framework. That's the pragmatic side. From a theological perspective, it's important to finally know what the criteria are for determining what is sin. Choosing a form of selective literalism seems the worst possible way of doing this. For those denominations, churches, and Christians who insist it's a sin, I ask the same question: why, other than a few verses in a Bronze Age text, a time when no one understood human sexuality, does it count as a sin? What harm does it do? How is it offensive to God? Why is it offensive to God? To find something repulsive is not an indication that we're dealing with a sin, only that we've been conditioned along a certain axis. I can find no good reason that this would qualify as a sin. It's far better for churches, etc., to take the proactive route--until we're convinced otherwise by good argumentation, evidence, and Scripture (never gonna happen), we choose to accept this--than the passive route.


Where there is asymmetry in power, as there is with GLBT rights and the systems we use for governance, "Live and let live" is an endorsement of whichever side happens to have more power. There is no neutrality. That's not to say churches can't legitimately choose to prioritize any of dozens of other fights like poverty, human trafficking, homelessness or immigration, but "All are welcome" is impossible in practice. Greeting oppressors with open arms is collaboration in oppression. Nobody is perfect, but let's not pretend to be other than we are.


"Those opposed to homosexuality and same-sex marriage are incapable of showing what actual harm would derive from the acceptance of homsexuality as normative within a framework that doesn't see sexuality as a simple binary."

A homosexual conned my parents into allowing me away with him to a hotel where I was molested by the guy as a child.

The next morning at breakfast with other people I felt dirty and unworthy even to be in their presence. I didn't know why I felt that way except that I had done wrong. In reality, I had done nothing wrong--he had done it all, not me. But, my view of myself was distorted at that point.

The issues I see even today with those claiming to be "Christian" homosexuals is that they talk monogamy but they practice and allow pologamy. There is no sanctity of relationship. There is no exclusivity. And, the "all relationships and contact are game" mentality allows for what happened to me. What happened to me is rampant in America, in muslim countries, and in the far east with more hedonistic and godless cultures.

Greg Horton

I'm very sorry for what happened to you but pedophilia is not the same thing as homosexuality. 

Sent from my iPhone


I do believe there is much crossover. I see it in blogs, on You Tube, etc. As I said, my sense is for many: "all relationships and contact types are game" in the view of many.

I can say you are sorry but that does not take the experience away from my memory or other affects of the experience.

I conclude societal norms do have unintended impact. Therefore societal norms are not just or right just because they are held by a majority. The pain and suffering of the negative impacts from those norms still exist and are very real to those experiencing the pain and suffering.

Greg Horton

It's not crossover. If I follow your logic, pedophiles who molest opposite sex victims are evidence that heterosexuality is destructive to our culture. That's a pretty clear and damning counterexample. 


The lense with which we determine harm is constantly changing. We used to not think cigarettes were a big deal. We are barely beginning to understand the toll of radiation, nutrition and a host of other substances/habits. The longer we live and the more we develop technology, the more we understand just how bad some things are/were.

My belief is that God is at the beginnging and the end. He understands what we do not and though there are some obvious reason homosexuality is unnatural and unhealthy, the bigger picture is one we cannot currently realize. He does and our thoughts regarding how we understand it all or not, will ultimately determine how we understand morality.

In other words, we don't really know what's harmful in the clearest sense. God does.

Greg Horton

Well, Tim, with that rubric to guide your thinking, I guess we'll have to wait 'til the end to find out why slavery was totally fine with god, too.

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