If I got the summary wrong, please fix it - if it's accurate, please delete the chunk of conversation it summarises!
If someone themselves believes practicing homosexuality is sinful, then their celibacy is their own choice.
If someone believes practicing homosexuality is universally wrong, they will equate homosexual celibacy with resisting the urge to murder or steal. If they do not, they will equate homosexual celibacy with any other lifestyle choice over generally acceptable things that are wrong when done to excess, such as eating FlapJacks. Neither side is capable of convincing the other of the validity of their comparison without first convincing them of their point of view on the wrongness of homosexuality in some other way.
AngelaRayner: I agree with the difficulties that you write about for enforced celibacy. Except in countries where people are forced to subscribe to a religion whether they believe it or not, believing in a religion is a choice. If people choose to accept a religion (or an interpretation of a religion that forbids homosexual practice) then celibacy is enforced, but it is a chosen enforcement.
MoonShadow: Isn't that subtly missing the point? I don't "choose" to accept a religion. I go with what I believe is true.
AngelaRayner:<I> Sure, I don't think what I'm saying contradicts that. If you think that practicing homosexuality (whether you are homosexuallly orientated or not) is sinful then you should not do it. One still makes a choice about whether to believe that it is sinful or not.
(MoonShadow can't disagree with that. Summarised above.)
AngelaRayner:This is all rather unfortunate, but I think I'm wrong about the idea of choice. I'm not entirely sure why I'm wrong and I cannot articulate it until I have read further, but I thought I'd better place a huge red warning triangle in this debate as I may want to come back to it later.
AngelaRayner:There are many who simply opt for an intepretation of a religion that lets them practice their homosexuality. There are others, who despite the fact that they are orientated towards homosexuality, willingly accept a religion (or interpretation thereof) that refuses to let them practice.
MoonShadow: I don't disagree with that, but I am talking specifically about those who believe that practicing homosexuality is not sinful (whether in their particular case or in general), yet are surrounded by people who think it is and repeatedly tell them so.
(Subsequent discussion is still ongoing - not yet summarised)
"If someone isn't allowed to practice their sexuality, and is powerless to change it, they are effectively disabled, crippled for life."
AngelaRayner: Many people from different religions would disagree with you here. They would say that it is the same as resisting the urge to steal or kill.
MoonShadow: At which point I would tell them that they are wrong. What I am talking about is more like resisting the urge to eat flapjacks, not because you don't like them or think they are bad for you, but because all your friends are telling you that Eating Flapjacks Is Wrong And Bad For Your Health, and won't stop even when you gently tell them you don't agree, and are acting really worried, and some of them are scared of you, and some of them won't talk to you any more in case they get infected with your FlapJackAlity?, and some of them take great pains to point out that they don't really hate you for being a flapjack addict, and it's not the fact that you like flapjacks that's wrong, it's the act of eating them, and they really do accept you as you are, but they just wish you'd stop eating flapjacks... do you get the picture?
AngelaRayner:On what grounds would you tell them that they are wrong? They would argue that stealing and killing are sins and so is the practice of homosexuality.
MoonShadow:I would respond that greed and gluttony are also sins, and yet I don't see them going after flapjack addicts the same way they go after homosexuals. Unless, of course, they do go after flapjack addicts, in which case I can't imagine why I would ever have started talking to them in the first place, since we clearly have nothing in common ^^;
AngelaRayner:Ahh, now we're on to something different. If people are going to come down hard on sin (and quite frankly, I think that's God's job), then they should at least do it consistently. Lying is also a sin, but people tend to gloss over that one too. I think that a lot of hypocrisy abounds in this area.
AngelaRayner:Of course I get the picture. I am simply presenting one side of the argument. It is wise to choose your friends carefully.
MoonShadow:I don't choose my friends. They just happen. And it hurts when I lose one.
AngelaRayner:I do choose my friends. They are people that I choose to spend time with and cultivate friendship with. If I really didn't like somebody, I would not choose to cultivate a friendship with them. If I felt that somebody would not keep anything I told them in confidence confidential, I would not choose to be friends with them. It does hurt to lose friends, I agree.
AngelaRayner:A good friend will understand when you say that they have overstepped the mark. Some times our friends say things we don't like which are true and other times they might say things we don't like and are false. We must carefully sift the wheat from the chaff. I'm not entirely sure what Flapjacks have to do with the debate.
MoonShadow:My point was that FlapJacks have as much to do with rape, murder and adultery as homosexuality does; both in the secular world (where neither is illegal, at least in the UK) and in Christianity (where gluttonous consumption of flapjacks is just as sinful and damning as homosexuality and murder and a whole lot of things that people variously do and don't normally get preachy over).
AngelaRayner:I see your point. I'm not sure how anybody could construe flapjacks as having anything to do with sexual sin though. On the point that gluttonous consumption of FlapJacks is as sinful as anything else that people don't get preachy on, I entirely agree. To be honest, the discussion of homosexual practice is extremely dull compared to other things that are worth discussing!
AngelaRayner:Refraining from stealing or killling do not leave people in disabled states for life, so why, the argument goes, would refraining from sexual behaviour? We should not forget that celibacy is a legitimate choice, practiced and preferred by many.
AlexChurchill: Fair point. So, we have the two categories: things like stealing and killing, which are agreed to be something to be avoided; and things like eating flapjacks, which are agreed to be OK for people to indulge in. The question then becomes how to decide in which category you put things like homosexuality, or other limits which people might try to impose because of ReligionMatters or other reasons.
A popular suggestion might be "If it hurts anybody involved, or it's against the wishes of anybody involved, it's not OK; otherwise it is OK." An alternative might be "If it's forbidden by God, it's not OK; otherwise it is OK."
MoonShadow:The problem with that is that the people wanting to stop our metaphorical Angela from eating the imaginary FlapJacks would, either earnestly or for covert personal reasons, insist that the practice of flapjack eating was something that would hurt her in the long term, and something that God did not want her to be doing. Now, Angela herself will have had no hint from God whatsoever that God has a problem with her eating flapjacks. She knows she enjoys it, and is convinced the people telling her it's wrong are mistaken. However, these people have much louder voices that she does, treat her like she is deluded and form pretty much her entire community, support base and circle of friends.
AngelaRayner: Of course people who did not want me to eat the Flapjacks would insist that it would hurt me in the long term. They are my friends and would presumably warn me off smoking for the same reason. If, as you suggest, I'd had no hint from God that smoking, eating flapjacks or practicing homosexuality were wrong, even after examining Scripture and praying, then I would explain that to my friends. If they still thought I was wrong and would not quit telling me so, then I would have to consider in the long-term whether these were people who were offering me friendship or giving me a burden too heavy to bear. For the short-term, one could invoke a one or two month break from communication with them, but in the long-term some compromise would have to be won.
MoonShadow: Which is precisely my point. That is a very radical step to take, especially if most of one's circle of friends and associates than one thought one could rely on for support turn out to be like this. It would leave the person in question emotionally scarred, and ultimately - since, correct me if I am wrong, either the majority or the loudest largest minority, it's hard to tell which, of conservative (and hence mainstream) Christians would be encouraged by their community to behave in this manner. I assert that this leaves the homosexual a social cripple if he/she wishes to remain in Christian circles, and is very damaging to faith.
AngelaRayner:It would be extremely unfortunate if *all* of one's friends turned out to be like this. However, staying with the group of people would leave the person in question emotionally scarred as well. I hope that the loudest largest minority would not behave in this manner. If they did, then I would sincerely hope that people (despite their) conservative persuasion or people who had some other opinion on the issue would pick the person up and support them. If they didn't, I wouldn't be surprised if the person were to lose their faith entirely. I don't entirely know how conservative Christians deal with people who want to practice homosexuality within their communities. I guess it would probably be ok all the while they weren't practicing. If they did practice, I've a feeling they'd have to put up with periodic harassment or would be forced out. I don't think that's right considering we're all sinners, but I don't agree with a lot of what people pretend to masquerade as Christianity. (By that, I am not particularly getting at any one "side" with that comment, I just think there's a lot of hypocrisy in the Church. Mind you, that's why we're in there.).
(PeterTaylor) Not necessarily. You didn't exclude the possibility that _God_ might change it.
I think "disabled" is a bit strong, as well. I'm sure you know bachelors or spinsters in their 40s or above who are heterosexual but never found a partner - are they disabled too?
MoonShadow: This comment seems to have lost its context. I can't decide whether it's better to indent or not - indenting much past 3 levels or so renders things unreadable, but not indenting makes it hard to keep track of context. Perhaps we should split the discussion up further? Anyway, the difference is that there is nothing in principle stopping the bachelors or spinsters in your example from getting together with someone should they find someone they want to get together with, nor is there a community of like-minded people making them feel horrible about the whole thing when and if they do, and reminding them every day of the importance of remaining celibate in their unfortunate condition.
Now, if someone's genitals, say, were to be removed, they would also be crippled in a similar fashion; however, it wouldn't feel like there is something they could do about it in the same way.
AngelaRayner: Are you comparing the removal of genitalia to not having the freedom to practice one's sexuality? I think this an odd comparison. We would totally recommend that an adult who felt sexual desires towards young children (and some would say animals) should not act on those desires. Some people would argue, in the same way, that those with homosexual orientations should not act on their desires. Incidentally, I am not comparing homosexuality and paedophilia, just using a commonly accepted presupposition to demonstrate why telling some people that they should not practice their sexuality may be accepted by some to be a correct move.
MoonShadow: This is a StrawMan. I am talking about the practice of (homo)sexuality where the only objection is the religious/traditional/"this is ick" one, not cases where the two participants do not both consent (rape, paedophilia), or cases where one or both are not generally considered capable of taking some or all kinds of decisions about their own lives (underage sex, paedophilia, mentally ill people, possibly people who have just been fed a date rape drug).
AngelaRayner:There are other consenting practices (for example adultery) that are frowned upon by religions that people do not regularly make a case for.
AlexChurchill: I disagree that it's a StrawMan. Angela isn't comparing the two - in fact, she specifically stated she isn't. She's just illustrating that it's reasonable to say "Just because you want to do this, doesn't mean it's automatically all right to do so". This, as I understand it, is a point made by the religious anti-homosexual group, in response to the pro-homosexual group saying "They want to do it, so why stop them".
MoonShadow: I assert that that's a StrawMan too. I'm not saying Angela is comparing the two. I am saying that my argument is not just "They want to do it, so why stop them", it's more like "They want to do it, they both want to do it, and they are capable of deciding for themselves, so how can we possibly justify stopping them". I am also asserting that because "they both want to do it, and they are capable of deciding for themselves", mentions of preventing paedophilia and similar are, IMO, irrelevant to the subject at hand, whether in an explicit comparison or not. The subject at hand is, IMO, more like ExtremeSports? - arguably dangerous, arguably unnecessary, but carrying some sort of reward for the person in question and arguably their own choice.
(PeterTaylor) What about boxing? Requires two, they want to do it, they're capable of deciding for themselves, and they each need to get a licence from the State.
MoonShadow: I was not aware of that. I assert that no license from the State would be required in order for me and AlexChurchill to decide to play fisticuffs in private. This would, to me, imply that it is not the activity in itself that requires the license in this case.
But legally you'd be wrong. Sure, it's unlikely the police would do anything, but you would both be guilty of assault (and ABH etc. if you did enough damage), even though you were both willing, able to decide for yourselves, and had consented.
AngelaRayner: I don't know that "we" (if we're speaking of you and I) can stop anybody doing anything. All we can do is point people to God, point people to the Church, point people to the Bible, point people to the Church Fathers etc. If two grown people do decide that they want to perform some currently illegal or religiously frowned upon act then they are unlikely, in this country, to be stopped by anybody. I would argue that you have the freedom of choice to choose a religion (or an interpretation of a religion). Even God does not go so far as enforcing people to do his will. I certainly don't think we could enforce people to do anything. The fact that we have freedom of expression to advise people as we like is another matter. I think I'd rather like to keep the freedom of expression. I don't know that religious people always use freedom as cautiously as they should, but that again is another matter.
I assert that imposing religious limits on sexuality is like telling someone with perfectly good legs to spend their life in a wheelchair because it is felt to be dangerous to them that they choose to walk backwards whenever they walk.
AngelaRayner: I disagree. If God had called somebody to be celibate, then it's not comparable to being told that they cannot use their working legs.
MoonShadow: If God has called someone to be celibate, fair enough. I would expect Him to give them whatever help they need to cope. However, last I heard, religious fundamentalists are *not* God. What I am talking about here is not the situation where God calls someone to something, but the one where *people*, people who think they have the final say and the total knowledge of what God wants, telling other people to behave or not behave in a certain way, and where it is clear to an impartial observer that God has given these people neither the strength of will, nor the calling, nor the desire to behave in that way, nor even a direct hint that they should.
AngelaRayner: I agree with you that religious fundamentalists are not God. This is something I think we should be thankful about :) I don't think anybody has the "final say" other than God. I don't think any one person has total knowledge of what God wants. If somebody has this view of themselves, then I'd suggest that they be gently corrected. Now it is interesting to note that what I've said here is the conservative argument (I think) for why somebody might "say something" to practicing homosexuals. I think there are valid instances of times when it is "ok" to challenge somebody about their behaviour. I can't remember the last time I did this and I'm not saying that it is a necessarily commonplace thing. The difficulty, I think, is knowing when or what or how or who about a situation before considering sticking one's nose in. Also, one must remember that some people absolutely love being challenged and asked about potential areas of sin in their lives. (Do not ask me why, but I've found that they would presume that everybody felt that way.) If in doubt, I'd say to stay well clear. I also agree with what you say above about the difficulty with those who have not been given the strength of will or calling to be a non-practicing homosexual. All the conservative argument (I think) would say is that this is the same (certainly in Christianity and my span of knowledge goes no further) as two unmarried single people or two married people who are attracted to people who are not their partners. I know that you will come back and say that two unmarried singles can get married. I accept the point before you have made it. I also think that if one does take the line that practicing homosexuality is wrong, then one would probably also take the line that God will give people the strength to resist it.
MoonShadow: I would assert that He does not. However, I have no way of proving that to you, just as you have no way of demonstrating the opposite. For every example of a celibate homosexual Christian you could mention, I could mention one who has a partner and is OK with God about it.
AngelaRayner: You do not need to "prove" anything to me, considering I am simply putting the other side of the debate to you. I think you are correct to suggest that you would not be able to prove to an interlocuter that God does or does not give people the strength to resist anything.
MoonShadow: ..nor would I have to. I would merely challenge the assertion that God *always* gives people the strength and calling to remain celibate homosexuals by introducing them to examples where He has not.
AngelaRayner: What this comes down to is the individual in question. It is up to them to choose an interpretation of a religion or a religion that they hold to be true. This gets us into slightly difficult theological water because Christianity would assert that God chooses us. Either way, it is perfectly possible to change denominations or faith traditions if the one you are in no longer accords with what you believe to be true.
AngelaRayner: Society has always imposed limits on sexuality. I think what you are disagreeing with is the exact limits set, not the fact that any are set at all. On the whole, I think it rather a good thing that religions set limits on whether people can have sex with somebody else's husband or wife.
MoonShadow: What I am disagreeing with is the fact that the practice of homosexuality (or, in some cases, heterosexuality, or whatever) gets lumped together in the same paragraph as practices like paedophilia, rape and adultery rather than with practices like S&M, heterosexual anal sex or (e.g.) only having sex with fat blonde women, and no-one other than me seems to quite see why this is a Bad Thing.
AngelaRaynerI think I understand your point. The difficulty, from a conservative point of view is that homosexual practice is sinful. Conservatives would not necessarily see a problem with lumping these practices together because they would say that they all came under the banner of sin. I hope you understand that I was not lumping them together for the purposes of making judgement on them, but using one instance of a sexual sin that we would all agree was wrong (flap-jack eating) to demonstrate that regulating sexuality is not wrong in some instances. You would need to carefully spell out your scriptural criteria for saying that adultery was unacceptable, but practicing homosexuality was a legitimate activity because somebody coming from a conservative point of view would not see why you were enforcing such a distinction.
Just stating that something is not a comparison does not make it so. If you don't want to compare stuff with rape or adultery, don't use those terms. Use one of the three examples I mentioned, or others like them instead. Can you still validly say what you wanted to? If not, then that is my point precisely.
AngelaRayner:I would suggest that the reason that you do not see it fit to compare sexual acts you think are wrong and homosexual practice is because you are presenting the argument that suggests that there is nothing wrong with homosexual practice. If one thought that homosexual practice was unacceptable, one would not worry about comparing it with other perceived sexual sins. You can object to the use, but I think the objection only stands when those you debate with share your premises about why the practices should not be compared.
MoonShadow: I understand that. Equally, however, the comparison only stands in the first place if we agree on the underlying premises, which is why I disputed it when you made it.
AngelaRaynerDarn it, I think I might have forgotten the underlying premises...
(categorised in parent page) MikeJeggo: Forgive me for swinging in late and trying to make several points all at once, at the risk of confusing this page still further :) MoonShadow, I am intrigued as to where the idea comes from that if God wanted people not to practise homosexuality, he would give them the resources not to, and that people seeming incapable of stopping proves that it is all right for them to do so.
MoonShadow: This is a subtle miswording of my position. People are not, according to the Bible, expected to deal with sin on their own. If someone asks God for advice about how God wants them to behave, the Bible says that they shall get that advice. If someone prays to God for strength in dealing with sin, the Bible says that God will grant them that strength. We both know people and know of people who, having prayed to God, believe that God is OK with their homosexuality and the way they live. I personally know of at least one stable, loving, Christian homosexual couple who feel they are at peace with God over it, and have heard of many more who prayed for both strength and guidance and feel that they have been told that the way they are living now is progressing towards the way God wants them to live. That is my position in its entirety. Draw your own conclusions.
Surely issues of will power to stop sinning are hardly restricted to this issue, and extend into issues that you would agree are certainly wrong? To return to an issue that Angela has touched on several times, does lack of will power to stop justify adultery?
This question has little or nothing to do with what I actually said. (Or meant to say - I may have misworded stuff, in which case I apologise..
MikeJeggo: Another point - if someone is a Christian, they are committed to seeking God's expressed will for them.
Indeed. How do you know homosexuals are not, if they say they are? You are not them, and you are not God.
I am not sure whether the distinction between what is "permissible" (i.e. allowed to us in that it is physically possible, but which persisting in brings judgement, albeit one from which we are sheltered by Christ) and what is "beneficial" (i.e. doing what God actually wants us to do) isn't getting a little blurred at times in this debate?
What does that distinction have to do with anything?
At least, to me it reads like that. The argument seems to be that if it doesn't hurt anyone and you want to do it, that's fine.
No. The argument is that you prayed to God about it and God told you it was OK with Him, so it's OK despite what that bloke over there who thinks it's icky says.
I don't feel qualified to reply to any of the following in kind, since I don't have your experience in verse-tangling. I can Google for critiques that show the opposite of your points to be true from the same verses, but so can you.
Hmm... methinks "verse-tangling" might be a rather loaded term to use, if it's an area you're /not/ wanting to get into discussion on :) --AlexChurchill
While I accept that the Word of God as He originally gave it can be other than infallible when used for the purpose for which it was intended, I don't believe the translations of the Bible we currently have can be used conclusively for the purpose you are trying to use them for, since they come to us filtered through two millenia of prejudice.
Umm... what? Do you mean they come to us filtered through the prejudices of the writers two millenia ago? Surely you're aware current translations are made from Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts, as close to the originals as the biblical scholars can get them? [If discussion on this point continues, it probably ought to move to a separate page] --AlexChurchill
I believe the Bible is indispensible for leading people to Jesus, and possibly a useful reference for matters on which God is otherwise silent, although I am not convinced the latter is its main purpose - it's not there to tell us how to live, it's a dead book! It's there to make us examine our lives and pray to God about them. It's there to lead us to the living God, who can lead us in how He'd like us to live. In the cases I am talking about, He has not been silent.''
Now, I realise that not everyone who calls themself a Christian accepts the complete infallability of the Bible, but my understanding is that everyone who has contributed here that, if one differs from the Scripture, then the burden of proof for why it does not apply lies with the person opting out,
"I prayed to God and He told me it's OK." *whap* it's your burden again.
and that if one acts against one's understanding of God's will thus derived from Scripture, one has strayed into the "permissible but not beneficial" territory. If I am wrong about your understanding, then the rest of my typing will, I realise, be a dead waste of electrons. That said, I see the following areas that form significant teaching in the NT that seem to be being discounted here:
1) The obvious, of all the teaching on homosexuality specifically, and on "sexual immorality" as a cathc-all phrase which in context seems highly likely to include homosexuality. The fact that Paul includes it in the beginning of Romans as an example of the fallenness of all of mankind puts it beyond the claim that Paul thought it a cultural issue, it must be a universal one.
2) What becomes, if the above is accepted (or indeed in a great variety of otherwise unrelated issues), as by conservatives, of the passages that speak of correcting, rebuking, rejecting false teaching etc? As far as I can see, on your showing, there is no way of identifying false teaching or behavious in order to rebuke it, given that we have to trust that it is well between them and God. If it is impossible, why are we told to do it?
As I said before, I realise that many of you don't accept biblical infallibility, but I would be interested to hear your reasons for rejecting these portions of Scripture in this case.
I don't reject these portions of Scripture. I am not homosexual, and don't have a bloke I fancy, so I have had no reason to make a decision over how I should behave towards other blokes. I trust that when friends tell me they have prayed to God about it and they are OK with Him over it, they are not lying and there is little more I can do except pray to God myself if what they do in their bedroom really does upset me that much.
MikeJeggo: Am creating page KnowingGodsWill to answer this, as my reply to what you said is going to go rather off topic, and I need the freedom to change the order of what you said to respond to bits that connect but are far apart. I would like to make a number of points. 1) I have not entirely made up my mind what I think about homosexuality in the context of Christianity. I do not feel I have a particular axe to grind. 2) I think the evangelical church is ripping itself to pieces over this issue. Non-Christians (and I speak from personal experience) find it strange we are so obsessed with sex. I think we should stop talking about sin and talk more about grace.
That said my main point is a response to Mike's "As I said before, I realise that many of you don't accept biblical infallibility, but would be interested to hear your reasons for rejecting these portions of scripture". I do not reject them but I think a fundamental misreading of Romans has occurred.
I do not think the purpose of NIV: Rom 1: 18-3: 20 is an attempt to prove 'original sin' ie that all humankind is fallen. What Paul does here is actually to point out that Jews and Gentiles are equal before God. Look at NIV: Rom 2: 11-16 - I can't type it all out now. I think what Paul does here is argue that good works are good works whether or not they stem from the law or otherwise. We cannot divide the world into 2 camps of good Jews and wicked pagans - a good many people who do not know the law nonetheless obey the will of God more devotedly than many people who do know it. As suchPaul argues that Gentiles are doers of the law 'by nature' and appears to contradict what he said in NIV: Rom 1: 18-32 and the alleged point of NIV: Rom 1: 18-3: 20. The way I would explain what should be your immediate objection, ie that in NIV: Rom 3: 9 that all sin, means that a representative sample of all nations have sinned, there is no difference between Jews and Gentiles as ethnos, ie as people groups but this is not an exposition of the doctrine of original sin. Therefore if Paul is not arguing for original sin here, the example of homosexuality in ch 1 is far less important than you give it credit for as it does not contribute to an assessment of original sin and could be relegated as cultural should the exegete so desire.
MikeJeggo: As in the point below, yes, it would be easier to respond to a name rather than an anonymous comment. Never mind, I'll try to answer anyway. Apologies for the delay, wiki-contributions are unfortunately being curtailed by an overhectic schedule...
Would I be correct in assuming that you are referring largely to NIV: Romans 2: 14-15? It states that when the Gentiles do by nature the things required by the law they are a law for themselves. So, as you conclude, people from all nations have, indeed, sinned, and the Jew and the Gentile are equal, and you will get no argument from me there. I am not sure quite what you mean by a representative sample of people have sinned - surely all have?
But, to be honest, I'm not quite sure what the relevence of what I understand to be your point. My point was this - that this issue is mentioned in a passage that is not telling specifically referring to Christian behaviour. Perhaps I need to expand on what I see as the relevence of this. Teaching to Christians contains, as I think there is little argument here, teaching that is universal - so, if teaching about sin, it is speaking of actions that are intrinsically displeasing to God - and teaching that is culturally specific. The classic example of the latter is NIV: 1Cor 11: 2-16, the passage about women covering the heads and having long hair, while men are to have short. The received wisdom appears to be that this is a result of what was regarded as shameful in that culture. The point to take from it being, it displeases God if his people do things shameful in their culture without due reason, as it hampers evangelism unnecessarily. My reason for citing from the Romans passage on homosexuality is that, being addressed to mankind as a whole, it cannot belong in the latter category, thus concluding that Paul sees it as universally wrong. If by 'cultural' you mean that you think Paul was wrong in this, then this debate belongs on the KnowingGodsWill page and is much more general.
I would also ask where the suggestion comes from that, if you mean the first meaning I have given of cultural (which I will assume for the rest of this contribution), it can automatically be ignored. There seems to be no attempt to point out the cultural differences that make any given 'cultural' issue no longer relevent, nor any attempt to understand what underlying principle was behind it. In this case, in case of rejection of my argument above as to why this is not a 'cultural' issue, how does modern society differ from Roman society to make homosexuality acceptable now if it was not then?
I will write some more on what you say about grace and sin, but I've run out of time.
I'm pasting this (the comment below) back here until someone explains to me why it was replaced with:
What is in a name? Is disclosing a name an act of power transferance?] . . . . . lib06.divinity.cam.ac.uk
(To answer, I guess so)
My guess is that the original author (from lib.divinity.etc) wasn't that fussed about being identified, and would prefer to have that comment in place of their name. Seems reasonable. And also rather entertaining. :) I suggest you let her(/him) do so... --AlexChurchill
Hm. What is in a name? Very little, I would say. It is probably of relatively little use to know the RealWorld name of someone posting to ToothyWiki in the scheme of things. However, it can be useful to be able to associate passages written by the same person with each other. IMHO using your RealWorld name is not important, but using some sort of name or nickname consistently is both courteous and useful - at least, if one is aiming to have an OngoingConversation, which one might not be. - MoonShadow
I believe this can be attributed to LucySpencer. If not, please somebody edit this and remove this comment. --AlexChurchill
I suspect it can. I have been wondering about proposing a general policy of avoiding mentioning posters' real names until they do it themselves, because some prefer to remain anonymous; however, I strongly suspect LucySpencer is the original author of her homepage, which gives us reign to bandy her name about. -- MoonShadow.
Oh, I certainly agree to avoid posting people's real names unless they do so themselves. I also in general wouldn't add attributions to comments if the original poster hasn't done so. This exception was because of the two factors that (a) I think the poster was hoping for a response (from Mike, for example), which is easier when one's addressing a named person, and (b) my guess is that LucySpencer wouldn't have thought to add her name - in other words, that the omission was accidental rather than deliberate. By contrast, for example, sometimes the RecentChanges shows that Vitenka's edited a page, but not added their name; since Vitenka is clearly capable of adding their name when they want to, I wouldn't add it if they chose not to.
I take all responsibility for the decision to add her name, and if anyone wants to delete it and/or flame me for adding it, feel free to do both. --AlexChurchill
Actually, my not adding my name is usually laziness or random mischief. I tend to not bother adding it when my comment was short. Feel free to attribute any untaken quotes to me ;) -- Vitenka.