So the marriage certificate is not what determines whether sex is moral or immoral. Then we must say that if legality is not the criterion for the morality of sex, lack of legality cannot be the criterion for its immorality. The average person has associated and confused the question of the morality of sexual conduct with the question of its objective legal status. The reason for this confusion is, in part, that one finds a very easily applied objective norm: sex before marriage is wrong; sex after marriage is right There is something more to the moral quality of sexual behavior than the purely objective legal question of marriage Something else ought to be present; that something else is love The human conforms to the divine image revealed in Christ not by acting in an impersonal, rational way, but by acting from a motive of love.
Nelson, Wink, and McNeill say love is the criterion. At least we can know that the definition is not in either a certificate or a specific sex act but is somewhere in the heart and mind of the participants.
This does not define moral sex, but it tells us that the definition is not in an objective rule, but in the subjective psyche of the participants. Since the minds and hearts of gays and lesbians are in no way limited, are no different from the minds and hearts of heterosexuals, they can have the same criteria as heterosexuals for a moral sex act. These things clearly indicate that requiring celibacy of gays and lesbians cannot be supported by the Bible, is unjustifiable from an ethical standpoint, and can be damaging psychologically.
Many psychiatrists believe a it is wrong to consign a person to such isolation and loneliness, one who is thus cut off from close relationships with either sex, not temporarily but until death; b it is unrealistic to expect this for it is virtually impossible for it to be done; c many of those who attempt to do this do so for pathological reasons; d the "almost inevitable results [of attempting celibacy] will be tragic in terms of suffering, guilt, and mental disorder;" and e growth and maturity require deep and committed relationships in one's life.
In my experience as a psychotherapist, I have found that the vast majority of people living out a life of abstinence do so for pathological reasons. Many have interiorized the homophobia of the surrounding culture and the Church and as a consequence hate and fear their sexual feelings Others live out a life of abstinence because of serious trauma to their capacity for intimacy with another human Those who have repressed or denied their homosexual feelings for pathological reasons are the ones in greatest danger of acting out those needs compulsively, imprudently, and unconsciously, seeking punishment for what they see as their crime I would heartily advise all gay people to develop the most intimate and committed relationship possible for them.
It would seem that a sound scriptural argument against requiring celibacy would be Paul's writing clearly in I Cor. Some commentators suggest that I Tim. Highly respected theologians are coming to the conclusion that gays and lesbians need to develop intimate and committed relationships. Thielicke: "It is true that the homosexual relationship is The call of the Gospel is not one of conforming passively to biological givens; rather, that call is to transform and humanize the natural order through the power to love. William Barclay, whose commentaries on the books of the New Testament have sold over a million copies, has this comment on celibacy: "Sex is a part of life and the deliberate annihilation of it is not a virtue; it is a criticism of life as God made it and meant it to be.
Nor need their experience of ecstatic bodily communion be less valuable. One of the earliest affirmations of this that I found is a statement made by Quakers back in " Homosexual affection can be as selfless as heterosexual affection, and, therefore, we cannot see that it is in some way morally worse. In a symposium on homosexuality at the annual meeting of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies [note Christian Association] reported that behavioral science research and the realities of their clinical practice had forced them to propose that while promiscuity, fornication, and adultery should be regarded as sinful for both homosexual and heterosexual persons, a loving, committed, permanent relationship between two persons of the same sex was in an entirely different category and was not condemned in Scripture, and that Christians burdened with an involuntary homosexual orientation could choose a committed homosexual relationship as within God's will rather than an unwanted celibacy.
If I can believe as I do, that gays and lesbians can have in their hearts and minds the criteria set forth here in their relationships, then I can believe, as I have come to, that they can engage in loving sex that is moral and that provides for their psychological needs--God-created needs--as celibacy cannot. And I can believe that their sexual love is not condemned by scripture, but is within the principles God expects us to live by. You understand this is not a blanket approval of all homosexual sex.
It is speaking of loving, committed relationships. Full acceptance by society, including the blessings and legality of marriage should be extended to gays and lesbians in the same way it is extended to others. Louise, if it is moral as well as psychologically needful--a God-created need--for homosexuals to live as couples in committed relationships, as many theologians and psychologists have said it is, then homosexuals who are in loving, long-term, committed relationships should have the societal rights and privileges that marriage can give them.
Following are some statements in this regard. Gays and lesbians want the right to marry for the same reasons other Americans do: to gain the moral, legal, social and spiritual benefits conferred on the marrying couple and especially on their family unit.
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The material benefits of marriage are considerable, but it is the moral benefit that is especially attractive to many couples, including gay and lesbian ones. Marriage is, or can be, a moral commitment that two people make to one another. The marriage vow enshrines love, honor, respect, and mutual support and gives people access to resources and community acknowledgment that serve to strengthen their bond. Marriage is not conditioned on the intention or the capacity to have children.
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Nothing in marriage, except custom, mandates partners of different genders. If we think about what marriage is for, it becomes clear that it is for people to find ways to live ordered, shared lives; it is intended to be the stablest possible unit of family life and a stable structure of intimacy.https://etosocodol.gq
The Not So Gay Way: A Look at Homosexuality
Noting Paul's advice that it was better to marry than to burn, Theology professor Daniel C. Maguire points out as long as homosexual couples are denied marriage, "there is no alternative to burning. Was it not God who said, "It is not good for man to be alone. James Nelson, Professor of Christian Ethics, believes that "same-sex relationships are fully capable of expressing God's humanizing intentions," and views the "homosexual problem" as "more truly a heterosexual problem" of homophobia , just as the "woman problem" is a problem of "male sexism.
As I have discussed above, the Bible cannot be used to argue against this for the Bible has nothing to say about homosexual people. Here is a religious editor's word in this connection:. Nor can the Bible be confidently cited in this debate.
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Certainly, the concept of same-sex marriage is not found in the Bible. But the concept of government by democracy is also not found in the Bible, only that of monarchy. On strictly biblical grounds, the doctrine of the divine right of kings has a firmer base than government by the people. Human experience, however, has led us to believe that democracy is not an illegitimate, unbiblical form of government. Since the biblical models of marriage range from polygamy at one end to celibacy on the other, we shall have to find our own way and not claim that the Bible permits only one model of marriage.
The fact that we are in a same-sex relationship means that the predetermination of roles by gender, sometimes so destructive a force in heterosexual relationships, is not relevant to our lives.
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Each member of a same-sex couple is free to act from individual interests, predilections, and skills, rather than having to choose between conforming to or rebelling against the cultural norm. We are able to see the mainstream culture from a greater distance and a healthier perspective.
This means that we know that many of the oppressive messages of the culture are inapplicable to us, and that others are simply false or distorted. Ironically, it is the same-sex couple that can most clearly see itself as being composed of two human beings, whereas the heterosexual couple is constantly having to deal with the coercive personae of Man and Woman.
In many ways, we [lesbians] have an easier time of creating a truly egalitarian, mutual and mature relationship. In fact, some researchers are now beginning to look at the same-sex couple as a model for helping heterosexuals to create more human relationships. In contrast with heterosexuals, who often feel alienated from their mates, we need only look inside ourselves to know much about our lovers.
We are able to relax with each other in a much more trusting way than can most straight couples. The inequities in our relationships are individually made ones, for the most part, and not a function of historically sanctioned power imbalances that have created the fear and hatred in which many women and men coexist today.
In a lesbian couple, both women can freely develop strength and competence. In addition, having been socialized as women, we have been trained to be interpersonally sensitive, nurturant, gentle and compassionate. In a heterosexual relationship, these qualities are used primarily to serve the man and to oppress the woman, who often must bear full responsibility for the emotional quality of the relationship These same attributes, however, can create a miraculously high-quality relationship when shared by two women who are matched in their capacities to share and to love.
Once we understand what marriage is, we can see what marriage would mean for us, and why it is worth fighting for. Same-sex marriage would not force anyone to honor or approve of gay or lesbian relationships against their will. But it would enable those of us who are involved in gay or lesbian relationships to get the rest of society to understand that we take these relationships just as seriously as heterosexual married couples take theirs.
And without marriage, we remain second-class citizens - excluded, for no good reason, from participating in one of the basic institutions of society. The document dates to the fourth century, if not earlier. In other words, nine centuries before heterosexual marriage was declared a sacrament, the church liturgically celebrated same-sex covenants. Louise, this goes against everything I had ever thought about homosexuality--which I confess now was very little. But I pray for an open mind that puts truth first in my thinking. I see truth in all of the above.
Regardless of what I have thought in the past, this is what I have to believe now. Josh Billings, thank you for your encouragement. As in society, gays and lesbians should be accepted and affirmed in our churches and given any opportunity for service, including ordination, that others have. You know that for the past decade or so most Protestant denominations have been debating whether to affirm, and especially whether to ordain, homosexuals.
I have read of much of this activity and the reports.
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