HOW DIVIDED ARE WE?


Recently one of my commenters (here) left me this article to read, How Do Christians Fit Into the Two-Party System? They Don’t. This commenter apparently thinks that I think a Christian has to be a Republican. Why? Well, he can explain that himself.

Do I think a Christian must be a Republican? No. I don’t think it is quite that simple. I do think our religious beliefs should and do guide our political beliefs. That is, I vote for those candidates whose views are most compatible with my religious beliefs. Therefore, unless a political party becomes overtly anti-Christian, I expect most political parties to have at least few candidates I might wish to support.

Is the Democratic Party anti-Christian? It does not claim to be. Yet, the Democratic Party has promoted some policies that bothered lots of Christians. Consider the dilemma white Christians in the South faced when the Democratic Party supported slavery, the Jim Crow laws, and later, segregation. It would have been difficult to vote for any politician who did not support slavery, the Jim Crow laws, and later, segregation. Yet what if you believed that all of us should be treated equally before the law? What if you lived in the South? Would you have voted for a Democrat for President? Given the choice of Abraham Lincoln, would it have pleased Jesus if you had voted for the Democrat? Many otherwise decent Southerners did, and they still thought themselves Christians. Nevertheless, the Bible tells to love our neighbors as we love ourselves; it does not give us excuses for enslaving them.

So why did those southern white Christians vote for Democrats? Do we have a similar problem with one of the political parties today? Some have come to think so, but others think otherwise. So let’s step back. Imagine if you had been raised in the South before the Civil War. Would we have seen slavery as a sin? Would we have been for or against slavery? If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit we probably would have been for it. It would have seemed normal and proper. We would have been taught by people we respected that slaves were property.

What does the Democratic Party stand for today? Here is a summary from an encyclopedia.

Despite tracing its roots to Thomas Jefferson—who advocated a less-powerful, more-decentralized federal government—the modern Democratic Party generally supports a strong federal government with powers to regulate business and industry in the public interest; federally financed social services and benefits for the poor, the unemployed, the aged, and other groups; and the protection of civil rights. Most Democrats also
endorse a strong separation of church and state, and they generally oppose government regulation of the private, noneconomic lives of citizens.

Regarding foreign policy, Democrats tend to prefer internationalism and multilateralism—i.e., the execution of foreign policy through international institutions such as the United Nations—over isolationism and unilateralism. However, because the party is highly decentralized (as is the Republican Party), it encompasses a wide variety of opinion on certain issues. Although most Democrats favour affirmative action and gun control, for example, some moderate and conservative Democrats oppose those policies or give them only qualified support. (from here)

On the surface that seems innocuous enough. So does the Democratic Party’s Platform. Here is the encyclopedia link to the Republican Party, and here is the Republican Party’s platform.

The devil is in the details, what politicians and their supporters actually do and want, not in the platitudes they spout. To get at the details, what candidates actually believe, folks at The Family Foundation ask candidates for public office whether they support or oppose specific statements like the following (see here):

  1. Elevate sexual orientation and gender identity to a protected class.
  2. Eliminate state funding for private businesses that perform abortions.
  3. Allow home school high school students to try out for public school sports teams.
  4. Provide a tuition tax-credits to families who send their children to non-public schools.
  5. Repeal abortion center health and safety standards.
  6. Expand Medicaid in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.
  7. Ensure rights of business owners to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs.
  8. Repeal the religious exemption from compulsory education laws used by some home schools families.
  9. Allow transgender students in K-12 to use whatever bathroom they choose, regardless of their biological sex.
  10. Prohibit state government from discriminating against nonprofit organizations that have deeply-held religious beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.

Each of us needs to think about the following:

  • Why does The Family Foundation need to ask whether candidates for public office support of oppose such statements?
  • Why would a candidate (Democrat or Republican) refuse The Family Foundation‘s questionnaire?
  • Why would candidate (Democrat or Republican) be happy to answer The Family Foundation‘s questionnaire?
  • What guidance can we find in the Bible with respect to each of these statements?

If you have not read the Bible or considered it carefully, then it is not too late to do so. In fact, it is important that we all read it. The world pulls at us and demands conformity, but our first love must be our Creator. To be obedient to Him, we must understand what His Word, the Bible, requires of us.

101 thoughts on “HOW DIVIDED ARE WE?

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  1. Didn’t see this chart on this thread (unless I massed it) so thought I’d post it here.
    I used to argue that we really weren’t becoming more divided, most people were toward the middle, with a statistically small but comparatively very vocal outliers on either end of the spectrum.

    My rationale being, mundane things don’t tend to make anyone’s radar.
    Crime didn’t happen is a daily event that gets no coverage.
    This is true of pretty much everything related to media and social media.
    But this morning I saw this:

    The spectrum really has shifted and we seem more divided now…because we are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Liz

      We have different definitions of truth. The usual expression for that is “worldview”. That is, we have different worldviews. Don’t like that expression.

      Problem is more than just the way we see the world. We don’t see God and our purpose for existence the same way. When we try to resolve our disputes, we don’t even have the same definition of justice.

      Think about just one word, “tolerance”. The Conservative thinks of tolerance as forbearance. The Liberal Democrat thinks of tolerance as affirmation and thinks what the Conservative calls tolerance is unjust, rabid bigotry. When your political opposition insists you affirm behavior you detest, that doesn’t leave much room for compromise.

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  2. Tom,

    I started the latest book by Timothy Keller, the author of the article you referenced for this post.

    It’s a verse by verse interpretation of the Book of Jonah. See. Even Catholics accidentally study the Bible every now and then.😉

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    1. @tsalmon

      That’s great!

      The Bible is especially odd in that people find different things in it. Jonah gets a lot of flack because of the fish story. It is a miracle. So it grabs our attention because it is so difficult to believe, but the real oddity is that God wants Jonah to love the people of Nineveh. The people of that city were rightly feared. They horrifically tortured those they captured. Therefore, when some heard they were coming they killed themselves to avoid capture.

      Anyway, once you get into it, I expect you will begin to appreciate the Bible as fine literature. Perhaps you will realize that what this passage teaches is not a burden, but a blessing.

      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+5%3A11-6%3A3&version=GNT

      We were not raised to read and study the Bible. In fact, what we learned suggested we could safely disregard it. Not true.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Liz

      Read your link.

      Appears to me to be an example of what Tsalman terms “out of balance”

      If interested read my reply comment to Tsalmonn rin reply.

      Yes indeed, our schools have become so intimidated, they can no longer discern what they are teaching our children.

      Out of balance, or, wise or foolish?

      Regards and good will blogging.

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          1. Probably…but for entirely different reasons.
            Think it was last year, the number of girls in Juvenile detention exceeded the number of boys in juvenile detention.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Sure wish the location was different, perhaps in Church instead .

            I read an article a short while ago that in Illinois their is a movement to release most of the women now in prison so they can be home with their kids.

            Guess having a female arent around is better than having thier kids wind up in Juvenile, perhaps?

            Regards and good will blogging.

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  3. Tom,

    To mix some metaphors, I think that you may be so lost in the weeds that you don’t see the forest or the trees. Let’s look at your slavery example. Most of our founding fathers (John Adams being a notable exception) famously pledged to each other “our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor” in the Declaration, and yet all those things were built upon an economy of human bondage. Were the Founders therefore “anti-Christian”? Because of this anti-Christian foundation, should devout Christians like John Adams, who knew slavery was wrong, have shunned affiliation with the founding tribe and proclaimed that their venture toward national independence was basically unchristian? On the other hand, could not the slave holding Founders have made a sound Biblical argument, given Jesus’ own parables, that slavery was a natural state of man and that slaves owe a duty to their masters just as masters owe a duty to their slaves?

    We look at this with perfect hindsight now and, say that, by the Civil War, we certainly should have known who was on God’s side , but I’m not sure that it is fair for a Christian to proclaim absolute certainty of knowledge of God’s Will on every single issue, especially when it means tribal warfare with neighbors with whom we share far more in regard to respect for human dignity than we don’t. You don’t seem to claim with certainty on how you would have come down on slavery if you lived in the South, so how can you claim with such certainty now which political party has more anti-Christian policies than the other?

    You give a list. I could go down the list and try to refute each item. I too could get caught in the weeds by, for example, arguing whether or not we should condemn LGBTQ neighbors for their gender and sexual differences, but maybe a better, more humble tact for a Christian is to say that I don’t know with perfect certainty how Jesus would have come down on issues like when a human soul is implanted in a fetus or when the range of gender identity and sexuality crosses some magic line and becomes worthy of God’s condemnation as abomination.

    We all can agree on absolute evil. Why do I have to proclaim absolute certainty of the evil of the other side and draw battle lines and stoke tribal outrage on every issue, when we actually hold our most basic values about love in common?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. @Tsalmon

      Let’s get some facts instead of mixed metaphors.

      We are human beings. We are all imperfect. When we debate right and wrong, calling other guy a sinner adds no value. It just is. At best we are works in progress. Still, to make progress we must do as Jesus and strive to avoid sinning. Only Jesus actually avoided sinning.

      The framers of the Constitution wrote that document with an eye towards ending slavery, but they could not prohibit slavery without destroying unity.

      Some compromises stink because people are sinners. We can try to avoid sin, but we can not always stop someone else from sinning. What we can do is try to avoid forcing others to participate in what they think is wrong. That is what that list of statements from The Family Foundation addresses.

      Abraham Lincoln was trying to preserve the union. He opposed the spread of slavery, but the South hated being told slavery is wrong. To stick their finger in the eyes of the abolitionists the South insisted that Federal Government promote slavery. When that failed, the South seceded from the union.

      We have a similar problem today. We have people insisting that when others don’t adopt their values, even their fantastic view of reality, they are being wrongfully discriminated against. Fact is that we all have the right to make our own choices, and that requires us to discriminate. To make any choice requires discrimination.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with much of that Tom, but please review my post below.

        You point out the need for the founders to compromise competing values for the sake of a greater common good, but you fail to recognize that that same argument goes on constantly and to humbly compromise in large and small ways must go on between sinners today.

        Both sides claim too much infallibility in their cause. Both sides claim victimization. One side, more than the other, however, too pridefully claims religious certainty. One side more than the other too much lacks (and even disdains) a religious foundation to their position. Which is worse – the hypocrisy of religious certainty or the moral quicksand of non-belief? I honestly don’t know.

        We all think way too highly of the our own opinions and fail to realize the impossibility of perfect solutions. To accept the compromise that maybe the best we get is a “more perfect union”.

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        1. @tsalmon

          The Constitution is a compromise. If the Constitution is a “living document”, what is the point of compromising? The demands won’t stop.

          When people claim abortion is not murder (even demand tax payer dollars to fund the killing of the unborn) and the legalization of same-sex “marriage”, compromise is not possible. The people making such demands have no interest in compromise. It is their guilt they are fighting, not the people who condemn their sins. Who wastes their time harassing women who have aborted their children or same-sex couples?

          Think about the South and slavery. The cotton gin made slavery profitable. So the slave owners were no longer content with the existing compromise contained in the Constitution. In addition, they resented the scorn heaped upon slavery. So they tried to use the courts to get their way and spread slavery.

          Not much has changed. Modern Democrats have just perfected that old “living Constitution” scheme to a degree the slave owners could have only wished for.

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          1. @Doug

            Slavery was a sin, but so are abortion, same-sex “marriage”, and interfering with religious freedom, and so forth. The things that make up the culture war pile up. When half of our income goes to the government, who are we working for half of the time?

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          2. “When half of our income goes to the government, who are we working for half of the time?”

            I’m not sure that this is a fair way to look at this. In primitive tribes, there may have been governing norms for sharing resources according to individual effort and need, but if one looks at those governing norms and the tribal enforcement of them as a rudimentary “government”, then up to 100 percent of an individual’s income goes to government, and the individual, in theory, in collective goods and services, gets more than one hundred percent back. It’s not a zero sum game. The whole in this really is greater than the sum of its parts.

            Now extrapolate that idea to an individual in a modern democratic state. How much of that 50 percent of income allows the income in the first place? Just as an individual tribal hunter is driven by numerous incentives to produce, which may include a larger portion of what he kills, the individual in the the modern state also requires incentives to production. However, like the tribal hunter but in a far more complex way, the modern citizen depends upon governing rules and institutions to even be able to produce.

            To return to my fish in water analogy, the fabric of millions of governing laws and institutions is the sea that each of us swims in and they so effectively suspend our every motion that we actually take them so for granted that we no longer see them. Like fish in a school, we seek our daily sustenance and those of us who put forth more effort with more talent and luck do better than others, but is any of it possible without the water we swim in? What would we pay out of our efforts for that water? How long would we last if we thought we could live without it and drained it away?

            Look around you as you go through any given day and try to see that water. How much of everything you have and do that depends upon a vast, complex web of governing institutions and norms, from national defense to stoplights to roads to the legal fiction that is the corporation you may work at to the courts and laws that give commerce predictability and stability. What is it worth?

            So the question isn’t how much of your income your paying for government, it’s how much are you getting out of it in tangible and intangible goods and services. We don’t complain that the rest of our income is going to purchase goods and services unless we don’t like the price and value. Why should government be any different. Voter taxpayer citizens are just consumers in another form with different ways to demand price and value.
            I’m not advocating this for practical reasons, but if 100 percent of our income went to government but be got 150 percent back in the value of goods and services (including greater individual liberty), would we complain? Well, given how we white americans are perhaps the most priveliged generation of average citizens in the history mankind, and we still constantly whine like spoiled babies, probably.

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          3. Hmm.. I’d go so far as to say.. white male Americans, because after Hillary’s 30,000 emails white male Americans are responsible for everything wrong with everything.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. @tsalmon

            To return to my fish in water analogy, the fabric of millions of governing laws and institutions is the sea that each of us swims in and they so effectively suspend our every motion that we actually take them so for granted that we no longer see them.

            It seems that some people see government and controlling their neighbors (for their own good, of course) as the object of life. As fish in a school, we are all equal. Ain’t that beautiful? Nothing to feel guilty about.

            Government is not God. The notion we can and should trust our public officials any more than we must is absurd. It is irrational. They are just sinners like the rest of us. They may speak eloquently, but they have the same limits as you and I. They too are made up of dust and ashes.

            The more pervasive we make government, the more choices we must give up to it. Ideally, we empower our public officials sufficiently to protect our rights and to help us resolve our disputes. Then we can feel secure, do our business and worship as we see fit. With issues like eminent domain, child custody, and crime investigations, that makes the government large enough as it is. When the people running our government already have more to do than they can properly manage, you know it is preposterous, a joke, to speak of giving 100% of our income to the government and expect a 150% return on investment. Practical reasons? The very idea that we could increase our liberty by giving everything we have to government is hilarious.

            If you value the right to give your life to the pursuit of your own beliefs, does it make sense to put government in charge of anything? If the overall effect is to limit our choices, why would you want give the government another power. If the overall effect is to increase our choices, what is wrong with taking a power from the government.

            Government is not God. Only when we give everything to God are we truly free.

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          5. “Hmm.. I’d go so far as to say.. white male Americans, because after Hillary’s 30,000 emails white male Americans are responsible for everything wrong with everything.”

            Hey! I resemble that remark!

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  4. Doug,

    I am noticing more public bathrooms have unisex signs and allow single users to lock the doors after they enter.

    Kind of what we do in our private homes with men and women using.

    Just remember to put the toilet seat down or you will hear about it from the female users.

    Not very practical in a school with limited time in between class periods though.

    Regard and good will blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agreed…. but there’s an issue with children and their obvious ages and lack of maturity; they are, after all, in school to learn and have guidance, not presume they are capable of dealing with advancing sexual maturity at such early ages.
      Also remember given the recent #MeToo issues, kids will be kids.. and interpretations of abuse seems to be a “forever” thing now.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Doug,

        I often state I do not care what people choose in regards to their sexual choices when they reach adulthood..

        However, it is wrong in my opinion to teach in any school to minors that gay is nature and not nurture.

        No conclusive scientific proof one hundred percent supports that premise, yet government run schools boards allow nature over nature to be taught to minors.
        Madness and folly in my opinion.

        Regards and good will blogging.

        Like

        1. I think I would have to agree with you, Rudy. Elementary school children are just learning about their bodies.. and not just sexually. In fact, as I recall from my psyche that Freud suggested that developing children many times pass through phases of seemingly “gay” attraction before centering on “normal”. This is due to early identification with one’s same gender as a first social circle; we tend to play and learn relationships and friendships with our same gender at the early ages.

          I dunno.. I’m like you.. I have no issue with the LGBT being equal or whatever it is they want.. but it sure seems like they are shoving it into our faces constantly.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. @Doug

            We are all sinners, but we don’t agree what is a sin. That’s where the 1st Amendment comes in. To the extent possible, we are suppose to let each decide for ourselves what is good and bad.

            What some people have done, however, is define the mere act of not confirming their choices of right and wrong as bullying and a hate crime. “Snowflake” describes the problem these people create. While pretending to be victims, they use the government to bully others.

            When someone is beaten up just for being black, white, male, female, Christian, Muslim, or whatever, that person has the right to seek justice in the courts. What nobody has a right to do is to use the courts to persecute others. It turns our justice system upside down.

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          2. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. — by C. S. Lewis

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          3. “What some people have done, however, is define the mere act of not confirming their choices of right and wrong as bullying and a hate crime. “Snowflake” describes the problem these people create. While pretending to be victims, they use the government to bully others.”

            A little common sense says that what we are dealing with here is not so black and white. If you use government to essentially outlaw same sex marriage or someone’s ability to claim a gender identity, aren’t you doing exactly what you claim to be the victim of? If a pastor doesn’t share your religious taboos, and his religion allows him to perform same sex marriages, aren’t you using government to impose your religious beliefs on others if you legally ban those marriages? As a public official, you may not wish to participate, but what we are talking about here is not the absolute infringement of the right of one persion by another, but instead a conflict of rights and responsibilities that can and must only be balanced imperfectly: the civil fundamental right to join in the marriage contract with who one wants verses the peculiarly religious belief that same sex marriage is to be condemned; the government protection of the peculiarly religious right of the unborn at all stages of development to be born verses the civil right not to be told by the government what to do with her own body even the day after conception; or the government enforcement of the fundamental responsibility that a citizen owes to all other citizens verses to right not to be forced by government to share and support his neighbor if he does not want to.

            In a finite and fallen world, to claim God given religious certainty in these questions of conflicting rights and responsibilities is just hubris.

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          4. Would not one person’s hubris be another person’s timorous? Well, as religion, it’s hubris before fellow man and timorous before God. 🙂

            What you seem to be describing, T, is the eternal conflict between religious and government… and the more technologically advanced man becomes (hence, closer to God) the more moral we become. Just a hundred years ago we, through our morality would have defined the beginning of life as being when we first leave the womb. Now it’s from point of conception.
            But pretty much what you’ve said here is exactly the reason that democracy will always be an imperfect institution… and it’s going to get worse as man advances.

            I’ve been working on a post for a long time now suggesting that there seems to be a subtle evolvement of religion to be less spiritual in context and more generic as it relates to the precepts surrounding The Golden Rule; man’s treatment toward his fellow man vs. a faith-based compulsion to admit to being a sinner and worshiping a deity for forgiveness. The entire idea of religion is how to live together in harmony through the conduit of faith in a supreme being. In an application of a Golden Rule-based belief system one might find less religious morality and more human-based morality.

            All speculation, of course.

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          5. @tsalmon

            You have your doubts. So you are all set to impose your doubts as law? So you can balance your doubts? Do you realize how ridiculous that is? Apparently not.

            If two people of the same-sex have sex, that’s confusion, not marriage. It is also their problem. There is no reason to make people who want no part of such absurd nonsense participate. If a pastor wants to participate in a sacrilege, there is no law stopping him or her. If people of the same-sex want to fornicate and call that “marriage”, there is no law stopping them.

            Government is force. Here is an example. People send their children to public schools. Same-sex “marriage” is now legally “marriage” (You do realize you could make killing cattle murder and subject to the death penalty. PETA would love that.). So says the judge. So now activist teachers can indoctrinate their little charges in the glories of same-sex “marriage”, whether the children’s parent approve or not.

            Does government have a role in this sort of nonsense? We can make up reasons, but the fact is there is no marriage, just a fantasy. I can say there are little green Martians. I can say have I one for a friend. If my little green friend says everyone must give me a $100 or he will destroy the planet, do you think we need a law that makes me feel good and aids in my pretense? Why not? Don’t you have doubts? Where is the $100 you owe me?

            To avoid doubt, marriage require two adults of the opposite sex. Otherwise, there is no possibility of children. Democrats can appoint corrupt judges to pretend the Constitution says something it doesn’t. All that proves is how corrupt people can be. It doesn’t prove same-sex “marriage” is either right or real. The law does not remove our doubts; it just punishes people who don’t share the “doubts” of those in power. It just proves people are sinners, and some will do anything to avoid repenting.

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          6. Doug,

            I’ll have to think on that one. I have noted that religion has gotten more literal and rules based and less spiritual and mystery based in some Christian circles, and perhaps that is related to the timorousness that you refer to, and also your concern over a collision between religion and science. There does seem to be a spectrum to this Christian circles, however, with the fundamentalists perhaps getting more press because of the outrage they spark from secular rationalists.

            Just my opinion, but I don’t really think most Christians, myself included, really see any conflict between science and Christianity. For example, if you read Thomas Aquinas with an I toward metaphysicals rather than physics, nothing that physics has done has refuted those Aristotelian metaphysics, and some would argue that discoveries in physics have only corroborated Thomist metaphysics.

            As a believer and a rationalist, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take some exception to your statement about man becoming closer to God, but which, I presume, you mean in knowledge. In my theology that is an impossibility, but I also think it requires a leap of faith in science that is religious rather than scientific.

            Science expands knowledge by theory and falsification. A scientific theory becomes closer to scientific fact the longer it empirically and experimentally withstands falsification or until it is supplanted by a more expansive theory (think Newton verses Einstein), but in scientific methodology, no scientific theory is ever absolute fact, meaning that it is never no longer subject to falsification. The 20th Century philosopher, Carl Popper, would say that any theory that, by its nature, is not always subject to falsification (such as “I believe in God”) is not a scientific theory. In that sense of limitation, therefore, the scientist should have just as much humility in the human limitations and uncertainty of that field as the priest has with his.

            Truth should not conflict with truth. As areas of human knowledge, science and religion often overlap, but there are areas where each has no purchase with the other. I think spirituality is one of those areas. I also think a rationally “generic” religious sentiment that lacks a foundation in aesthetic spirituality is what TS Elliot might call “a human wasteland”. Perhaps, anachronistically, that is why many of my friends who are adamant atheists are also artists and appreciators of art, and why so many of my friends who proclaim their Christian fundamentalism are not very spiritual or aesthetically minded.

            On a related note, A rabbi who is thought to have been a contemporary of Jesus came up with another Golden Rule: “Don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t have done unto you.” Maybe both Golden Rules taken together might be a better basis of mutual compromise. Just a thought.

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          7. Good thought. But to your science vs. religion.. I see no conflict as I see man as being of two necessary dimensions, if you will, for survival. On one level we have our physical world where cause & effect takes over, from which we use tools and knowledge to survive. Just as important to man’s psyche is also the area of our mind where we have to place the things we can’t explain.. from their we develop belief systems. As time and technology and the advent of knowledge becomes part of man’s survival “toolkit”, the need for a spiritual belief may be called into question.
            Consider early man confronting fire. He knows it exists.. sometimes it destroys what he’s created, killed his loved ones. Maybe he’s figured out a small way of containing it in it’s early stages… throwing water or dirt on it. He might presume fire is controlled at the whim of some super-human.. a god. So he prays to this fire god.. and assigns human qualities in order to better apply meaning to believing in such an entity.

            One day man figures out a way to start his own fire.. on demand, when needed. Suddenly, belief in the fire god becomes obsolete. Thus is the evolution of religion over the ages as it relates to science… and vice versa. My reference to man getting closer to God is meant specifically that the imagined end to learning anything else.. when all knowledge has been acquired… is that point where we meet God. Obviously that point will never be achieved because knowledge is constant and as infinite as our existence expands. Hence my supposition that a non-spiritual belief system, like The Golden Rule, could replace the “need” for spirituality. Quite obviously I’m not suggesting this will occur by next Thursday… but a slow evolution as knowledge is gained over the millennia. And I am also not suggesting that all humans would subscribe to this evolution as we are, after all, comprised of infinite variety. But I would not disregard seeing more evidence of this religious evolution as we learn more about our physical existence.

            You’re a Christian… and your career depended on scientific knowledge. Yet I am sure, gazing down at the Earth below you at speeds of mach 2 or 3 there isn’t some mental deviation of thought away from science and knowing all the beauty you see has to have much more meaning than simply being the result of chance atoms smashing together billions of years ago in some dark void. Heck, I am humbled simply looking into the Grand Canyon. I know how it was created scientifically.. but then I can’t help but wonder.. is this really all the result of chance?

            My point is that spirituality isn’t vanishing, because man can interpret beauty out of all the chaos. I’m not all that sure we will ever understand where beauty comes from unless we give it a spiritual meaning.

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          8. @Tsalmon

            Perhaps, anachronistically, that is why many of my friends who are adamant atheists are also artists and appreciators of art, and why so many of my friends who proclaim their Christian fundamentalism are not very spiritual or aesthetically minded.

            I think you may be confusing what you think is Godly and beautiful with being spiritual and aesthetically minded. We each have the capacity for seeing a different aspect of God. We each perceive His Creation differently. In addition, we each express ourselves in our own way.

            Although we may not think of someone as spiritual and aesthetically minded only God knows the heart of a man. We don’t easily see pass the exterior. What appears to us as spiritual and aesthetically minded may only be a facade.

            Look up the definition of “spiritual”. Then consider the fact you are referring to Atheists as spiritual.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. “We each have the capacity for seeing a different aspect of God. We each perceive His Creation differently. In addition, we each express ourselves in our own way.”

            Exactly where I am at personally at this stage in life. But I expect only me to believe the way I do in my own relationship with the Almighty.

            BUT, Tom, what you just stated is also the very thing Conservative and evangelical thinking fights against… Christians follow doctrine… non-Christians just meander about in some religious limbo perpetuating political concepts that restrict personal freedoms.. of the likes of liberal Democrats.

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          10. Tom,

            We’ve covered this ground before. You know that I can come up with an argument for each of yours that says that there is more to a marriage, both civilly and spiritualy than just sex and procreation, elsewise a marriage to a barren woman or an impotent man would not be a marriage either. All our arguments cancel each other out.

            You could be conflating mere custom with God’s Will. You could be confusing a mere human theological opinion with infallibility. Regardless, you know you are imposing your self proclaimed, self righteous religious certainty on others just as much as they may be imposing an uncertainty on you. And the fact that one side is imposing something that is peculiarly religious on those who believe otherwise makes it even more likely to be an unconstitutional violation of both the establishment and the religious expression clauses. You can harangue all day long about how you have absolute knowledge of God’s Will on this and every other topic, but the only thing I’m claiming is that I’m not absolutely certain and I don’t see how any Christian can be.

            I think that in all but the most obvious sins we need to have the humility to embrace the ambiguity of a fallen and finite world. The command to love is not the command to always know the perfect manifestation of love for every human dilemma, but it is the command, with humility, understanding, openness, mercy and compassion, to try.

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          11. @Tsalmon

            Words are suppose to represent concept, allow us to convey our thoughts to each other. If the word “marriage” can arbitrarily mean whatever you want it to mean at the moment, then the word no longer has any meaning. The reality of what constitutes a “marriage” remains. Unfortunately, without words whose definitions we have trouble sharing our thoughts.

            When the government does not sanction the union of two people of the same sex as “marriage”, does that deny anyone their rights? To answer that question with a “yes”, we must have weird definitions of two words: rights and marriage.

            Government does not give us our rights. Government helps us to protect our rights.

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          12. If Tom will indulge us getting off topic a bit, I have two points.

            The first is the profound evolution of the manifestation of God to the Israelites in the Bible from polytheism to monotheism. By the time of Christ, the (arguably belligerent) Jews insisted that there is only one infinite, all powerful, all knowing God, the causeless cause of all and the unmoved mover of all, who only to name was to unfairly limit, and they essentially proclaimed that all other gods were simply the same sort of superstition you are talking about. I can’t predict what science will discredit in the future about metaphysical causation, but you got to admit the Jews put that bar pretty high.

            The second is the limits of science. Science deals with categorization and causation. Whether you are talking about the very big or the very small cosmology, scientific discovery of causation can either go on infinitely or it can come down to a cause for which there is no further scientific claim for cause.

            There are reasons why the former seems improbable, but even if the infinite chain were possible, such infinite regression still precludes the theory that science will solve and discredit an infinite God.

            If the latter were the case and science hit a cause for which it could never find a cause (the God particle for example) then science breaks down right at that point of the inexplicable. And the believer just pony’s snd says “see”.

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          13. One other point Doug. Let’s say scientists discover a God gene and that the need for aesthetics and spirituality derive from that gene. Let’s even assume it was shown that such a gene evolved from the need for humans to overcome the existential dread that comes from our sentience of our own mortality.

            Well, if one assumes that there is an infinite God and that God created man in order to make the universe that He created sentient of Him, then would he not also have evolved us to have God shaped minds?

            I realize that this argument results in a tautology, but perhaps so do all philosophies at some point.

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          14. “Words are suppose to represent concept, allow us to convey our thoughts to each other. If the word “marriage” can arbitrarily mean whatever you want it to mean at the moment, then the word no longer has any meaning. The reality of what constitutes a “marriage” remains. Unfortunately, without words whose definitions we have trouble sharing our thoughts.“

            Tom,

            There is some truth to that, and that is perhaps why every discussion starts with defining terms. However, it is also wrong to think linguistics and laws are static.

            We don’t speak in Old English and the legal definition of marriage, which includes the implied rights and responsibilities of the legal marriage contract, has changed quite a bit in our history. I know a little about this development. I studied marriage law in law school and practiced domestics law for a little while, a long time ago.

            For example, as to rights, women used to have far less property rights and inheritance rights in marriage than they have now. New rights evolved at law and the legal definition of marriage changed, both through common law court action and through legislative codification. Did government give those new rights to women or did government just start protecting the God given rights that they already somehow possessed? I don’t know. Unlike you, I don’t claim certain knowledge of the mind of God. But the effect is the same – if government does not define and protect those rights, then from a practical standpoint, they simply don’t exist.

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          15. @tsalmon

            To protect our rights, our government has to acknowledge our rights. Two principles are involved.
            1. We are equal before the law.
            2. We belong to ourselves.

            When government gives us our Rights, it give us nothing. It just takes from some to give to others. That’s why the principle of positive rights is nonsense.

            Anyway, you want to redefine marriage? That “nice”.
            https://www.etymonline.com/word/nice#etymonline_v_6918

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          16. “When government gives us our Rights, it give us nothing. It just takes from some to give to others. That’s why the principle of positive rights is nonsense.”

            I’m a little lost here? How is allowing Steve the legal right to marry Bruce taking any right from you any more than allowing the Lovings to marry is taking a right from someone who’s religion doesn’t believe in interracial marriage? We simply aren’t dealing with stand alone rights here. We are actually balancing conflicting rights.

            For example, you have a right to free speech unhampered by government regulation, but when you to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, the courts will balance the right of your speech against the government’s protection of the right of people not to die or be injured in a stampede, and you’ll loose. On the other hand, let’s say the court finds that that government law, solely for religious reasons, specifically excuses gay bars from this protection, then the court will strike down that exception as a violation of equal protection that is done for invidious religious establishment and infringement purposes. Would you as a policemen feel that your religious freedom is being infringed upon by forcing you to actively protect the abomination of a gay bar? Sure, however, this is a case, not of an absolute right, but of balancing comflicting religious and equal protection rights, and you will probably lose, well, at least until Trump gets his SCOTUS pick you would have.

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          17. @tsalmon

            Why does government have to license marriage? You can connive all kinds of excuses, but they all revolve around government-given rights, except for one thing. Children. Children have the right to the protection of their father. A woman has the right to the love of the man who fathers her children. A man has an obligation to the community to acknowledge paternity. He does that through marriage.

            Same-sex “marriage” makes marriage irrelevant to children. That’s sick, but that is where this subject has gone. The party that is notorious for claiming “it’s for the children” has always been more interested in using children than helping them. That is why I despise what the Democratic Party stands for.

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          18. Same-sex “marriage” makes marriage irrelevant to children.

            Children are certainly extremely relevant to the marriage contract, but they are not the exclusive reason for it. Arguably lrecognizing same sex marriage actually provides more protection to children of those couples. No fault divorce laws have had a more genuinely provable socially destructive effect on marriage and children, and has a better Biblical rational for condemnation, but I don’t see you screaming with such intensity for repealing the freedom to divorce. Your libertarian and anti-libertarian rationals apparently are tribally selective and highly inconsistent.

            BTW calling the opposing opinion “sick” seems like a deflection designed to escape the real intellectual discussion and just start yelling at each other – you call me “sick”, I’m supposed to call you a “bigot”, yada, yada, yada…. Tom, we are not only fellow American patriots, we’re brothers. We disagree on some stuff, but we actually agree on far more than we disagree, especially the most important stuff. We love each other, but we also love to debate politics, so let’s skip the demeaning attacks please.

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          19. @tsalmon

            So you object to the plain statement that same-sex sex is a sin? You ought to read what the Bible says about it.

            You want to stop insinuating that being against same-sex “marriage” and open borders requires some sort of bigotry? I doubt it. Since it is what you think, it is what it is.

            Same-sex is a perversion. It is not healthy. We can and have invent excuses for endorsing anything, and some politicians have. Some people will do anything in their pursuit of power and ambition. That is why we should turn to the Bible for wisdom, not politicians and talking heads. That’s why we should be discerning about the facts we use to determine right from wrong.

            When two people of the same-sex want to “marry” each other, congratulating them is cowardice, not love. Such a relationship is self destructive. Blaming the people who call it wrong is like blaming the people who condemn robbery for the suffer of bank robbers.

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          20. Tom,

            I have read what the Bible says about homosexuality, and I am uncertain as to whether it is sin. Not only that, Christian biblical scholars and theologians from mainstream Christian faiths around the world have a good deal of disagreement in this issue. Those favoring gay marriage say that those who do not are confusing mere changing custom with sin, like confusing the traditional Biblical ban eating pork with a sin.

            Also, this may be looking at “sin” itself in an absolutist and condemning, legalistic Pharisistic
            way rather than with the humility and compassion that should make us think twice about absolutely judging another person’s actions as sin. This may be especially true when those throwing stones and claiming absolute certainty of sinfulness are not actually harmed themselves by the supposed sexual rule breaking. Adultery and divorce are also not the same sort of sins as robbing a bank or shooting someone on the street. Even if it is a sin, are we so without sin that we should legally ban and punish these sinners.

            To me, this comes down to uncertainty, the nature of sin and condemnation without inderstanding and mercy. Christian Redemption, by its very nature, cannot be legally mandated, we must come to it voluntarily. And the real underlying sin that we need redemption from is not the violation of mere sexual taboos and rules or wildly extrapolated legalistic philosophies on the pleasure of sex being legally banned if not for procreative purposes.

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          21. @Tsalmon

            Uncertain about whether the Bible calls same-sex sex a sin? And you have read what it says? Seriously?

            The Old Testament made same-sex a capital offense.The New Testament does not make same-sex sex any less a sin. We just don’t have the same command to punish sinners for violating the Mosaic Code.
            https://carm.org/bible-homosexuality

            Any way, there is no such ambiguity. There are just people who refuse to see what is right in front of them. What Bible translation are you using? One for children?

            Why don’t you read John 9?
            https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+9&version=NKJV

            Think about why the Pharisees refused the testimony of the blind man.

            Are you seeking clarity, or are you just muddying the waters? Why do yoi insist that others participate in such a fraud?

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          22. Tom,

            I’ll ask you som questions,and let you have the last word before I leave this poor dead horse alone:

            Let’s say a man and a woman were impotent and incapable of and uninterested in having sex at all, but they loved one another. Let’s say they wanted to share with one another all the implied rights and responsibilities enforceable in the marriage contract, then should they be legally banned from marrying?

            If you say “yes”, then are you not just the legal “busybody”? If you say “no”, then isn’t it really just the homosexual sex you want banned and to change to the legal right to freely contract to marry is irrelevant to that objection, and once again, are you just being a legal “busy body”?

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          23. @tsalmon

            Marriage is the union between a man and woman. Since you are trying to establish that marriage does not require a man and a woman, you propose to eliminate sex organs and sex. “Marriage” then becomes some sort of business arrangement. I suppose that eliminates cats and dogs “marrying” each other, unless you propose to redefine the word “business” too. Why not? You are just be nice, right?

            So would a man and a woman who never had sex be married? Maybe not. If only one of them was impotent and the other hid the problem, the marriage could be annulled. Otherwise, when a man and a woman live together, it sets a good example for others if they are married. Generally, we don’t want the government sticking its nose into our business, especially information like that.

            One of the grounds for annulment is impotence. The sex act is considered important to marriage. Two people of the same-sex just pretend to have sexual intercourse.

            https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/what-are-grounds-for-annulment

            https://family.findlaw.com/divorce/how-marriage-annulments-differ-from-divorces-and-the-grounds-for.html

            Why do you think you can get away with this nonsense? There is no perfect definition of anything. We are not perfect. So we can be tricked into believing the solution for that problem is anything goes. Wrong! Do you want adult/child marriages? Polygamy? Bestiality? Polyandry? Group marriage? Using the sort of arguments you have made each is justifiable. Anything can be degraded. If we degrade something slowly enough, we won’t even notice.

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          24. TSalmon: “Children are certainly extremely relevant to the marriage contract, but they are not the exclusive reason for it.”
            Progeny are virtually the only reason for state sanction of marriage. There may be many personal reasons for marriage, but all interests the state has towards sanctioned marriage revolves around progeny. This is why fathers cannot marry daughters/mothers/sisters.
            This thread is long and I can’t follow it precisely to quote, but somewhere above you asserted a false dilemma, claiming the fact that some people who cannot reproduce can still marry. Essentially your assertion would require a fertility test for the state to sanction marriage…which presents some obvious practical limitations as well as constitutional limitations (this is privacy violation in the extreme….furthermore medical procedures are ever-changing, often fertility tests are in error). So the comparison with same sex unions to infertile couples is not only erroneous but absurd. Next:

            “Arguably lrecognizing same sex marriage actually provides more protection to children of those couples.”
            This is true. I concede if children are already in the picture the state would have a vested interest. Note this is still not a federal issue.

            “No fault divorce laws have had a more genuinely provable socially destructive effect on marriage and children, and has a better Biblical rational for condemnation, but I don’t see you screaming with such intensity for repealing the freedom to divorce. Your libertarian and anti-libertarian rationals apparently are tribally selective and highly inconsistent.”

            There’s no doubt that no fault has been catastrophic for families. That is also a state matter, not federal. “Tribally selective” folks like myself might just understand the difference between state and federal oversight. Whatever you wish to call us, it is erroneous to claim the two are inconsistent…as one is a state matter the other federally mandated to the states.

            Liked by 1 person

          25. Liz,

            Because you brought up something new, the federalism argument, I’ll address it, and then we can respectfully agree to disagree.

            You are correct in that marriage law is mainly state law. However, federal court jurisdiction has be derived through the 14th Amendment. It is the constitutional standard of review that is used for a long line of federal rights and equal protection issues. It has specifically been decided by the SCOTUS in a long line of marriage right cases that include also the Loving case and others that you perhaps might agree with. Regardless, that ship has sailed.

            If you are indeed conceding that states have the right to define marriage as including same sex marraige then, notwithstanding the federalism complaint, federal courts may still get involved to resolve “full faith and credit” conflicts of laws problems.

            I’d invite you to study the controlling cases that go back many decades. You may not agree with the paths the Court took, but res adjudicata long ago took place on the issue of jurisdiction here.

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          26. @tsalmon

            Did the people who voted for the 14th Amendment ever conceive they were approving same-sex “marriage”, a right to engage in a marriage that by definition (of that time, at least) is not a marriage. Of course not.

            This sort of bullshit is how people are corrupting our language, our morals, and our laws. You are old enough and well educated enough to know better. Yet here you are offering excuses for what can only accurately be described as a vile deceit.

            This is why I have so little use for the public schools and the mass media. The schools dumb kids down, and the mass media peddle “pushing the envelope”, violating the laws of common decency, as entertainment. As Judge Brett Kavanaugh knows only too well, we have reached the point where engaging sophistry over our feelings makes more sense to people than carefully reviewing the facts.

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    2. The range of custom on gender and sexuality from culture to culture and throughout history is really astounding. The 18th Century French dandy dressed in a more feminine fashion than most women today. Not all societies have had such a mystique about the female breast, particularly with regard to the natural act of breast feeding. I believe it was Margaret Mead who noted that teenagers in Polynesian island cultures where families live in one room huts (and where, of course, parental sex took place) had less anxiety about sex than western cultures’ teens (and grew up with less fetishism). On the other hand, Mead found that cultures that did not protect children from sexual exploitation by adults, tended toward what we might call cultural pathological behaviors.

      I don’t want to undervalue the importance of sexuality, but don’t you think much of this is just variety of custom and taboo that has little to Christian ethics? When we are sexually mystifying the natural bodily functions of 8 year olds (pooping and peeing) don’t you think we may have gone too far?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tsalmon,

        You stated…………”this is just variety of custom and taboo that has little to Christian ethics?”

        Frankly, there is nothing ethical about any adult influencing a child to engage in a sexual practice that has a high risk of obtaining a life threating diseases. Hiv and numerous other disease your doctor will warn you to avoid if you ask him or her..

        Every parent has a parental right and interest if they do not want their children to be taught that gay sexual practices are a result of nature and not nurture.

        Every culture you referenced parents influenced, or nurtured their customs regard sex to their children in their society.
        Just because they had no qualms about their sex cultures. Why should any parent not have any right or qualms to decide what not to teach their children about sex.

        Why should any parent be forced to send their children to any school to be influenced to believe, a sex taboo or custom, or a proven medical sex risk, if they are concerned about the morality or risks of disease for their children.

        Most parents are forced to send their kids to public schools because they can not afford a private school because of the high taxes they have to pay to support public schools.

        Christians or any other religions may not believe or agree with someone else’s influencing their beliefs, customs, taboos, ethics, about sex either.

        In other words, even some atheists don’t want their children influenced to be taught something they do not want their children to believe about gay sex being the result of is nature and not nurture.

        When the child becomes an adult and has passed from the stage in life when they are most impressionable to be influenced by teachers teaching them gay is a result of nature and not nurture, the teachers infringied on a parents responsibility.

        Think about it “not their responsibility.” relates to passing laws to allow someone other than a parent’s religious beliefs, or customs, or taboos, or ethics, or morality, to influence their child about sex.

        Regards and good will bogging.
        .

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        1. Since TSalmon brought up other cultures (and Island ones in particular)…
          The homosexual question of nature versus nurture was answered by the Etoro tribe of New Guinea. All males are practicing homosexuals, and they have sex with women only for procreative reasons.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. One might say the same of deadly effective Spartan warriors. The variety of human cultural normalcy verses human perversity are practicality endless. Rational costs verses benefits come down to time, place and manner. Moral costs verses benefits are less than certain. What’s your point?

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          2. “What’s your point?”
            Since you were the one to bring up the cultural references in the first place, I might ask you the same thing. What’s your point? Yes, some cultures practice homosexuality en masse, pederasty, bestiality, also cannibalism and cargo cults.
            That doesn’t make those things desirable for our society at large, and the consequences on a small Island of isolated inhabitants will be different from when those practices are exercised an masse.

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          3. Liz,

            Exactly. In our fallen and finite world, there may be no perfect, certain right way for everything, and even if there is, it is difficult to determine with something as complex and ambiguous and relative to the situation as perfect cultural norms, exactly what that is.

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        2. SW,

          I’ll go back to something that I said to Doug earlier. I just don’t see these things as linear and two dimensional, but instead as the result of a multifarious, ambiguous, complex, multidimensional, and often conflicting vectors of cultural, natural and rational pressures. Public schools are neither the solution nor the answer to every cultural problem. They will be as better or as worse as we make them but they will never be perfect and neither will any particular alternative. I think Tom may have pointed this out in a recent post, but individual freedom undirected by communal responsibility is just as unfortunate as communal responsibility undirected by individual freedom. It really kinda takes some balance of both, and the humility to realize we will probably never find a perfect balance.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tsalmon

            I like your terminology “out of balance,”

            While even King Solomon recognized 3000 years ago that we are incapable of “ straightening out what God has made crooked, (Ecclesiastes 1:15).

            However, we also have to recognize when living in a republic, we mortals have a record in history of make a crooked line even more crooked.

            For example, in Chicago and other municipalities, innocent victims are being shot at daily in our republished. etc. and not everyone has the means or ability to move away.

            Another example is choosing to allow the sell of products or drugs that result in addiction become legal, the result more available for children to become addicts since children, regardless of laws, somehow manage to obtain them.

            As for the subject of gay, we know certain sexual practices have a high risk of contracting deadly costly diseases and we have reasonable medical and cultural proof that gay may not be 100 percent nature, sometimes it is the result of nurture, so why don’t we teach children in public schools that gay is only nurture?.

            Religion is based a teaching people awareness of wise of foolish choices and help them to cope with out of balance choices of life..

            Our republic and Constitution is based on freedom of choice and the premise of taxation without representation is an infringement of human Rights.

            In other words, crooked or straight, out of balance, are all terms that relate to wise or foolish choices.

            When we allow our representatives the authority to make choices what to teach our children that can influence them to make sexual choices, some choices which are known medical risks, we parents are not wise, in my opinion.

            Regards and good will blogging.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. To clarify.. the Constitution itself states no right to a “freedom of choice” but by nature of stating the other freedoms allows for personal choice to flourish.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. SW

            You’re getting out of my wheelhouse. I don’t know much about the best modern pedagogical practices, STDs, or the actual genetics of the amazing variety and range of human sexuality and gender determination and how much is socialized. But just as a rule of life, I don’t have any problem with, at an appropriate age, teaching children any sort of actual scientific truth.

            However, that gets back to the point of this post. Common ground is ignored and truth is not truth, it’s tribal affiliation.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Yes.. and while a perfect balance will likely never be attained (although still pursued) then that in itself becomes the impetus to presume any doctrine is then fluid and vulnerable to changing social mores and should be open to change.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Tsalmon,

          Sorry, “tribal affiliation” is not the root cause in my opinion,

          A few better two-word description is “Blind folly” of “Fool Leaders”, again in my opinion.

          Another idiom to consider, “if it feels like a stab wound to your heart or soul, it can’t be good.”

          More here, if interested.

          Regards and good will blogging.

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          1. SW

            Maybe, but the breaking of outdated social taboos often feels like a stab wound.

            Image how truly hurt southerners must have felt when the people they considered less than themselves suddenly showed up at there schools and universities. Look at the rage and despair they exhibited.

            Just my opinion too, but I’m not sure the heart’s well worn patterns always take us in the right direction, particularly when directed by tribal emotions.

            The command is for our hearts and minds to follow a trail of love, but the direction to take is not always clear. Mere tribal affiliation, whether it be political or cultural, is not a guarantor of the truest path, and more often may actually guide us away from the light of love and down a dark and hateful alley. The current rise of xenophobic nationalism and the rejection of desparate refugee families around the world worries me. Does the fear of cultural oblivion by this diverse invasion stab at the heart of these culturally homogeneous populations? What was the path of the example of the Good Samaritan? It doesn’t seem to me like his heart was guided by tribalism.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Tsalmon,

            Notice the good Samartan helped him until he healed and went back of his journey. He did not adopt him as most people who use this Biblical story to justify adopting people, instead of helping them on their journey, or to solve the problems in their country heal instead of fleeing to the USA.

            Regards and good will blogging.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. @Tsalmon

            You remind me of what some senior naval officers figured out after most of the battleships were sunk. They had to learn how to use the carriers. They had to rethink the problem.

            You are still fighting the last war. It is not about racial prejudice. Idiotically calling everyone who disagrees a bigot is just a sign you cannot tell the difference between a black and a homosexual.

            When people engage in sex outside of marriage, that is a behavioral problem. Same-sex “marriage” is not marriage. It is sinfully foolish for you and others to abuse the power of government and demand that people who want no part in such a self-destructive farce participate in it.

            Mixing such racist crap with controlling our borders is just plain ignorant. You don’t let everyone into your home. I don’t care what color they are. No sane person opens the doors of their home to everyone. It creates chaos. For the same reason, why would you let everyone into your country? It is just as impractical. The only reason our elites fight against controlling our borders is that they want cheap labor. That’s an abomination, greed, not charity.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. SW,

            I don’t disagree with that, but I think we shouldn’t literalize the Samaritan’s specific methodology of helping as a rule or the message of the story. The point, it seems to me, is who is your “neighbor”? In other words, the parable is not so much about specifically “how to act” as a “how to be”. The manifestation of love of our neighbor in our compassion and mercy can take many forms, and I don’t claim to know the absolute right one in this case, but wouldn’t you agree that outright rejection of our neighbor in need doesn’t seem to comply with the greater message?

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Tom.

    Living in our Republic, and attempting to label Christians to a political party is hypocrisy.

    To begin with, any government of the people’s laws is a statement that people laws are more perfect than God’s laws.

    A Christian who identifies and supports every statement of any political party platform, even if the statement is not in total agreement with God’s laws becomes a hypocrite of Christianity beliefs and morals.

    The only choice a Christian has when voting is to try and select someone to represent their moral beliefs to best represent them when they vote to decide matters relating to governing.
    For example, if you believe in abortion and vote for a party that supports abortion funding to perform abortions, we are a hypocrite to our Christian beliefs.

    You have often stated the best thing for our country is to reduce government involvement in our lives.

    I concur with you that the best path for a Christian to live according to his or her Christian morals and values is to vote to end government involvement in the use of taxes to fund government programs. For example, approve school vouchers, end tax support for planned parenthood and have hospitals provide the services instead, end government from managing social and welfare and return to private charities, etc.

    Frankly, the more government becomes involved in providing taxpayer funds for social programs, the costlier and elaborate the services become and expand.

    Somehow, our republic has to reduce government before we all have to face up to all our tax funds being used to pay interest on borrowings.

    Most government social programs wind up providing long-term incentives for people to take advantage of the programs. Private charities are a better alternative for making pragmatic programs because they cannot survive long on borrowing and printing currency.

    It has to begin sometime in a slow, wise, and Christian manner, in my opinion.

    Regards and good will blogging.

    Source Link on Christian Hypocrisy

    http://blog.adw.org/2012/02/what-does-jesus-mean-by-hypocrisy-its-deeper-than-you-think/
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    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha! I was just pondering writing about that same article,Tom. Glad you did it for me. I like what he said about the “forced package deal” of political parties.It reminds me of buying cable these days, you can’t just pick and choose what channels you want. So, what if you like the history channel but the only way to get it is to also pay for 3 adult entertainment channels? Dems and Republicans are a bit like that too sometimes.

    I think we are surprisingly united. I’m going to buck the trend here and say that never in the history of the world have we taken a country of such diverse people and tried to create some unity around Christian values,in a way that begins to represent a democratic republic. Ultimately what Christians are fighting over is how best to love one another, what that should look like in our public policies. So I think we need to cut ourselves some slack over our obvious ineptitude. I mean, this has never really been done before. America has often been perceived as a failed experiment, and yet here we still are.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I always thought it was the other way around.. republicans had to be Christian. Seems to make more sense given the mood. Doesn’t fit my demographic though… republican values, with a minor in Christianity. (That’s “traditional” republican values, by the way… not this Trumpian heresy.)

      Liked by 1 person

    2. @IB

      The reason we are having troubles has to primarily with the fact that people don’t love their neighbors enough to respect their rights.

      Some people look to government just as a means of getting what they want (social justice, they like to call it), not as a means for just plain justice. They can’t grasp the fact, even if their intentions are good, that the end does not justify the means. We don’t have the wisdom to use force to change anothers heart. That’s why Jesus gave us an example, not a sword, to spread His Gospel.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m reminded of some lyrics that you will no doubt be able to insert the tune…

        “Go ahead and hate your neighbor
        Go ahead and cheat a friend
        Do it in the name of heaven
        You can justify it in the end
        There won’t be any trumpets blowing
        Come the judgment day
        On the bloody morning after
        One tin soldier rides away”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @Doug

          Not much of a music fan. I don’t know why, but not many artist seem to have both talent and wisdom. So I consider one of the few advantages of being hard of hearing is that I often can’t hear the words. Unfortunately, that song is old enough I vaguely remember it.

          Nevertheless, I am confused. Where did that come from? At this point it looks like a non sequitur.

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          1. OMG! You’re hard of hearing?? No wonder!!!! 😛

            Sorry, Tom.. I know it’s likely a condition not without its own adaptive difficulties. They say hearing loss is far more difficult that eyesight loss for the psychological reasons. Nonetheless… I was teasing.

            The lyrics… back in the 70’s there was an anti-war “hippie peace” movie called “BIlly Jack”.. character was a modern native American who did the kung fu thing to stifle racism, yada, yada. Anyway, the theme song… “One Tin Soldier” made the charts and it does have a profound message about peace and unity. Here’s the Youtube link if you have the ability to crank up the volume.. otherwise the entire lyrics are below as well.

            https://www.google.com/search?q=one+tin+soldier&rlz=1C1LENP_enUS679US679&oq=one+tin+soldier&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j69i60j69i61j0l2.4638j0j1&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

            Lyrics….
            https://genius.com/The-original-caste-one-tin-soldier-lyrics

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          2. @Doug

            You should read up why Pope Urban influenced Christians to engage in the first Crusade. It seems to be another example of nothing new under the sun, in my opinion, for Christians being persecuted by Muslims in our contemporary times.\

            If interested

            https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pope-urban-ii-orders-first-crusade

            The song you referred Tom to implies Christians were the bad guys. Yet, don’t you think that perhaps when the Muslims decided they would no longer allow Christians to tour the Holy Land, they were the good guys and Christians were the bad guys?

            Takes two to tango is another song with a message that relates to peace, brotherhood, and wise or foolish, yes or no?

            Yet today, in the USA, the Dems are all upset because Trump does not want high-risk Muslims to tour the USA.

            The difference, of course, is because Christians wanted to pilgrimage for their faith.

            While unfortunately, in our contemporary times. some Muslims want to kill us.

            What to do, that is wise or foolish is what the Trump haters never can understand. Is it perhaps because they are wiser than Trump or more foolish?

            In my opinion, King Solomon answered this question 3000 years ago in this proverb.

            The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.(Proverb 22:3)

            So who is wiser about seeing the danger of Muslims, Trump or Trump haters?

            Regards and good will blogging.

            Like

          3. I think the song implies that religion in general has oft been the reason for nations to kill through conquest under the presumption of their own righteousness.. and that man is destined to do good through doing that which he espouses is not good.. and vice versa. Thus, the nature of man.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe I missed a chapter on all this LGBT stuff… but what the heck is this all about?

    “Allow transgender students in K-12 to use whatever bathroom they choose, regardless of their biological sex.”

    I might understand a middle school thru high school concept… 6-12. But K-6?? How would this even be regulated in the real world? A third bathroom that’s uni-sex? I would truly need to see the actual psych science that supports this concept…. and not just some gay group looking for some recognition.

    Like

    1. @Doug

      There is a reason that increasing numbers of people are home schooling their children. This notion that we can separate academic from Christian instruction does not work, especially with politicians in charge of academic instruction.

      When politicians run anything, some of them will abuse their power. Because they think they know better, in some public schools they are now peddling the idea that we can choose our sex, that sex is not determined genetically. That’s coming from the same folks who revere science, when it suits them.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. “I do not agree with one thing you’ve said in this reply.”

          You don’t even agree that there’s a reason increasing numbers of people are home schooling their children.
          You believe they are home schooling their children for no reason whatsoever?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh damn.. you got me on that one. I have no reason to confirm or deny that stat. But I accept it. Just as I accept the FACT, although never substantiated.. think of it as the Conservative fave retort
            to having no facts,”It’s so obvious”.. that some parents should not have been allowed to even become parents.. much less teaching their own kids. Call it.. the effect of working for a county welfare/children & family services office.
            This might be a good time to insert a fave quote from the movie “Parenthood”, by Keanu Reeves…

            “You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish! But they’ll let any b******** a****** be a father.”

            I might add, “…and be a mother.”

            Like

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