Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, June 02, 2006

It's official... SSM vote for the fall

A vote on SSM is to be held this fall.

I'm torn on this one... while I'm glad it's coming to another vote, I'm worried we may not have enough to carry this one. I'm of the mind that it would be better to wait until after the next election, to tip the odds a little more evenly.

We'll see.

117 Comments:

  • At Fri Jun 02, 02:06:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    Any particular reason why, in a pluralistic, multicultural society of the 21st century, gays shouldn't have the same rights, responsibilities, privileges and protections as straight folks?

    And don't you mean " tip the odds a little more in our favour."

    I honestly hope the vote does happen. And I hope that those opposed to gay marriage are heard loud and clear, and I hope they voice their support for the Conservatives. And I hope that the gay marriage law gets overturned.

    That's the best way to guarantee that Stephen Harper doesn't get a second term.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 02:36:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jdave:

    It's because marriage is a child-centred institution (yes, there are exceptions, but they are not the rule). We would do well to promote a healthy and stable environment for the raising of children.

    Besides--we are also wise to promote healthy and conducive behaviours--be they sexual or social; please don't tell me you think two men having sex using organs not meant for it is the same--it's not, and you're delusional if you do). These are some of the reasons why conservatives, and a majority of Canadians, care about the traditional definition of marriage.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 02:40:00 PM EDT, Blogger gimbol said…

    Good call by Harper.

    What with Volpe letting off a major stink over his fund raising activities (taking candy from babies) and the crunch to find delegates to support the liberal leadership aspirants, the ex-officio and MP votes should become even more valuable than before.

    I imagine at least 30-40 of those MP's still oppose SSM.

    So here's the leading question for those candidates.

    "Would you as liberal leader discipline a member of your caucus that votes in favour of reopening the debate on SSM?"

    You think this is about the vote?

    You didn't learn anything from the debate on Afghanistan did you?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 02:41:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Jeff said…

    jdave34, exactly what right were gays denied under traditional marriage? Every Canadian had the same right to marry but, just like my drivers' licence, you just had to limit yourself to driving the appropriate vehicle. If you're talking about tax benifits etc. as priveleges they were denied, those were available through common law arrangements. A compromise civil arrangement (like common law, which we already had) was the only sensible comprimise on the SSM issue. The only reason gays wanted marriage was to trample on the rights of religious people. Canadians have a right to be free from governments dictating the practise of religion - that is an ACTUAL right that is being infringed upon by allowing gay 'marriages'.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 02:42:00 PM EDT, Anonymous ryan said…

    I'm not sure that Harper is really interested in winning this vote, so much as he is in getting it behind him. Obviously the numbers are not there, so I have to ask myself what is his motivation in having this vote. The only answers I get are, to appease his conservative base, and to get some distance between this issue and his party. Sad, because it is and will remain an important issue.

    PM Harper has openly supported "civil-unions" as a sensible compomise, and I generally agree with this position.

    jdave:

    How can 2 totally different things be equal in every way? Are apples equal to oranges? It seems to me that in a "pluralistic, multicultural society of the 21st century" we are suppose to celebrate our differences, not homogenize (no pun intended) the aspects and traditions of one group into another. Outside of the major urban centers of this country there is not widespread support for gay marriage, in fact in poll after poll the majority of Canadians oppose it.

    Marriage should stay marriage. Constantly changing the defination, risks re-defining marraige out of existance. Already in the Netherlands the gov't has recognized a group marriage between 2 women and a man, or is it 2 men and a women? I'm not really sure it matters.

    The "rights, responsibilities, privileges" of gaty couple can be respected and protected under the institution of civil unions, without changing the definition of traditional marriage or offending the people who hold it dear.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:02:00 PM EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    Gimbol, do you think this will be a wedge issue? I don't think any of the leadership candidates are opposed to same-sex marriage. On the other hand, your question about discipline is a good one. I would be surprised if the Liberals didn't allow a free vote though. Of course the Dippers will all be forced to vote according to Jack Layton's religion of secularism. I doubt things will change. Hope I'm wrong.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:14:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    anonymous:

    2 questions:

    1) Should a couple that can't or chooses not to have children be banned from marrying?

    2) Is a child better off growing up with abusive, alcoholic heterosexual parents, or loving, sober gay parents?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:15:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    anonymous:

    btw: Straight people have bum sex too.

    and it's fun.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:21:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    jeff:

    you said "The only reason gays wanted marriage was to trample on the rights of religious people"

    I'm a stupid man. Please explain to me which rights are being trampled on.

    And gay marriage has less to do with taxes and more to do with making sure that if a gay person is is incapacitated and in the hospital, his partner can still visit him.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:23:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    ryan:

    When was the last time (or first, for that matter) that the definition of marriage was changed.

    Perhaps you can define constantly for me?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:24:00 PM EDT, Anonymous mth said…

    yeah jdave, I am sure that gay marriage is going to make or break any election.

    Other than those that have somehow twisted their logic to elevate a lifestyle choice to that of race, gender or disability (to make it simple for you, things that you really have no choice in) who would not vote conservative no matter what, this is probably the best exercise of democracy that we have seen in Canada for some time.

    The whole issue was ducked and then distorted by the Liberals. How hard would it be to have actually asked the Supreme court whether limiting marriage to the union of a man and a woman was permitted under the Charter. Instead, they asked whether Parliament had the power to define what a marriage is and, without anything more concrete, of course the answer was of course you can as long as you follow the Constitution.

    So with a finger i nthe air testing the wind, the Liberal put the law defining down what is a marriage to the Parliament and whipped the vote. As did the NDP. The Conservatives left it up to the members to vote their consciences. It is illustrative of what big tent parties the liberals and NDP are since they disciplined those who broke with the leadership while the Conservatives have appointed MPs that broke with the party leadership as minsters.

    What the Government is doing is what should have been done in ithe first place - let the MPs have a free vote since the last one was so horribly rigged.

    However, since we have seen that the NDP have no taste for dissent, they will whip the vote to reatin the law. The BQ probably will vote predominantly in favour of the existing law. From the vote on the Afgahanistan mission we have seen that the Liberal will vote against the government onaany issue - even their own policy - out of reflex and without principle or shame and so the vote will fail.

    The net result is that the law remains the same, Harper gets marks for keeping a promise to those on the "repeal it" side, he might attract a few people who are fence-sitters on the issue, but who were not pleased with the way the Liberals rammed the law through originally, those who view the discussion of the issue as a waste of time, probably won't be swayed one way or another and those who think like you jdave and who still think that Harper is scary and wouldn't vote conservative Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were running for the Lib, NDP and BQ you have your moral satisfaction that you kept Canada in the homosexual marriage for a little while longer when the Conservatives take a majority in the next election and get to repeal the law then.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:28:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    mth:

    It's not a lifestyle choice. Nobody chooses to be ostracized, insulted, shunned by friends and family and marginalized.

    "How hard would it be to have actually asked the Supreme court whether limiting marriage to the union of a man and a woman was permitted under the Charter. Instead, they asked whether Parliament had the power to define what a marriage is"

    So which way do Conservatives want it? All this time, I thought they wanted Parliament to make decisions and the courts to STFU.

    I'll take any bet you want that majority or no, The Conservatives won't repeal gay marriage.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 03:55:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Jeff said…

    jdave,

    I did tell you which right was being trampled on (which by the way you didn't, even though I asked you straight out). The right to religous freedom is being infringed upon. I can forgive you if you're unfamiliar with this right, seeing as it's actually in the constitution. You know that "separation of church and state" thing that you lefties like to chant? It was actually set up to protect churches from government interference. But now we have public servants being fired for refusing to perform ceremonies that are strictly against their religion and pressure on churches to abandon their most sacred traditions. The gay lobby knows that they could get the same taxation and visitation privileges (like they don't have those already) through a common law situation, but they are not actually interested in that. They are after legislated acceptance. They want to force people not just to tolerate deviance, but to accept it as normal. If they destroy the church and the family in the process, that's just gravy.
    You still haven't answered my original question. Exactly which rights were denied to gays under traditional marriage?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 04:06:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    Jeff: who's dictating the practise of religion? That one's been put to sleep. Nobody's telling priests to marry gays.

    and btw: Separation of Church and State may be in the constitution, but that would be the US constitution. I forgive you for being unfamiliar with this.

    As for rights denied gays: I'll give you a scenario:

    Ron's gay and he's been with Julio ever since they met on that trip to Cozumel all those years ago.

    Ron's family is really hard core Catholic and they've always been disgusted by Ron and Julio.

    Ron's in a car accident and he's in a coma. Ron's family, as next of kin, decide to take the opportunity to tell Julio that he's not welcome at Ron's bedside, and as next of kin, they're exercising their right to kick Julio out of Ron's condo, and to take the keys to Ron's VW Cabrio back. They wouldn't be able to do this if Ron and Julio were married.

    That's just one example. Want more?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 04:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The issue was about Same-Gender marriage, there is absolutely no demands on people to Prove their sexual preference or gender.

    Marriage is NOT a Human Right , and the NDP has milked this issue by trying to link it to Slavery and the freedom marches in the USA.

    We now see that Liberal's tried to sneak through the Polygamy clause that many pro-SSM denied would happen , any opposing view that questioned Polygamy were shouted down and labelled homophobes .
    Can't wait to see how Liberals will vote this time, and how Belinda and Brison stand on this issue.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 04:23:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    Anonymous:

    "We now see that Liberal's tried to sneak through the Polygamy clause"

    Go to Joanne's Journey blog. I'm not saying anything more about this stupid lie.

    But I will say you're an idiot.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 04:27:00 PM EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    Jdave, your argument seems to imply that we have all discounted same-sex unions. I for one, have not. Everyone should have all the same rights and benefits. Just please don't call it marriage!

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 04:35:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    joanne:

    To tell you the truth, I was opposed to the idea of using the word marriage too. I was in favour of "Social-Common Law-Non Denominational-Two Dicks-Union" or whatever the hell the other options were.

    But I got so sick of seeing people protesting gay marriage, no matter what it was called that I finally said "y'know what, if it'll piss off all those anti-gay homophobic jerks, I'm in favour of calling it Catholic-blessed-by-the-pope-Marriage".

    Had nobody protested in the first place, gays would have -common-law-unions or whatever, and that would've been that. But a funny thing happened. The homophobes hijacked the debate and started pushing too hard, and as often happens, the militant gays pushed back.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 04:37:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Jeff said…

    Ahh jdave. Of course "separation of church and state" is specific to the American constituion, but freedom of religion is not. I only mentioned it because it is a favorite parrot of the left and it is useful to let others know that even that tenet was designed to protect churches, not the other way around.
    If you don't think there's pressure on churches to change their teachings I say you must be blind. Aside from that, what about the recent ruling against the Kights of Columbus for refusing the use of their hall for a lesbian wedding reception? An expressly religious group was found (convolutedly) to be in the wrong for following their religion. What about disciplinary actions taken agains magistrates (or whatever they are called) who refuse to civilly marry gays? Even if they suggest others who are willing? These are concrete examples of transgressions against religious freedom.
    Assuming your scneario is true for a common law couple (which I will admit to doubting), this is something that could easily have been included in a civil union compromise that would have then solved the problem, but not been an attack on religion.
    Regardless, the drafters of the constitution (and I mean the beloved 1982 one) purposely refused to include sexual orientation alongside sex, race, religion, etc. as an unacceptable criterion for discrimination. Therefore, even if it was decided that gays were being discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation, that would still be constitutional.
    The point here, to bring everything back to the original post, is that the Liberals bowed to a special interest group to ram a law through that was nothing more than an attack on religion and the family. They refused honest debate on the issue and an obvious compromise because anything less than the reduction of heterosexual marriage to meaninglessness was unacceptable to the gay lobby.
    Despite the fact that the CPC will probably lose this vote, I think honest people will give them some points for at least trying to have a real debate on the issue. If they can see through the 'rights' propaganda, that is.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 04:40:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Jeff said…

    jdave, I think your last post perfectly illustrates the simple vindictiveness that was behind the push for SSM from the beginning.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 05:01:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    jeff:

    I just found it hilarious that in the midst of your smug 'schooling' me on the constitution, you didn't know what you were talking about.

    As for your 'magistrates' argument, well it all comes down to separation of church and state (the principle, not the non-existant clause in our constitution).

    you wanna work for the government? Leave your religion at the door. you work for the government not the church, and if your job is to marry people, you marry em.

    The same thing went on in Spain. Priests and bishops were saying that Catholic magistrates shouldn't perform gay marriage ceremonies, even if it cost them their job. Funny thing was, these priests and bishops didn't offer any suggestions as to how these magistrates should feed their kids and pay their bills if they got fired. And they certainly didn't offer to compensate them for standing up for the church.

    And I'll ask you again: Where are their concrete examples of the damage done to religion and the family?

    and jeff: If you heard all your life that you were perverted, demented, disgusting, going to hell etc... and you had a chance to stick it to the people saying that about you, wouldn't you?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 05:09:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For jdave34:

    1. When people refer to Trudeau's comment "There's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation" they forget that Trudeau was referring to removing homosexual acts performed in private between two consenting adults from the Criminal Code. This was in no way to pave the way towards marriage. Prior to the passing of the Omnibus Bill, sodomy was a Criminal Code offence in Canada carrying a 14-year prison term upon conviction. Today, there is no provision in the Criminal Code regarding sodomy.

    2. The Charter of Rights is usually the argument used for extending the term "marriage" to SS couples. This is simply an example of social engineering, where SC judges read something into the Charter which was not there originally, nor intended to be there.

    Svend Robinson lobbied for the inclusion of sexual orientation in the Charter under section 15, which reads:
    «15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination based on race and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.»

    Please note that sexual orientation was not originally included in the Charter. It was expanded by a SC decision.

    That is not to say that gays and lesbians were or should be denied the same protection of the law as other people. It simply meant that they would be covered under any of the other definitions, i.e., «race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.»

    3. Consider this quote (written before the passage of Bill C-38, the SSM legislation):
    «Members of Parliament: consider this my impassioned - almost desperate - eleventh hour appeal to put an end to this April Fool's joke called same-sex marriage, which falsely claims dignity and legitimacy by attaching itself to the worthy principles of compassion, equality and justice....
    Centuries ago, Plato cautioned that democracy would crumble and pave the way to dictatorship, because a foolish majority would turn liberty into license...»

    Was that written by an anti-gay fundamentalist?

    No. Its author is a gay person opposed to SSM. I learned of John McKellar's position through an article of his which appeared a while ago in the newspaper Le Devoir, in which he articulated his opposition to SSM. If you wish to read some more, go to:
    http://www.taxtyranny.ca/images/HTML/GayWatch/Articles/Opposed.pdf
    I do not know much else about Mr. McKellar, but I admire his courage in standing up to the militant stridency of some SSM proponents.

    Finally, to your comment «As for rights denied gays: I'll give you a scenario:

    Ron's gay and he's been with Julio ever since they met on that trip to Cozumel all those years ago.

    Ron's family is really hard core Catholic and they've always been disgusted by Ron and Julio.»

    Hadn't Ron & Julio ever heard of a WILL? Ron's family might have contested the will, but if it was duly drawn up, what court would go against its provisions?

    Re-write needed.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 06:17:00 PM EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    "Hadn't Ron & Julio ever heard of a WILL?"

    Ha! Good one!

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 06:26:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    ""Hadn't Ron & Julio ever heard of a WILL?"

    Ha! Good one!"

    Not really. More like "boring one".

    Anonymouse's will argument actually illustrates jdave's point: a married couple would not need the protection of a will or power of attorney documents in this case.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 06:31:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    The big arguments we're seeing against SSM are all fairly easy to rebut. And none of the people debating jdave have raised points that hold any water.

    argument 1: The institution of marriage is "child-centred".

    Noone's given a response to jdave yet about why a gay couple would be any worse at raising kids than a straight couple. I can't imagine what a reasonable argument here would sound like. And "the children would be exposed to an immoral lifestyle" doesn't count as reasonable here. Religious morality is relative.


    argument 2: Marriage is sacred.

    My marriage is sacred to me, and I don't plan on messing it up. But as a state-defined institution, marriage is not sacred to me. There are loads of items in what is legal and acceptable in Canadian marriages that I would say go against the tenets of Christianity: divorce, prenuptual agreements, the notion of an "open marriage", drive-thru Vegas style weddings, couple swapping, oral sex... Hang on, scratch that last one.

    In short, marriage as it's practised in Canada is far from sacred. That ship has long since sailed, if ever.


    argument 3: The definition of marriage has been the same since God ordained it in the Bible. We shouldn't be changing its definition. If we do, before we know it, we'll be able to marry our pets.

    The definition of marriage has been changing as long as society has been changing. Witness the last 100 years in Canada. We can now have easily obtainable divorces and women now have rights within their marriages. This wasn't always the case.

    As for pets, slippery slope arguments don't count as being reasonable.


    argument 4: Isn't the notion of civil unions enough? Why do they want to be called married?

    As jdave alluded, it was the evengelical Christian community that argued against the notion of civil unions in Canada. I still don't think civil unions are enough, because they're not the same. And even if a civil union were defined to be the same as marriage in all the provinces, except in name, this would still be discriminatory. (By the way, civil unions in most of the provinces do not afford all the rights married couples enjoy.) When I'm talking about discriminatory, what I'm getting at is in the last decade or so, it's become unacceptable to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. We're seeing this in daily interactions, where it's generally frowned upon to tease someone for being gay, we've seen it being written into laws, and we've seen it in precedent-setting decisions by our court systems.


    argument 5: Won't our religious freedoms be violated by SSM?

    If by religous freedom you mean "you mean we have to stop imposing our morality on other people"? In this case, yes. But if you've got a more sensible notion of what religious freedom means, then, no, I don't see it. The key point here is that discrimination itself must not be tolerated. For an Independant Baptist pastor to be forced to marry a gay couple would certainly be discriminatory. Besides, in the SSM law passed in Canada, there are many clauses outlining the protection of religious freedoms.


    There are probably more arguments, but I think that sums up the bigger ones.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 06:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    "a married couple would not need the protection of a will or power of attorney documents in this case."

    Wrong. Everyone should have a will.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 06:52:00 PM EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    "And even if a civil union were defined to be the same as marriage in all the provinces, except in name, this would still be discriminatory"

    So let's invent a new word.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 07:39:00 PM EDT, Blogger jdave34 said…

    Joanne (True Blue) said...

    "a married couple would not need the protection of a will or power of attorney documents in this case."

    Wrong. Everyone should have a will.

    Ummm...wrong. When a couple marries, the spouses become each other's first next-of-kin. Will or no will.

    and whether or not someone should have a will is irrelevant here. Unless you're a gay couple whose families hate gays. Which proves the original point, doesn't it?

    BTW, Dirk? Thanks man...once again, far more eloquent and meticulous than I could hope to be... Being lumped in with the likes of yourself and Blake, as has been happening lately, is truly flattering. If only you and Blake could say the same about me...
    :)
    Cheers!

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 07:40:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    ""a married couple would not need the protection of a will or power of attorney documents in this case."

    Wrong. Everyone should have a will."

    Yes, everyone should have a will. But my point still stands. If I were to die without a will, my wife would still be entitled to all of my stuff. In some jurisdictions, civil unions don't allow for that.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 07:47:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "BTW, Dirk? Thanks man...once again, far more eloquent and meticulous than I could hope to be... Being lumped in with the likes of yourself and Blake, as has been happening lately, is truly flattering. If only you and Blake could say the same about me...
    :)"

    Thanks! At risk of turning this into a mutual admiration society, I've got to say that I've been enjoying your posts a lot lately as well.

    BTW, I laughed long and loudly at your "Social-Common Law-Non Denominational-Two Dicks-Union" post. Awesome.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 07:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "So let's invent a new word."

    I think it was Alberta that wanted to try that a couple years ago... something along the lines of "if the gays are going to get marriage, noone gets it!" But as sometimes happens in politics, common sense prevailed.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:13:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dick said:
    "Religious morality is relative."
    and
    "If by religous freedom you mean "you mean we have to stop imposing our morality on other people"?

    Would you agree/deny that stealing is a moral choice?
    Would you agree/deny that killing someone (not in self-defense or in a just war) is a moral choice?
    Would you agree/deny that lying involves a moral choice?
    Would you agree/deny that paying a worker a decent wage is a moral choice?
    Would you agree/deny that adultery is a moral choice?
    Would you agree/deny that cheating on your income tax return is a moral choice?

    Do you have enough examples of your so-called "relative morality"? There are some things that are constants in humankind, regardless of one's religious affiliations. I'm sure that most atheists, unless they are nihilists, would agree with the questions above. So your argument refuting opponents of SSM by dismissing their opposition as "relative morality" doesn't hold water.

    And by insisting that opponents of SSM (in your view homophobes) must accept YOUR point of view as the only viable one - who's the one doing this: "you mean we have to stop imposing our morality on other people"?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:26:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mr Ed said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:26:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    Anonymous:

    "If you don't think there's pressure on churches to change their teachings I say you must be blind."

    So what? That's part of living in a literate society. People read, think, challenge, explore, investigate. The mere existance of books or the internet and the ability to use them invariably pressures "churches to change their teachings". And I'd be remiss without including that several liberal Canadian denominations have "renewal movements" within them that form a more conservative pressure group on the denomination to "change their (liberal) teachings". The Community of Concern of the United Church of Canada is one such group, and I've admired the quality of their thought and their loyalty to their denomination despite some stiff challenges from the head office. So that works two ways; for you to complain about there being pressure on churches to change their teachings just shows that your version of Christianity is about as dynamic as a rock, completely incapable of withstanding serious scrutiny.

    And I'd like to continue the jdave-dirk-Blake love-in (which is unlikely to involve group sodomy) and christen us, "Club Accountability". Or, "The Watcher's Council", because we scrutinize the folly that passes for Blogging Torism at times.

    Jdave: saw Joanne's piece, just now. Will probably respond to it later, going out to East Side Mario's for half-price appetizers. But there might be another man at the bar, so pray for me that I don't make the wrong lifestyle choice and get it on with him in the back seat of his VW Jetta after indulging in the sins of fried foods (this is a once-monthly exception to my diet), Diet Coke (nectar of God), and network trivia gaming.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:33:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mr Ed said…

    I've commented on this whole thing before in the past. The SSM issue in Canadian law, and the entire arguement was only allowed to spin as far out of control as it was at the time was because it served the powers that be at the time(namely the leaderless, rule by pubic opinion, Liberal party of Canada under Mr Dithers) because it allowed them to call the opposition bigots or scream discrimination in a rapidly deteriorating and morally bankrupt parlament...

    The entire issue was forced by a vote in the house which was not allow to be a free vote... The Leftist's forced it down everyone's throats weither they agreed with it or not. Period. End of story.

    If time had been taken to look at how "Civial Union" was defined in England, a country I think we're all familier with given our origins and the fact our gov't is frickin modeled after it with the queen being the historical figure head, this would have been quite simple and the religious right would have never gotten their collective knickers in a knot over symantics.

    Even the Gays couldn't give a flying fig what it's called...they'd probably be happy with the creative name Dave supplied earlier...their big beef... survivor benifits on pensions and the responsibilities expected of a spouce...

    Simply put, if the law had been drafted as stating "Civil Union" will now have all Rights, Responsibilities, and privlages afforded to the definition of the term "Marrage", that would have been the end of it....no big issue.

    Instead now, without all Canadians having a say in how their laws and constitution read, the Marriage of my wife and myself has the same definition as a couple "bumb buddy's" or "letzbefriends" that decide to tie the knot... (appologies if I've offended anyone...we're all big boy's and girls here and I really don't care if comments made totally in jest are found offensive by someone who's so uptight they can't laugh at themselves or simply blow it off)

    Personally, I don't agree with SSM. I believe that now, even a vote in the house will not make this issue go away. This really should have been a referendium issue for all Canadians to vote on, not decided in the house of commons, and require a 51% to pass if re-defining the term... Heck, they could have had it as a vote via the "censeless" this last month. At the same time though, the option of "Civil Union" should be presented as an alternative. I think you'll find that 50% of the people that disagree with Marriage being redefined will be fine with allowing Gay's the rights, responsibilities, and privlages that are defined in marriage to be extended to them through a "Civil Union."

    Just don't expect me to kiss either of the bride grooms... and no, I'm not homophobic, I just don't want to kiss some guy... now if it's a couple hot brides though, that's different... LOL

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:34:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Two comments to make here,

    First, if it is the word marriage that is a problem why not use a different word? Everyone would be treated equally and all the religious group would have nothing to complain about. Where is the problem with this solution?

    Second,
    Dirk, jdave, your arguments have a flaw, they deny the existence and supremacy of God. God is supreme. He has defined marriage. We are to follow His word.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:35:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    I'm not really sure what the overall point of the last post is, except to say that I'm a dick. That's about the only argument I agreed with.

    As for the list you provided, yes, they do involve moral choices, as does every behaviour we engage in.

    "There are some things that are constants in humankind, regardless of one's religious affiliations."
    I can agree with that, to a point, but there are exceptions to pretty much every rule. Take eating people's brains, for instance.

    "I'm sure that most atheists, unless they are nihilists, would agree with the questions above. So your argument refuting opponents of SSM by dismissing their opposition as "relative morality" doesn't hold water."
    Any thinking person would agree that the things in the list represent moral choices at some level. I agree that having sex with someone of the same sex involves a moral choice as well, just as every other behaviour does. But that doesn't change the fact that there are many people who don't see this as an immoral choice.

    I'm guessing that by saying "constants in humankind" you're hinting at one of the arguments against SSM, or more specifically, homosexuality that I forgot earlier:
    argument, the forgotten, (a): every major religion and culture in human history sees the practice of homosexuality as deviant behaviour

    There are many responses to this one. First of all, assuming we believe that tenet, precedence doesn't mean that it's right. Slavery has also been a common and accepted practice in the majority of the world's cultures. Second, I don't believe the tenet. Off the top of my head, I can think of three major empires in history which had long periods of open (as in out of the closet) homosexual expression: Egyptian, Greek, and Roman. And you can arguably say American as well, since gay celebrities are commonplace, and in normal cases the law there will protect you from being beaten up for being gay.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:39:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "I'm sure that most atheists, unless they are nihilists, would agree with the questions above."

    Wow, you so don't get nihilism. Nihilism is the belief that there is no absolute undergirding meaning to anything. A perfect illustration comes from the character of Bazarov in Turgenev's Fathers and Sons: "Nature isn't mankind's temple, it's mankind's workshop." Nihilism doesn't say there is no meaning, it's just that it is ascribed to things by people as opposed to having inherent meaning. I'm not saying I agree entirely, I'm just explaining it properly.

    And frankly, there's one group here that's attempting to impose its morality on the society at large, and I don't see it being Club Accountability.

    "So your argument refuting opponents of SSM by dismissing their opposition as "relative morality" doesn't hold water."

    This is laughable, because your point is so incredibly poorly thought-out. Who determines what is "moral" and what is "immoral"? How do we know? How well do we know these categories? To whom are these rules applicable, and under what circumstances?

    You act as though because you declare something to be immoral, it necessarily ought to be agreed upon as such. Sorry, life doesn't work that way. And for you to hold up your highly selective code of morality (and before you even open your mouth, realize that I am still largely confessionally an evangelical Christian, and I know what kind of crap goes on there) and use it to condemn a select group is, to use two cliched expressions, "holier-than-thou" and "hypocritical". There are plenty of biblical categories I'm sure that I could use to roast you, but I don't. Not my place. I think it goes back to this whole, "do not judge so that you will not be judged" kinda stuff. Not that it's wrong to discern right from wrong, but it's wrong to point a finger at some group of your choice due to cultural baggage and single them out.

    Why is this discussion even taking place? If evangelical churches don't want to perform the ceremonies, fine, they don't have to. And even if they do, they should at least be confident enough in having balls enough to stand up and say, "Sorry, no can do" and deal with the consequences. And when we get on to this subject of crying "persecution" and "religious freedoms" being infriged upon, that's what it comes down to: conservative Christian groups not having the balls enough to stand up and own their position and accept consequences for standing up according to their beliefs. Laughable, the whole lot of 'em.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:43:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    Oh my goodness, I did not just hear this!

    "Dirk, jdave, your arguments have a flaw, they deny the existence and supremacy of God. God is supreme. He has defined marriage. We are to follow His word."

    1) Who is God?
    2) How do you know?
    3) What is His Word?
    4) What issues exist in the interpretation of his word? (I'm guessing you don't know New Testament Greek or Old Testament Hebrew - I do. You want to get it on, boy, I'll get it on with you.)

    Surely you are not so blinded to the fact that not everybody agrees religiously in this world and that you can't possibly be so arrogant as to shove down a Christian worldview down a non-Christian's throat (if so be that jdave and dirk are even non-Christians).

    PS - the "getting it on with you" was not a sexual come-on. You probably don't get enough of them to know the difference, so I just wanted to be clear.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:47:00 PM EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    jdave - "Ummm...wrong. When a couple marries, the spouses become each other's first next-of-kin. Will or no will."

    It streamlines things. No probate. Check with a lawyer. As for living wills and powers of attorney, it is not necessarily a given. You could go through ridiculous paperwork. Check with your lawyer.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:48:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "the Marriage of my wife and myself has the same definition as a couple "bumb buddy's" or "letzbefriends" that decide to tie the knot..."

    Who really cares? I certainly don't. My marriage with my wife already basically has the same legal definition as Bill and Hillary Clinton's or Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's marriages.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:49:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    ^ Bingo. My sentiments exactly.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:51:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    I hope you enjoyed East Side Mario's. I find it interesting that you jump down my throat for expressing a purely Christian point of view but have no problems with Humanist point of views.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 08:52:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    jgriffin:

    What makes your viewpoint "purely Christian"? Why do your privilege your beliefs so much?

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 09:20:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At 8:35 DIRK said:

    "Take eating people's brains, for instance." - No, thanks, I'm vegetarian.

    "I agree that having sex with someone of the same sex involves a moral choice as well, just as every other behaviour does. But that doesn't change the fact that there are many people who don't see this as an immoral choice."

    Nowhere did I state that. All I said was that human beings do make moral choices which are UNIVERSAL self-evident truths regardless on what religion, if any, those choices are based. You are assuming that I think homosexuality is an immoral choice. And BTW, "just as every other behaviour does" is not true. Drinking a cold glass of water instead of a lukewarm one is a behaviour with no moral choice involved. Combing one's hair in public involves no moral choice, etc., etc.

    "I'm guessing that by saying "constants in humankind" you're hinting at one of the arguments against SSM..."

    Well, thank you for admitting that you are labouring under assumptions, and tenuous ones at that.

    You assume that I think homosexuality is a "sin" or a "lifestyle choice." You assume wrong.

    What I tried to do is to refute your "morality is relative" argument. If that is what you are basing your argument on, as stated in your previous post, that opponents of SSM cannot impose THEIR morality on proponents of SSM, then the reverse must also hold true. YOU are the one who made homosexuality a moral question, not I. And that is why I disputed it.

    "I can think of three major empires in history which had long periods of open (as in out of the closet) homosexual expression: Egyptian, Greek, and Roman."

    Yes, and one Roman Emperor (whose name escapes me) named his horse to the Senate. (Caligula, it just came to me). And do I have to admire that choice? And did those 3 empires institute SSM?

    Anyway, you will continue to brand me a homophobe, regardless of what I say. So I surrender to your logic ... heh.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 09:37:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Blake, Blake, Blake,
    I'm so impressed! You read the classics! And your name reminds me of the poet. Were you named after him?

    I see how YOUR rebuttals function: accuse your interlocutor of stupidity, because only YOU understand nihilists, and hurl accusations such as "holier-than-thou" and "hypocritical." And of course let's not forget a healthy dose of ridicule.

    Oh, well, can't win them all. As you were. Go along on your merry way.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 09:46:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    I stand corrected. Billions of other people share my viewpoint. Not all of them are Christian.

    My beliefs are not privileged. They are merely correct.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 09:57:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    anonymous,

    Don't be to hard on Blake. I think he is trying to be more humble. I only get to visit this list occasionally and I find his posts are less caustic each time. Blake has a good mind, I am hoping that, with time, he will be an asset, drawing people to this list, instead of a detriment, driving people away.

    Yes Blake, I know you can't pass this up. Please read the spirit of the message before you start typing. I am not trying to be confrontational.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 10:07:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mr Ed said…

    ya see... this is where your whole arguement falls apart lovin boys...

    "Who really cares? I certainly don't. My marriage with my wife already basically has the same legal definition as Bill and Hillary Clinton's or Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee's marriages."

    So why do you believe your belief structure has any berring on what all Canadians need to believe?

    Open a vote to all Canadians and be done with it. There are about 70% of married couples that my statement about the forced definition "the Marriage of my wife and myself has the same definition as a couple "bumb buddy's" or "letzbefriends" that decide to tie the knot..." does bother...

    Who really cares? you may not but obviously from the swarm of bees this stirs up it bothers alot of others

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 10:32:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "I see how YOUR rebuttals function: accuse your interlocutor of stupidity,"

    In this case, it's the obvious first pitch. ;)

    "because only YOU understand nihilists"

    Obviously that is not the case. When nihilism is misrepresented, however, I think it fitting that our categories be straightened out. I guess I might be in a small minority around this place on that count, though.

    "and hurl accusations such as "holier-than-thou" and "hypocritical.""

    That's exactly how it comes off. I've cautioned others about this before, but apparently ringing a loud gong doesn't mean much.

    Well, I guess I'll take all the criticism that's worthwhile from an individual so brave as yourself to post anonymously.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 10:41:00 PM EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Wow... I take off for one anniversary dinner and look what happens... guess I forgot to hire a baby-sitter. ;-)

    On a serious note... "Why is this discussion even taking place? If evangelical churches don't want to perform the ceremonies, fine, they don't have to. And even if they do, they should at least be confident enough in having balls enough to stand up and say, "Sorry, no can do" and deal with the consequences. And when we get on to this subject of crying "persecution" and "religious freedoms" being infriged upon, that's what it comes down to: conservative Christian groups not having the balls enough to stand up and own their position and accept consequences for standing up according to their beliefs. Laughable, the whole lot of 'em."

    I hope you're not lumping me, or the leadership of my church in there, because each and every one of us "has the balls" to take the "lumps" that are coming down the pipes for our position... which is against SSM.

    We have all stated that we are prepared to go to prison over it. We cannot, and will not, accept SSM as normal. My position is that the debate over SSM is NOT about marriage per se, but about trying to force people like me to change our views.

    I, for one, won't ever mock someone for the choice they have made... in this country, they are entitled to that freedom. However, I don't have to accept it as being normal... and I'm entitled to that freedom. Aren't I?

    I heard a really good message from one of those men in my church the other week. He made a point that caught my attention... his main reason for opposing SSM is not that it's against various rules within the Bible (OT & NT), but because it "destroys the picture". The relationship of a man and woman in marriage is pointed out several times as a picture of Christ's relationship with the Church... His people.

    Perhaps you disagree with that... but of course, that's your right in this great country of ours.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 10:58:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    jgriffin:
    "Dirk, jdave, your arguments have a flaw, they deny the existence and supremacy of God. God is supreme. He has defined marriage. We are to follow His word."

    As a Christian, I do believe in God, and in my life, I try to follow Christian principles, as I understand them: one of them being how to live out a marriage.

    However...

    My arguments don't deny the "existence and supremacy of God". They simply accept that we live in a secular society, and that, correct or not, not everyone shares my beliefs. I expect my Muslim, Jewish, agnostic, Bhuddist, atheist, and Hinduist colleagues to respect my beliefs, so I respect theirs, in turn.

    jgriffin, do you agree that religious tolerance is important? It's important for me to note here that I won't think less of you if you say "no". But if you say "yes", then your position on state-sanctioned homosexuality becomes a little shakey. Here's why I think this is the case:

    Some Christians base their belief that homosexuality should not be tolerated in society based on the passages in Leviticus that more or less say "men should not lay with other men as they would with a woman". The contexts in which those directives are made are given alongside other laws that involve religious purity, specifically, not tolerating idol worship, or the worship of other gods. So if you're a Christian and in favour of religious tolerance, I'm interested in your response to this.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 11:00:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    jgriffin, I'll respond to both posts at the same time. :)

    "I stand corrected. Billions of other people share my viewpoint. Not all of them are Christian."

    But my question is important, and still stands: who determines what is "purely Christian" and who does not? You said your beliefs were "purely Christian", without explaining as to why (let alone why that might be correct) - that is called, "privileging your position". Another category is "prejudicial language", but since it's almost sina qua non around here, I don't mind stooping to that level. It's somewhat common to all political discourse, anyhow, so as bad as it is, I'll play along in this setting.

    "My beliefs are not privileged. They are merely correct."

    Oh my goodness, I almost fell off my chair laughing at the arrogance and the irony of this statement. Who determines what is correct and what is incorrect, and how? I'm sorry to trot out a repeat line, but you've got about the same relationship to credibility as I do to Angie Harmon's genitals: distant admiration. When you throw out your (and by extension, your community's) interpretation of the Bible as being somehow cogent in a political discourse, you're best advised to pack it in and call it a night. That kind of statement is best left for the 13th century, not informed people living in the technological age. Why? We live in a pluralistic society, and we live in an informed society: people know that there are alternate ways to interpret the Bible, and when you say, "The Bible says x..." the automatic response is to roll the eyes. If you're presenting political arguments, then think carefully and present the most respectful and well thought-out political response you can muster. Or don't say anything at all. This is why I don't venture my opinion at quantum physics: I have nothing meaningful to say on the subject.

    Now, me, I have some experience and still take some delight at doing meaningful biblical exegesis, so I know that interpretation must be done and must be done well to be valid. Problem is, even when I'm inclined to agree with some of your basic beliefs, you are so consistently surface-level in your biblical presentations, showing no indication of critical examination and meaningful exegesis whatsoever, that I find it a joke, really. And I don't appreciate people using the Bible for their own agendae: I have too much respect for that book to see it becoming somebody's personal tool. It needs to be treated carefully and with respect, and to be blunt, I don't see that happening.

    "Yes Blake, I know you can't pass this up. Please read the spirit of the message before you start typing. I am not trying to be confrontational."

    I get that, and I appreciate you saying this, to an extent. But I don't care what happens to this list, as far as number of people participating on it. (And as an aside, I'd postulate that the participation on the comments section usually goes bananas every time Club Accountability takes issue with something said. I'd say I'm one of the three biggest draws for participation on this site.) As long as I am participating on it, I hope that people will present meaningful and considered points from differing (or maybe even similar) points of view.

    But when some clod comes on here and acts like the Conservative Party is the definition of truth, the Liberals and the NDP are to be blamed for all social ills, or their particular faith persepctive is somehow by definition "correct", I'm going to step on them. I've had enough heavy-handed bashing from pulpits to last a lifetime, and my POV right now is to take it to Christians who engage in that kind of crap as hard as I can. Frankly, few people do it as well as I can and at this point, I'm fairly unscrupulous as to limits on comments based on mores or "norms", and there's no way that white bread Christians can possibly hope to stay in a conversation with me when I get animated.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 11:11:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    CC:
    First off, what are you doing posting tonight!!! :-)

    "I, for one, won't ever mock someone for the choice they have made... in this country, they are entitled to that freedom. However, I don't have to accept it as being normal... and I'm entitled to that freedom. Aren't I?"

    Of course! I'm not saying you have to accept SSM as being normal, I'm saying that our country should not deny gay couples the privelege of marriage simply because the idea offends some religious communities.

    I don't think gambling is acceptable behaviour, but I don't think we should have a law banning it altogether.

    "The relationship of a man and woman in marriage is pointed out several times as a picture of Christ's relationship with the Church... His people."
    ... which is a powerful metaphor for Christians, but for non-believers who don't accept Christ's divinity it's not.

     
  • At Fri Jun 02, 11:23:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "I hope you're not lumping me, or the leadership of my church in there, because each and every one of us "has the balls" to take the "lumps" that are coming down the pipes for our position... which is against SSM."

    Andrew, you'd scream persecution if bees built a nest on the side of a church building. (And I'd almost agree: I hate bees, wasps and hornets. They terrify me.) Want evidence? Read on.

    "We have all stated that we are prepared to go to prison over it. We cannot, and will not, accept SSM as normal. My position is that the debate over SSM is NOT about marriage per se, but about trying to force people like me to change our views."

    And there we go! Persecution, people wanting you to change your views (oh, the horror, the horror! Christians have always been right about everything, how dare we listen and perhaps adapt our views!). News flash: nobody cares about your views. What people do object to is disrespectful attitudes and statements towards/about gays. I just can't get over how "civil discourse" is somehow verboten in contemporary evangelicalism! The very thing that Christians would go to court over, or lobby political parties about when directed at them, is accepted when it comes from behind a pulpit and waves a Bible around.

    And allow me to state, and only actions will allay my suspicions, that you'd go to jail for screaming about SSM, but wouldn't do a bloody thing for a gay couple being berated by a street preacher and told they are going to hell, or something. And guess which action I think is more Christian?

    "I, for one, won't ever mock someone for the choice they have made... in this country, they are entitled to that freedom. However, I don't have to accept it as being normal... and I'm entitled to that freedom. Aren't I?"

    Choice? Give it a rest. Even traditional Christian exegesis would deny it being a choice, i.e. "God gave them over". Any comment this unnuanced about human sexuality is not worthy to grace this discussion. You may or may not approve of the action of homosexuality, but the idea that homosexual inclination is a pure choice has been refuted so hard, so often, it's a virtual intellectual gangbang on your position.

    And yes, you are entitled to freely express and defend your position. I would follow that up and also add that if you love truth, and not just your tradition, you would seriously engage with differing viewpoints. The thing is, Andrew, you know where my beliefs lie, and the more I get exposed to more of the same tired old argumentation, the more disgusted I'm becoming with it and just wish I could shed my belief in Christ and be free from this shameful legacy of evangelicalism. But I can't. I won't deny Christ, and it's all I can do to force myself to love God's children like I'm supposed to at this point.

    "He made a point that caught my attention... his main reason for opposing SSM is not that it's against various rules within the Bible (OT & NT), but because it "destroys the picture"."

    A government regulation on accessibility to marriage certificates "destroys the picture"?!? And you're favourably quoting this? Wow. So, by implication, the Church is no longer wed to Christ because the government allows non-Christian same sex couples to obtain civil recognition of their status? Hilarious. And kinda sad.

    Obviously, a Christian should be inclined to believe that God's truth is God's truth regardless of what civic governments do and shouldn't provoke a response more energetic than a raised eyebrow from Christians. This is just an awesome example at how to use hyperbole.

    "The relationship of a man and woman in marriage is pointed out several times as a picture of Christ's relationship with the Church... His people."

    So this begs the question: is a same-sex marriage ever portrayed in scripture as denying the relationship of the Church to Christ? No? Have a nice day.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:15:00 AM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    I am trying to keep things very simple, thus the language I use is simple and the ideas I am expressing are simplistic. I am hoping to demonstrate by example rather than by discourse. Please bear with me while I try to explain why I made the comments I did.

    In my own experience I find people have "humanist" beliefs. By that I mean a belief that morality is relative and the masses should be swayed to meet a personal agenda. This belief system is not tolerant, it does not accept or accommodate other systems of belief. The humanism I witness is actively working to extinguish other belief systems.

    I have watched as these humanists hijacked the public agenda, using publicity to sway the masses, and impose their morality by insisting their viewpoint is only one that is "right."

    My comments were written from a different belief system but with the same level of tolerance I see from the humanists. As your post can attest to, this level of tolerance is not acceptable but it does seem to be acceptable coming from a humanist. Why is that Blake?

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:39:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    To the Anonymous poster...

    If one was to reread your first post (assuming literacy and at least a McDonald's level of critical thinking ability) the first conclusion to be drawn would be: "Hey, I think this guy is saying that because there are all these moral choices that are constant around the world, having gay sex must be one of them as well."

    Fine, I made a false assumption on your position. But I never called you a homophobe, and I never thought you were a homophobe (I think mr ed is, but that's another story ;-) ). And to be really fair, it must be said that you present your arguments terribly. Hang on... Blake already did that. But it deserves to be said again.

    And again:
    "You assume that I think homosexuality is a "sin" or a "lifestyle choice." You assume wrong."
    Well, if you made clearer arguments, maybe people would stop making false assumptions.


    And again:
    "YOU are the one who made homosexuality a moral question, not I."
    I was offering rebuttals to commonly held arguments against SSM. As part of the Christian community, I can say with certainty that there s a strong belief in "other" moralities which are mutually exclusive to Christianity as it's commonly practiced by evangelicals. For that matter, there are *many* different moralities even within the evangelical community. Ie. "wearing makeup is sinful".


    One more thing, because I'm anal and I love beating on dead horses... (brownie points for anyone who wants to make fun of me for that line)
    "Drinking a cold glass of water instead of a lukewarm one is a behaviour with no moral choice involved."

    Maybe it depends on how you define morality itself. I'll say it again: I think that everything we do, regardless of how insignificant involves a moral choice. Drinking water?
    "Well, water's supposed to be good for me, so I'll have a drink. But luke-warm or cold? Hmmmm. Luke warm water means that the water heater probably had to heat it, and taking it away means it will have to heat more, so cold it is."
    Yes, people don't sit around and think that every time they're thirsty, but still, you can break every action down into a moral choice. And for the more insignificant or benign stuff, like drinking water, I see it more as an instantaneous reaction: "hey, this is acceptable behaviour, let's roll".

    I'm making a moral decision right now, to post this. Immoral? Maybe.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 01:45:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "In my own experience I find people have "humanist" beliefs. By that I mean a belief that morality is relative and the masses should be swayed to meet a personal agenda."

    Oh? And just exactly what would that agenda happen to be? Because the only one I can imagine, at least one that I'd identify with, is "treat people respectfully and don't act like you've got the answers". Sure, you can find hardcore secular humanists out there who will say the complete eradication of religious thought ought to be abandoned by humanity, but for the most part, everyday people just don't like other people pretending like they have the answers.

    Funny thing is, Jesus didn't seem to care for that too much, either. But that one gets lost on most Christians.

    "This belief system is not tolerant, it does not accept or accommodate other systems of belief. The humanism I witness is actively working to extinguish other belief systems."

    Well, firstly, that describes your version of Christianity. If it's wrong for humanism to be this way, it's wrong for you, too. Or are you applauding them for the courage and tenacity of their convictions? Secondly, you're misrepresenting what I'm saying. All I've really said here is, "we all don't know as much as we're inclined to think we do and let's all be cognisant of the fact that we might be wrong. Keeping that in mind, be neighbourly to people with whom you don't see eye-to-eye." I wonder why you're misrepresenting what people are saying on this thread; my only guess is that your own position is not terribly strong and you're attempting to distract the audience from that reality.

    "I have watched as these humanists hijacked the public agenda, using publicity to sway the masses, and impose their morality by insisting their viewpoint is only one that is "right.""

    1) Obection the First: Hasty Generalization. ("These humanists"? i) Not all people arguing as you present are humanists, ii) not all humanists argue this way.)
    2) Objection the Second: Lack of support. (In what instances has this been observed? Which issues are you really thinking about and not stating - as though we didn't know?)
    3) Objection the Third: Straw Man argumentation. (The opinions I have expressed deal less with converting everyone to a certain mindset and more with treating people with dignity and respect no matter who they are and what disagreements with their beliefs or lifestyle you may have. I think that got addressed somewhere on the Sermon on the Mount...)

    "My comments were written from a different belief system but with the same level of tolerance I see from the humanists. As your post can attest to, this level of tolerance is not acceptable but it does seem to be acceptable coming from a humanist. Why is that Blake?"

    Again, all I've really been saying is, "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". That, and, "you are not God, you don't have all the answers, recognize that and conduct yourself accordingly". That's all I've been presenting.

    Just to rehash, with some generalizations of my own (since this seems to be your favourite way of doing discourse, I want to be able to connect with you in a way that we're both making ourselves understood):

    1) Just because you wave a Bible around doesn't mean you speak for God.
    2) Show common courtesy and respect to people you don't see eye-to-eye with. (You know, that whole "Golden Rule" thing.)
    3) Recognize that what you might think is God's truth may be less transcendent reality than your own cultural baggage.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 02:09:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    Just to give an example of what I was talking about, I was this close to posting on Prescott's anniversary post as "Jonathon Clay" (linking to jjredick.net, of course) and lambaste him for having the audacity to trumpet his abhorrent and anti-social immoral heterosexuality on the internet and expect our society to applaud his perversion. He is clearly a corrupter of others and wishes to change society by firstly demanding we refuse to criticize his particular sexual vice and then encouraging others to start experimenting with heterosexuality and then finally demanding tolerance, then normalization, and then acceptance, and then even legal protection of his sin.

    You know, just so people would learn how it feels to be on the flip side of some sexual-ethics rant from an ignorant fundamentalist.

    And I've never even been subject to one, myself, and I still realize how horrible that would feel.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 05:54:00 AM EDT, Blogger Joanne (True Blue) said…

    Christian Conservative - Happy Anniversary! I agree with you on this 100%. We are not talking about gay marriage. We are talking about people like Blake and Dirk and JDave wanting us to accept this as "normal". That is where I draw the line as well. If this was really about gay marriage, everyone would be fine with civil unions, and all the related benefits.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 07:29:00 AM EDT, Blogger Mr Ed said…

    I'm sure Blake, Dirk and JDave will rejurgitate the same old same old redundant stuff to force their opinion but I didn't see anything rejecting my statement that ...

    "The SSM issue in Canadian law, and the entire arguement was only allowed to spin as far out of control as it was at the time was because it served the powers that be at the time(namely the leaderless, rule by public opinion, Liberal party of Canada under their inspired leader, Mr Dithers) because it allowed them to call the opposition bigots or scream discrimination in a rapidly deteriorating and morally bankrupt Liberal Gov't...

    The entire issue was forced by a vote in the house which was not allow to be a free vote... The Leftist's forced it down everyone's throats weither they agreed with it or not. Period. End of story.

    If time had been taken to look at how "Civial Union" was defined in England this would have been quite simple and the religious right would have never gotten their collective knickers in a knot over symantics.

    Even the Gays couldn't give a flying fig what it's called...they'd probably be happy with the creative name Dave supplied earlier...their big beef... survivor benifits, pensions and the responsibilities expected of a spouce...

    instead the only comment was to jump on what I voiced as my own feelings in the mater and ignore the arguement presented which was quite sound reasoning...how very "Liberal" of you boys. Never let the facts or truths get in your way... belittle people and make them the issue.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 09:48:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "We are not talking about gay marriage."

    No wonder we can't get anywhere when you can't even get the topic straight.

    "We are talking about people like Blake and Dirk and JDave wanting us to accept this as "normal"."

    Was increasing functional literacy in Canada one of Harper's key campaign promises? No? Good, he's off the hook.

    All I said was, you should treat others with whom you don't see eye-to-eye as you expect yourself to be treated. That sound suspiciously familiar, doesn't it? Some great religious teacher...now, who could that be...

    You can think homosexual activity is sinful: that's your perogative. In fact, I'd likely even agree that habitual homosexual activity (as opposed to mere orientation, which is definitely not a choice) marks one as being outside of Christianity. But no matter what your convinctions on that may be, you are still obligated to not act like a redneck thug towards homosexuals, who put their pants on one leg at a time, just as you presumably do.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 10:56:00 AM EDT, Anonymous drew said…

    Someone get Blake some water because he is on fire. :D And now that that cheesy, decaffienated comment is out of the way...

    " the more I get exposed to more of the same tired old argumentation, the more disgusted I'm becoming with it and just wish I could shed my belief in Christ and be free from this shameful legacy of evangelicalism. But I can't. I won't deny Christ, and it's all I can do to force myself to love God's children like I'm supposed to at this point."

    I hear you. I have to constantly remind myself that Christ and Christians are pretty much related only in name these days. I'm a believer in Christ, but I've lost pretty much all faith in Christians, particularly evangelicals and fundamentalists.

    And for those paranoid about "humanists" and their agendas, just remember that they are not doing it out of some sinister desire to bring about the reign of Lord Voldemort or Sauron. Whether they are correct in their reasoning or not, they're doing it out of concern for the wellbeing of their fellow human beings.

    I often suspect that God is going to be welcoming most humanists into heaven much sooner than He does most evangelicals, and threads like this one only serve to solidify this suspicion in my mind.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 11:08:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To DIRK at 12:39:
    And it took you THREE hours to come up with that rebuttal?

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 11:16:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    Good heavens. I have a life. I don't spend every minute on the computer.

    Duuuuh... so it took you 11 hours to come up with that comment?

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 11:16:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "I'm sure Blake, Dirk and JDave will rejurgitate the same old same old redundant stuff to force their opinion"

    "Redundant stuff" would be the arguments we've presented that still haven't been meaningfully countered. Also, noone's forcing anyone to change their opinions. You can accept the arguments we've presented, or not. But unless you can think of reasons SSM shouldn't be made law, other than "There are about 70% of married couples that my statement about the forced definition "the Marriage of my wife and myself has the same definition as a couple "bumb buddy's" or "letzbefriends" that decide to tie the knot..." does bother..."

    I didn't comment on your remarks about how this was handled in parliament because I think this is off-topic -- most of the discussion has centered on the for vs. against arguments of SSM. But since you made me laugh a couple times, and because I like your username, I'll respond.


    "Open a vote to all Canadians and be done with it."
    That makes no sense whatsoever. Think about it: how do you think the voting public in the 19th century American South would have responded to a survey on slavery? And no, I'm not saying this is a rights issue, per se, but still, for questions that involve minorities in society, you can't trust the majority to make a decision. It's called "the tyrrany of the majority".

    And as for how the last couple parliaments have dealt with this issue wasn't exactly proper either, but I consider that a moot point. The federal government would have to enact a constitutional override in order to make a law that overrules court rulings in favour of SSM.

    Just to reiterate one point: me, Blake, and jdave34 not talking about imposing anything on people that don't agree with SSM. All we've done is present reasons we think an active opposition to SSM doesn't make sense in a secular society like ours. Noone has to agree with the idea behid SSM marriage, but a live and let live approach would be good. My Jewish and Muslim colleagues don't give a fig if I enjoy eating my ham sandwiches. And I, in turn don't care that there are gay people who get married.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 11:44:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "Someone get Blake some water because he is on fire."

    Club Accountability represent, y'all! Holla!

    And anonymous:

    "And it took you THREE hours to come up with that rebuttal?"

    Dirk called me over at the house and said that he regretted taking so long, but he was doing an impersonation of you at an open mic comedy slam, and it took him that long to put on his baggy pants, makeup, and red nose.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 11:56:00 AM EDT, Blogger Mr Ed said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 11:59:00 AM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    I must not be expressing myself clearly because you are agreeing with me.

    "Oh? And just exactly what would that agenda happen to be? Because the only one I can imagine, at least one that I'd identify with, is "treat people respectfully and don't act like you've got the answers"."

    If that were the agenda I would have no beef with it. I am referring to a more militant agenda, one that does not allow for other systems of belief. The "Christianity should be legally compelled to conform to our beliefs" agenda for example. I find this as offensive as the "homosexuality should be illegal" agenda.

    "Well, firstly, that describes your version of Christianity."

    It does not. But you do not know me so there is no way you could know this.

    "If it's wrong for humanism to be this way, it's wrong for you, too." I agree, but while I would be ostracized for having these opinions, and rightly so, from what I can see those I describe as humanists are not. I realize I have no studies to back me up, this is a personal observation. If there is overwhelming evidence to prove me wrong please point me to it.

    "I wonder why you're misrepresenting what people are saying on this thread".


    If I have, I apologize. I took an extreme position in my first post in hopes of comparing it to the extreme views of the humanists. A sort of, "if it's okay for them why is it not okay for us" argument. I was hoping to show that both are unacceptable and compromise with mutual respect is the only viable solution. I am new to this sort of debating and obviously need to work on it. By the way, I feel I am misrepresenting humanism, is there a better term to use?

    "Oh my goodness, I almost fell off my chair laughing at the arrogance and the irony of this statement."

    Good. I hope you didn't pee yourself. Again, my goal was to show that extreme positioning and intolerance are unacceptable in any camp.

    "Now, me, I have some experience and still take some delight at doing meaningful biblical exegesis".

    Do you ever post what you find? I would be interested in your insights.

    "1) Just because you wave a Bible around doesn't mean you speak for God."

    I don't speak for God. The Bible does that better than I ever could. And I try not wave it around, I'd end up smacking myself with it. :)

    "2) Show common courtesy and respect to people you don't see eye-to-eye with. (You know, that whole "Golden Rule" thing.)"

    I try to. I just wish other side would as well.

    "3) Recognize that what you might think is God's truth may be less transcendent reality than your own cultural baggage."

    Understood. My understanding of the Bible changes from year to year as I learn more about it, and about the society that first formed my thoughts and understanding.

    I'll try to sum up my opinions here:
    1. Extremism is bad. It prevents dialog and compromise.
    2. In my opinion, Christian extremism is sought out and mocked by the media, Humanist extremism is accepted as profound truth (very simplistic here).
    3. In my opinion, moderate Christians and Humanists are ignored in the SSM debate unless they support SSM.

    Is that a bit clearer?

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:07:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mr Ed said…

    Dirk said,...

    "Open a vote to all Canadians and be done with it."
    That makes no sense whatsoever. Think about it: how do you think the voting public in the 19th century American South would have responded to a survey on slavery? And no, I'm not saying this is a rights issue, per se, but still, for questions that involve minorities in society, you can't trust the majority to make a decision. It's called "the tyrrany of the majority".

    Mr Ed said,
    The entire issue was forced by a vote in the house which was not allow to be a free vote... The Leftist's forced it down everyone's throats weither they agreed with it or not. Period. End of story....

    Sounds pretty much like we agree...

    Gov't are elected to rule and make the rules...

    In the 60's if this topic were raised it would have been a no brainer because sodimy was illegal in Canada... guess what... the law changed.

    An open vote does make sense... it would close the issue and allow both sides to win... The balance of my arguement was

    "If time had been taken to look at how "Civial Union" was defined in England this would have been quite simple and the religious right would have never gotten their collective knickers in a knot over symantics.

    Even the Gays couldn't give a flying fig what it's called...they'd probably be happy with the creative name Dave supplied earlier...their big beef... survivor benifits, pensions and the responsibilities expected of a spouce..."

    Allow the open vote but give the civil union option as an alternative...

    Personally I don't care if a couple guy's or girls want to tie the knot but don't call it Marriage... at my wedding I stood at the front and the minister pronounced us "Husband and Wife" which is what's been said for several thousand years and defines marriage.

    In regards to "I didn't comment on your remarks about how this was handled in parliament because I think this is off-topic" I think it is the only reason SSM is a topic and therefore the heart of the problem. The reason for a need to open a vote to all Canadians. If you don't think Canadians are grown up enough to allow this right to gays given a "civil union" option in the vote, when Gay's are such a visible minority here, then that really is tyrrany...

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:11:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    "And for those paranoid about "humanists" and their agendas, just remember that they are not doing it out of some sinister desire to bring about the reign of Lord Voldemort or Sauron. Whether they are correct in their reasoning or not, they're doing it out of concern for the wellbeing of their fellow human beings."

    I never said there was anything sinister. I am trying to point out that there does not seem to be a willingness for dialog or compromise. As for "concern for the wellbeing of their fellow human beings", health care was that kind of concern, this is a selfish concern, sort of like those who want to make homosexuality illegal.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:24:00 PM EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Blake, Blake, Blake... in my "it destroys the picture" comment, I was just pointing out a new thought regarding marriage that I hadn't thought of before. Perhaps I posted it out of context, sorry... I was trying to give another reason (not THE reason) why I oppose SSM.

    ...but wouldn't do a bloody thing for a gay couple being berated by a street preacher and told they are going to hell, or something. And guess which action I think is more Christian?

    Actually, it would depend on how it's being done. GW, a mentor of mine, was at the Gay Pride parade several years ago, was telling the crowd it was sin, yet in a loving way. That day, one lesbian couple broke up and left their lifestyle, and another couple decided to re-evaluate their lifestyle, as a direct result of how he dealt with the topic... in love.

    But if I met that idiot "pastor" from "www.godhatesfags.com", I'd give him an earful myself... that's NOT how the issue ought to be dealt with.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:30:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "I must not be expressing myself clearly because you are agreeing with me."

    I highly, highly doubt that that is the case.

    "I am referring to a more militant agenda, one that does not allow for other systems of belief. The "Christianity should be legally compelled to conform to our beliefs" agenda for example."

    And who is saying this? Nobody in this discussion, I'll tell you that much. This is why I find so much of the evangelical paranoia so breathtakingly stupid. Nobody here wants to legally impose anything upon Christians. The only discussion points I've put on the table are 1) SSM legislation makes perfect sense in a pluralistic society, 2) there is no excuse for any behaviour on the part of Christians towards homosexuals that falls anywhere short of respectful and neighbourly, in short, the same treatment we ourselves expect (and, given your statements, apparently demand).

    "It does not. But you do not know me so there is no way you could know this."

    It doesn't? You don't seek the conversion of non-Christians to Christian faith?

    "If there is overwhelming evidence to prove me wrong please point me to it."

    There is no evidence on the subject, because nobody is seeking to persecute Christians in our country; the closest it comes is Christians taking their hits following some pretty despicable comments of their own.

    "Good. I hope you didn't pee yourself. Again, my goal was to show that extreme positioning and intolerance are unacceptable in any camp."

    By saying, "my position isn't privileged, just correct"? Dude, come on: I'm not some mitten-chewing window-licker, here.

    "I took an extreme position in my first post in hopes of comparing it to the extreme views of the humanists."

    I don't know what's funnier: that reductio ad absurdum argumentation seems to you to be a strong argument, or that you admit it in public.

    "Do you ever post what you find? I would be interested in your insights."

    I have in the past. Usually it just met with disinterest so I've gone on to other motifs.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:37:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    mr ed:
    "The entire issue was forced by a vote in the house which was not allow to be a free vote... The Leftist's forced it down everyone's throats weither they agreed with it or not."

    The SSM issue goes way beyond parliament. And as I said earlier, for a government to ban SSM it would have to enact a constitutional override to render recent court decisions meaningless. I agree the goverment did not handle this correctly, but they're not exactly in a postition to make a huge difference here, given the court rulings.

    "An open vote does make sense... it would close the issue and allow both sides to win..."
    I doubt it. Some members of the religious right would still freak out over gay couples being given the same rights as married couples. And some members of the gay community would not want to settle for "equal, but different" status. See "argument #4" in my post waaaaay above this one.

    "Even the Gays couldn't give a flying fig what it's called."
    Many do. Other gay people, like my old office-mate, used to say stuff like "I don't care... why do we want scraps from the straight table".

    ""Husband and Wife" which is what's been said for several thousand years and defines marriage."
    That's not the only thing that defines marriage. Plenty of other changes have come and gone. See "argument #3" in the same post I mentioned earlier.

    I still don't see why SSM is such an imposition on people like yourself, mr ed. The sun still rises in the morning, the country hasn't collapsed, and you and your wife are still married. And any meaning in your marriage relationship comes from what you believe in, and what you both bring to the table. Nothing any government can say will change that.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 12:38:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "GW, a mentor of mine, was at the Gay Pride parade several years ago, was telling the crowd it was sin, yet in a loving way."

    Is this the same clown who stood up from behind a pulpit at Arkell Road Bible Chapel and told everybody that all members of the Church of Christ were going to hell, while lying about what they actually believe? (Yes, "lying" may be a bit blunt for what he did, but he grossly misrepresented what they believe in full knowledge of the truth, so "willful dishonesty", whether motivated by sheer intellectual laziness or an attempt to deceive, is what took place.) If I heard that guy preaching at a Gay Pride Parade, I'd distance myself from him further than Vladivostok is from Lisbon.

    "But if I met that idiot "pastor" from "www.godhatesfags.com", I'd give him an earful myself... that's NOT how the issue ought to be dealt with."

    And haranguing crowds at a Gay Pride Parade is?!? Dude, if Barry Lynn showed up to a chruch service at ARBC (or wherever you're meetign now) and called you guys out, you'd be calling the cops. Why the double standard? You think you have the truth, so you're entitled to breach social custom? Wow.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 01:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    You seem to be cherry picking comments to support an opinion of me, not what I am trying to say. I made three comments at the end of my post:
    1. Extremism is bad. It prevents dialog and compromise.
    2. In my opinion, Christian extremism is sought out and mocked by the media, Humanist extremism is accepted as profound truth (very simplistic here).
    3. In my opinion, moderate Christians and Humanists are ignored in the SSM debate unless they support SSM.

    You have completely disregarded them and instead attacked me from a different angle. So I'll ask you strait out, is your beef with me or what I am trying to say?

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 01:21:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At 11:16 AM, Dirk said…

    "Good heavens. I have a life. I don't spend every minute on the computer.
    Duuuuh... so it took you 11 hours to come up with that comment?"

    Of course, YOU have a life, but others do not.

    Then a call for reinforcements: Blake, who expounds this nugget of wisdom:

    "Dirk called me over at the house and said that he regretted taking so long, but he was doing an impersonation of you at an open mic comedy slam, and it took him that long to put on his baggy pants, makeup, and red nose."

    You've proved my point many times over. You wrap yourselves in the mantle of tolerance, yet you show nothing but contempt for a different point of view.

    You claim to understand and believe in Judeo/Christian concepts, yet you ridicule anyone who dares to counter your arguments.

    Now I REALLY must go do something more useful than reading your puerile swaggering diatribes. Farewell!

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 01:38:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "You've proved my point many times over. You wrap yourselves in the mantle of tolerance, yet you show nothing but contempt for a different point of view."

    Dude, it's not your point of view, it's your behaviour and your poor posting quality that unleashes the beasts here.

    "Now I REALLY must go do something more useful than reading your puerile swaggering diatribes. Farewell!"

    Don't go away feeling you'll be missed.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 01:40:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "You've proved my point many times over. You wrap yourselves in the mantle of tolerance, yet you show nothing but contempt for a different point of view."
    I've shown contempt for intolerance, and stupid arguments, but I totally accept that people have different points of view. And that, after all, is the point I, and the other Club Accountability members are making.

    "... yet you ridicule anyone who dares to counter your arguments."
    Since when is countering an argument you or anyone else has made ridcule? If you post stuff in what's quite obviously a debate forum, you should expect that people will critique the things you say. And if you say things that are dumb, which you did, you have noone but yourself to blame for being called on it. But maybe that's why you post anonymously.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 02:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Blake, sorry, I had to toast that comment.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 02:44:00 PM EDT, Anonymous drew said…

    ""Husband and Wife" which is what's been said for several thousand years and defines marriage."

    "Husband and wives" actually defined marriage for several thousand years as well, but I don't see anyone here promoting that. I don't believe for a second that this debate is over the so-called "sanctity of marriage," and won't until I see conservative Christians arguing for the legalization of polygamy. This is about feeling superior by demonizing the "abnormal" (which I recall hearing a couple people on this thread labeling homosexuality as), although how someone can call something that describes millions of people abnormal is beyond me.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 02:47:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    CC: No worries on the toasting.

    Drew: Agreed with the demonizing part 100%. Great call.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 03:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "You seem to be cherry picking comments to support an opinion of me, not what I am trying to say."

    I'm sorry, and you're right to an extent. The problem is, the profession of being a "moderate Christian" doesn't really seem to strike me as being terribly genuine when you've put out commetns about people "denying the supremacy of God" and "my opinion isn't privileged, just correct". Could you be moderate? Perhaps, but I'd like to see evidence of that. Perhaps actually interacting with differing opinions meaningfully would be a good way for you to come across that way.

    "You have completely disregarded them and instead attacked me from a different angle. So I'll ask you strait out, is your beef with me or what I am trying to say?"

    I don't think I know you, so I've got no beefs with you, and not really with the fact that you have a differing opinion with me on the subject. I don't care about any of that. What I do care about is seeing quality discussion on the subject. I'm sorry, pointing to the Bible (and just generally, not even specifically!), reductio ad absurdum argumentation, creating ridiculous straw men to say, "I'm not that bad!" in comparison, and the pretense that your religious beliefs are not only relevant but necessary for those who do not share them is not good quality discussion. That's essentially all you've done in this discussion. You can say you're really a moderate conservative, but the phrase, "My opinion isn't privileged, just correct" keeps ringing through my ears.

    But you can still prove me wrong. Feel free to do so.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 05:31:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    I think putting up a straw man as you put it was the wrong thing to due. I had hoped to make a point and it backfired. Sorry to have misled you. As for "My opinion isn't privileged, just correct" I would ask you to read through some of my other posts. In my first post my first comment was, I thought, a compromise position between the two extremes. In another post I said "my goal was to show that extreme positioning and intolerance are unacceptable in any camp." If I was as nutty enough to believe that I held THE TRUTH I probably wouldn't be posting. The Internet being a tool of the devil and all.

    Thanks for not burning me with my last post.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 05:31:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    At 2:42 PM, Christian Conservative said...
    "Blake, sorry, I had to toast that comment."

    It's too bad you did, CC. It was a gem which merited being displayed in the annals of argumentation. I had left my computer on and read it, but decided not to reply right away.

    The Club Accountability has shown nothing but arrogance. Sorry, boys, I happen to be a she, not a he, as you WRONGLY assumed, to add to the growing list of wrong assumptions.

    And as for being subjected to the activity you claimed to have performed on me (which I shall not name in deference to CC), it also demonstrates the abject level of your rebuttals. Continue using your venomous personal attacks, since they so amuse you.

    “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people” Eleanor Roosevelt

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 06:01:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Anonymous,

    I can not speak about the others as I haven't really chatted to them but Blake at least seems to be making an effort. I left myself wide open to be pasted on a personal level and he took the high road. The self appointed Accountability Club is still pretty new to their self appointed roles and like any newbies it takes a while to grow into a position. Also, I will say, from observation not experience, that when your vision is clear and others is muddled (like mine) it takes a lot of patience and tooth grinding to post a comment that is both a gentle rebuke and a defense of a position.

    To Blake and the other members of the Accountability Club. You are very good at this. Most of us are not. I appreciate you pointing out the errors in my posts. Please work on the gentleness of your rebukes. If someone attacks you personally, don't worry about it. Most of us understand that this simply means that they agree with you but can't admit it to themselves :)

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 06:14:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "The Club Accountability has shown nothing but arrogance. Sorry, boys, I happen to be a she, not a he, as you WRONGLY assumed, to add to the growing list of wrong assumptions."

    Oh, the shame. I mistook details about a person who could easily reveal some detail(s) about him/herself and chooses instead to post anonymously. Guess that really knocked me down a peg or two and invalidates everything we've been saying in one fell swoop, doesn't it? I'll not sleep easily tonight with that on my conscience.

    "Continue using your venomous personal attacks, since they so amuse you."

    We'd be more than happy to interact on a meaningful basis with your better arguments - that hasn't already been done by dirk, that is - but we're still waiting for them.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 06:20:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    "The Club Accountability has shown nothing but arrogance. Sorry, boys, I happen to be a she, not a he, as you WRONGLY assumed, to add to the growing list of wrong assumptions."

    First of all, how on earth do expect to carry on some semblance of a fair discussion if you post as anonymous? Call yourself smurfette or something, so we don't have to guess which anonymous we're responding to. It's easy: under the choose an identity thing, select "Other" and under "Name" type the handle we can identify you by. Now, if you're not the anonymous who made a big deal about relative morality, false assumptions, and the the times I made posts, please forgive me.

    I really don't understand your obsession with false assumptions, and if all that you've got to counter the ideas that are being exchanged, then, well, that's too bad. We all say stupid things sometimes. Now to go a little further with these false assumptions, you're not exactly an innocent party either. Let me see... saying I called you, and other SSM opponents homophobes, saying that I'm imposing my morality on other people with the SSM thing, etc.

    I happen to like the Eleanor Roosevelt quote at the bottom of your last post. I'd like to think that I've been taking about ideas, and not people on this board. If you look at my postings which you consider arrogant, I'm willing to bet that you're seeing an idea being attacked, and not a person.

    I am somewhat sorry that I came across harshly in some rebuttals, but sometimes a spade is a spade and a stupid post is just that. Again, we all make them, so deal and move on.

    One more thing: since when is it arrogant to debate?

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 06:24:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "I can not speak about the others as I haven't really chatted to them but Blake at least seems to be making an effort."

    That's interesting, becuase I'm clearly the nastiest. But, thank you.

    Club Accountability is all about good dialogue, no matter who takes what sides and what side they take. We only bring out the big guns when we see people choosing the route of tired, partisan, and poorly thought-out posts. And we're completely okay with doing so.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 07:55:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To Blake & Dirk:
    " I mistook details about a person who could easily reveal some detail(s) about him/herself and chooses instead to post anonymously."

    You attribute my wanting to remain anonymous as ... whatever. Who cares? But I'll tell you the reason why I've started posting as Anonymous.

    Until very recently, I had been using a name (which required giving my email address). My mailbox has since been inundated by unsolicited mail selling all sorts of things, chief among them "enlargement" products.

    Being relatively new to the internet, I guessed, whether rightly or wrongly, that my email was being captured through the blogs I visited. Ergo the cover of anonymity.

    But please - spare me the platitudes about being able to "debate" or "poorly thought-out" or "stupid posts." Who appointed you the arbiters of good or bad posts?

    Anyway, this will be my last exchange with the Club Accountability. "Don't go away feeling you'll be missed." Don't worry, I'll survive ... such is life.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 08:51:00 PM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    Anonymous:
    If you click the "Other" button under "Choose an identity" you can type whatever you want and be done with it. No email addresses. You're still basically anonymous, but at least you'll have a consistent handle.

    "Who appointed you the arbiters of good or bad posts?"
    I did. Just as you did when you called our posts "puerile swaggering diatribes". That's the nature of the forum we're in: if you put something out there, expect that someone's going to disagree. And if you care about what you post, be prepared to back it up.

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 09:59:00 PM EDT, Blogger Shawn Abigail said…

    I'm just joining this thread now, and I don't intend to just into the main stream of the debate. I'd just like to make a couple of points.

    First of all, with regards to religious toleration, I would say toleration of evil is not a virtue. So I oppose religious views which are evil. I define evil as activities contrary to a Biblical morality. With regards to belief, God gives all the right to choose (my apologies to any rabid Calvinists on this thread). So if a person wants to follow a religion that will personally lead to a lost eternity but lives a life that is moral according to the Biblical definition, I am tolerant of that decision.

    Second of all, Romans 12:18 is a verse which is extremely practical for the Christian who is trying to faithfully hold a Christian worldview in a world that is often opposed to the Christian faith and is often opposed to Biblical morality. Romans 12:18 says, "If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." (my apologies to rabid KJV-only types; this quote is from the NIV). God is calling me to live at peace with all men. Yes, I will still stand up for the Christian faith and for Biblical morality. But this verse means that every issue does not become a test of my steadfastness. As a Manager of employees, I can give a homosexual employee the same benefits as a heterosexual employee (even as I carefully and graciously preach sermons which point out that homosexual activity is one of a number of sexual activities that the Bible refers to as sin). I can belong to a union that uses some of my union dues to support abortionists (even as I point out to people that abortion is murder). Without a verse like Romans 12:18, I would be compelled to denounce homosexual activity in every place and to use any means possible to stop the murder of children. With Romans 12:18, I can live peaceably in this present world and commit the many sins of this society to the Lord for His corrective hand.

    Now I'm sure my comments have offended some people. I'm sure some people will think be arrogant. Please hold off on your flames. I've thought a great deal about how a person who holds to a Christian worldview and has an evangelical Christian faith can live in this present world without compromising Biblical belief, without withdrawing from the world, and without reacting harshly against that which is opposed to the Christian faith and opposed to a Biblical morality. Most of those who know me will tell you I attempt to be gracious to those with other beliefs and lifestyles, and that I really try to live the Christian life in a balanced and consistent manner.

    Now may I close my comments by asking a question of Blake? Blake, what worldview do you hold? I think you have self-identified as a Christian in the past, and one of my own "denomination". If I am mistaken I apologize. Perhaps you are a Christian who has seen the Christian worldview expressed in a harsh and unloving manner, and tired of it. Perhaps you have abandoned a Christian worldview altogether (your recent postings are more in keeping with a Humanist/Secularist/Materialist view). Please forgive me if this is too personal; I'm just a bit puzzled. In any case, whether you agree with the points I have made or not, do you agree that for a person with my worldview, the views I have expressed are reasonable and consistent with the faith I profess?

     
  • At Sat Jun 03, 11:22:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    At the risk of making you gag, I have seen a real difference in how you approach "tired, partisan, and poorly thought-out posts." In the past you would have said (roughly translated) "you are an idiot, go away and stop drooling on your keyboard". Now you say "you are an idiot, that is a poor excuse for an argument and this is why." Much more informative for the schmuck who got it wrong.

    I'm not tying to stroke your ego but I don't another way of putting this. BTW, I think you are right, you are the nastiest.


    I'll stop posting on this now, people might think I'm trying to hit on you ;)

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 12:16:00 AM EDT, Blogger Dirk said…

    Shawn:
    The first part of your post sounds like a response to the question I posed earlier about the context of religious purity in which homosexual sex is talked about in Leviticus. If it is, thanks for offering your viewpoint.

    I do, however, have some problems with this idea.

    "I would say toleration of evil is not a virtue. So I oppose religious views which are evil. I define evil as activities contrary to a Biblical morality."
    This goes back to what I was saying earlier. Idol worship and the worship of gods other than the Judeo-Christian God we believe in is evil, according to Biblical morality. A lack of faithfulness to God is discussed more than any other transgression in the Bible; for instance, the first three of the ten commandments address this directly. So based on this, I'm not sure how you can be selective in what's evil and what's not, as far as religious tolerance is concerned. Because, for all intents and purposes any of today's religions other than the Christian ones fall short of this standard.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 04:07:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    Shawn:

    Your post just made it clear that my cutting of ties to groups of Christians such as yourself is totally the right thing to do. While part of me just wants to roll my eyes and walk away, I see so many logical flaws and examples of downright arrogance that I really think it needs addressed.

    "First of all, with regards to religious toleration, I would say toleration of evil is not a virtue."

    "evil" as defined by whom? Upon what basis? Since when do people with whom you have disagreements not deserve being treated with common dignity and respect?

    "I define evil as activities contrary to a Biblical morality."

    1) The Bible needs to be interpreted, Shawn, like any other piece of literature. Only a complete simpleton would possibly think that it "biblical morality" is a cut-and-dried issue.
    2) Not everybody believes the Bible.
    3) Not everybody who does believe the Bible agrees with you.

    "With regards to belief, God gives all the right to choose (my apologies to any rabid Calvinists on this thread)."

    Um, Calvinists believe we all have "the right to choose", Shawn. We just believe that the choices made by the natural man are inevitably evil due to its sin nature. The funny thing is, this is like, Calvinism 101, spelled out explicitly in documents like the Westminster Confession, and if you're screwing this up, you certainly have no business addressing it ever again. And if you had the slightest shred of integrity or humility (or love of truth, for that matter), you'd issue an apology to Calvinists post-haste.

    What does it say about your integrity, that you are willing to either speak to an issue while knowing sod-all about it, or willfully misrepresenting the position(s) of others? You seem to be following in the footsteps of Dave Hunt, a man so arrogant that he doesn't believe what he says needs to be true in order to be correct. Frankly, this is just embarrassing. And sad, knowing that you are so poorly considered and thought-out on such a simple issue as this, and yet in this same post have the arrogance to present yourself as arbiter of what is good and evil. I think the phrase, "Physician, heal thyself" is especially à propos, here.

    "So if a person wants to follow a religion that will personally lead to a lost eternity but lives a life that is moral according to the Biblical definition, I am tolerant of that decision."

    Tolerance shouldn't be based upon approval, Shawn, and I just can't get over this mentality. It's just so despicable. Jesus showed respect and dignity towards people who did evil things, Shawn, except religious leaders who thought they spoke for God. In those instances he became a little harsh. And I think I just might, too.

    "Most of those who know me will tell you I attempt to be gracious to those with other beliefs and lifestyles, and that I really try to live the Christian life in a balanced and consistent manner."

    I hope this is true, but if it is, it has little to do with your epistemology, I'll tell you that.

    "Blake, what worldview do you hold?"

    At this point, having read what you're written, chalk me up to being, "whatever you're not".

    "Blake, what worldview do you hold? I think you have self-identified as a Christian in the past, and one of my own "denomination". If I am mistaken I apologize."

    Posts like this remind me that severing all ties with Brethrenism is basically the best decision I can make for myself.

    Yes, I am a Christian. I believed in Christ when I was 17, left the United Church to go to a denominational evangelical church in my city, and after being in touch with some Brethren folks, decided that Brethren ecclesiology was the closest to the biblical model and joined an assembly. I've preached in assemblies, been a youth group leader, sunday school teacher/superintendent, done street preaching, door-to-door work, baptized people, the whole nine. But I can't get away from all that fast enough at this point.

    "Perhaps you are a Christian who has seen the Christian worldview expressed in a harsh and unloving manner, and tired of it."

    No, I tired of the stupidity, the anti-intellectualism, and the smug superiority. And guess what? I just got treated to more of it. Michael Corleone got pulled back in less than I do, at this point, too.

    "Perhaps you have abandoned a Christian worldview altogether (your recent postings are more in keeping with a Humanist/Secularist/Materialist view)."

    Exactly what is a "Christian worldview"? As determined by whom? Upon what basis? What degree of unanimity is there amongst Christians that your presentation of a "Christian worldview" is infallibly so?

    And if you think me saying that everybody deserves to be treated with equal dignity and respect no matter what your relative degree of agreement with their lifestyle or beliefs constitutes a "Humanist/Secularist/Materialist" view, you've got major problems. But then, I've read your theological writings on your site, so I already knew that was the case.

    "Please forgive me if this is too personal; I'm just a bit puzzled."

    Well, it's none of your business, but I did candidly answer your questions. But this is typical Brethrenism: "don't address what somebody actually says, question their street cred or some other feature of their character, and if you do that well enough, you can ignore what they actually say". Did argumentum ad hominem actually begin with J.N. Darby? Discuss in groups.

    "In any case, whether you agree with the points I have made or not, do you agree that for a person with my worldview, the views I have expressed are reasonable and consistent with the faith I profess?"

    Assuming that the Sermon on the Mount is not part of the "faith you profess", I'd say yes. If it is? No, it isn't.

    You may be shocked to know, Shawn, that there are a good number of theologically conservative Christians out there who have learned the values of respect, civil discourse, tolerance, and how to do scholarly disagreement. Sadly, you do not seem to be one of them, and Brethrenism is - I'd guess - completely devoid of them. Until things change, people like you are just driving away educated, thoughtful people like myself. You do the math and see how that works out for assemblies in the future.

    Pssshhhh, my bad: like assemblies even have a future.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 04:13:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    J-Griff:

    Thank you for the encouragement. I honestly am more concerned about using Club Accountability to bring something good out of these blogs. While nothing makes me laugh as much as a good pwning, nothing brings more joy to me than mutual learning, growth, and development, and that's what we're all about. It makes me feel good to know that we are bringing that good out of others, so again, thanks for the encouragement. :)

    "BTW, I think you are right, you are the nastiest."

    Oh, hell yeah! No question.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 10:53:00 AM EDT, Anonymous drew said…

    "Perhaps you have abandoned a Christian worldview altogether (your recent postings are more in keeping with a Humanist/Secularist/Materialist view)."

    As one who still considers himself to be a believer in, and follower of, Christ, and as one who believes in the inspiration of Scripture, I have to say that your comment is slightly arrogant. Just because you interpret Scripture the way you do doesn't mean that your interpretation is necessarily a "Christian worldview" as Christ actually intended it to be. There are many of us liberals (and please note: not necessarily Liberals, I've never voted for that party) who are following Christ to the best of our ability and understanding as well. And the fact that some of us might sound like humanists to you might just mean that many humanists are closer to having the heart of Christ than many (or any) evangelicals are. Please also note that I said might, not definitely do. This is because I'm not assuming that I'm definitely right the way that most evangelicals seem to.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 03:54:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    Ouch! When someone even sounds brethren you really want to rip them a new one. You really must have had some bad experiences there.

    Blake, I have known Shawn for over ten years. I can't comment on his theology (I don't know enough about theology to comment meaningfully), but I am surprised that you would suggest that he is disrespectful or intolerant of others or their beliefs. Shawn's job involves interacting with a lot different people from different cultures and beliefs on both a personal and professional level. If he had shown any disrespect or intolerance they would have turfed him years ago. What it the content of his answer that led you to this conclusion or the tone? I understand you have issues with his theology (again I don't know enough to comment meaningfully), do you feel he is actively preaching intolerance or that this is a natural outcome from his system of beliefs?

    I don't want to start a flame war with you, but I think either Shawn did not write he thought he did or something came across in a way Shawn did not intend.

    BTW, nice to see you actually researched Shawn before responding.

    I found an on-line version of the "Westminster Confession of Faith" at http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/. Do you know if it is accurate? Is there a better location to be looking?

    I also did a _very_ little looking into Calvinism and it talks about predestination. Is this what Shawn meant by "God gives all the right to choose (my apologies to any rabid Calvinists on this thread)?" Or is my definition of predestination (i.e. It's gonna happen whether you want it to or not) to narrow or off base when it comes to Calvinism?

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 04:10:00 PM EDT, Blogger Shawn Abigail said…

    Blake's comments are too long for me to fully reply, and some others have also made some good points. Let me make a couple of general comments:

    - let's make a distinction between a respect for persons and a respect for ideas. I seek to treat each person with compassion and dignity. But each idea is not equally valid. I care very much for people, but I seek to hold a Biblical worldview with logical integrity.

    - I certainly have not developed my worldview position from exposure to a "Brethren" church, a Dispensational church, etc. While "Brethren" churches function within what I call a Biblical worldview, the "Brethren" don't seem to think or talk too much about it. My worldview has been shaped in part by Schaeffer (Presbyterian), Lewis (Anglican), James Sire (???), comments in First Things (edited by a Roman Catholic priest) and a friend of mine who left the "Brethren" 40 years ago and now attends an Anglican church.

    - I understand Calvinism says people have free will. I just don't accept a definition of free will that says you are only free to make one choice. My exposure to Calvinism comes from listening to a couple hundred sermons by S.Lewis Johnson. Johnson was a firm Calvinist in his exposition of the Scripture, and indeed in a number of sermons on Divine Election, the Sovereignty of God, etc.

    - I have come to understand that there are many Christians who do not hold the same theological positions as myself. For example, I remember a very nice evening I had talking to a Charismatic Roman Catholic friend. Some are on the "liberal" side of theological debate, and some are on the conservative. There are even some fundamentalist Christians who are real Christians.

    - I think my position, interpretation of the Bible, and theological system are the correct one. I wouldn't hold it if I didn't think so. I understand if others think differently. I can even see some of the holes in my own theology. But I reject the idea that saying "I think I'm correct" is somehow arrogant or non-Christian. I think I'm right, and I have love for my fellow Christians, and I seek to treat each person with respect regardless of their beliefs.

    This has taken too much of my time. Peace to all.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 05:00:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "Ouch! When someone even sounds brethren you really want to rip them a new one. You really must have had some bad experiences there."

    You betcha. But to be honest, it's not that far from the pale of most evangelicalism, at this point. It's heartbreaking.

    "but I am surprised that you would suggest that he is disrespectful or intolerant of others or their beliefs."

    That's because he said he isn't. He said "toleration of evil" isn't a virtue, so I'm assuming he practices what he preaches. And since all I did was postulate that people with whom he disagrees should be treated with dignity and respect, and got told that I have a "Humanist/Secularist/Materialist" worldview for my efforts, I'm assuming he believes what he says. Maybe he does act the way you decribe to people in his daily life; one would hope in civilized society that he would. But what he said here seems to give, at the most, mixed messages to that extent.

    "BTW, nice to see you actually researched Shawn before responding."

    I've known of Shawn Abigail for a long time. I've seen him at a discussion forum or two, and I've known of his FAQs back since he was eKOINANIA back in the mid 90s.

    "I also did a _very_ little looking into Calvinism and it talks about predestination. Is this what Shawn meant by "God gives all the right to choose (my apologies to any rabid Calvinists on this thread)?" Or is my definition of predestination (i.e. It's gonna happen whether you want it to or not) to narrow or off base when it comes to Calvinism?"

    That link from reformed.org to the WCF is correct. To respond specifically, you can't just say, "Well, Calvinism believes in predestination, ergo we're all a bunch of robots", which is basically Shawn's presentation of it. This is what the WCF says on the issue, in section III, sub i):

    "God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass; yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established."

    So, what that's saying is that God ordains all things that happen in time, but using a variety of means: whether freely (you decide to bounce the basketball), necessarily (the basketball falls to the earth, per the law of gravity), or contigently (you therefore move towards the basket, because the ball is being dribbled). As in section 5, sub 2:

    "Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently."

    So, free actions on the creature exist within the parameters of the divine decree, where both God and humans are freely acting concurrently. Is this hard to understand? Yep. Westminster admits that, in section 3 sub 8:

    "The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel."

    So, you need to pay attention and be careful with this, is what it's saying. But isn't it so much easier to just misrepresent what it's saying and say, "Calvinists don't believe we have a free will?" Of course it's easier. It offers a simple solution that doesn't require fair representation, hard work in biblical exegesis, and honest evaluation of your own position. For whatever reason, easy answers seem in vogue with Brethren and with most evangelicals (witness the sales of the "Left Behind" novels/kids' novels/films).

    Anyhow, I hope this clarifies. I know Shawn's just following in the footsteps of Dave Hunt at this point from his book, What Love Is This?, and I guess Shawn hasn't caught the numerous refutations of it that have been offered.

    Frankly, I chose to make a big deal out of that because it's illustrative of Brethren modi operandi: misrepresent, distort, don't interact. And that's a big reason why I'm likely done for good with that scene.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 05:08:00 PM EDT, Blogger Shawn Abigail said…

    Minor point... I've never read Dave Hunt's book. And not having read Hunt's book, I didn't bother to read White's refutation.

    Blake, I don't think anything I say is going to change your mind. Sorry if you had some bad experiences in Brethren churches. Not all of them are the same, and many of us do try to think out the issues of life and do real Bible study rather than just parrot Darby. I'll leave the discussion by repeating my point that I have respect for persons, but not necessarily respect for all ideas.

    God bless you as you seek to serve Him and seek His will for your life. See you in Heaven.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 05:12:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "I understand Calvinism says people have free will. I just don't accept a definition of free will that says you are only free to make one choice."

    If you're looking for further examples of willful misrepresentation, J-Griff, here it is. At this point, Shawn has been offered correction and asked to apologize and re-consider, and he goes and furthers the misrepresentation instead. Priceless.

    Calvinists believe the average person is presented with thousands of choices between their birth and death, all of which are allowed to be done freely, as in, their wills being unaffected. As pertaining to the gospel, I find Shawn's comment absolutely baffling and hilarious at the same time. Calvinists believe in the same gospel presentation as Shawn does: "repent and believe the gospel". Every person, elect or non-elect in Calvinistic theology, is free to respond to that gospel message and will be held accountable for the decision(s) he or she makes or does not make. The thing is, the natural person will only ever respond one way, with a conscious rejection of the Gospel. Now, God didn't make them make that decision, they freely chose for themselves. That's Calvinist theology, and it's no mystery. That is clearly presented all over the place in Calvinism. Surely Shawn has read The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther, and if he hasn't, he shouldn't be addressing the situation. He claims he's listened to Calvinists, but his attention must have been wandering.

    His complete lack of accountability on this matter is telling. No apology, no retraction, no hint of correction taken. All to prop up his particular position. Now, this doesn't mean he's a bad guy, it's just he's captive to the Brethren tradition of non-thought and anti-scholarship. For his sake, I hope he awakens to that reality.

    (And I'll guarantee you that Luke or Andrew or any other Brethren person will under no circumstances come in here and say, "Whoa, Shawn, you missed the boat on that one, and you need to pay attention to what others are saying." Not gonna happen.)

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 05:22:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "I'll leave the discussion by repeating my point that I have respect for persons, but not necessarily respect for all ideas."

    I don't know if you'll read this, or care if you do, but that's a major problem. You do need to show respect for differing opinions and at least openly consider the idea that you might well be wrong. You've already demonstrated what you show no respect for differing ideas: you won't even necessarily represent them fairly. And the thing is, if you have young people in an assembly, and they hear that kind of crap, once they go off to school and are taught how to think academically, they're finished with Brethrenism. So, maybe just take me as an example of what happens when they realize that there's really nothing behind the curtain.

    And the double-standard needs to be addressed again: if I misrepresented some aspect of your theology, there would be eternal howls of outrage. When you do it, because presumably you're correct and don't even have to tell the truth to continue being correct, it's no big deal, right? That's how it comes off to me.

    And - as a word of caution, if you read this - you're actually furthering the negative experience that is Brethrenism for me at this point. Maybe you'll take that into consideration.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 10:00:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Okay,

    I know we left SSM in the dust but I really want to understand this. Blake, I'm going to shorten what you said and question it;

    "So, what that's saying is that God ordains all things that happen in time, but using a variety of means: whether freely ..., necessarily ..., or contigently"

    In this quote it seems like you are saying that a person can fulfill God's plans willingly, God's will forces a person to fulfill His plans, or God sets up situations to lead a person into fulfilling His plans. It all sounds like God has taken away a persons choice to not follow His will. I can't be understanding this correctly.

    Is Calvin perhaps saying that a person must fulfill God's plans but the manner in which these plans are fulfilled are in control of that person, with God's help and guidance? Sort of like a Jonah and fish thing?

    The problem I see with this line of thought is that many people end up in Hell. This implies that God planned they go to Hell with no hope of salvation. Again this contradicts what you seem to be saying and my understanding of the Bible.

    What have I missed?

    Should I be bringing this somewhere else?

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 10:34:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "In this quote it seems like you are saying that a person can fulfill God's plans willingly, God's will forces a person to fulfill His plans, or God sets up situations to lead a person into fulfilling His plans. It all sounds like God has taken away a persons choice to not follow His will. I can't be understanding this correctly."

    Yeah, I think you're missing the essential concept that God uses a variety of means. Again, back to a basketball analogy. I pass you the ball on the right side of the key, say at the free-throw line extended behind the 3-point arc. You make your free choice: you put up the shot immediately. That is a free choice: I didn't make you shoot, you decided that that was the best shot available, and took it. Freely. The ball travels through the air in an arc towards the basket, and in accordance with the amount of force and arc and backspin you put on it, bounces off the rim, long and to the left. (That is a necessary action, necessitated by the laws of physics, and the defender that had his hand in your face, for example.) Because of that action, I (who had a smaller defender guarding me in the post) am now forced to leave my post position and attempt to corral the offensive rebound, and I also become very frustrated because I had a primo opportunity to score and you jacked up a trey with a defender essentially jersey-to-jersey with you. All those reactions are contingent actions (me leaving my post position, me crashing the boards, me getting angry), following your free-will decision to throw up a poor shot.

    What the Westminster Standards are saying is, God is Sovereign, and uses all things. A person cannot blame God for making a free and uncoerced decision, even if He is using that decision for His own purposes. Judas is a prime example. Yes, he was predestined to fulfill his role and go to hell (the NT is clear on both those points) before he was even born, but he also freely chose to do what he did. He can't come back and blame that on God: it was a decision he made without coercision and he has to deal with that.

    "Is Calvin perhaps saying that a person must fulfill God's plans but the manner in which these plans are fulfilled are in control of that person, with God's help and guidance?"

    I'd use the term, "compatabilism". Both God's will and a human's will are active concurrently. God's will according to His eternal decrees is going to be accomplished regardless, but the will of the human is still active.

    The discussion about people going to hell is a red herring. Everybody would go to hell if God didn't intervene, because absolutely nobody would ever believe the gospel if He didn't. Again, this is Calvinism 101. Has God chosen people to go to heaven and passed the others by? Yes. Do those people (the non-elect) also ostensibly refuse to repent and believe, and rebel against Him of their own free will? Also yes. The fact that they were not elect does not mollify for an instant the fact that their own unaffected will is evil and they, naturally, made evil choices. Do the elect believe the gospel, freely and willingly, upon God's gracious enabling of them to do so? Yes. The idea that Calvinists don't believe people have a free will is ridiculous.

    I'll just conclude by stating that my position on this used to be identical to Shawn's. I remember being looking favourably upon a couple of his articles on his site at one time. I found, though, the more I was forced to interact with Reformed thought honestly and not misrepresent, the more I realized they had good points I couldn't top. So I remember the day I read Romans 9 and said, "I'm done." And I also remember the day that one man at Guelph Bible Chapel told me I was going to hell where Luther, Calvin, Darby, and Spurgeon are for being a Calvinist.

    So basically I've had more than my share of Brethrenistic anti-Calvinism for one lifetime.

     
  • At Sun Jun 04, 11:10:00 PM EDT, Blogger Shawn Abigail said…

    As I said before, I'm not sure anything I say could help. I've hit a nerve (maybe several). But let me clarify:

    Yes, I could be wrong about many things. The fact that I have admitted that I think some aspects of my theology has holes should be enough to address your concern on this point. If it isn't, let me add this... I could be wrong about Calvinism. Maybe freewill is defined as the Calvinists define it. Maybe we only have the freewill to choose wrong. Maybe Calvinism is correct. Maybe extreme Calvinism is correct. I could be wrong, but please don't think me arrogant for thinking I'm right.

    I have had the experience of sitting in front of a dozen young people (as the youth leader) and telling them that I hope they come to the same conclusions as me because I think I'm right, but even more I hope they think out the same issues and come to their own conclusions.

    As for the man who said Luther, Calvin, Darby and Spurgeon are in Hell, or that believing Calvinism sends a person to Hell, this is ridiculous. This is certainly not the position of any Brethren church I have attended. If a man said this to me I would oppose him. If he said it from the pulpit, I would stand to publicly confront him.

    I’ve also stood in front of a congregation and said that “gay bashing” is disgusting. I’ve questioned why people condemn homosexual sin so vehemently and yet excuse their own heterosexual lusts.

    Sorry if I’m the spark that’s lighting your gunpowder. I never meant it to be so.

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 12:10:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "Maybe freewill is defined as the Calvinists define it. Maybe we only have the freewill to choose wrong. Maybe Calvinism is correct. Maybe extreme Calvinism is correct. I could be wrong, but please don't think me arrogant for thinking I'm right."

    Okay, you've missed my point. My challenge to you isn't to agree nor to disagree with Calvinism, because I really don't care. My point was that you need to show some modicum of integrity, which you failed to do by misrepresenting it and then refusing to be held accountable when it was pointed out. I never screamed that you weren't a Calvinist, I screamed that you misrepresented it when you either knew better or, if not, shouldn't have opened your mouth in the first place. You went ahead with straw man argumentation instead of presenting the best possible response against the strongest Calvinist points, because it's easier that way. That was my complaint.

    Go ahead and believe whatever you want to believe, it doesn't affect me at all one way or another. And believe me when I say I prefer it that way. What rankles me, is your professed attitude that you don't need to show respect to ideas you think are "evil" (which begs the question as to how an idea can be branded as "evil" without a thorough and fair-minded examination); only in a world where all the answers are written in the back of the textbook could that be considered a valid attitude. And again, that attitude is going to chase people like me who know how to do theology and think independently right out of the church. In fact, it already has. You may shrug and say no big loss, and you wouldn't be the first to do so.

    And if you had heard the stories I have of people - in one case, a girl I'd known since kindergarten - whose faith had been butchered by poorly thought-out Brethren preaching, I think you'd approach this a little more gingerly. Cavalier attitudes towards truth, attitudes of certainty, and lack of deep, meaningful dialogue is going to kill the assemblies, or what little is left of them. I'd say good riddance, except that means a lot more people will get hurt along the way and that's not something I want to see happen.

    "I have had the experience of sitting in front of a dozen young people (as the youth leader) and telling them that I hope they come to the same conclusions as me because I think I'm right, but even more I hope they think out the same issues and come to their own conclusions."

    And how many of those young people eventually go off to university and realize the world isn't black-and-white, and how to be fair-minded, and well thought-out in their presentations, realizing they are not arbiters of right and wrong; and when they do, are never heard from nor seen again in assemblies, many of them having had their faith destroyed? Maybe it'll be like me, sitting in NT Greek class and realizing what a crock of s--- I'd been fed by Brethren preachers and finding solace only in somebody like Jack Correll, who at least fairly and honestly represents the opinions of people who disagree with him and does serious theology for himself. Maybe it'll be like that person I'd known from kindergarten, who showed me how their faith was ruined by some black-and-white half-assed Brethren "Bible teacher" who made her think, "they're saying that group's wrong, that group says this group's wrong, they're all condemning each other, and they're all full of it, so to hell with that whole scene". Surely you realize absolutist attitudes and anti-scholarly and anti-intellectual approach not only puts Brethrenism fully out of phase with society at large, but most of evangelicalism! For those few young people who actually keep attending church in their later years, how many of them find other churches to attend that don't want them to be mind-numbed robots, who aren't afraid of learning, and knowledge, and thought? I'd bet it's substantial, or at least it would be, if most of them wouldn't just go on to reject "Christianity" (or the version presented by Brethrenism, at any rate) as being too thoughtless and of no use.

    "This is certainly not the position of any Brethren church I have attended."

    And yet, it happened at Guelph Bible Chapel, and the elders were aware of it and did - surprise! - sweet bugger-all about it. Not that I didn't destroy the individual on the spot, of course, but I maybe thought that stuff like that shouldn't happen in church, but the elders didn't seem to be bothered too much by it.

    "Sorry if I’m the spark that’s lighting your gunpowder. I never meant it to be so."

    As I said, you provided a perfect example of why Brethrenism is going to die. The kind of shallow, narrow, and inconsidered thinking is not robust enough to survive the rigours of (post)modern life, people are realizing this, and assemblies are closing their doors at a breathtaking rate as a consequence. And yet, lessons aren't learned.

    You can blame it on music, or lack of knocking on doors, or the big, bad world, but ultimately Brethrenism needs to consult a mirror and realize what a laughable sight it really is.

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 09:47:00 AM EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    You can blame it on music, or lack of knocking on doors, or the big, bad world, but ultimately Brethrenism needs to consult a mirror and realize what a laughable sight it really is.

    Blake... even I have to agree with this statement. The sad thing is that I've even been forced to say that it mayt take the death of an entire generation before any meaningful change can occur... if there is are any assemblies left in which to enact that change.

    You may be done with us, but don't throw us all out. Many of our generation feel some of the same things you do, and there are a number of more learned young people who will be the next generation of elders... at least within those assemblies that have any spark of life left in them.

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 10:39:00 AM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    "Many of our generation feel some of the same things you do, and there are a number of more learned young people who will be the next generation of elders"

    Where are they, Andrew? Why isn't anybody else standing up and calling BS like this out and refuting it? I got an email from somebody the other day who talked about "incestuous thinking", and here it is. In fact, I predicted it: I said that nobody else would call out Shawn for his misrepresentation of Calvinism because he's "one of us", and I was spot-on. But, the fact is, not only Brethrenism but the greater part of evangelicalism suffers from the same disease as I just confronted, and I see no evidence of change around anywhere.

    Are you prepared to really listen to things I'm saying and fight for change? (It's one thing to fight for change against an enemy, it's entirely another to do so with people viewed to be friends.) Actually, you probably are more prepared than you might have been a few months ago, now that I think about it. I think a political blog has been in that sense a good broadening experience for you.

    But I think you're holding out hope, and I think you're wrong to do so. There is no hope for Brethrenism as is. None whatsoever. And everybody who's been brought up in that machine has been tainted by it, and I don't see a whole lot of people rejecting the machine, and even if they do, I don't see them sticking around to change it. I didn't.

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 05:52:00 PM EDT, Anonymous jgriffin said…

    Blake,

    I would have to say my experience with the brethren is "not-Blake's". I started going to a brethren assembly because they encouraged me to read and learn. The fastest growing age group in the assembly I currently attend the 18 - 26 year old group, they come because they find it a very open environment.

    Your multitude of negative experiences have a personal effect on me, they mirror some of the comments my father and brother in-law (in-laws?) hinted at when they left the assemblies. Both are men whose opinions I respect because they are open to new ideas.

    I should clarify that they both live in Toronto and I don't.

    I would like to get some of your thoughts on what went wrong with the assemblies but I don't think this is the place to do it. Is there a more appropriate place I can post the same question to you and have you respond to it?

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 06:48:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    J-Griff:

    Glad to hear your experience isn't so negative. Mind if I ask a few questions, for my own peace of mind?

    "I started going to a brethren assembly because they encouraged me to read and learn."

    What exactly were you encouraged to "read and learn" from? Are you encouraged to read and learn from more liberal Christians, like Bonhoeffer or Barth, let alone extremely liberal Christians? Are you encouraged to challenge your views by non-Christian academic treatments of certain issues, such as the age of the earth, world origins, or human sexuality? What if you were to criticize the work of William MacDonald as being hopelessly shallow and surface-level? What if you were to suggest that Jabe Nicholson has no business being held as a guru until he learns how to do theology?

    I'm not saying you have to do any of these things, I'm just asking what the response would be. It's one thing to be encouraged to "read and learn" within certain parameters; it's quite another to be asked to read and grow and still be yourself, and be encouraged to do so no matter what happens to your theology.

    "I would like to get some of your thoughts on what went wrong with the assemblies but I don't think this is the place to do it."

    Why not? This discussion got sidetracked away from the SSM debate eons ago. ;)

    Frankly, it began with arrogance. "We're right. We're good. Anything we have determined to be evil, is evil, without need for further examination." We've seen evidence of it on this thread. And, from that, Brethrenism put up walls around itself, within which the people are only allowed to explore. Go outside those walls, and you're in "heresy", or "rebellion", or maybe just "danger". And from there, a ceiling was erected, above which you are not allowed to progress without others feeling jealous that you have exceeded them. Except, the thing is, the walls are like, 2 feet long, and the ceiling's like, 14 inches high. And we're all crammed in this extremely crappy house and nobody's willing to rethink the living arrangements.

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 07:05:00 PM EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Feel free to move the conversation regarding the assemblies here, and post any comments on that issue you'd like. I'll post there on this issue too.

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 10:36:00 PM EDT, Anonymous drew said…

    "Feel free to move the conversation regarding the assemblies here, and post any comments on that issue you'd like. I'll post there on this issue too."

    I can't post there because it only allowed "Blogger" users to post and I really don't want to sign up for a Blogger account just to post comments. Can you allow "Other" comments as well like you do here?

     
  • At Mon Jun 05, 11:58:00 PM EDT, Blogger Blake said…

    Drew:

    Email me your comments and I'll post them for you, if you like.

     
  • At Tue Jun 06, 07:59:00 AM EDT, Blogger Christian Conservative said…

    Drew, made the change. (would have done it last night, but Blogger was acting up)

     
  • At Tue Jun 06, 07:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger Mark said…

    115 comments.

    Glad to see SSM is a dead issue....

     
  • At Tue Jun 06, 09:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous drew said…

    Thanks Andrew (and thanks for the offer Blake). I'll try to post my experiences when I have the time.

     

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