"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: To Marry or Not to Marry . . .

Monday, November 12, 2012

To Marry or Not to Marry . . .

Thanks, Free, for the chance to write a guest post here. I appreciate the chance to put in my two cents’ worth! I always enjoy the discussion here, and even if it gets a little heated at times, I also appreciate the tone of civility that is expected.
Daisy is a former LLC'er who blogs at A Daisy a Day

I just wanted to comment on the recent election and the current lack of civility that I see, both generally in our society, and more specifically in the church. I think the animosity is there anyway, but the election seemed to bring out the worst in people. We are a nation sharply divided. There have always been opposing points of view in our country, but is it just my imagination, or do people seem to be getting more hostile?

I’m thinking in particular about one of the issues that was on our ballot here in Minnesota, a proposed amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as only between one man and one woman. Now mind you, same-sex marriage is not currently legal in Minnesota. If this had not passed, that wouldn't change, but from the frantic posturing from many religious folks on this amendment, you would think life as we know it would come to an end if this amendment did not pass. (However, I think it’s fair to note that many churches did not endorse this amendment.) I’m really not trying to stir the pot here on my first post, but this has been on my mind so much lately. I don’t understand why some people think it is okay to discriminate against gays and lesbians. I can't see it.



Do they think it's okay because they think it’s a “choice” to be attracted to the same sex? If that's the case, do heterosexual people “choose” to be attracted to the opposite sex? Or is it just the way they were born? I think perhaps since race and gender, for example, are more obvious on the outside than sexual preference, it’s easier to understand that they did not happen because of a choice. Sexual preference is not always outwardly apparent unless the person chooses to show it, so it is more difficult to distinguish from someone else’s perspective if it’s a choice. Interestingly enough, however, people definitely choose their religion. Well, once they are old enough to make the decision for themselves, they do. And that choice is protected by law. Ironic, isn’t it?

Another thing I don’t understand is why people react so strongly to this. Imagine this. If a girl asks a guy out and he doesn’t want to go out with her, his usual response probably does not include taking her out in the back alley and beating her to death. If a guy asks a girl out and she declines, she just says something like, “No, thanks.” She doesn’t need to hurl epithets at him for being attracted to her, or chase after him with a baseball bat to reinforce her point.

However, if you change it to a same-sex situation, this could easily be the scenario that plays out. Why can’t we be civil, and just live and let live? I know that some people believe it’s wrong. And I probably would not be able to talk them into changing their minds. I get that. But it should not be okay to use the law to discriminate against some people and not others. In my opinion, denying same-sex couples the right to marry is simple discrimination. I sincerely hope we will someday look back at this and be as appalled as we are over the treatment of African-Americans prior to and during the civil rights movement.

What do you think? Do you have a strong opinion on this? Have your opinions changed drastically from when you were in the church? Or do you still hold the same view on it as you always have? Or perhaps you didn’t have the same opinion as the vocal majority, but you just didn’t voice it. That was where I sat: disagreeing with the position, but not brave enough to speak against the majority! I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.

53 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post, Daisy. I feel strongly about this issue, and am glad that a majority of us in Washington State voted to approve same sex marriage. Marriage equity it is the civil rights issue of our time, and there are no excuses for being on the wrong side of history. I want it to be settled so we can turn the country's attention to more pressing issues, like climate change.

    It is interesting to note that one of the architects of Minnesota's amendment said it was designed to "get out the vote" for his party, which wanted to ensure their base didn't stay home just because they weren't excited about a candidate. If so, the strategy backfired.

    Bishop Gene Robsinson answers those who say "I'm not gay, it's not my fight":

    "No it isn’t. Unless you care about the kind of society we have. Unless you want the society of which you are a part to be a just one. Unless you believe that a free society, not to mention a godly religion, should fight injustice wherever it is found… Unless you care about our children. Unless fairness matters to you. Unless violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people concerns you. Unless ‘liberty and justice for all’ is something you believe applies to all citizens."

    While I respect that some of my religious friends are concerned about "redefining" marriage, I like to remind them that marriage has been redefined -- considerably -- since Biblical times. Thank heavens my daughter cannot be sold for two goats and a mule.

    —Free





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  2. Progress happens when we keep pushing against the old beliefs and challenging old mind sets....asking is it a choice for you to be attracted to the opposite sex is a great starting point.

    Where do you think the progress needs to happen? What I recall Oprah saying about the Whites when the Blacks were so unjustly treated, is that she felt their ignorance was what drove them to act so violently. Ignorant people treat others badly due not to the oppressed being wrong, but rather to the lack of wisdom of the majority.

    And, I believe the same can be said again. It is the ignorance of us 'straight' folks who are to blame for their mistreatment.

    We are to blame for the way they are made to feel. They are not born feeling that being Gay is wrong, they are taught by us that it is. We are doing the punishing by rejecting them. Who is really acting poorly???

    The majority gets to set the rules and the minority has no choice.

    Progress will happen when you can change the beliefs and the minds of the majority.

    And this will happen, person to person....or blog to blog.

    Opening the dialogue and looking deeper than just what is marriage, but rather is being gay a choice?

    I wonder if we put the choice making on a different end?

    Do you have the choice to accept them or reject them....to treat them equal in the eyes of God...to see them as individuals who love differently.

    I feel that the church sees Gays equal to pedophiles more often than not...that their sexual desires are seen abusive or sinful...but they (the church) is actually more accepting to abuse, which is odder still.

    Imagine how backwards and ignorant we were taught to view people who are different than us.

    Cults alone teach the mentality of sameness and has us fearing anything that is different. And instead of being accepting, we are taught rejecting what we are ignorant of.

    So, inclusion of the gay community into the FALC, is highly unlikely....for a few hundred years.

    I am not sure how you can educate a closed society. First of all there has to be an interest and to unclench long held beliefs that will ensure a place in Heaven. If you loosen your grip on what you believe, you may find your self in Hell...with the sinners of such evil crimes as being born differently.

    I too, would like to know how others who have left the church believe....and how are they trying to educate others....are they too remaining a silent among the loud majority shunning them their rights to live as we do.

    Isn't it said...that what is done to the least of among us....

    Thanks for using this blog to rattle a few beliefs that were poured into us as children and reinforced for years.

    I have heard, "Just because a million people say something stupid, it doesn't make it right....there is just a million people sounding stupid."

    Who are you?

    Beth Jukuri - www.imperfectlady.typepad.com

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    1. First let me say I am sorry for what has happened to you!! No one should ever have to face that. That being said, I am going to defend the FALC and say they absolutely DO NOT defend or condone abuse is any way!!! I am not a member, but am very close with quite a few and know they would never disregard sexual abuse but believe it should be punished by law!! Just because they aren't out their speaking publicly about the wrongness of it doesn't make them wrong. They are just private people! Yes, back in the day these things were often "swept" under the rug but I don't believe so anymore. As for the gay/lesbian...men aren't made to "lay" with men etc.etc. Doesn't make them bad...just living a sin! We all Sin!! and have to live with ourselves every day! Thanks for letting me say my 2 cents...will comment no more! May you find the peace you are looking for Beth!

      FALC defender

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    2. Thanks FALC Defender for your two cents. I would be interested to know if you were raised in a strict religion or have had any influences that kept you from being open minded.

      It isn't about speaking out publicly, but how you act privately.

      What are your personal boundaries and that includes what do you tolerate from family and church members? It isn't about how you act publicly that matters.

      Children who have been abused by the adults in the family or church are watching you and how you treat their abuser. If you don't overtly act in a way that clearly shows your feelings, they will not trust you. And, we are asking the children to 'tell'. They will not tell you anything, for they see you interacting 'normally' with the abuser.

      It isn't so much about reporting as it is about each family no longer engaging in the perpetrators life...or even those who support him or her.

      It will not do any good to report and then go back home to your family of relatives and not stand away from the abusers.

      What the church has taught is to forgive and forget. It hasn't taught to walk way from abuse. You assume many are doing so. When I see and hear differently. In my family alone, this is true. And sadly, our family isn't different, but rather the norm. Kindness and compassion has them keeping relationships with people who are abusers or abusive or dysfunctional.

      And, I who walked away is seen as unkind and cold for leaving the family.

      This is where the change has to happen, not in the public arena, but within each person's life and personal relationships.

      As for Gay folks. That is a completely different topic compare to abuse. I no longer believe it is a sin, although I was taught that it was. And, I was taught to honor thy father and thy mother. What I learned is that my reality was a better teacher....and that I had to be true to me. Just because it is written and it is a rule...it can't take precedence over what you are experiencing.

      I find it interesting too, that you defend and are not a member....how can you know the teachings and their impacts on the reality of the member's lives etc.

      Beth Jukuri

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  3. This is a subject that I think of often & try my hardest to understand the other side, since I am the type to always try and wear the other shoe and see if it fits before I make my decision.
    I don't classify myself in any political group, as of now, I lean more towards the republican party, but am still undecided... so that being said, I admit, I am a Minnesota voter & could not bring myself to vote NO. I believe that man & women were meant to marry per Christ sake, just as I believe that Mormons should only have 1 wife.. not 2 or 3. I have to admit that my opinion on this matter, is that gay/lesbians is a sexual deviance that should not be accepted within society (remember, this is MY opinion). Just like any type of molestation. I am a no longer a member of the LLC, but feel strongly on this subject. Just wanted to post.. for the first time.

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    1. Minnesota Anon, thanks for your willingness to share an honest and carefully considered opinion. We both left the same groupthink environment where deviance from the majority understanding was not just suspect but often considered downright sinful. So, as one of many participants in the dialogue here, I personally welcome hearing different points of view that are thoughtfully presented.

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  4. Then I was right that some will see that being gay is a sexual deviance, "Just like any type of molestation"....that should not be accepted by society. Your beliefs show that it is the majority that is handing out treatment upon a small segment of humanity...for being born differently.

    Classifying abuse and gay in the category of being a sexual deviance that should Not be accepted and therefore, treated like a sub species is how gay folks feel they are being subjected to unfair treatment. It isn't because they are gay, IT IS because you feel you have a right to decide it is morally wrong to be born a certain way.

    The mindset that sees gay sexual interactions as being abusive is where the shame arises...as well as being made to feel deviant for following their body's natural tendencies.

    Putting them in the category of sexual molestation is so far off the track....that it shines brightly upon your ignorance...and actually minimizes the trauma of abuse, oddly.

    Granted, there is abuse anytime there is one person with more knowledge and power, and it can happen in Straight Marriages....

    Hey, and did you know that most pedophiles are white married males???

    What I do find extremely unsettling is that the churches that are spoken about on this blog, proclaim such high standards and are seen to restrict 'deviant' behaviors...only to find out that deviant behavior is flourishing at a rate that exponentially increases each year.

    The juxtaposition on standing firm on Gay Marriage or Gay Rights, while turning a blind eye on the straight white males who is actually committing huge amounts of deviant behavior shows the ignorance.

    All it takes for evil to survive is for the good folks to do nothing.

    While you are looking to find evil in Gays...you are no having to look at the real culprits of sexual deviances.

    Beth Jukuri - www.imperfectlady.typepad.com

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  6. If you don't sign your comments with a nickname, I am going to delete them.
    —Free

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  7. I personally don't agree with the whole gay/lesbian lifestyle! Not to say that they aren't nice or good people because they are but just don't agree with their choices. Aren't I entitled to that? Just as they don't agree with me on the issue? So often it seems as if conservatives aren't allowed to speak their mind/beliefs/thoughts on these issues without being severly ridiculed!! Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and has a right to them. People keep saying "get with the times, its 2012" it doesn't matter to me what year it is.. man and women where created for obvious reasons. A man cannot reproduce with a man, and a woman cannot reproduce with a woman. Then what happens to the world? I know people will say there are options for those couples and they are entitle to happiness and families just like us, and they are right. Still it is not natural for the two to produce a child together without outside help so shouldn't that say something? Not trying to knock them, just stating my opinion. Like I said, they are not bad people, I just don't agree with the lifestyle just as they might not agree with me or mine! Thank you for letting me have my opinion!

    Conservative Minnesotan

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    1. It's also not natural to go in for a surgery and surgeries are never mentioned in the bible as acceptable. When you go into the hospital, "shouldn't that say something"? The lifestyle of having surgeries is not bad, just not something I agree with. Therefore, I'm starting a ballot initiative to ban all surgeries in the state you live in.
      - Food for thought.

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    2. Oh come on now Food for thought! How ricidulous can you get....talk about going to the extremes!!!! You can probably talk circles around me regarding the bible but does that make you any better than me? HOW NATURAL IS IT FOR TWO MEN TO CREATE A BABY OR TWO WOMAN FOR THAT MATTER?!?! Done here.... obvious everyone has a right to an opinion and I respect yours just as you should respect the right for me to have mine without ridiculing me! Its not like I don't like gay/lesbians...just don't agree with them! Most are very nice..wonderful people I am sure...for that matter, they don't agree with me!! Good Day!

      Conservative Minnesotan

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    3. It is not a ridiculous point in my opinion. How many children in this world are homeless? waiting for adoption? and what about China and the one baby policy? I don't think that the fact that 2 people of the same sex can't reproduce, is a sign from god that homosexuality is wrong. I would even dare to say maybe it is gods answer to overpopulation and finding loving homes for kids all over the world. Sorry, I know that was probably a tough pill to swallow and I have no intent to offend! Just some food for thought.

      Happy, Well Adjusted Ex-LLCer :)

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  8. My husband is from am abusive polygamous cult, and today he is very embarrassed to tell anyone about his family history, or the way his parents lived. He panics when anyone asks him where his family is from. Although marriage between a man and woman is flawed (people cheating on their spouses), it is the best option for a child to be raised in. If my husband could have changed anything, it would have been to have a regular mother and father family. It is biologically natural for a child to be created by a mother and a father and ideal to be raised by both biological parents. A man and woman marriage is really about protecting the kids from being teased. I know for my husband all he wanted was to be viewed as normal, from a normal family. It was humiliating to him. Because having a mom and dad is normal for most kids, the kids who are raised with gay parents will likely be teased, and because they are a small minority, it will never be normal to be raised in that type of family situation and unfortunately those kids will probably be teased in school, just like overweight kids will be teased. Even though it is not fair, it is the way of the world. If you go ahead and legalize it, its not like all of a sudden those against gay marriage will change their mindset about it. Legalizing gay marriage opens the flood gates to many different family situations, including polygamy. Both of us are strongly against gay marriage for the sake of the kids and not because of religious views.

    -LL

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  9. Thanks to Con. Minn. and LL for your comments. I live in a diverse city and count many gay people among my friends, and gay marriage is such a non-issue for me that I forget how strange, and even upsetting, it can be to those with less -- or perhaps no? -- exposure to those who are affected by this legislation. Perhaps you can't really understand how important it is until your friend's partner is sick with cancer, and she wants to be at her bedside until the end, and there are some people who would deny her that right.
    Allow me to address your objections one by one:
    1. You disagree with the gay lifestyle.
    Which one? There is no gay lifestyle, any more than there is a hetero lifestyle. What you see on TV is no more indicative of "real life" than The Simpsons. Trust me, my boring straight marriage is more like my friends' gay relationships than those in Hollywood, or in Utah for that matter. (Or among 4-star generals.)
    2. If you can't create a child together, it isn't "natural."
    So that means men and women who are infertile or too old to have children or don't want children should not be allowed to marry? And, if "natural" childbirth is required, fertility drugs and Viagra should be illegal? For those who believe that we humans are so much more than bodies, that is some strange logic. Gay people love each other for all kinds of reasons, just like straight people.
    3. Gays shouldn't marry because their kids will be teased.
    Following this logic, fat people shouldn't procreate, or people with big ears, or the overly dim or overly smart, let alone ethnic and religious minorities. How about Laestadians? If they didn't marry, their kids wouldn't get called bunheads. No, the solution to teasing is to nurture confident, compassionate children who don't become bullies or victims. And gays can do that as well as straights.
    It seems to me that what endangers children in our country most is poverty, instability, deadbeat dads and teen mothers . . . not loving couples who because of biology have to jump through hoops to have kids.
    4. Those against gay marriage will not change their minds just because it's legal.
    True. Racists and sexists don't usually change their stripes, either. But they get old and die. Young voters are much more likely to support gay marriage.
    5. Gay marriage opens the floodgates to polygamy.
    Incorrect. Those gates have been open for millennia and are now CLOSING because of the increased status of women around the world (we still have a long way to go in places like Afghanistan). Polygamy is a patriarchal construct; it subjugates girls and women, and consolidates power for males. Gay marriage is possible only in egalitarian societies as it shares power. It encourages couples to make commitments to each other.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. said the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice. I am so encouraged that the arc is bending quickly enough for my children and their children to benefit. If you had told me ten years ago that this would be the case, I would not have dared hope for it.
    —Free

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    1. "Gay lifestyle" meaning man laying with man and woman laying with woman....that is what I don't agree with. I realize they just want to live their life like others but in my eyes...(and I have a right to my opinion) and Gods it is wrong. They were not made to be together, that is why God created a man and woman! As for reproducing together, it is natural for a man and woman to create together not man/man or woman/woman! I am a young woman, so no I am not stuck in the dark ages...just conservative. I don't completely agree with the whole invitro process/ Viagra, or fertility drugs! Sometimes if your body isn't meant to have a baby it isn't meant to! I do not judge those that go that route and am happy when they can finally conceive but think it is a little extreme and unnatural! I mean, come on pretty soon we are going to be able to pick the sex of our unborn children, if we can't already. I just personally think our society is changing way to much and just accepting anyone and everything as ok.... I am not a scholar on such topics just stating my simple opinion. Seems as if you could talk circles around me any day as I don't have a way with words. I am just concerned with where this world is going for my childrens sake. I believe (as I said I have the right to) that God created man and woman to be together! I realize there are a lot of disfunctional homes out there with "normal" families, but still believe the best way to raise children is with a mother and father at home!
      Thank you!
      Conservative Minnesotan

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    2. Conservative Minnesotan, you may think you don’t have a way with words, but you’ve expressed your opinion very well. I’m glad you did; this is an interesting discussion with points I personally find convincing on both sides. Crazy, huh? Considering the merits of opposing arguments to decide what one’s own opinion is on a controversial topic! Not at all like the environment most of us came from, where beliefs are handed out to members like newsletters in the church foyer.

      As an aside, regarding the sex selection possibility you mentioned: Unfortunately, there is a lot of that going on in China and India where more value is placed on having a son than a daughter. Ultrasound is routinely used to identify the sex of the fetus so it can be aborted if it’s female.

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    3. I appreciate this civil dialogue, and want to remind everyone to use a name or nickname as anonymous posts will be deleted.

      While I don't see how the issue of sex selection is relevant to gay marriage, I will say that what is NEW about it is that it now happens more in utero than ex utero, given the advance of medical science. The killing of female and handicapped infants and adults is one of the evil facts of human history, and will only be stopped when all children are assured food and resources, females are provided educations and self-determination, and poor parents need not rely on sons to be their social security in old age. If you are interested in reading more about the history of infanticide (across species) as well as human parenting in general, read Sarah Blaffner Hrdy's "Maternal Instinct."

      I don't mind people having different opinions on same sex marriage (or on interracial marriage or inter-religious marriage), as long as they don't deny the civil rights of consenting adults.

      As for whether more things are tolerated now, that is true in some ways. The grossness, violence and gratuitous sex that are tolerated in movies (just for example) is appalling to me.

      On the other hand, think of all the things that are no longer tolerated that were until recently, such as child marriage, slavery, and marital rape.

      We have become more tolerant of some things, and less tolerant of others.

      —Free

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  11. sorry, i meant to use "just saying" as my pseudonym. Hope my comment wasn't deleted for that.

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    1. You are welcome to post it again, signed.
      —Free

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  12. Interesting...as a society advances, new norms are always introduced. These norms are different from basic human rights in my opinion, and even basic human rights cannot be agreed upon by our civilization. The topic above is not a question of basic human rights it is more in the line of new norms that are coming into our society. Why is it an issue today as it was not an issue 20 or 30 years ago? What is the main reason they wish to marry? Isn't it that in marriage, spouses have certain rights under the marriage law? The right to make decisions concerning health issues, inheritance laws etc? (I am not familiar with the law, but what I have read, legal issues are a big reason)

    By this same reasoning, if they are allowed to marry, than those people who live together (sisters, brother, friends) but are not in any commitment, are denied these same rights the gays wish to have. So we make a law that gives new rights to gay people but these same laws will not help others who live together. (not sure if this made any sense)

    In my country, if the marriage law ever passes, the church (state) has decided that the church will no longer marry couples. Everyone will have to go to the civil magistrate to get married. After this the church could and would bless the marriage. So I am missing something here? Since a handful of same sex couples would like to marry, they will deny the right of my children to get marries in a church.

    Why is it when you speak in agreement and at the same time wish to show how tolerant you can be towards same sex marriage, you wish to disrespect ie. my children and take away their right to be married in a church?

    It is also interesting how it is acceptable to pick a part any religion but it is not acceptable not to agree with keeping the marriage laws the way they are. Why change them? Are we somehow more enlightened and wiser now than 20 years ago?

    Civil discourse should be always acceptable.

    European (and I am a believer in the EU)

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  13. I would like to encourage everyone to check out the book "Our Stolen Future". Its about how certain synthetic chemical compounds found in our food and water can mimic hormones and alter sexual preferences. The book was written about the chemicals' effect on animals, but it doesn't take a genius to realize that it would have the same effect on humans. Perhaps instead of blindly accepting homosexuality as a social norm, we should look into why there are more and more homosexuals.

    Before anyone gets on their soapbox about how there were gays in ancient Rome, eating too much of certain foods can also alter hormone levels. if done while pregnant, it can alter the baby's sexual preferences.
    Disclaimer: I have gay friends. It is possible to love someone without blindly condoning their actions. We are all born with the inclination to lie, steal, cheat, etc; just because were are born with something doesn't mean we should indulge in it.

    -Just Sayin'

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    1. Wow. Are you really serious??? That you believe that you can create a child with sexual preferences by what the mother eats??? Really. And, then you believe we can 'rid' our planet of these folks by what we eat?

      And, you are comparing being gay to lying, stealing and cheating?? All negative traits.

      I also don't believe that we are all born with the inclination to evil, but rather we are born innocent....and we are taught to feel and see the world by the way we are raised.

      Look into the eyes of a baby and tell me that evil is there. Evil is a learned behavior...by how the child is treated.

      Isn't it interesting how the topic of Gay flows into evil, sexual deviances and sin. That you can clump all who are gay into a bundle of such negative words.

      Just saying'....you may want to look at what you were fed in your mind and not the food you were given.

      Beth Jukuri

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  14. OK, so this is off topic, but I felt like stirring a pot a bit here...

    Beth, you made the following statement: "Look into the eyes of a baby and tell me that evil is there. Evil is a learned behavior...by how the child is treated."

    Now, with that statement, I hope you are not one of those who thinks abortion is ok in the case Of "rape and incest" -- which seems to be a rallying cry for the pro-abortion camp.

    OK, I freely admit that I'm a die hard conservative, and am against abortion in any circumstance, because of this point exactly. Rape and incest are horrible, horrible events -- but to kill an innocent child does not resolve, absolve, or correct that crime in any way.

    By the way -- back on topic, I'm definitely NOT anti-gay in any way. I would discuss -- not argue, but discuss -- whether a "marriage" or a "civil union" is the correct solution to a gay union, but I am fine with gays having the same civil, social, and economic rights as any heterosexual couple.

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    1. You obviously haven't been pregnant with an abusers child, nor have I.

      I do not want to dictate what choice this woman has to make, but I do want her to have the options available to her. None of us would know what we would do, until we are standing in her shoes.

      What often sounds like a good idea or a great standard to stand behind, appears completely different If you were to actually be put into that situation. Thankfully now, they do have the "Morning After Pills" in the hospitals to give to victims of rape...I myself see this is a great way to deal with the consequences of having forced sex.

      And yes, I know that when I speak of consequences I am speaking of a life. Of an innocent life...but the woman too has rights. Sometimes we get into a tunnel vision where we only see one life, when there are two.

      Again, I have not been in this situation...but, I would like to know there are options.

      As I read "die hard"....it came to me that your beliefs may die hard or quickly depending upon the situations that life will hand you.

      I too once stood firmly....until the ground beneath my beliefs and thoughts crumbled.
      I had life all wrapped up in what I felt was a secure and lofty package of high morals and values and that above all, my way was the right way. Only to find out I was completely wrong.

      What I would like to suggest and consider is that perhaps not all we were taught was right. Not all what we see is correct and not all we believe is based upon reality. That maybe, just maybe we should challenge our thoughts, our beliefs and try and see life from many points of Light and not from this narrow one way street.

      Would you ever dare ask your self "what if what I believe is wrong?"....then what?

      Is it possible that you are seeing life from a very narrow vantage point...that maybe all your beliefs are not from life experiences, but rather they have been fed to you.

      For it truly is different being in a situation compared to pretending to be.

      I am not the woman I was 8 years ago....and nor would I ever want to be her again.

      So be careful what you know....for it may not have any ground beneath it!

      Beth Jukuri






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  15. Yes, it's pretty well known that a woman's hormone levels while pregnant will influence her baby's developing sexual organs. My point was : being gay isn't as natural and normal as you'd like to think. Yes, i think that the increasing numbers of homosexual people are related to the increasing levels of chemicals in our world. No, I don't think the world will ever not have gay people.
    And Beth, just because we haven't lived your life, doesn't mean we don't question what we're told.

    Just Sayin'

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  16. Just Sayin', regarding your last comment, we all view life and society through the prism of our personal experiences. I don't know Beth, but if she has had some bad experience, she views this topic through it, just as you do through your experiences. Of course it is possible for you to question, just as it is for her and for me, but she has been down a different path, and, therefore, her responses are different. Blessings to Beth and to you and to everyone who participates on this blog. We need one another, don't we? SISU

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  17. Yes,we do. Have a good night.

    Just Sayin'

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  18. Experiences are great teachers and my experiences taught me how incredibly blind and narrow my viewpoints had been....and I am grateful for my journey, for it has opened me up in ways that I can't begin to articulate.

    Gay isn't in the majority, but that doesn't make it abnormal. It is normal for them...they were born that way. Just as being deaf isn't wrong, but rather they were born in a body that functioned differently than others.

    Maybe we have put the category too small. Normal or not.....even the category of what is a sin and why, that may need to be pulled apart. Actions and the way people act have a root cause...some are intrinsic and others are taught, some are just wonderful essence of who you are.

    Yes, being abused will give you a skewed viewpoint, not only of the world but of yourself as well. Which is why abusers do claim, "I changed who they would have been." It is a long journey to get back to the starting point before the abuse. To reclaim your innocence and self worth. If, you are Gay on top of being abused, the road is that much longer. For, in our church, being Gay was wrong....a sin.

    I agree, the conversation needs many experiences, so we can learn from each other. While I used to think it was better to live a sheltered life...in the framework of a cult, I now see it as a disadvantage, for you then exclude many wonderful people...and the knowings of different walks of life...an acceptance of humanity at large.

    It is said, that we are more alike than different. And yet, to make a religion "the right one" we have to be more unalike...we are special, the only ones going to Heaven etc. Rejecting is part of being special.

    Religion has done more damage to humanity than all the natural disasters. More people have died defending their viewpoint of God. Wars are fought to keep their right God....

    At some point, we will recognize that the ways of the past are not helpful or kind...nor do they grant personal freedom to be. Most think, that without rules the world would go to hell quickly, when the opposite is true. Love is unbound. Binding people to a very narrow life does not breed kindness...it is creates repression and hostility...that is often times spewed upon the weaker ones; the children.

    Hence, so much abuse within the churches who are so limited in their freedom. I know this will not be accepted easily, but in my experiences, abuse is flourishing within the church. And, not just sexual abuse, but emotional and physical abuse is rampant.

    Looking inward at what these cult like religions breed would be more helpful than looking outward into the world.

    Beth Jukuri

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    1. Beth, "Cult" like religions.... it is totatlly and completely offensive when you refer to religions/churchs that way. I have read your history and understand what has happened to you but how in any way is that the churches fault and not your father and mothers? Everyone has the right to believe how they want with out being bashed/ ridiculed for their beliefs. Just as you say gays have the right to live their lives!! Your old church is going with their beliefs and you are referring to them as a cult! As I said, I have read your history and do not in any way condone the horrifics that have happend to you but believe it was more your parents fault than the churchs/ or for that matter the world... yes, someone should have stepped in and spoken up for you but, to bash that church is just as offensive as people not believeing is gay/lesbian rights!!! That is why we live is the good old U.S.A. we were given this great freedom. Quit blaming all churches for the terribleness of the world.....it is the world in general that is harming itself!! Freedom of religion....and you all bash that right!! This world we live in is to blames itself horrific crimes happen/ judgements are made etc with or without a churches influence!! Everyone just needs to worry about themselves and take responsibility for their actions and NOT place the blame on churches!!! Thank you for your time....will not comment again as I'm sure you will have to have the last word!

      For the Churches

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    2. Pronunciation: kŭlt
      n. 1. Attentive care; homage; worship.
      Every one is convinced of the reality of a better self, and of the cult or homage which is due to it.
      - Shaftesbury.
      2. A system of religious belief and worship.
      That which was the religion of Moses is the ceremonial or cult of the religion of Christ.
      - Coleridge.
      3. A system of intense religious veneration of a particular person, idea, or object, especially one considered spurious or irrational by traditional religious bodies; as, the Moonie cult.
      4. The group of individuals who adhere to a cult (senses 2 or 3).
      5. A strong devotion or interest in a particular person, idea or thing without religious associations, or the people holding such an interest; as, the cult of James Dean; the cult of personality in totalitarian societies. (Websters Online)
      I think one who has such strong oppositions to the word must feel a bit of alarm when recognizing the similarities. (For the Churches.) Nobody is personally trying to attack you. I, as one, will place the blame where it is due, and in the case of the LLC, it is NOT the fault of society for perpetuation of the view that it is wrong, or a sin, or even a choice to be gay. When I was still a member, I asked why being gay was a sin. There was no clear answer, other than the Bible says so. I looked up the text cited after pressure, and have again several times. In the same area of the text, and if it was followed to the letter, women would still be required to be silent and have their heads covered, we'd be sacrificing animals, multiple wives would be ok, arranged marriages and marriages to relatives the norm, you get the idea. Who gets to decide which rules in the Bible are followed and which aren't? The speakers...who are "led by the Spirit?!" (There is so little actual Bible-based teaching in the LLC it's astounding.)To me, it seems like anything that creates a stirring within someone is wrong. I find it ironic that some of the older, most outspoken members of the LLC in proclaiming homosexuality a sin are also the ones molesting little boys. And no, I am not just shooting off my mouth.
      I could keep going, obviously it's an issue that strikes me as glaringly unjust. Here's the bottom line, in my opinion:
      God says He is a GOD OF LOVE. Don't you think that if HE wanted to tell you it was only right to love certain people, he would have found a way to let us all know that by now?
      Jesus says, and my greatest commandment is this, Love thy neighbor as thy self. Don't you think if he meant, except your gay neighbors, or if you happen to be born a different way...don't love, he would have stated it as such?!?!

      Signed
      All Things Work Together For the Greater Good

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  19. To "For the Churches," you are right that the world in general is harming itself, irrespective of religion. But when you tell Beth: "someone should have stepped in and spoken up for you," I think you know -- in your heart -- that this is what she and all children deserve. Protection. We are all our brothers' and sisters' keepers. Those that are silent share the blame, and any church (cult-like or not) that encourages silence and hides abusers is guilty, and must change. The church (or family) that refuses to accept responsibility is one that won't change. We must do all we can to compel them to change for the sake of their children, for whom we all bear responsibility.

    To "cvow," let's debate abortion on another thread (but if we want to reduce abortions, encouraging same sex marriages is a slamdunk!).

    To "European," marriage laws in the USA may be different than in your country. Here all marriages are civil, with religious ceremonies optional. I don't understand how gay marriage would affect your childrens' rights in any way. Can you explain further? Presumably you don't live in Norway, where gay marriage is already legal.

    Interestingly, various religious groups around the world practice same-sex marriages, including Quakers, Episcopalians, the United Church of Christ, the United Church of Canada, Reform and Conservative Jews, Unitarian Universalists, and Native American religions with a two-spirit tradition.

    You ask, "are we somehow more enlightened and wiser now than 20 years ago?"

    In some ways, yes, and in some ways, no. For indigenous peoples who have always accepted gays, our "progress" to their ancient ways is so incredibly ironic.

    —Free

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    1. Of course everyone deserves protection!!! I am not disputing that. Its that the church takes the blame for too many problems in the world. Blame society!! The world is changing and not in a good way in my simple opiniion!! I believe back then when Beth was wronged, in society people just simply didn't talk about or wished to "brush" things under the rug. Whether is was being "gay", out of wedlock pregnancies, alcholism...etc, it was hidden. Today not so much! That was the way back then! Today most people will confront the problem but maybe in their own way. Some may not feel comfortable speaking out like Beth does...nothing wrong with that as long as they are supported!! I just wish people in general would stop blaming the church and look at home lives, life situations etc. Everyone has a right to believe how they want without having to constantly defend their faith against people that are calling it "cult like"!!! You could say that against any organized church or group that meets regularly with a common belief!! What is our world coming to when one can't even believe how they want with out having to defend that faith?

      For the churches (2)

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  20. Personally, I think the solution is for government to get out of the marriage "business" entirely, since it's primarily a personal/religious covenant. They could simply give tax breaks to parents/guardians of children, whoever they might be.

    As for abuse, I will state (as I have previously) to Beth that I am very sorry for what happened to you. Nobody should have to deal with that. And I realize that the reaction from certain people of the FALC was dead wrong. I'm not disputing that either.

    I do get tired, however, of your continued characterization of the FALC as a cultish "haven" of sorts for molesters and abusers. That's simply not true. Does it happen? Unfortunately, and probably about as much/often as the general population at large. Does the church "condone" such behavior? That's ridiculous. Of course they would advocate forgiveness of the abuser, since that's their thing, but nobody in this day and age would ever posit that it should be "hidden" and the abuser go unpunished.

    Look, I realize what happened to you soured you on the FALC, and I get it. If I were in your situation, I would probably feel the same. But your experience is yours, and the people that stay there do so because it is (by-and-large) a warm, loving community. Even though I am a Deist/Agnostic, it's why I myself stay.

    Truthfully, there's something to be said for the concept of "Forgiveness." For some (not all) who have experienced similar circumstances, it has been something that has helped them clear the trauma and move on with their life in a positive fashion. I know I wouldn't want something like that to define/control my life, but that's just me.

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  21. I thought today, about how I would have treated someone like me saying what I am saying when I was a member of the church. Would I have listened....believed? Would I have questioned and become more aware or would I have defended the church I believed in? I wondered too, is there a better way to bring awareness to what I am hearing from many different families within the church? Is there a way where victims could speak and be heard, without others defending the church and family? I know that what I speak of, pierces close to the heart and soul of many....but, silence and backing off isn't the answer.

    I do not need to have the last word....but, I also feel strongly about not trying to engage more members of the church or ex-members into becoming actively aware of what is going on.

    I would not lightly speak of what I believe are very very serious crimes.

    I would like nothing more to be proven completely wrong...to be found out I am way out of line...but, I can't reject what victims have told me. I can't not pay attention to their secrets they are willing to share. I can't not pay attention to the lack of attention the church has given my brother as he attempted to make them aware.

    I my self have not even tried...for my treatment and the lack of support 8 years ago showed me who they were. I was a member then. And there was no pouring out of support in any way.

    I totally get that it feels like bashing and trashing and hurting the church, but sadly, I can't say nicely what needs to be said. I can't make it pretty.

    What many fail to understand, that no one wants to see their family in a bad light, any more than they want to see the church they raised their children in, who thought it was of high morals and values to find it unmoving in the face of atrocious abuse from many different families. I wish to God I was in a bad dream and it wasn't true. But sadly that is what I had to see.

    I just want to try and bring awareness. I am not asking anyone to go public, but to look around your own lives and see with more awareness, to question, to challenge to be less blind and faithfully following as I was.

    I am not sure there is a way, a kind and preserving way to save the church any more than there was a way to save my family unit. It isn't I, who is the one who is creating havoc, I am just reporting it leaving out names. I leave them out not to protect the abusers, but the victims.

    I wish I could say names, the family lineage, the years and years that abuse flows from father to son...how victims are created through the generations.

    I too wonder when I will tire of speaking to deaf and defending ears.
    I asked today, "How can I do this differently?" "How can I have an impact?" "What is my purpose...how can I educate those who were like me?"

    While I know many have me pegged as being a church basher and family trasher, I am actually the opposite. I am trying to save the core value of both, by eliminating the behaviors that serve to rot it from the inside out.

    I don't have the answers, but I know for sure silence isn't helpful....It only is useful to the abusers.

    Beth...


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  22. Beth, you have the right to speak of anything that happened to you. Speaking the truth can make people uncomfortable. Sometimes it is more comfortable to try and shut down the person speaking the truth by saying they are bashing or bitter or unforgiving, than it would be to honestly consider the possibility that what the person is saying is true. If someone tells us something that doesn't fit our perceptions, and we discover that it is true, we are forced to change. If we disregard it because we can't/don't want to believe it, then we don't have to change our mind, our beliefs, or our perceptions of our family/ church/ leaders/ organization ... whichever it is.

    All that being said, Beth, I'm very glad that you speak the truth about what happened to you, and how the situation was handled by the church. You do not have to tailor the truth to avoid offending others. You are not obligated to keep secret any abuse that someone else did to you. Once they have done it to you, it becomes part of your story, and you get to tell it as you see fit, regardless of who likes it or doesn't. Silence, as you said, only helps the abusers.

    I do know of many situations where the abuser took advantage of the practice of forgiveness and burying the sin in "the sea of Grace" by then going back and continuing to abuse some more. And when the church knows, and does nothing because of the forgiveness issue, that is all it takes for evil to be able to flourish. Not everyone takes advantage, but those who want to, find it easy to do.

    By you being honest and transparent about what was done to you, you pave the way for others to get the courage to speak up. Speaking the truth shines the light into the dark corners where the ugliness exists. I appreciate your light.

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  23. Thanks Daisy. In the past few days, I have decided that I have said my piece. I will keep my blog up and add to it from time to time, but I will now begin a second blog.

    I have done my due diligence to speak up and out. I have done my best to relay my experiences both within the church and within my family who lived by the rules of the church and how it turned out.

    I am not surprised by the silence, nor am I surprised by the anger directed at me. I understand how they believe I am offensive for saying what I say. It is much easier to believe I am out of line and offensive than to look where they stand. I get it and perhaps I am worn down and tired of speaking into the winds that blow it all back upon me.

    I will continue to read this blog...and comment, for I can't see me being silent completely, but perhaps it is time for someone else to ride out in front. Like Geese who share the front line :)

    I appreciate those who pass their sympathies about my journey, but what would be most helpful is to remember my experiences and be more aware and not so easily blinded...by what is.

    I also appreciate those who write against me, for it has shown me more about who I was and how far I have come.

    Even if the dialogue at times gets heated, we are airing things that have been silent for too long.

    I will be focusing more on my present and future...for I have dug deeply into my past for 8 years now and found patterns that I had to change and worked on changing me, not changing the church or others, I am simply sharing how it was for me. Knowing, I am not the only one. I may be a minority as some feel, but I may also be part of the silent majority.

    Even if I become complete silent, it will not be a game changer....for abuse.

    It is my deepest hope that my sharing has given strength that some day others will heal and find peace away from abuse. I hope you can share we me and the world how you found it.

    Let this blog know about your blogs so we can all follow and encourage you along.

    Beth Huhta Jukuri

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  24. Having read the comments, I feel compelled to add my own. Extending the opportunity to marry to same-sex couples is a good thing, because it advances justice and the equal treatment of persons before the law.

    What else is there to say about it?

    First, one can point out the errors in arguments against same-sex marriage; in hopes that doing so will encourage supporters of reform and possibly persuade people who are against same-sex marriage to change their minds.

    Second, we could discuss how to relate to people who are not persuaded and who remain, just as much as gays and lesbians and anyone else, worthy of our love and concern.

    I'm moved by the distress of the commenter who regrets that, if same-sex marriage becomes legal in his country, simply having a church wedding will no longer be sufficient to begin a marriage; it will be necessary to go to city hall first to get married, and then the couple can have their marriage blessed in the state church. But, the commenter says that, if same-sex marriage becomes legal, it will no longer be sufficient to have a church ceremony. Perhaps this person himself or herself got married in church, just as his or her parents and ancestors did, and feels grief over the idea that his (or her) child will not be able to do as has been done in his country for hundreds of years. I'll allow there is a magic in the traditions of our societies; I was married myself by a pastor in a largely traditional ceremony, and it had great meaning for me at the time, and the memory of it continues to sustain my and my spouse's love. But it wasn't the traditional wedding of fifty years ago, and the traditional wedding of fifty years ago was different from the traditional wedding of 150 years ago. Even traditions change.

    In fact, everything changes; we grow older and our children grow up. But we would like, in this sea of change, for some things in our society to remain steady: they seem eternal and unchanging, and we want them to be that way, even if they are not.

    So we need to recognize this grief for what it is, a form of suffering, have compassion for those so afflicted, and reflect on the things that cause us similar pain, things that we grieve as they change and changes that we sense as threatening to our feelings of security.

    Of course those feelings of potential loss do not authorize injustice. Consider the history of the American South, where white Southerners maintained an unjust two-level social system with Blacks on the bottom for a hundred years AFTER slavery was abolished because they preferred to keep the Black people apart.

    Let us learn from our history and commit ourselves to justice and compassion. We're all in this together.

    —Oven Mitt

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  25. To "Just Sayin'," whose comment was "Just Deleted" for vulgarity, if the only reason you can find to object to same gender relationships is potential diseases, the solution is not heterosexuality but celibacy.

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  26. vulgarity? those were medical terms. Sorry if you found them offensive. I've found a lot of reasons to object to same gender relationships, as shown above, and all those potential diseases are exclusive to homosexual relations. I have a hard time believing God wants people to have sexual relations that cause themselves harm.

    Just saying.

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  27. disease and health issues are pretty much non existent faithful, heterosexual relationships...

    Just sayin

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    1. “It's better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”
      Seemed like an appropriate time to quote Mark Twain. -just a passing thought

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  28. If you are arguing from a safety standpoint, wouldn't our daughters have more protection in lesbian relationships (from disease, miscarriage, pregnancy complications, and abuse) than straight ones?

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  29. No, because disease, pregnancy complications and abuse are not the norm in straight relationships, and they are not GUARANTEED to happen like the infections and health conditions in gay relationships. Ask any nurse...

    Just sayin'

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    1. I know this is old but Im a nurse and I disagree. :)

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  30. Homosexual intercourse will never result in a woman dying from childbirth, which was the fate of the faithful LLC woman described in the Mother’s Day sermon I wrote about in my last posting here. Just replyin’.

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  31. Wait a minute. Did Just Sayin' really just argue that infections, diseases and other health conditions are GUARANTEED to happen in gay relationships?

    Huh?

    That seemed a little ludicrous to me, so I asked my brother-in-law, a registered nurse, if that was true. Now he thinks I'm an idiot.

    Look, you can dislike homosexuals all you want. Or blacks, Jews, or whatever. I'll be honest, the actual physical (male) homosexual act is distasteful for me, and Scientologists piss me off. But I would also never try to inhibit their basic human rights to live life as they see fit.

    Again I'll say, the answer is for the government to stop sanctioning marriage, period. Everyone is then free to establish their relationship however they see fit. (And signed social contracts can be substituted for parenting/estate planning/hospital visitation etc.).

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  32. Some sexual practices do carry more risk, but these practices are not confined to gays. Sexual practices vary considerably and include no activity at all. You really can't make any assumptions what any particular couple does in the bedroom.

    Based on stories I've heard, I could generalize and say that Laestadian men practice "gay sex" as birth control, and if their wives don't like it, they are told to submit as good Christian wives. But that would hardly be scientific.

    Some studies indicate that homophobia is motivated by disgust, and I can appreciate that, as I am disgusted by certain sexual practices myself, just as I'm disgusted by lutefisk and okra and chewing tobacco. But personal proclivities are just that, and should not be used to justify discrimination.

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  33. Free, you basically made my point ... just in a much more eloquent way. So, thanks.

    :)

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  34. Thank you! I appreciate your thoughts on getting the government out of the marriage business altogether. That may come in time.

    Meanwhile, it is a landmark day in Washington State, and I cried at this video of couples at the Courthouse. Rather than threatening my straight marriage of 17 years, it makes me feel even closer to my husband. This calls for a celebration!

    VIDEO: http://bcove.me/ih87d89c

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  35. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

    This topic is tied to the rising spirit of atheism today (or agnosticism). As people move farther away from God and His word, so too do their proclivities. Satan may tempt some to lust after their same sex, but if they don't hold it to be sin they will not fight against those urges. God made us perfect in the garden...before the fall, man's physical nature was sinless. Once satan ruined things, we then became fallen. Hetero married men have to fight urges daily. Do we say 'Oh, he can't help it, he was born that way' and so condone infidelity? On the whole, of course not. He is expected to fight those urges, as are women. I see homosexuality the same way...a fallen condition we should fight against. The Bible is very clear on that. Which brings me to my original point: if belief in the Bible isn't present, none of the above will matter to the person. Many live their lives in direct, deliberate disobedience to His word. And that's so sad, to me. In His infinite wisdom, He created Man and Woman. And it was perfect. That (for me) is enough right there. I'm so sorry, born-gay people. aNo one said it was going to be easy...but we are supposed to try. The reward is worth it.

    All my opinion, of course.

    - Sunny

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    1. So God, in His glorious infinite wisdom, created a serpent that was going to lead man, whom He loves unconditionally, astray... He allowed us, in His infinite uncomprehendable love, to eat of a fruit that was going to damn 99% of humanity for all eternity. That doesn't sound very loving to me. Don't think about it too much. God's ways are not ours. Just be thankful you're so fortunate. -m.d.

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