Sunday, February 01, 2009

Gay Gene

Today I learned that Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church, gave the invocation at the pre-inaugural “We are One” concert hosted by the Obama’s at the Lincoln Memorial. The fact that I didn’t know there was such a concert, and was not invited to attend the concert let alone offer a prayer at the concert probably doesn’t concern you. It should, but it probably doesn’t. The fact that Robinson’s prayer was cut from the broadcast of the concert does concern you. And it should.

With all the controversy surrounding the inaugural invocation given by Rev. Rick Warren, noted enemy of all things gay, one would think that Bishop Robinson would be big news. But it seems to have been, shall we say, kept in the closet. The HBO broadcast of the event chose not to include it (true), and Fox News refused to even mention it saying, “There is no such thing as a gay Gene” (not really true but you know it could be true if I hadn’t made it up).

This is troubling, but understandable. Rick Warren usually wears Hawaiian shirts and Obama’s grandmother lived in Hawaii, so featuring him makes sense. And Rev. Joseph Lowry, contrary to many who believe he was asked to pray because he was black, was invited because he could speak in rhyme (as opposed to Rev. Jeremiah Wright, also black, whose “God damn America” prayer is free verse). Obama prefers rhyme, that choice makes sense as well. But other than the fact that almost every gay person in America supported Obama with cash and votes, the President has no real ties to the gay community.

I get that our President (and every president) is a politician, so I understand why President Obama would want to snuggle up to the Evangelical Christian community who didn’t support him while taking the Gay community for granted. After all I watched every episode of West Wing. But, had he followed my advice, the President could have pleased both communities.

My suggestion to the Inaugural Planning Committee was to kill two birds with one stone and invite evangelical pastor Ted Haggard to speak. That way the President could kiss the butts of both pro-lifers and homosexuals at the same time. The fact that they once again failed to listen to me aside, Bishop Robinson’s prayer blew the other two out of the water.

Because most of us were prevented from seeing Bishop Robinson give his prayer, I am reprinting his text here. The prayer was taped by Sarah Pulliam, who is, ironically, a reporter for the notably not gay-friendly magazine Christianity Today. Here is Bishop Robinson’s prayer:

“O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will…

Bless us with tears — tears for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women in many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria, and AIDS.
Bless this nation with anger — anger at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Bless us with discomfort — at the easy, simplistic answers we've preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and our world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.
Bless us with patience — and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

Bless us with humility — open to understanding that our own needs as a nation must always be balanced with those of the world.

Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance - replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences.

And bless us with compassion and generosity - remembering that every religion's God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable.

And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States.

Give him wisdom beyond his years, inspire him with President Lincoln's reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy's ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King's dream of a nation for all people.

Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain.

Give him stirring words — we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States.

Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims.

Give him strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters' childhoods.

And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we're asking far too much of this one. We implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand - that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.

Amen.

Now that’s a prayer! It almost makes me want to become an Episcopalian. Or at least gay.

38 comments:

Karl said...

Hi Rabbi,

See only prayer can't change your mind. Ya but it can give either direction to your thought or might divert you from real you. Your destiny is in your hand mate.

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Grégoire said...

You rock, Rabbi. Thanks for posting this in its entirety.

Peter M. Schogol said...

Charisma and political capital aside, Barack Obama is a Democrat (as am I), and Democrats will throw gays (of which I'm one) under the bus if it suits them (and, on more than one occasion, it has).

To be fair, however, it is doubtful if civil unions and marriage for same-sex couples would have ever come about if it weren't for Democratically-controlled State Houses.

Still, while we know to expect sanctimony from Republicans, we need to expect opportunism from Democrats.

I don't think things will get better for gays under the new administration, but I am hopeful they won't get worse. And that might be the best that can be said.

Jordan said...

Shalom Rav,

You wrote: "With all the controversy surrounding the inaugural invocation given by Rev. Rick Warren, noted enemy of all things gay,"

This is ludicrous hyperbole and patently untrue.
And let's remember the President Obama is personally against gay marriage. You continued:

"... and Fox News refused to even mention it saying, “There is no such thing as a gay Gene” (not really true but you know it could be true if I hadn’t made it up)."

Putting word's in Fox News' mouth is another low
brow ploy that injures your credibility even further.
But of course anything that attempts to smear Fox News (whose ratings are consistantly near the top of all cable programmingm, not just cable news)
has got to be Kosher for those not interested in getting the facts straight.

Sorry that you took this tack, and I'll continue to read for that which I sometimes will learn form you.

Biv'racha,
Jordan

Peter M. Schogol said...

Jordan,

How is Rick Warren not the enemy of all things gay? Please point me to the mitigating evidence.

Regarding Fox News, if you find it objective, yasher koach. To many of us it's All Fear All The Time.

Peter

Rabbi Rami said...

If anyone thinks I have any credibility, please think again. Just to safe, think one more time. I have no credibility. I want no credibility. I need no credibility. I am trying to be funny. I am constantly inventing the facts, and putting words in people's mouths. I make it clear I am doing this so as to let you know where the kernel of fact is in my posts. If once in a while I make a good point it is, more often then not, an accident.

AaronHerschel said...

it does seem a bit nit picky to accuse a satirist of logical fallacy and exaggeration. Exaggerating phalluses, er fallacies, is the whole point.

Jordan said...

Shalom All,

Thanks for the clarification Rabbi Rami, although
it seems that I'm not the only one who took your words at face value rather than just your "trying to be funny." "Lashon hara'," (hate speech, gossip, innuendo) is OK when trying to be funny?

Peter re Fox News, they were found to be the most balanced in their election coverage of any TV news network (cable and commercial) by independent research done by the Pew foundation I believe. I don't know why you'd "fear" this organization which is one of a small handful of news outfits (print or otherwise) that's actually showing growth and profits in this tough time for organizations like the NY Times and MSNBC for example. Out of curiosity,
whose news reportage do you find not fear laden as well as having a documented track record for balanced reporting?

Re Rev Warren, to say what Rabbi Rami did (and I now know that this was an attempt at being funny rather than a statement of fact), was as I described in my last post; "ludicrous hyperbole and patently untrue." The word "all" makes this an extraordinary claim; one with which you seem to agree Peter. Thus it is for you to tell me how Rev. Warren is "the enemy of all things gay," and not for me to point you "to the mitigating evidence" as extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. And of course President Obama himself is against gay marriage. The ball is in your court Peter.

Biv'racha,
Jordan

Jordan said...

Shalom Aaron Herschel,

Therefore under the rubric of satire or "just trying to be funny," all is permitted? Would this include "gas chamber" humor? Is "lashon hara'" permitted if it's satire or "just trying to be funny?" Where if anywhere is the line for you Aaron? These are by far not "nit picky" issues. The introductory paragraph of Toto reads,

“Toto, Dorothy's dog in The Wizard of Oz, pulls back the curtain to reveal the true nature of the all powerful Wizard. Toto the blog does the same with religion.”

Do the universal teachings of religion (and no hate speech, gossip or innuendo certainly are universal teachings) now yield to the gods of “satire” and “just trying to be funny?” Is this the “true nature of religion” about which Rabbi Rami speaks in the intro paragraph quoted above?

Biv’racha,
Jordan

Peter M. Schogol said...

Jordan,

I concede. Rick Warren is not an enemy of all things gay, and FOX News is balanced and objective.

Peter

Grégoire said...

Dear Jordan,

But of course anything that attempts to smear Fox News (whose ratings are consistantly near the top of all cable programmingm, not just cable news)
has got to be Kosher for those not interested in getting the facts straight.


The fact that a lot of people like to watch FOX News does not have anything to do with its inherent quality of the journalism. I watch FOX News for its entertainment value. I listen to Rush Limbaugh for the same reason. I also, very occasionally, smoke an Export A cigarette, shop at strip malls, and eat at McDonalds. Those are all very popular pastimes, but they don't mean that I have a decent sense of aesthetics or a modicum of good taste simply because lots of other people like to indulge in them. To suggest as much might be seen as argumentum ad populum, in fact.

I don't agree with much that Rabbi Rami or Gene Robinson say either. In my book, they're both a little like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, only funnier, with better taste, and probably less likely to be arrested for forging prescriptions.

Take Care,

G

Jordan said...

Shalom Gregoire,

I quoted in my post that independent analysis of Fox News election coverage found it to be the most balanced of any TV news network (cable and commercial) by independent research done by the Pew foundation. This is not an example of "argumentum ad populum." On the other hand, one could argue that much of their success and popularity is due to the perception by their audience that they're actually getting a realistic "fair shake," form Fox News that is missing in other
media outlets that are demonstrably not as successful and popular. There's something definitely awry at the NY Times when their editorial page cites unvetted google and youtube videos as sources for factuality in a recent editorial accusing
Bill O'Reilly and others of racism.

That having been said, to whom or what do you turn for your news coverage?

Blessings,
Jordan

Grégoire said...

dear jordan,

thanks for an interesting response.

I quoted in my post that independent analysis of Fox News election coverage found it to be the most balanced of any TV news network (cable and commercial) by independent research done by the Pew foundation.

definitely never seen such a study. do you have a link? reference? peer reviewed journal article?

This is not an example of "argumentum ad populum."

it's most balanced (or true) because the masses say so is an example. if i misread you i apologize. that seemed to be what you were arguing.

On the other hand, one could argue that much of their success and popularity is due to the perception by their audience that they're actually getting a realistic "fair shake," form Fox News that is missing in other
media outlets that are demonstrably not as successful and popular. There's something definitely awry at the NY Times when their editorial page cites unvetted google and youtube videos as sources for factuality in a recent editorial accusing
Bill O'Reilly and others of racism.


i actually don't disagree with you re: nyt. it's more my style, but it's also somewhat biased toward the other end of the spectrum, as is cnn. i think a case could be made for some latent racism in o'reilly, but there's a bit of that in all of us.

That having been said, to whom or what do you turn for your news coverage?

i try to use multiple sources when i can. i'm a fan of cbc and npr, but i watch fox news and cnn too.

again, i don't pretend to have a totally unbiased source. gramsci (and aaron herschel has forgotten more about this than i've ever learned, so hopefully he'll chime in if i need correcting) pointed out that believing in objectivity was akin to believing in god. it requires some frame of reference outside the universe, which is itself a fallacy.

the best we can do is come together and try to find some common ground, accepting the fact that we'll never see the world the same way, and trying to be authentic despite our differences.

i don't see fox news as 'fair and balanced', despite their advertising jingle, and i don't think many others do either (not as many as the aforementioned study might suggest, but i'll concede once i see it). their reporting tends to appeal to narrow american nationalism, homophobia, white/christian supremacy, and ultraconservative political viewpoints. i think most people who enjoy fox news watch it because they get a psychological reward with the constant 'us-vs-them' and 'god is on our side' propaganda, rather than a desire to enter into some inter-subjective discourse which might help them understand current events more completely. that's just my own personal opinion, and i don't have a journal article to back it up either.

take care,

g

Jordan said...

Shalom Gregoire,

Here's the link to the study:

http://www.journalism.org/node/13436

You wrote: "i think a case could be made for some latent racism in o'reilly,"

Make your case without the use of unvetted google citations, "Media Matters" out of context hatchet jobs, or John Stewart Youtube videos

You wrote: "that believing in objectivity was akin to believing in god. it requires some frame of reference outside the universe, which is itself a fallacy."

And Camus once wrote something to the effect that
without a reference point at infinity all is meaningless. So what's it going to be? Meaning or
meaningless? Religion comes down on the side of meaning.

Your last paragraph description of Fox News viewers is a condescending broad generalization
which for me has little value other than to know that it is your opinion. And I thank you for it.

Blessings,
Jordan

Grégoire said...

Dear Jordan,

Just wanted to pop in one more time and thank you for posting that reference. Very interesting!

I have a very negative view of FOX News re: their Iraq war coverage, which colors my perception of their work overall. This might be a good example of my own narrowmindedness.

Your last paragraph description of Fox News viewers is a condescending broad generalization
which for me has little value other than to know that it is your opinion.


Of course it is. Those same viewers have some opinions about dudes who listen to NPR, which I get to hear because I work and socialize with some of them, and which is likewise cool. That's the benefit of having friends to argue with. Even if you never come to an understanding, each person gets a better grasp on his own position.

Take Care,

G

Jordan said...

Shalom Gregoire,

Thanks for the brainsport!!

Blessings,
Jordan

Jordan said...

Shalom Gregoire,

And NPR without US taxpayer support wouldn't have a prayer (with their programming) of surviving in the real world of other the news organizations.

Blessings,
Jordan

Rabbi Rami said...

Very interesting discussion, people. Just wanted to drop in one suggestion. If you haven't read him, I suggest taking a look at Neil Postman's books especially "How to Watch TV News" and "Amusing Ourselves to Death."

If you like Postman then go back to the master: Marshall McLuhan: "The Medium is the Message" and "Understanding Media."

Thanksgiving First said...

Excuse me...but does anyone here believe in the GOD of the Torah?

Is that GOD (Hear O Israel the Lord thy GOD is one GOD)...biased against gays? Or did I read from a different text than some of you?

How is it that some Jews (and Christians) can claim to believe in one GOD but evidentally they speak of another? For GOD's little instruction book says that GOD detests (detests) men lying with men....and even Jesus believed in following the laws of Moses while He was under the law....are we any better than GOD's own son?

Why is it Rami that you would praise GOD's holy words in the Torah and admire Jesus's wisdom yet not see the foolishness of having gay activists lead nations in prayer esp. in a presidential inauguration address.

Some of the people in some countries outside of the USA see the American way of life as sodomy and immorality...some nations even slaughter sodomites under their laws...so it is that GOD turned over Israel to their enemies when they went astray with their bodies (Ezekial chapter 16) which brought on many hardships to that nation...
Amos 3:3 "How can two walk together except they be agreed?"
Hear what the Lord GOD Almighty is saying....He spoke through Amos to tell the people that how can they walk with Him except they agree with His wisdom and direction.

We should not be admonishing any gay/lifestyle or give any precedence to their immoral conduct among GOD's creation. I do not hate the people...for they are in bondage in ignorance to the devil's mockery of their bodies towards the Living GOD (as he also did with Sodom and Gomorraha til GOD could no longer stand the stench of what the devil had done to those people...)
Moses did not hate them either...yet he knew that in their ignorance that there were none righteous before GOD...many are called, few are chosen to receive the honor of learning what GOD really expects of righteous living.

I don't know if anyone would miss me from this blog...but after reading the posts regarding the gay man (not a bishop in the heavenly church) and some of the comments...I thought about just leaving the blog completely as I thought we were all reading from the same book and wanting God's holiness to prevail with His people.

Thanksgiving First said...

"When a man taketh a wife, and married HER...." (Deuteronomy 24:1)
now this GOD (THE ONLY TRUE GOD) says a man taketh a wife...wife=HER...He says nothing about marraige being any other form but a man with a woman.

"Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22) The Lord GOD was speaking to Moses and there was not a woman present to take that instruction to make it mean any different than GOD speaking to mankind not to lie down with mankind of their same sex.

Now these are straight from the Torah side (old testament) ...I can also quote text from the New Testament as well...and this is the 'mindset' of the Lord in His present time only He understands that there is a serious battle of powers (yes, powers above mankind's understanding) at work in opposing one another....so He offers grace if one will come to an agreement to obey the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY (Jehovah GOD) and turn away from the wrongful practices that oppose GOD's perfect wisdom.
That is why JESUS (YESHUA) was sent..to help mankind overcome the work of the devil (ACTS 26: 18).

If you cannot comprehend why I would post this then don't give up...Saul had to be blinded by Christ's appearing only to be sent an apostle to tell him about what he experienced and why then he was given back his sight (Acts chapter 9). But if this is all hogwash to you then perhaps GOD isn't calling you to choose you for salvation. It was not making any sense to me til my 40's so perhaps GOD can reach another as well in their seniorly years.

There are laws against sodomy on the books of many states...they are not being enforced because it is like an epidemic...and there are many people stuck in that lifestyle because of the spiritual battle and not all are being called out of it but some have been called out and have given wonderful testimonies of what GOD has done to deliver them out of the hand of satan.

maybe because I saw the use of the word 'rabbi' i thought that this forum was about those conversing regarding the Torah...was I wrong?

AaronHerschel said...
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AaronHerschel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AaronHerschel said...

Wow. I'm shocked that you're shocked. Have you, y'know, never read the archives on this blog? The Rabbi is (forgive the generalization) more or less a left-leaning liberal humanist who decries religious fundamentalism and practices a non-literal and historically contextualized interpretation of the bible. The argument goes that the Torah is a human document and reflects the biases of its historical moment. There is great wisdom to be found there, but occassionally great foolishness, and often great ambiguity, as well. I would suggest that all of us "read a different text" when we turn to Torah. That is why Torah merits discussing.

Rabbi Rami said...

AaronHerschel has got me down pat. There is much in the Bible that is holy and much that is unholy. I like the "love your neighbor" and "love the stranger" and all the prophetic calls for compassion and justice, and put these in the holy category. God sanctioned slaughter of the first born Egyptians, genocide against Amalek, and the ethnic cleansing of Canaan, on the other hand, I put in the unholy category along with the entire Book of Revelation.

I understand that if you take the Bible literally you have make excuses for this God, but I refuse to do that. The Bible is a human document. Sometimes humans are open to God and speak of love and justice, but most of the time we only hear our own egos pretending to be God and we speak of fear and hate.

But if we are going to take the Bible literally, OK. Let's do that. I agree the Bible says God hates men lying with men. OK. But what if they aren't lying down? What if they are standing up? Or what if one is bending over? God is silent about that. Maybe God doesn't hate gay men only horizontal sex between gay men. And what about lesbians? Not a word. So the only conclusion we can draw is that God has an issue with horizontal gays and loves or at least doesn't worry about lesbians. God may be more liberal that some of us thought.

Peter M. Schogol said...

G-d doesn't say anything about two men in a shower either. Hmm, maybe in TODAY'S GOOD NEWS FOR ATHLETES; I'll check it out at Barnes & Noble.

Oh, Jordan, I was kidding about conceding. In truth I was in no mood to debate. We've just gone a week without power here in Kentucky, and I was working the Emergency Operations Center, and I was conserving energy (so to speak). I couldn't imagine wasting it on a discussion of FOX News.

Jordan said...

Shalom Peter,

You wrote: "I couldn't imagine wasting it (energy) on a discussion of FOX News."

The parenthetical "energy" above is mine.

Sorry for the power loss and the inconveniences you've experienced and that doesn't change the fact that your comment above is condescending and smug. I trust that your opinions of Fox News are from actually watching rather than as I wrote earlier to Gregroire using unvetted google citations, "Media Matters" out of context hatchet jobs, or John Stewart Youtube videos. I challenge you to watch Bill O'Reilly for two weeks straight. Then bring me your criticism. We can continue "off blog." My email is: eashtov@aol.com

This is exactly what I did in order to be able to reasonably talk about Keith Olbermann, because I understood that it's philosophically untenable to reject something from a place of ignorance.

Blessings,
Jordan

Peter M. Schogol said...

I'd say "condescending and smug" is a fair appraisal of my character.

Thanksgiving First said...

First of all....does anyone out there have any other hope rather than believing that we have a Creator that has a decision about what to do with each of us when we expire in these bodies?

I would rather believe in the hope that we have a 'righteous' creator...rather than an infinite warped one. So if we understand that we did not create ourselves (as you and i did not plan our existance in the womb nor the first human ever made)...and that all of this didn't just show up on its own...then perhaps we might understand that we do have a Creator and that He knows what He has made and why.

If we can agree that we did not make ourselves (mankind and all other of the creation) then we can maybe understand that there really is a plan of how to communicate/work more effectively with one another on this planet and beyond. If we can understand that to populate the planet of its species of humans that GOD's perfect plan for 'family' was to begin and end with the commitment of two individual (one male and one female) to bring about another (these two become one flesh means they produce an offspring of the human seed)...then we can see why GOD would tell Moses to tell the people that they should hear Him as He knows what is best. Clearly He called it abomination if it was not a viable way that He would approve of to work with mankind at that time..and foreseeably for the future as well. Whether all of the Bible is "GOD inspired or breathed" I cannot say...I just know that I have a relationship with GOD thru Christ and that only came about by Him calling me to believe. Not all are called, not all are chosen...(chosen to learn the truth that is somewhat cloaked in mankind's understanding)...that is why Jesus is recorded as saying, 'he that has ears let him hear what the Spirit is saying'.
If you cannot 'hear' what the Holy Spirit is saying...then pray to hear Him as He is real and He usually doesn't like working with foolish men/women...who waste His time. Though He has been known to save 'fools of their dark understanding' and even some corrupt kings (Nebechadnezzer) have been humbled to admit there is only One GOD over all.

Tell me, how do you get rid of the termites in your home or any garden pests if you do not make selective choices yourself as to what to keep and what not to?

Jordan said...

Shalom Peter,

You wrote: "I'd say "condescending and smug" is a fair appraisal of my character."

And I wrote nothing of the sort. My response referred to your comments. You made it about your character.

Blessings,
Jordan

Peter M. Schogol said...

Jordan,

I stand with my words. If they are smug and condescending so am I. I am not afraid of taking stock of myself, nor admitting that I am a man of many biases and characteriological shortcomings.

I am never offended by the truth, no matter the spirit in which it is intended or delivered. However, the trade off is that I don't feel a need to defend what I believe, however ill-informed those beliefs are or seem to be.

As this line of communication has nothing really to do with "Gay Gene," I', going to discontinue my end of it.

Blessings
Peter

Jordan said...

Shalom Peter,

You wrote: "I don't feel a need to defend what I believe, however ill-informed those beliefs are or seem to be."

Of course!! And the consequences of any behavior resulting from the beliefs one holds will always be held up to the light of day.

Blessings,
Jordan

Grégoire said...

Dear Thanksgiving,

I don't agree with any of your sentiments, but I really appreciate your article. I was born a Mormon, in rural Utah, and so I grew up immersed in your sentiments (though from my perspective, you were one of the damned).

If we can understand that to populate the planet of its species of humans that GOD's perfect plan for 'family' was to begin and end with the commitment of two individual (one male and one female) to bring about another (these two become one flesh means they produce an offspring of the human seed)...then we can see why GOD would tell Moses to tell the people that they should hear Him as He knows what is best.

I don't believe in God, but I'm open-minded. I've never had an audience with his (her?) divine majesty, so if my belief is important I trust s/he'll knock on my front door at some point and introduce herself.

At that point of introduction, if s/he wants me to hate homosexuals (or Christians, Jews, left-handed redheads, or whatever) I probably still wouldn't indulge him/her. I've been to too many magic shows to be fooled by the odd miracle, and it wouldn't serve to do anything but convince me that this god isn't worth respecting. Some of us would actually prefer autonomy over promises of a hereafter, and I wouldn't sacrifice my own ability to come to my own conclusions simply to appease someone else -- even god.

My point? If you believe in God, then you have to credit him or her with giving you that wonderful brain which allows you to indulge in casual banter here on this blog. As you have used yours, we have used ours. I don't agree with the rabbi any more than I agree with you, but we can all enjoy each others' company while we argue back and forth, in an attempt (probably futile) to come to some shared understanding of the world. I appreciate the fact that you've at least bothered to think about issues larger than your own immediate needs, which is more than most do in this day and age.

Best to you...

G

Patti said...

I wonder why the homosexual issue either biblical or social is such a hot button with men. Seriously, haven't any of you taken any psychology classes? What are you so afraid of? Of course those who need to see the root of their fear will deny it and call it justified anger because God hates it too. Can you see that you choose to focus on parts of the Bible that justify your fear? Gosh...some of you are darn right scary and really need to take a deep breath and get some perspective on life and what is really important. To the others, ignore my rant.

People are important! No matter their lifestyle, religion or ideology. Facts are fleeting, self-centered and mostly arrogant searches for consensus. Truly men, what legacy do you want to leave behind (no matter where you think you are going?) Do you want people to remember you because of your unrelenting search for truth that trampled anyone who disagreed? Or maybe it would be nice to be remembered for your unrelenting search for OTHER’S truths that was gracious, kind and understanding.

It is apparent that you are trying to discuss issues of great importance to you and I applaud that and the evil part of me enjoys the discord. Yet the spiritual part of me recoils at the underlying hatred in God’s name.

Rami, I laughed out loud at “standing up.” I love your responses to these very complex and difficult issues.

Thanksgiving First said...

When we come into this world...we usually start out with the 'parent's perspective' on life (for that is normally who is in charge when we are toddlers ...then the perspective is opened up when we go to schools and then the teachers and other adult figures become the perspective of learning. If all those adults or even some of them are not GOD respectful people then we do not even most likely learn of GOD and it is usually when we discuss things like Christmas, etc. with fellow classmates that we learn of the Christmas story and the easter celebration of the Resurrection, and the stories of Moses, Joseph, etc.

By that time there is an independent thinking that is established in the mind of the individual that just accepts what has been taught. Then as the individual matures more then questions arise as to who are we? who made all this? who is the one many refer to as GOD?
About that time is when many seek spiritual answers by turning to philosophy, various religious sects, etc.

It is a 'pentup' anger for some that sometimes is there within the individual who wants to know the answers, immediately and confirm just who made us. The type of demand that usually exists when an adopted child finds out that their parents are not really their parents and then they want to find the one that brought them into this world...and sometimes to their dismay as to why they were abandoned for adoption. Then they may experience attending the funeral of a loved one and those impeding questions arise again...who are we, who made us, why, and what happened to their loved one and what will happen to each of us eventually?

So it is that when the Creator of all does not answer to that individual personally then one can lose some hope in finding the answers to these questions and perhaps even get tired of discussing them.

Yet all along there is a real battle against powers that are unseen or known realistically because they are at a higher level (and a different realm)so one cannot conceive the fact that the Creator could be possibly having any problem in relating Himself to them when they do ask. Yet there is a problem, even if the statement is made 'with GOD all things are possible'...there is also a time frame involved with getting the real story to the individual and getting past the unseen realm (unseen to us perhaps with most) to get the true story told. The story of the 'prodigal son' only lists the rebellion of the prodigal until he realized just how good he had it at home....yet in the real life situation here on earth there is a 'third party' obstacle that has to be overcome in order to hear the Creator tell His side of the story. That my friends is the true story of why Christ had to be 'hid' as an infant....that prophecies had to be given as puzzles laid in text...that Herod was driven by a wrongful mindset (the darkness that had a hold on him) to even issue a decree to slaughter infants while searching for the promised messiah's birth born of a virgin. This GOD 'who is able to do all things' and is the greatest.....had to send an angel to warn Joseph, had to find a way to get a story that would live forever and point to His very existance, and made the way for that story to be told everyday, every way in the universe we know.

Yet some of you have grown weary in crying out for the truth (just in case your own search for identity spiritually is wrong)...because the Creator hasn't made His way to you yet. Have patience...respond to those that tell you good things about Him, stop mocking Him, make the way easier to communicate by welcoming Him. If you will treat a stranger well whom you do not know why would you mock an invisible force who made you and all of creation?

In case you wonder just what type of battle could GOD the maker of all creation be having to reach you? Read the first two chapters of Job and realize that the one who tested Job is no longer in heavenly places...he was judged and no longer has an existance in heaven and was exiled to the earth with all of his followers (they are referred to as rebellious angels though we really don't know the full story).
Jesus Himself refers to the battle being fought in the Kingdom of Heaven and refers to them as 'violent ones'. ( Matthew 11: 12 but pls use a King James version as some of the newer modern versions have changed this statement by Jesus...and it is very important to understand that Heaven was suffering in a battle when Christ arrived to talk to the people). Many of those beings have made many a human a 'slave' without the human knowing it. That is why the Holy Spirit has been sent to help those of mankind who want free of the power of satan.

Pls consider that you are not the 'top of the line' of authority in the earth and universe....and there are unseen powerful beings that are more capable than you...and that is why Israel needed a 'forever saviour' and that is why the whole earth is groaning for help from above...for we as humans need guidance from the One who planned all of this in the hope that He planned rightousness and lovingkindness to prevail over the evil works.

For those of you who have accepted homosexuality and lesbian lifestyles to your joy then perhaps you have found something that feeds your flesh here on earth with giving fullness to your own sensual desires...but can you take the chance of not finding out if there is another way?...is it worth going without the 'feeding of your pleasures' to find out if your Maker approves or disproves. yet if satan has you in that mindset no one could free you except the One opposed to satan who gave us Jesus the Christ as our reedeemer. Remember Christ came to 'cast out devils and He did'...for some of you that may not make sense....but it is that the devil is known for cloaking the mind of the one who is enslaved in ignorance of his Maker.

Search and google to see if some have been delivered of demons/devils that used them for homosexuality/lesbian behaviour. I have heard testimonies of miraculous deliverences and people returning to a lifestyle that GOD intended them to have from the very beginning. I write this myself with an understanding that was given when I asked GOD why are there homosexuals and are they displeasing to Him...and I must say it hasn't been a pretty course of an answer. It is a matter of recognizing that there are spiritual hierarchies and that mankind's spirit isn't the top of authority in the universal way of looking at it. That is why some of these so called spirits have been instructing some in ways of rebellion against GOD's design by having people do wrongful acts against themselves and others....because they know that the people cannot see them or know that they are there until the spirit within the man/woman starts crying out for help and some actually do cry out to the True GOD and obtain help. "Those that call upon the Lord will in no wise be cast out" (that does not include demons that call out...that statement was made for humans seeking deliverance and calling upon their Maker for help). And if some of you would resent GOD delivering you of those whoredom spirits that have caused the homosexuality/lesbianism/fornications then perhaps you should ask why you would resent GOD for delivering you of such?..then that should tell you if you are in a 'spiritual slavery' position to an unseen force who wants to use your body to mock GOD who also made him/it. For if you say 'no' to your body being used for immoral purposes...then you will need GOD's help to stay with that 'no' as it is GOD's power that wages the war against the devil/demon to free you of its power over you.
(Acts 26: 18)

Some of you have said, "GOD help me"...when He did ,...you forgot to thank Him and even convinced yourself that it was you that solved the problem...that is because the evil one had cloaked your memory of you calling out to GOD and getting help. Read the story of the 'sower sows the seed' a parable of Jesus talking about the power of the devil trying to keep GOD's instructions out. Hopefully you can get this info and understand it to help your soul and clean up some unanswered questions...I pray that if you do ask GOD about what I have written that He will send His Best to get the word of life sown in you to help you and to be reunited with Him that loves you so very much and wants you to know that He is working at getting to you...that is why He has sent some messengers with good news to you...so receive them with as much joy as you can possibly can...cause it is a battle. If you are being called to learn the truth...stop behaving as a stubborn animal with its owner. The devil/satan has no legal rights to your body or soul and though he may have a more realistic name known in the realm we refer to as Heaven...we only have the Bible book as any written instruction about him and we can see that 'unrightous evil works' are not acceptable as many have been imprisoned in prisons as a result of their wrongdoings towards mankind after being judged by their own peers/elected authorities. So why is it any different than that when Jesus said that the violent tried to usurp the power of GOD and the Heavenly Host...that GOD ordered them exiled to another place? Unfortunately we live on the same planet and those beings know of their own power and they know how to 'cloak' themselves as unseen to mankind and have even convinced some that they don't exist. (Revelation 12: 7 - 17..pls read it).

Jeff said...

Dear TF,

I don't know if I "believe in God," but I have a sense of his/her reality. I believe the Biblical text reflects the human expression of experience of the divine at a particular time.

I am curious, TF, if you consider the eating of shrimp and pork an abomination. I don't, really, yet I refrain because it is the custom of my people and is a spiritual exercise which does no harm to anyone except perhaps swine farmers, and they have plenty of business. If you don't consider them an abomination, how can you cite Leviticus as an authority on this. Personally I find the two verses open to many interpretation, some of which are not anti-Gay.

Anyway, I don't particularly appreciate being preached to by you, assuming that it is necessary to hold a world view that no one else here seems to hold. Some common discourse is necessary for reasonable communication.

Thanksgiving First said...

I am curious, TF, if you consider the eating of shrimp and pork an abomination

I think rules are made at various times for different peoples, different cultures, and they evolve as the Creator sees they should.

When the Lord required the worship on the Sabbath so that the people would spend the time honoring HIM...He found it really disgusting that the elders had to stone people cause they wouldn't stay in their tents and spend time with Him...yet He was only trying to let them know that they shouldn't work all the time...they should spend time with Him in learning of Him and being with HIm. But until Christ was sent ...the people couldn't really understand fully. For with the measure of Christ (YESHUA) one can spend time with the Lord Himself and be satisfied and want that special time whether it be Friday nite at sundown or Sunday early morning.

So it is when the people ate pork in those days ..they lived in a wilderness area...surely you know that pork not cooked fully could be an abomination if one ate it and got sick from it...same for certain species of animals and even some rules for cooking seafood (some most likely ate it raw in those days ...as they still didn't have the modern day cooking and storage methods that have been developed). Did you know that the 'Amana' microwave invention came from Bible believing Christians? So it is that when Christ came it was to free the people from having to interpret written laws that were evolving over time...yet the laws about fornication and types of unions such as men with men and women with women...though they be not always laws being enforced with punishments...they surely are not the 'best' way to deal with GOD's invention of man and woman.
GOD is 'family' oriented in His ways and always will be....He wants a man to love a woman and be committed in his faithfulness to her and begat children and raise grandchildren and that pattern continue. When people use fornication to please their sensual nature outside of a committment to the other individual they are asking for trouble...such as venerael disease (bedding down with strangers who also bed down with strangers is where many problems arise and not just venereal), such as rivalry and jealousy (as they have no legal committment), and of course they are following their own pleasures rather than going GOD's defined way of working as they are His invention (coupled as man and woman) and His creation alone. At the beginning it was the law and punishments with GOD ordained priests...but soon that priesthood had corruptive priests and those who used/defined the law wrongfully...it was necessary then to develop a way to teach mankind by the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Spirit ..Ruach HaKodesh) and the most beneficial way was to be immersed with the Holy Spirit within..that is what is spoken by the prophet Joel and mentioned in the book of Acts, chapter 1 and 2 by the early apostle Peter, New Testament. Also Jesus mentions it several times in John chapter 3 and tells the disciples to wait for the Spirit to arrive (Acts chapter 1).

I actually am not preaching at you...I am sharing with you some knowledge/wisdom. A wise man will admonish wisdom...an ignorant one will scoff. In either case I enjoy sharing as I did not know that GOD and Christ were real until my 40's and I personally was delivered by the Holy Spirit of all the rebellious/wrongful ways that I had learned thru the years. So if I can confirm what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to someone to help them , then surely I will. When you hear a voice telling you to pour that wine/beer/liquor down the sink cause you don't need it...then do. Saved me a lot of money and surely has kept me sober.

I thank you for replying...I do hope you understand I say these things in kindness.

Thanksgiving First said...

I just want to correct my statement about Amana....they introduced the microwave ovens into the home kitchens but they did not invent it...Here is a link about that.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amana_Colonies#Amana_beliefs

In reading it I see they also had a problem of getting all to follow their rules/and surely some of the rules were from the New Testament. Again trying to get everyone to interpret and follow written laws requires discipline measures...and sometimes people are not breaking a law and sometimes a law should have never been introduced. So it is that when someone has the Holy Spirit that He is the law itself (the Living Law) as He ever lives to interpret just what the individual's intentions really are and He is the final judge of the matter ...though surely some may see their judgment(punishment) in ways we cannot comprehend. But He did not come as a priority to enforce punishment...He came to instruct and teach rightousness to those who would listen so He could explain that this life on earth is just the beginning of the spiritual journey. Does a caterpillar know when it weaves a cocoon around itself that it will come out flying as a butterfly? Does anyone you know really know what they will be when their exterior body ceases? Personally I would like to believe (and do) in GOD and that He sent His son as the remedy to unite Himself with His creation so He could effectively communicate and participate at our level with us, His creation. God is spirit...Jesus said so. So when GOD told me that fornication is a 'dead end' that leads to more problems than blessings....I started listening and He is right, I was wrong. Yet some meet and fornication is involved, then they marry....does that mean they are still sinning/rebellious against GOD? Well, it would be best to ask GOD individually...as He is the judge of such....yet repentance is a good way to turn that situation around and get back on the right path. I just came to the understanding that some may have their folly (their own ways versus GOD's defined ways)and feel quite comfortable about it...so it is that when they meet their maker they will find if that path worked out better for them. They take their chances...as GOD is the one that is doing the final 'eternal' choosing anyway you look at it.

If I tell a person they shouldn't fornicate/be a homosexual/lesbian, then I haven't solved the problem by telling them that. But if I tell them if they are not at peace with such behaviour and if they ever want to know why...just ask GOD and listen to Him. For GOD has an enemy with great power and surely that enemy has caused some to think they are right instead of listening to GOD..cause GOD's enemy no longer has a place in heavenly places so why would he want a human creation of GOD's to receive what he cannot have anymore? There is an evil spirit that has people in strongholds of fornication and homosexuality/lesbianism...yet the people caught in such don't know it until they ask to be delivered by pursuing GOD for answers...and even then it is a battle for some to get delivered from the evil one.

Jeff said...

Dear TF,

I hope you can understand that what feels like loving sharing of wisdom to you sounds like preaching to me. We Jews have a history of centuries of loving sharing from Christians which we had to listen to, which often became even torture or martyrdom. I thank God that I now have the choice to read your long posts, skim them, or ignore them, and I don't in any way accuse you of wanting to force me to believe as you do.

I note that you find some prohibitions of Leviticus still binding and others not, and your picking and choosing follows your own understanding of the nature of God. Personally, I don't choose to follow a conception of God (for all we have is conceptions of God) that would create people with only homosexual desires and then forbid them any legitimate outlet for loving expression of those desires.