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WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Could Supreme Court be influenced by quickening pace of states legalizing gay marriage?

It was Delaware a week ago. Now it's Minnesota.

Minnesota has made it a dozen states that have so far sanctioned gay & lesbian marriage.

Now comes the intriguing question: At some psychological, subliminal, or even overt level, could the quickening pace of states approving marriage equality influence the high court's ruling on the gay marriage cases before it?

But if so, in which direction? That the high court can't afford to put itself on the "wrong side of history"? I know some Supreme Court watchers who believe the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, in particular feels such a historic tug; he doesn't want to be remembered as someone presiding over a high court which went BACKWARDS. (For example, in the way 19th-century Chief Justice Roger Taney's name & legacy will forever be tied to the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision!)

Or conversely, perhaps the justices could rationalize that changing public opinion - and the political process in various state capitals and in Washington - is pushing forward gay marriage just fine; no need for the justices to intrude on the political process.

A piece in The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR on line reflects on these points...


http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2013/0514/When-Minnesota-approves-gay-marriage-does-Supreme-Court-listen-Maybe.-video


And from USA TODAY, an analysis on how even Angelina Jolie's preventive double mastectomy could influence the Justices' thinking on at least one of their cases...


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/05/14/supreme-court-angelina-jolie-cancer-gene-patent-gay-marriage-voting-rights/2159297/

Posted at 8:33am on May 15, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

kavips
Wed, May 15, 2013 8:44am
Of course, they will be. Just as Roberts and the court were influenced by the benefits of Obamacare.

teatime
Wed, May 15, 2013 9:25am
The judges are supposed to base their decisions on facts and points of law. They're not supposed to make decisions based on public opinion polls. They're not supposed to stick their finger in the air and see which way the political winds are blowing.

Let's hope the high court preserves traditional marriage as one man and one woman.

billsmith
Wed, May 15, 2013 9:35am
How naive: Political scientists who study the courts have demonstrated Supreme Court justices act based on their own "personal policy preferences." Some have refined this to the point that by a looking at Justices' past decisions, they can predict with almost perfect accuracy the outcome of any Supreme Court vote.

TeaTime: Still pushing "freedom" for things you want but not for anybody else? Sig heil. You homophobes hate gays because you are fighting an unacceptable temptation.

kavips
Wed, May 15, 2013 9:40am
But Teatime, as BillS alludes, if one has always been against homosexuality and suddenly everyone is looking at it with fresh eyes, you have to as well. You can't say... Nope. Not listening. Mind's made up. Instead, you look at the problem differently. You question why it is that so many people who once thought like you, are now changing their minds...

With open eyes comes hope that things will change.

billsmith
Wed, May 15, 2013 11:09am
Big red banner saying "Stormwatch Now Active." Media cries "wolf" again. Another "storm of the century?" No, scattered thunderstorms. 30% chance. All hype, all the time. And people wonder why the media aren't trusted.

Allan Loudell
Wed, May 15, 2013 11:18am
No storm of the century, Mr. Smith. Probably no storm at all.

It's not my bailiwick, but we don't have a separate heading name for a school dismissal unrelated to the weather. (I wish we did!) Possibly saying "Electrical Outage Watch" would be too convoluted!

In this case, St. Georges Tech dismissed at 11 because of a power outage.

I confess I looked at that red banner myself about half an hour ago and wondered, "Storm?"

Alas, it is now 12 Noon, and this banner has now evaporated. Sigh!

mrpizza
Wed, May 15, 2013 8:26pm
America is now on its final descent down the slippery slope towards Sodom and Gomorrah. The lost lives of all our soldiers in all our wars will be in vain if homosexuals are given full reign to turn our country into a moral sespool.
We may as well just pour all kinds of sewage sludge into our waterways and all kinds of noxious emissions into the air. The effect will be exactly the same.

kavips
Wed, May 15, 2013 9:31pm
Mr. Pizza. There's a church for you in Kansas... It is called the Westboro Baptist Church.

mrpizza
Wed, May 15, 2013 9:53pm
kavips: Why? Just because I speak the truth? There's a place for you in North Korea, too.

mrpizza
Wed, May 15, 2013 10:04pm
I think the Supreme Court better stop worrying about being on the wrong side of history and get itself on the right side of God.

billsmith
Thu, May 16, 2013 2:45am
Christianity in action, once again!

Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 16, 2013 8:08am
Maybe Mrpizza's comment might sound better if said this way:

It's not important that God be on our side of the issue, but we be on God's side of the issue. [A paraphrase of the statement President Lincoln said about our nation's position on the Civil War].

I'm sure you can find the exact quote, but you get the idea of what Lincoln was saying.

billsmith
Thu, May 16, 2013 8:49am
MikeFromDelaware: People create god in their own image. Narrow-minded bigots and homophones imagine for themselves a deity as filled with hate as they are. I am coming to see the main difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is in Catholicism, only one guy thinks he is infallible. All protestants seem to assume they have a direct line to god, know exactly what scripture means and what god's opinion is on any issue. Prejudice, narrow-mindedness, arrogance, anger and hate all in one ugly package. That's why Christians disgust me.

How do you know what side your so-called god is on? How do you know your so-called god even has a side? Keep in mind, whatever side you pick, millions of other "good Christians" are going to say you're wrong. If left to your own devices, all you "good Christians" would start killing each other to prove who's right. What a sick cult you all have concocted for yourselves.

And since you were too lazy to spend 10 seconds to find it, the quote you had in mind was: "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."

The question remains: What is god's side? And how come Christians or anybody else have never been able to determine or to agree on what god's side is (while fighting each other over the issue)?

Confederates thought they were on god's side, too.

Mark Twain said one goes to heaven for the climate and hell for the company. I can think of no worse fate than an eternity surrounded by "good Christians" and the vindictive, angry god they've imagined for themselves.

Mike from Delaware
Thu, May 16, 2013 3:45pm
Billsmith: Thank you for taking the time to find the exact quote : "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God's side, for God is always right."

It seems to me that Lincoln may not have been totally sure and was humble enough [quite a feat for President] to admit he wasn't sure if this was God's will or not, but hoped it was.

You assume a lot about what I believe, but it's just not worth the effort as you only want to argue and bash me, my faith, and any others who share that faith in Jesus Christ.

As the Einstein saying went[suppoesedly said by Albert I'm sure you'll let us know if that isn't correct], he supposedly said: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is insanity. So trying to explain my faith walk, my beliefs, etc, etc, to you is just like that, insanity and a total waste of time. The Bible says that each of us are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. I know what I believe, I've tried to share with you what I believe and have tried to answer any questions, etc, in a respectful way even though you and I don't see much if anything in agreement. I've done this, not for any reward for me [there isn't a bonuse or commission for winning souls to Christ], but so hopefully to help you come back to Christ, because Christ died for you too and I wouldn't want you to spend an eternity in Hell. However, whether or not you do is totally up to you. Be at peace.


billsmith
Thu, May 16, 2013 4:28pm
MikeFromDelaware: I am not commenting on the specifics of your faith. I agree with Robert Heinlein that all religions look equally ridiculous from the outside. I am just observing that lots of people read the same Bible and come to completely different conclusions about what god wants. Your comments make it clear that you think those who support marriage equality are in opposition to god and that you are certain you are right. Many Christians draw the opposite conclusion and they are sure they are right.

This practice, common to Christianity (not to many other faiths), is people who make themselves right and others wrong - and often (not always) try to impose their opinion of what's "right" on others. Despite sayings attributed to Jesus which I admire, this is what I find repellant about organized Christianity.

And yes, it was Einstein.

mrpizza
Thu, May 16, 2013 8:17pm
And as icing on the cake, please enjoy this most inspirational 4 1/2 minute video from the greatest president ever:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/OvN1jTkzXbY?rel=0

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 17, 2013 12:40am
Billsmith: A couple of thoughts. First thought: Here is a link that presents the Augsburg Confession. It discusses the Mass.

http://www.lcms.org/belief-and-practice

The Augsburg Confession see page 14 Article 24 - Mass.

Second thought: You said: “Your comments make it clear that you think those who support marriage equality are in opposition to god and that you are certain you are right. Many Christians draw the opposite conclusion and they are sure they are right.”

Actually, I’ve been wrestling with the issue of homosexual marriage and related issues for well over 15 years when I had a gay man ask me does God love him? Just for the record, I said, yes, he loves you as much as he loves anyone one else and don‘t allow anyone to tell you otherwise [we had an interesting conversation for about an hour].

Interestingly, I’ve had some e-mail conversations with a liberal Christian friend of mine on this issue. She is an ELCA Lutheran. We’ve had a really great dialog, and what was really special about this discussion is that neither of us insulted the other and even though we don’t see this issue from the same vantage point, we are friends, enjoy each other's company, can worship together, etc., etc.

One point she made has lodged itself in the back of my mind and I can‘t easily dismiss it, as she made a great point. I had mentioned that Luther was all about the Bible being the standard, you know Solo Scriptura, and from what I’ve read about Luther, he considered homosexuality to be a sin. I said, “Here are some things Martin Luther said about homosexuality, or as he called it, Sodomy.  He apparently had pretty strong feelings about this issue [I guess that isn't too surprising though as Luther seemed to have strong opinions about most things]. 

Martin Luther's comments on Genesis 19:4-5. He writes:
I for my part do not enjoy dealing with this passage, because so far the ears of the Germans are innocent of and uncontaminated by this monstrous depravity; for even though disgrace, like other sins, has crept in through an ungodly soldier and a lewd merchant, still the rest of the people are unaware of what is being done in secret. The Carthusian monks deserve to be hated because they were the first to bring this terrible pollution into Germany from the monasteries of Italy. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 251-252)

The heinous conduct of the people of Sodom ” as “extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 255)


She agreed, but then said, “Luther lived in an era when homosexuality was perceived to be a choice, not a predisposition.” My friend then said : “As to the Biblical proof-texting, I will share my thinking, best described by Franciscan Richard Rohr:  "If you see God  (or interpretation of God's words and intentions) operating at a lesser level than the best person you know, then the text is not authentic revelation.  If God is love, then no person could be more loving than God, and God is never less loving then the most loving person you know."

We both mentioned the seeing-through-smoked-colored-glass and wishing we had some Windex to clean off the smoke so we could see clearly.

I replied, “Good point about Luther's time and the quote from Franciscan Richard Rohr.  I too wrestle with that part of this issue.  I know that there's not enough waterboarding, or any other medieval tortures that anyone could do to me that could make me become a homosexual.  I'm just not wired that way.  So yes, this is where part of my problem lies [in understanding what God‘s desire is], as God surely must have known this when the first homosexual was born, so why God do you have your word in the Bible condemn these folks if you [God] made them that way [not a choice, but a predisposition]? Seems so unlike God and his Godly love for all of us.

Kind of makes you wonder, dare I say this, but were those guys who were enscribing God's thoughts down on scrolls, ONLY scribing what God actually said, or were they being like Fox News or MSNBC [both are so biased that I don't consider either a real source for news] and adding their slant or spin to it? I'm not saying that is what happened, but I can't help, but ask the question.

So as you can see from this small sampling of our discussions that I’m still searching and seeking God’s face on this issue, Billsmith. I know that I don’t know all the answers, but God does, so I’ve chosen to continue seeking, studying, and praying. I don't condemn anyone; I just don't believe the church should be marrying homosexuals. Any church is free to make that choice for themselves and I support their right to do as they believe God's word says as long as my church has the same right to NOT have to marry homosexuals [it works both ways].

I believe there is nothing to be gained by further discussion of this topic here as we both have expressed our beliefs, thoughts, and ideas, etc., etc., and we just don't see it the same way. So as I've said before, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

I'll give you the last word on this topic. I'll not reply to a response to this topic thus giving you the final word, if you choose to take it. Be at peace.

billsmith
Fri, May 17, 2013 7:24am
MikeFromDelaware: I appreciate that you are wrestling with the issue of marriage equality. But at its core, the issue is how is it your business or anybody else's, whom anyone decides to marry? A church, a group, or any individual has no business sticking their nose into it. If god has a problem with it, let god take care of it. Apparently, a lot of Christians think they are appointed to do (what they think is) god's job for him/her/it. I care about this because I resent people telling me what I can and cannot do (and with whom I can do it). But why do you Christians care so much about, as the old limerick says, who does what, and with which and to whom? Why won't Christians mind their own business and focus on feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, and visiting people in prison like Jesus urged? No, instead the Christian community prefer to police other people's sex lives.

I repeat the issue is not right or wrong or which side god may be on; it's how is it any of your business.

One observation: I notice that you (and most Christians) when they want to prove a point, quote someone. Jesus. Luther. Lincoln. Einstein. Whomever. It's sort of typical of Christianity that people are trained to appeal to some authority. This is basically the approach that brought the Middle Ages to Western Europe; when in doubt, quote Aristotle. The alternative is to do research, collect data or evidence, apply deductive or inductive logic and draw reasoned conclusions - in other words, to think for yourself.

The big difference between the religion of those who claim to follow Jesus, and the religion of Jesus (Judaism) is Christianity is about being right; Judaism is about figuring out what's the right thing to do. Christianity wants to lay down rules; Judaism is about figuring it out. Christianity is about getting to heaven; Judaism is living with other people and how you treat them in the here and now. Christians don't get Jesus because they don't get the religion he practiced.

Reply or not. I realize discussions like this are threatening to you. In any case, I didn't read the rule where you get to decide who gets the last word. But Christians generally feel like they can make rules and others must follow them.

But whatever you do, stop twisting the issue. It's about whether gays can legally marry and have the legal benefits given to married couples. It's nothing about any requirement on what churches can or can't do - including those churches that want to marry gay couples.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 17, 2013 10:19am
Billsmith said, "Reply or not. I realize discussions like this are threatening to you. In any case, I didn't read the rule where you get to decide who gets the last word."

I offered you the last word, not because of some rule in my head, but as I'm finished with this topic at WDEL's blog and didn't want you to think I blew off whatever comment you made to my post above. So I said that out of respect for you, my worth adversary.
's morphed into a heated discussion, between you and I that soon will rival "War and Peace" for its length. Notice we're the only two here that are discussing this [some others early on offered their insights too, but as both of us are very strong [passionate] in our beliefs and convictions and the search for the truth, we both find it difficult to end this very long dialog. You aren't persuaded by what I present and I'm not by what you present. It was an interesting discussion, I certainly have learned some things [my guess is you've not been challenged by my presentations as I'm not as formally educated as you, but I gave it my best shot], but we've gone way past tossing some thoughts back and forth about some issue in the news [which is how this topic got started] and I don't believe that was WDEL's intent to have a "holy war" on their blog. I take the blame for this, because I sort of got this going and could have, should have ended it quite some time ago.

Allan and WDEL have been very gracious to allow both of us the freedom to carry on this difficult and heated discussion for as long as they have [This is their site, not mine or yours]. I don't want to abuse the privilege of being able to post my thoughts here [I fear we both may have already done that with this discussion]. This isn't a pulpit [sometimes I can forget that in my desire to reach others for Christ].

I take my faith and my walk with Christ very seriously, thus all the digging and study I've done on this difficult subject [trust me it would be far easier and far less stressful to simply ignore people like you and not bother searching, digging, and discussing this with anyone], so I don't only listen to those in authority [the dialog with my liberal Christian friend and with you, a former Christian who hates anything at all to do with the church, because of this issue especially] ought to demonstrate that to you.

Because I don't come to the same conclusion as you, you feel the need to put down my efforts, etc. So there really isn't anything else to say, but it's been a good, interesting, and at times a very difficult discussion. I look forward to discussing other issues with you here.

To Allan and WDEL: I apologize if I went over the line and got a bit carried away [OK a whole lot carried away], it wasn't my intention. I didn't mean to abuse your hospitality here. Again, thanks for having this blog.

WDEL's website is my most visited place online, as I listen to the station at work from the website [the station doesn't come in well at my work location, besides it sounds like FM on the computer]. I come here to read the local news and see what the big stories CBS Radio will be covering each morning while eating breakfast on my cell phone's AT&T internet connection; plus I use Allan's and sometimes Big Don's blog sites. I enjoy listening to the Phillies and the Eagle on the radio on 1150 [as the website isn't allowed to air the games]. I catch major parts of Allan's Midday newscast on my car radio during lunch. So thank you all for making WDEL a main part of my day. For me, it is Delaware's source for news [both local and worldwide], traffic, weather, and radio entertainment, plus a place to write my thoughts.


billsmith
Fri, May 17, 2013 10:59am
MikeFromDelaware: You have never once addressed the topic. Not once. You talk around it. You offer quotes to demonstrate that gay marriage and homosexuality itself are wrong and sinful. You express your fears the churches will be forced to do things. But you don't once explain how what other people do and whom they do it with is any of your business. What gives you the right to force others to live the way you decide? That's the issue. Not your beliefs.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 17, 2013 2:16pm
Billsmith: I addressed this early on, in one of the other threads where this discussion started out somewhere in the distant past.

Personally, I don't give a rip what you do in your bedroom, that's between you and God. There probably have been gay/lesbians in the church since the first century. The difference until recently the LGBT folks used to go and live their lives and do whatever in their bedrooms and kept their business TO THEMSELVES. Today they want to tell all of us about it, and then expect all of us to say that it is a fine alternative lifestyle, completely normal. THAT's the issue.

Then people like you condemn people like me, because we WON'T go against God's Word and say what you want us to say [we're naive, stupid, homophobes, just fell off the turnip truck, etc., because we believe what God said]. THAT's another part of the issue.

Some in the LGBT community I've spoken with have said that they would also want the government to ban the parts of the Bible that say homosexuality is an abomination and have its use and any preaching against homosexuality, or saying it's a sin, etc., considered as hate speech thus a hate crime. As to how many in the LGBT community would push for such a law, I don't know, but the fact that some gay/lesbians I personally know are saying it, says to me where there's smoke there's fire. THAT is also part of the issue.

So if you didn't see or remember me addressing that angle of the issue, NOW I have. So, as I've repeatedly said, we'll just have to agree to disagree. There really isn't anything else to be said.

billsmith
Fri, May 17, 2013 3:20pm
MikeFromDelaware: No, I guess there isn't. You are a homophobic bigot with a completely closed and hate-filled mind. This last post proves it. You can be out in the open about Jesus but they are not allowed to be out in the open who they are. That's because you are right and they are not normal. You can shove religion in people's face but gays should keep quiet. So much for do unto others.

"Some in the LGBT community I've spoken with have said that they would also want the government to ban the parts of the Bible that say homosexuality is an abomination and have its use and any preaching against homosexuality, or saying it's a sin, etc., considered as hate speech thus a hate crime."

This is a lie. Who said this and when? Banning what you don't like is more your style than theirs. I guess we are supposed to believe that the secret gay cabal tells a homophobe like you their plans to take over the world when they don't discuss them publicly.




Mike from Delaware
Fri, May 17, 2013 5:31pm
Billsmith: A couple of lesbian friends of mine said it. No, they didn't say the LGBT as an organization is going to try to legislate this, but they did say if they had anything to say about it, they'd push to have that sort of preaching and those passages in the Bible banned and considered hate speech. That's where legislation comes from, someone coming up with an idea and the right person with power hearing it and deciding to try to make it a law. So it's not as far-fetched as you'd want to paint it.

I have tried to treat you as I'd like to be treated [Jesus' Golden Rule]. I've not once bashed you, your lifestyle [if that is your lifestyle and frankly I don't want to know; that's your business], I've not bashed the LGBT folks, etc., etc. I've tried to have an open honest discussion with you showing you all sorts of respect; you haven't done the same. End of Discussion. Go live your life, I'll live mine.

billsmith
Fri, May 17, 2013 8:07pm
Ban the Bible? Get real. You get your facts and quotes wrong in so many other areas, I can easily see you getting them wrong here.
However, if some preacher (or anyone else) starts publicly calling for the killing of "sodomites," that is clearly hate speech and should be dealt with as hate speech and inciting. If some Muslim "infidel" started saying Christians should be killed, I bet you would want something done about it. I suppose just because somebody is urging the killing of people in a group that does not include you, then it's OK.

billsmith
Fri, May 17, 2013 8:17pm

"The Utrecht sodomy trials were a large-scale persecution of homosexuals that took place in the Dutch Republic, starting in the city of Utrecht in 1730. Over the following year, the persecution of "sodomites" spread to the rest of the nation, leading to some 250 to 300 trials, often ending in a death sentence.

As of 1730, the Dutch Republic had just experienced an epizootic disease in its cattle population, while its dikes were threatened by shipworm. Several disasters had hit the country: the flooding of Stavoren in 1657, the collapse of the Dom Church's spire in 1674 and the earthquake of 1692 were all ascribed to divine wrath. These circumstances had readied the minds of the Dutch for moral panics, and the homosexual part of the population became their scapegoat..."

And today we have Westboro Baptist and those who want preachers free to demand the death of "sodomites" from their tax-exempt pulpits.



kavips
Fri, May 17, 2013 9:39pm
Why is this still a topic? I thought this was settled with the signing of the Single Sex Marriage Law.

billsmith
Sat, May 18, 2013 12:41am
kavips: Abortion was "settled" 40 years ago but that hasn't stopped the religious right from trying to force their will on the rest of society. You can bet they will keep pushing back on this one, too.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 18, 2013 12:56am

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 18, 2013 1:18am
Bill smith: when has anyone here ever advocated the death of homosexuals?? This why we can't have a reasonable discussion, as long as I agree with Bible that homosexuality is a sin, you'll continue to say I hate gays/lesbians. You learned nothing from my sharing those discussions with my liberal Christian friend. Her approach in discussing this topic has done far more in helping me see this issue in a different light than all stuff you've written here. Maybe it's time for you to look at the log in your own eye, because if anyone here has a hateful attitude it's you. So go ahead and rant some more and hurl more insults, its one thing you're good at doing, you don't help sell your cause with that approach, but that's your problem.

billsmith
Sat, May 18, 2013 1:37am
MikefromDelaware: "If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads." Lev 20:13 (NIV)

Westboro Baptists Demand the Death Penalty for All Gays
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs8hucRoON4

New York Times (Today - 05/18/2013)
"Crowd Led by Priests Attacks Gay Rights Marchers in Georgia

MOSCOW — A throng of thousands led by priests in black robes surged through police cordons in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, on Friday and attacked a group of about 50 gay rights demonstrators. ...

The attack comes amid an increase in antigay talk in Russia and Georgia, whose Orthodox churches are gaining political influence."
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/world/europe/gay-rights-rally-is-attacked-in-georgia.html?_r=0

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 18, 2013 11:48am
Billsmith: Thank you for the links. I checked both out. Both groups are totally wrong, and yes sinning in THEIR actions. Neither group is operating as Jesus would.

I don't believe he would have gone into their protest rally in Russia and confronted them verbally or with stones, but would have allowed them their right to say and protest as they chose. At some point, their paths might have crossed and, as I've said before, Jesus would probably then say to them: I don't condemn you, but go and sin no more. Those Orthodox folks were not doing what Jesus would do. What they did was evil, plain and simple.

Those Westboro Baptists - as I've said before - I question whether they actually are Christians, because those folks are so out in outer space, I see nothing in their actions that even hint thats they have any grace or love from God in anything they say or do. I'm shocked the Baptists around the US don't demand Westboro stop using the word Baptist in their name.

That video was ugly, it was evil. They quote two scriptures: one from the Old Testament Lev 20:13 [as we both know the Old Testament is about an eye for an eye tooth for a tooth - get even pay back evil for evil, but not more evil than was given to you]. Then they use a New Testament reading from Romans 1:32. I checked it, and believe they are totally misreading that scripture. My interpretation of that is NOT that we are to kill sinners, but that those sinners mentioned are dead spiritually in their sins and judgment will be met out by God [fitting the New Testament theme of we no longer are under the law as Christ fulfilled the law with his blood sacrifice, etc., etc., and rather than an eye for an eye, it's turn the other cheek, etc., fitting the NEW law from Jesus: Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself]. Obviously there is nothing of God's grace and love in anything those people of Westboro Baptist do. They are NOT brothers and sisters in Christ with me; they are deceived and I got to believe God's got a "special reward" for them in eternity.

I can totally understand why you're upset. Those two stories upset me too. Imagine how upset God and his Son Jesus must be. I think back to the made for TV movie about Jesus' life. When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, Satan [appears again in that slick black silk suit looking very "Uncle Vito like" and showing Jesus images of what his death and sacrifice will bring as he shows Crusades, Inquisition, WWI, etc.]. As I watched that video and read the article about the Orthodox Russian's stoning those gay/lesbian people, I found myself seeing that version of Satan saying to Jesus, look Jesus, they're doing it again. Gee Jesus, they like the Old Testament part of kicking in people's teeth a whole lot better than the New Testament where they're supposed to love and forgive others. So I can imagine how upset God and his Son Jesus Christ are seeing how badly many of us, who call Jesus, Savior and Lord are NOT living as he taught.

That still doesn't change what God says in both Old and New Testament, so I can not in good conscience say, the gay/lesbian lifestyle is normal or is a fine acceptable alternative lifestyle; BUT at the same time you or anyone else don't need my approval for how you choose to live your life [even though the LGBT community does WANT me and others like me to say its normal thus giving approval]. So go, live your life as you please. I can't speak for other Christians, but as for me [a sinner saved by God Grace and Love in spite of what I truly deserve] I don't condemn you or the LGBT community [who am I to condemn anyone I'm not better than you or them]. I'm not God or Jesus, so I really can't even say to you, go and sin no more, because who am I to say that to you or the LGBT when I'm as much of a sinner as any of you, to God sin is sin. So please don't judge me by what those others say or do. I, just as you and everyone else has to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

So please be at peace. I do believe you are in error in your rejection of Jesus Christ, and am praying for you in that regard that God would help you see who Jesus really is [in spite of his followers that include me], but beyond that, the rest is between you and God, just as my life and my sins and issues are between me and God.

I am truly sorry that I don't have enough grace, love, and yes, education [both in spiritual stuff and secular education] to better show you that God and his Son Jesus love you and the LGBT folks just as much as he loves me. Amen.


billsmith
Sat, May 18, 2013 2:28pm
MikeFromDelaware: You explain the messages very well. But I already know the message well enough. Christian doctrine says god makes some people skeptics, like god makes some people gay. I heard Billy Graham speak once. He didn't close the deal, so don't feel bad you haven't.

"That still doesn't change what God says in both Old and New Testament, so I can not in good conscience say, the gay/lesbian lifestyle is normal or is a fine acceptable alternative lifestyle; BUT at the same time you or anyone else don't need my approval for how you choose to live your life [even though the GLBT community does WANT me and others like me to say its normal thus giving approval]."

I suppose everybody would like approval and agreement. You want approval for Christianity and agreement for your religious views. You are free to disapprove of homosexuality or anything else. Drugs. Liquor. Gambling. "LIBS." There's certainly lots I disapprove of. I only part company with you when you want to forbid or ban what you disapprove of. Again, golden rule. You don't want people passing laws to interfere with things you do or things you are part of; don't pass such laws against what other people do or are part of. If you are not supposed to judge, you can't be passing laws to ban or restrict what others do or who others are.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 18, 2013 2:54pm
Billsmith: I agree that it is human nature to want approval and agreement [its how most folks are wired], but as I'm not going to get LGBT approval and agreement on how I interpret the Bible, the LGBT folks can't expect me to offer approval and agreement either for their position, since what they want approval of goes against that interpretation that is my belief [it works both ways].

I'm confused though, because you seem to imply that I want to pass laws that would keep the gay/lesbians from doing what they want to do [legally]. I said, numerous times, I don't have an issue with the state doing that [Maryland, Delaware, and Minnesota being the latest and have said eventually the Fed will legalize it too] as long as the churches are not required [forced] to do that [If a denomination chooses to do it, that's that denomination's business and it should also have the freedom to do so, so it works both ways for all.]

So on at least that part of this issue, I believe I can say that you and I are in agreement. Again, I can't speak for other Christians; what I'm saying simply reflects my beliefs.

billsmith
Sat, May 18, 2013 3:42pm
MikeFromDelaware: To the best of my knowledge, no laws have been passed to require churches to do most anything. They are allowed to discriminate. They are not bound by employment laws. When anti-miscegenation laws were overturned, churches were not required to perform interracial marriages. Churches get away with a lot. I recall reading they don't even have to observe health codes for church suppers. Apparently they do have to follow fire safety rules most places, but that's about it.

On the other hand, there is the issue of individuals who claim they are being forced to violate their religious principles. If someone takes a government job and part of that job is performing civil marriages, they would likely be required to marry gay couples regardless of their religious views. That's their job. Pharmacists have to dispense morning-after products. And florists can't discriminate on which customers they will service. People made the same kinds of arguments when Jim Crow laws were being overturned. Businesses that serve the public are required to serve the public - everybody, all the time. If someone in the marriage bureau doesn't want to marry gay couples, maybe he should transfer over to drivers' licenses (assuming he's OK with gays driving).

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 18, 2013 5:03pm
Billsmith: That will make me think twice about eating at a church supper -haha!

Yes, I remember the issue with the Pharmacists who didn't want to give the RU 486 abortion pill, nor the Morning After pill and lost their case in court, so they either dispense the requested drug to the proper legal-aged customer as the law requires, or they have to find another job.

I believe the same would apply to any Justice of the Peace who refuses to marry gay/lesbians couples. That Justice of the Peace will either be fired [most likely], or maybe he/she would be transferred to driver's licenses [probably a lower pay grade]. The case in Canada, which I referenced a week or so ago, comes to mind. The difficult thing with that case is the woman is a Pastor. My guess is, she too will lose her case when it goes before a Canadian court as she'd lose here in court. She's not required to marry gay/lesbians in her church [at least that was the impression I got from the article - and I've been wrong before, but that's how I read it], so maybe she'll just have to give up her "secular" gig and be a full-time pastor.

As that is the case, then those employees who work at Catholic hospitals/universities, etc., should also have to leave their job and find work with an employer who does provide that coverage or pay directly themselves for any abortion/birth control rather than the Catholic employer having to provide it. It's the same sort of issue just flipped around, but the same principle applies.

If I don't like the health-care coverage my employer provides, I can't force that employer to pay for something that's not on that employer's plan [I recently had an apple out of that barrel where most health-care plans apparently cover the cost of something, and my plan doesn't cover it at all]. If it is important enough to me [a deal breaker], then I would have to go find work with another employer who's health-care coverage offers or covers what I wanted, or I have to pay for it myself, which is what I did.

billsmith
Sat, May 18, 2013 5:51pm
MikeFromDelaware: Back in the day, all the Missouri Synod churches used to have "harvest suppers" in the fall and I have to admit I really enjoyed them. The kitchen was filled with good old German house frau types cooking basic farm dishes. My grandparents seemed to enjoy them even more than I did because we made the circuit of all the Missouri Synod churches each October and November. Of course, all those dishes are probably stuff my doctor wouldn't want me eating now. Lawrence Welk-style cooking for people in a hurry to have a coronary and get to heaven. Don't wait for the rapture; eat your way to the hereafter. There used to be a popular polka that went "In heaven there is no beer. That's why we drink it here." I suppose there's no food either.

Mike from Delaware
Sat, May 18, 2013 6:30pm
Billsmith: Well said.

billsmith
Sun, May 19, 2013 5:30pm
Birthdays of notable gay people this week:

Honore de Balzac - Author of "dirty books" the mayor's wife wants banned in "The Music Man" ("Chaucer, Rabalais, BAL-zac")

Raymond Burr - Perry Mason, Ironside

Harvey Milk - Assassinated San Francisco city councilor.

Paul Winfield - Starfleet captain captured by Kahn.

Sir Ian McKellen - Magneto, Gandalf, Richard III

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 20, 2013 10:19am
I didn't know Balzac, Paul Winfield, or Richard III were gay.

I've seen Winfield in numerous other films; don't remember off the top of my head which they were; knew his name and face and voice when I saw the Star Trek movie.

Raymond Burr did have a Wilmington connection, as I believe [if I remember correctly] that he had been married to a woman from Wilmington and later divorced her.

He was great as both Perry Mason and Ironside. I still watch both the black-and-white CBS Perry Mason's and the later version on NBC via Netflix. Burr had a unique stage presence that was perfect for Perry Mason, Hamilton Burger never had a chance.

billsmith
Mon, May 20, 2013 12:29pm
MikeFromDelaware: Richard III wasn't gay. Apparently he wasn't as bad as Shakespeare made him out to be, either. But Elizabeth I was his patron and it was her grandfather, Earl of Richmond, who overthrew Richard and established the Tudor dynasty. So, Richard had to be the bad guy.
In any case, the actor who played him in the 1995 film was gay.

Mike from Delaware
Mon, May 20, 2013 1:05pm
Thanks for the clarification.


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