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Author Topic: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message  (Read 6955 times)

Altair

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New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« on: August 30, 2017, 10:52:53 am »
There they go again. Shit like this, from those who claim to be the faithful followers of traditional Christian values, make me eternally grateful I'm pagan to the core.

A coalition of evangelical leaders signed a 'Christian manifesto' on human sexuality

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/29/nation/nashville-statement-a-coalition-of-evangelical-leaders-signed-a-christian-manifesto-on-human-sexuality
Quote
An evangelical coalition comprised of 150 Christian leaders released a "manifesto" Tuesday, reaffirming their belief that marriage should be a union between a man and a woman.

In the manifesto, dubbed "The Nashville Statement," the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) lists its 14 key beliefs regarding human sexuality. The Nashville Statement covers a range of topics from sex outside of marriage to gender identity.


Here is the Nashville Statement itself, in all its White JesusTM-praising glory:
https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement/

Note how on the home page, they got all fancy, so that the male and female icons distort in perspective upon mouseover...clearly a subconscious admission that they hold a warped perspective on human sexuality.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Jainarayan

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2017, 11:24:50 am »
There they go again. Shit like this, from those who claim to be the faithful followers of traditional Christian values, make me eternally grateful I'm pagan to the core.

A coalition of evangelical leaders signed a 'Christian manifesto' on human sexuality

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/29/nation/nashville-statement-a-coalition-of-evangelical-leaders-signed-a-christian-manifesto-on-human-sexuality

Here is the Nashville Statement itself, in all its White JesusTM-praising glory:
https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement/

Note how on the home page, they got all fancy, so that the male and female icons distort in perspective upon mouseover...clearly a subconscious admission that they hold a warped perspective on human sexuality.

Like everyone else, they have the right to be stupid. Some people abuse that right, however. That said, they can take it up with the Supreme Court of the United States. These blowhards can bluster and bloviate all they want, annoying, infuriating and frustrating as it is, but they're subject to US law. Unless and until there's another case brought before the SCOTUS, and they deign to hear it, or there's a Constitutional amendment (which is unlikely given that the first attempt failed miserably, even in an anti-same sex marriage climate) they have nothing but words. I do wish they'd give it up though.

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2017, 01:39:34 pm »
from those who claim to be the faithful followers of traditional Christian values

Claim to be? They are faithful followers of traditional Christian values. The Nashville Declaration is 100% orthodox Christian doctrine re: sexuality. I'm a little irritated that it was framed in such a way as to bar non-evangelicals from signing -- I would have liked to have seen Orthodox, Catholic, and Continuing Anglican signatories as well -- but all in all there's nothing surprising or even particularly noteworthy here. I suspect the only reason it was issued was because they as well as anyone can see the acceleration of societal collapse post-Charlottesville.
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Altair

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2017, 02:18:56 pm »
I suspect the only reason it was issued was because they as well as anyone can see the acceleration of societal collapse post-Charlottesville.

On this much we agree: This is a rear-guard action (pardon the pun) in a culture war they have already lost.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2017, 05:26:31 pm »
There they go again. Shit like this, from those who claim to be the faithful followers of traditional Christian values, make me eternally grateful I'm pagan to the core.

A coalition of evangelical leaders signed a 'Christian manifesto' on human sexuality

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/29/nation/nashville-statement-a-coalition-of-evangelical-leaders-signed-a-christian-manifesto-on-human-sexuality

Here is the Nashville Statement itself, in all its White JesusTM-praising glory:
https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement/

Note how on the home page, they got all fancy, so that the male and female icons distort in perspective upon mouseover...clearly a subconscious admission that they hold a warped perspective on human sexuality.

I completely approve of their manifesto. 

These people appear to be deeply into their religion, and I approve of that.  Their Weltanschauung and spiritual-religious system appears to remain strong despite its haters.  I approve.  They worship an awesome God, and are one sect of an awesome religion which itself is a branch of an incredibly awesome tree of religions... each branch evolving in one way or another, but never in a way that pleases everyone.

So what if certain people complain and disagree and take offense to this manifesto?  So what?  They can go find another religion, one that resonates with them.  There are likely many such religions out there.  They can even create their own, if they have the talent and the passion... or they can abandon religion altogether if it makes them feel so upset, or if they feel religion is not for them.

I do not have to embrace or agree with everything in this manifesto to approve.  I am not Christian, I could not care less what people think "Jesus" would want for me, and I do not embrace any kind of "moral" code.  Still, I hope these people continue to embrace their spiritual-religious system as they Will.  That is something I encourage in everyone, regardless of how I might feel about them.
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Eastling

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2017, 06:51:41 pm »
Still, I hope these people continue to embrace their spiritual-religious system as they Will.  That is something I encourage in everyone, regardless of how I might feel about them.

This strikes me as an implausibly simplistic philosophy in the long run. People do not exercise their spiritual wills or follow their personal beliefs in a vacuum. Regardless of religion, powerful religious leaders promoting blinkered bigotry and making misguided condemnations has the potential to harm other people.

I'm also not sure what's admirable about it in the first place, as there's really rather little in the texts and traditions followed by most religions about queer sexuality. There are some prohibitions and judgments here and there, of varying import depending on the faith in question What it comes down to, however, is that modern (and historical!) religious figures who choose to focus on actively condemning queer sexuality (or promoting heterosexuality to its detriment) are making the choice to spend their energies on a handful of verses usually taken out of context, with the practical result that queer people find themselves more marginalized than ever.

In the particular case of Christianity, that choice is being made in the name of a religion whose manifest god primarily preached charitable love and social justice.

So, again, I'm not actually sure how the statement shows that these Christian religious leaders are adhering to the spirit of their religion in the face of pushback from "the haters." That said, I don't find it surprising--there's a lot of reactionaries and worse out there who seem to feel that now is the time to promote their ideas.
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Altair

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2017, 08:19:12 pm »
This strikes me as an implausibly simplistic philosophy in the long run. People do not exercise their spiritual wills or follow their personal beliefs in a vacuum. Regardless of religion, powerful religious leaders promoting blinkered bigotry and making misguided condemnations has the potential to harm other people.

I'm also not sure what's admirable about it in the first place, as there's really rather little in the texts and traditions followed by most religions about queer sexuality. There are some prohibitions and judgments here and there, of varying import depending on the faith in question What it comes down to, however, is that modern (and historical!) religious figures who choose to focus on actively condemning queer sexuality (or promoting heterosexuality to its detriment) are making the choice to spend their energies on a handful of verses usually taken out of context, with the practical result that queer people find themselves more marginalized than ever.

In the particular case of Christianity, that choice is being made in the name of a religion whose manifest god primarily preached charitable love and social justice.

So, again, I'm not actually sure how the statement shows that these Christian religious leaders are adhering to the spirit of their religion in the face of pushback from "the haters." That said, I don't find it surprising--there's a lot of reactionaries and worse out there who seem to feel that now is the time to promote their ideas.

Quoted in its entirety, because it's so well said. Thank you, Eastling.

I would add 3 points:

1. The adherents to these sects have proven time and again that they are not content merely to live their own lives according to these precepts. They will stop at nothing to use the force of law and tools of government to deprive others of the religious liberty they enjoy, by imposing their Christian Sharia law on others who do not share their beliefs.

2. Technically yes, anyone who doesn't agree with these precepts can seek worthier religious pastures. However, this attitude cavalierly ignores those who grew up in this religion and have been inculcated with this claptrap from birth. For them, "leaving" is not the easy exit accomplished "as they Will." I have seen the damage done to a wonderful man firsthand. In too many the damage is lasting.

3. To approve of religious precepts, regardless of their content, simply because their adherents follow them passionately, is quite frankly morally bankrupt. One might as well approve of the beheadings of ISIS; they have nothing but religious fervor, with bloody result.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2017, 10:46:25 pm »
Regardless of religion, powerful religious leaders promoting blinkered bigotry and making misguided condemnations has the potential to harm other people.

I would suggest to those people who are hurting that they learn to adapt and overcome these obstacles. Fight back if you are passionate enough.  Rise up as an individual or as a collective and create the change you Will to see... if you have what it takes.  On the other hand, I suggest to the people doing the hurting that they continue embracing their religion as they Will... no matter who suffers.  If you no longer approve of the suffering you've inflicted, change your ways and evolve your system.  It's never too late.  Otherwise continue on, fulfill your goals and see your Will realized, no matter the cost.  Suffering is inevitable and you can never please everybody, nor should anyone ever feel obligated to make their culture inclusive to all groups of people, unless it is their Will to do so. 

Human Nature can be kind and compassionate and it can be violent and horrific.  There are many areas in between and beyond that.  Some gods in my pantheon inspire the things that make people happy... other gods inspire the things that make people suffer. I can see and understand things from many points of view.

Quote
I'm also not sure what's admirable about it in the first place, as there's really rather little in the texts and traditions followed by most religions about queer sexuality.

So what?  Why should my holy texts or religion have anything to say about that?  If it is not relevant to my spiritual-religious system, it has no place in my religion, or my religious culture.  It is as simple as that. 

I completely understand when those of other religions feel the same.  I also understand that the more influential a religion is, the more potential that religion has to cause suffering.  Whether or not that suffering should have any affect on that religion's culture, is up to those who embrace it (and to whatever relevant extent, the law of the land). I approve of their opinion either way.

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There are some prohibitions and judgments here and there, of varying import depending on the faith in question What it comes down to, however, is that modern (and historical!) religious figures who choose to focus on actively condemning queer sexuality (or promoting heterosexuality to its detriment) are making the choice to spend their energies on a handful of verses usually taken out of context, with the practical result that queer people find themselves more marginalized than ever.
Among other things, religion helps people strengthen and explore certain aspects of our own human Nature.  Sometimes, this means taking a sword to a part of our humanity and forsaking certain areas of individual and collective human Nature. That sword might cut deep on people who embrace those sides of human Nature.  Whether or not that matters... depends on who you ask.

Quote
In the particular case of Christianity, that choice is being made in the name of a religion whose manifest god primarily preached charitable love and social justice.
The Jesus of Nazereth character, perhaps, but the Old Testament God YHVH in biblical myths was far more destructive and wrathful, with little to no sympathy for those who opposed him or did did not follow his commands.

There is a deity in my pantheon- Mikha'ēl- who would inspire in me "charitable love" and "social justice", as well as kindness, compassion, unconditional love, forgiveness, mercy, humility, justice, virtue, salvation, and redemption... many of the attributes associated with the Jesus of Nazereth character.  But there are many gods in my pantheon... some of which are completely against those things, who inspire one to embrace more violent, malicious or taboo aspects of individual and collective human Nature.  It is like one who has many advisors offering unique, sometimes opposing or contradicting council regarding how to embrace the present and how to create the future. 

And they all have their moments.

 
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ehbowen

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2017, 11:39:49 pm »
Like everyone else, they have the right to be stupid. Some people abuse that right, however. That said, they can take it up with the Supreme Court of the United States. These blowhards can bluster and bloviate all they want, annoying, infuriating and frustrating as it is, but they're subject to US law. Unless and until there's another case brought before the SCOTUS, and they deign to hear it, or there's a Constitutional amendment (which is unlikely given that the first attempt failed miserably, even in an anti-same sex marriage climate) they have nothing but words. I do wish they'd give it up though.

I am not looking to start a fight. But I am seeking to state a dissent. Marriage is what it is because it is a manifestation of the nature and character of the Living God. It cannot be redefined. Homosexual "marriage" is not just wrong, it is not even possible. While this saying probably didn't originate with Abraham Lincoln, it is widely credited to him: "If you call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

What we have in homosexual "marriage" is a perverted sham which apes marriage. It is a fraud and, like all aberrant sexuality, is ultimately based upon a lie. And I believe that those who promote it or endorse it will ultimately be held liable for damages to every couple which did honor and uphold their legitimate marriage vows. If you want to appeal that judgment, whether you are a county clerk or sit on the Supreme Court (what a laughably presumptuous name), you will do so before Almighty God. Stand by.
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Eastling

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2017, 12:58:56 am »
The Jesus of Nazereth character, perhaps, but the Old Testament God YHVH in biblical myths was far more destructive and wrathful, with little to no sympathy for those who opposed him or did did not follow his commands.

This is a faulty comparison, though.

In the early Jewish tradition (and extending in subtle ways through medieval Judaism and to the present day), Hashem was not spiritually as a Power or narratively as a character in the Torah intended as a model for the behavior of the Jewish people. He evolved out of a storm-god like Baal or Set and would have similarly been seen by the early Jewish people as an aweful (literally) force of nature rather than a moral paragon. In early times, a goddess-consort may have acted as a force of mercy to mediate his wrath. (I know, she doesn't appear much or in a good light in the Torah, which is a long story--check out The Hebrew Goddess by Raphael Patai sometime.) She certainly did in medieval times as the Shekhina.

Regardless of the presence or lack thereof of Asherah or the Shekhina, if you look at Jewish texts analyzing the Torah, and even the events of the narrative themselves, you'll notice that the Jewish people, aside from a few exalted and troubled heroes (who often suffer punishment for their flaws), do not attempt to emulate the behavior of their god. Instead, they act as a force to temper his judgment and stay his wrathful hand.

Just because you worship a Power, love them and are in awe of them on a spiritual level--doesn't mean you have to uphold them as an ethical model for humans.

(I mean, I love my cat a lot, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't get away with half the stuff she does...)

However, Christianity places a great deal of stock in being specifically Christ-like, in taking up the principles of their god, who was said to have impartially healed and helped sex workers and queer people, challenged corrupt authority, attempted to provide for the poor, etc. So when they do exactly the opposite, it really seems like hypocrisy.
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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2017, 01:27:45 am »
However, Christianity places a great deal of stock in being specifically Christ-like, in taking up the principles of their god, who was said to have impartially healed and helped sex workers and queer people, challenged corrupt authority, attempted to provide for the poor, etc. So when they do exactly the opposite, it really seems like hypocrisy.

The congregation with which I worshiped during my three years in Long Beach operated the Kathy Boone Home for Girls, many of whom were former prostitutes. We also sponsored special services for the homeless, with meals afterwards, as many of them felt uncomfortable in regular Sunday services (to which they would have been welcomed had they chosen to attend). How is that hypocrisy?

While it's true that the Scriptures do not record Jesus rejecting a cry for help, there is also no case in Scripture of Jesus dealing with an unrepentant reprobate. The Pharisees came close (and look how he dealt with them), but they at least attempted to maintain a veneer of righteousness. The outcasts he is recorded to have befriended were all willing to repent of their sins. You won't find a single indisputable precedent of Jesus dealing with someone who was "out and proud." While I don't believe in ignoring those in distress, I also don't believe in enabling those who wish to continue behavior which is fraudulent, manipulative, coercive, or destructive. Sometimes folks have to hit bottom to look up.
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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2017, 03:27:02 am »
In the early Jewish tradition (and extending in subtle ways through medieval Judaism and to the present day), Hashem was not spiritually as a Power or narratively as a character in the Torah intended as a model for the behavior of the Jewish people.
That was them.  I am not a Jew and I am not living thousands of years ago.  I am living now, in this moment, embracing YHVH in my own way.  If YHVH's attributes or perceived attributes influence my thoughts and behavior, this is not something that my spiritual-religious system discourages.

Quote
He evolved out of a storm-god like Baal or Set and would have similarly been seen by the early Jewish people as an aweful (literally) force of nature rather than a moral paragon.
In the OT God YHVH, I am reminded of Enlil, Anu, Enki, and Marduk.  My spiritual-religious system does not embrace YHVH as a moral paragon, but as the ultimate embodiment of Creation, Destruction, and divine Order over primordial Chaos.   Those areas of nature and human Nature are far more important to my connection to YHVH than humanity's subjective perspectives regarding "good" and "evil" and "right" and "wrong".


 
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Sorcha

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2017, 04:09:39 am »
There they go again. Shit like this, from those who claim to be the faithful followers of traditional Christian values, make me eternally grateful I'm pagan to the core.

A coalition of evangelical leaders signed a 'Christian manifesto' on human sexuality

https://www.circa.com/story/2017/08/29/nation/nashville-statement-a-coalition-of-evangelical-leaders-signed-a-christian-manifesto-on-human-sexuality

Here is the Nashville Statement itself, in all its White JesusTM-praising glory:
https://cbmw.org/nashville-statement/

Note how on the home page, they got all fancy, so that the male and female icons distort in perspective upon mouseover...clearly a subconscious admission that they hold a warped perspective on human sexuality.

Replying generally to the thread, I think people are missing how these statements, and other evangelical statements on sexuality, hurt people WITHIN Christianity. It encourages a singular lack of empathy in evangelicals toward anybody who doesn't fit their paradigm.

In evangelical Christianity, children are not given a choice whether or not they participate in religion. This is not a religion of, by, and for adults. Gay and transgender children regularly commit suicide over the rejection of their evangelical parents, churches, and communities. This statement is a pointless doubling down that will help no one and likely harm many. It will change no minds. It will clarify no doctrine. It will do no good. Nobody is in doubt about how evangelicals feel about marriage. This is not in question.

I am a practicing Christian, and I am very, very glad that my church and denomination did not join in on this. My wonderful, loving, wise priest would have had to leave the ministry or divorce his husband and he wouldn't be the only one. He's one of the best Christian ministers I've ever known, and that would be heartbreaking.

I apologize if this comes across as a little strong, but my FB feed is blowing up over this, I was just told that mentioning my sexual assault (since rape was not mentioned in this declaration, which seems like a glaring omission) was insensitive and out of context and basically rude. I'm a raw bundle of nerves. I'm hurting personally over this.


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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2017, 06:45:38 am »
I apologize if this comes across as a little strong, but my FB feed is blowing up over this, I was just told that mentioning my sexual assault (since rape was not mentioned in this declaration, which seems like a glaring omission) was insensitive and out of context and basically rude. I'm a raw bundle of nerves. I'm hurting personally over this.

Sorcha, you have nothing to apologize for, and I'm so sorry that this declaration and its fallout is stirring up such hurtful stuff for you.

Your point about rape is well taken. If I had to guess, I'd say they didn't mention it explicitly because they figured it was covered under "no sexual contact outside of marriage between one man and one woman" (ignoring the fact that rape within that context is still possible, but I very much doubt they'd consider it so--you know, wife should submit to her husband and all that shit).

Also, rape isn't a recent change in our society, creating a cultural hot button, and it's those changes that this declaration is railing against. Never mind that if you're trying to write a truly comprehensive statement on the proper role of male and female sexuality, rape is one of the first things you'd address, specifically because the problem is so enduring. But no; like the Eye of Sauron in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, their gaze is fixed obsessively on (almost) one thing: us queers (the other being abortion), to the detriment of any larger vision. They fixate on us because, through the simple act of living our lives as we see fit, we are deemed an existential threat to their crusty old sects and their once ironclad grip on power in this land.

Or maybe they just get off on watching us.

Let them look, and watch us thrive. Maybe they'll learn a thing or two. If not, they'll toss out more Nashville Statements in their cultural death throes, to less and less effect. They'll hurt some queer folk in the process, esp. those trapped inside their cramped little world, and they'll doubtless score some political victories, hurting even more of us. But their cause in this culture war is ultimately lost. A sea change has swept the Western world in record time, and it is irreversible for a simple reason: We LGBTQ folk can't even conceive of ourselves as anything less than they are. An entire generation of queers has come of age taking our equality for granted, and what's more, in their generation and more so with each generation to follow, their non-queer peers take our equality for granted too. It's just no big deal to them.

Watch and learn, evangelicals.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2017, 06:47:59 am by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Jainarayan

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Re: New Declaration, Same Old Anti-Gay Message
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2017, 10:37:06 am »
I completely approve of their manifesto. 

These people appear to be deeply into their religion, and I approve of that.  Their Weltanschauung and spiritual-religious system appears to remain strong despite its haters.  I approve.  They worship an awesome God, and are one sect of an awesome religion which itself is a branch of an incredibly awesome tree of religions... each branch evolving in one way or another, but never in a way that pleases everyone.

So what if certain people complain and disagree and take offense to this manifesto?  So what?  They can go find another religion, one that resonates with them.  There are likely many such religions out there.  They can even create their own, if they have the talent and the passion... or they can abandon religion altogether if it makes them feel so upset, or if they feel religion is not for them.

I do not have to embrace or agree with everything in this manifesto to approve.  I am not Christian, I could not care less what people think "Jesus" would want for me, and I do not embrace any kind of "moral" code.  Still, I hope these people continue to embrace their spiritual-religious system as they Will.  That is something I encourage in everyone, regardless of how I might feel about them.

The problem is that groups like these try to influence and impose their beliefs on civil law. The classic textbook example is Kim Davis and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. There was no question that marriage equality was the law of the land, per the SCOTUS, and still is. She cited her religious beliefs in refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, and in prohibiting other clerks under her from issuing those licenses. If she didn't want to issue the licenses herself, I can partly accept it, though I don't like it. She was unquestionably wrong in prohibiting her staff from issuing the licenses. She put her religious beliefs above her duty as a civil servant in a secular society, imposing them on US citizens and other state employees. This is where these groups go way more than too far.

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