An apology

Discussion in 'The Commons' started by Lowly Layman, May 17, 2023.

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    This is semantics. I’ve hardly been unfair here. People in the ancient world thought of men as the complete/perfect form of human being, of which women were thought of as the incomplete/imperfect form. In other words, the perceived differences in external characteristics were explained teleologically, as differences in attained development. There was no notion that there was something more fundamental at work, like chromosomes. You can call it whatever you want, for our purposes it doesn’t really matter. The point is that without genetics and embryology, we really don’t have a proper notion of opposite sexes. Female embryos go on to become women not because their development into men was stalled, but because their DNA dictates an altogether different development. They aren’t defective versions of men.

    The issue then in biblical prohibitions of relations between men is not that ‘opposite-sex’ relations were ok and ‘same-sex’ relations were not: those categories didn’t exist until modern times. The issue was rather that men were held to be superior, and that such activity violated the supposed “natural” order of gender roles, i.e., were tantamount to men exchanging roles with women (cf. Romans 1). We now know that this is not the way nature works (female fetal development happens as a result of distinct genetics, not insufficient formation), that there was no natural basis for those gender roles in the first place, and that those prohibitions, while undoubtedly there in the text, lack any objective meaning in terms of modern biology. Society has moved on. To say that such marriages aren’t real marriages is bigoted, and to claim such because the Bible supposedly prohibits same-sex activity is anachronistic and inaccurate. The Bible did indeed prohibit such activity between men, but the reason the biblical authors did so was because they thought such activity violated social norms of gender hierarchy that modern society has since discarded. Such prohibitions serve no real purpose in our modern context, in that there’s no point in safeguarding a social hierarchy that no longer exists.

    The points I’ve been making here aren’t complicated or obscure. Everyone knows the ancients didn’t know about modern biology. The discussion could have and should have moved on long before now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2023
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  2. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Actually it is historically and religiously accurate, and it was legally accurate until this century.

    As for the "bigoted" comment, that's using the fifth rule from Rules for Radicals: "ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counterattack ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage." I'll pass on the latter, however.

    Or just maybe because it was wrong, sinful, contrary to the will of God, shameless, an abomination before man and God which was worthy of death, etc.

    Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous (Hebrews 13:4). Homosexuals who "marry" dishonor true marriage, and they defile the marriage bed. IMO any who support homosexual "marriage" dishonor marriage, too.

    Not bigoted... just Biblical.
     
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  3. ByOldEyes

    ByOldEyes Member

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    So then why did they also prohibit homosexual relations between a man and one of his male slaves?
     
  4. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Nope. As I already explained above, Blackstone concluded that marriages contracted in contravention of biblical law were not void of themselves but only as a consequence of a subsequent judicial decree. The question of any such decree in a secular Nation-State is moot. Ergo, they are real marriages.
    Presumably for the same reasons it did so in other cases. And it is interesting to note that these prohibitions applied only to men, not to women. If the issue had been “same-sex” vs. “opposite-sex,” surely there would have been parallel prohibitions of women having relations with women, but these don’t show up until hundreds of years later, on the basis of analogical reasoning.

    These observations have been made by scholars for decades. They aren’t really controversial anymore outside of fundamentalist circles. It’s a much more profitable use of one’s time to “love thy neighbor” and to focus one’s efforts on “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Going around and pontificating as to who has “real” marriages and who doesn’t is a far cry from living up to that standard. This discussion should’ve moved on long before now. I see little point in further dignifying it.
     
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  5. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    A point that seems to be supported by the ancient mythic story of mankind's origin. 'Man' seems have been well delighted to be presented with a 'suitable mate' and 'help meet', 'partner'. It seems that the story gives no indication whatever that Adam thought Eve to be a defective version of himself. Quite the contrary he seems to be overjoyed at the prospect of mating with such a desirably perfect creature, admitting her to be so much like himself. (Perhaps 'man' was even naturally a bit narcisistic even before the fall). :laugh: He didn't need much pushing, it might seem, to 'fall in love' with himself.
    .
     
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  6. ByOldEyes

    ByOldEyes Member

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    Which are what? If "the issue was rather that men were held to be superior [to women]," then nothing would prevent the biblical authors from condoning a comparable relationship between a man and his male slave.

    But of course the reasoning of the biblical authors cannot be reduced down to the pitiful nub that you've suggested it is. [Those] in our "progressed" and "enlightened" world may consider themselves to be above and beyond the supposedly bigoted and uninformed thought of the biblical authors, but this attitude has only prevented them from properly interpreting and respecting their divinely inspired wisdom.
     
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  7. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    Apart from the value-laden language you are using, this is nothing short of an appeal to an epistemic primitive. This does not mean that your position is right (or wrong) simply that you will not countenance any other view, on the basis of something you regard as inarguable. To my mind, this devalues scripture and robs it of its humanity and its power.

    A great deal of scripture (OT) is well-housed in the cultural tradition of the Hebrew people. The Holiness Code, which some of this debate is around, itself sets its mark urging the people not to walk like the Egyptians. We are called to set for ourselves a higher standard, not to sit in the judgement of others, but rather that we might shine as a light in the world.

    Anglicans have traditionally punched above our weight in the area of Theological and Biblical Scholarship, and no doubt Richard Hooker, Matthew Parker, and many others gave us the freedom to see reason as a tool in the arsenal of faith, not as an impediment to faith.
     
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  8. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: Jun 6, 2023
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Really, this discussion should’ve moved on long before now. I see little point in further dignifying it. :wicked:
     
  10. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member Typist Anglican

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    Personal references removed, to town down the temperature.
     
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  11. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    'tone' or 'turn' down, perhaps? :)
    .
     
  12. ByOldEyes

    ByOldEyes Member

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    Fair.
     
  13. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

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    published by the Clarendon Press at Oxford between 1765 and 1769. I guess that settles all legal matters from 1AD to 2023 AD.
     
  14. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    If you say so. I never made any such claim, however.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Rev. Brett Murphy of the CofE has a few words to say about and to the church.



    A key quote: "If you remove that key element of repentance then you have only a partial gospel, and that's no gospel at all."
     
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