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Monday, August 16, 2010

Will the Bible's Admonition Against Homosexuality be Termed "Hate Speech"?


Following a ruling by a California judge that in effect, negated the votes of 7 million Californians, same sex marraige will continue for the time being in the Golden State. One question being raised in the wake of the ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker is if Proposition 8 was overturned is if it will be considered "hate speech" for ministers to deliver sermons in which the Biblical admonishions against homosexuality are brought up. Judge Walker wrote in his ruling that "Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians." There is already an example we can examine from Sweden in which a minister was arrested for speaking out against homosexuality. Liberty University Law School dean Matthew Staver has weighed in on Judge Walker's ruling...

"It’s an astounding statement by a judge, and if that finding were to be upheld, it would criminalize Christian beliefs, because the Bible and Christian beliefs historically have clearly indicated that homosexuality is sex outside of marriage – and is contrary to God’s design,” Staver told CNSNews.com.

He added: “For this judge to say that Christian beliefs or religious beliefs contrary to homosexuality are actually harmful -- what that essentially says is, that if that’s the case, then you’ve got to change your religious beliefs, and if you don’t, you’re going to be penalized as result. That is a very dangerous aspect of this court decision."

The above cited CNS News article goes on to interview Christian counselor and former homosexual Joe Dallas who had this to say about the judge's ruling...

"For a judge to say that it is literally damaging to homosexual people when churches simply express and maintain a clearly defined biblical approach to homosexuality, is to introduce the concept that the ‘damage’ that’s being done to homosexuals needs to be stopped. That damage will have to be stopped by silencing the Church,” Dallas said. “There’s really no other way to read that particular finding....

By 1984, I had been an active member of the gay community for about six years. I also was a Christian and I realized I was going to have to make a choice between obedience to the teachings of the Scripture – or expression of my sexual feelings,” he told CNSNews.com.

“A clear look at the Scripture and a re-evaluation of my faith reminded me that my relationship with God was far more important than sexual satisfaction. And so, I pursued a life of repentance from homosexuality and abstinence from any sort of sexual behavior outside of marriage,” he said.

The author of 11 books on Christianity and sexuality, Dallas said he would not want to see a law passed requiring all people to make the same decision he did.

“But believe me there are many other men and women who have made a similar decision and I have had the honor of working with them over the years,” Dallas said.

“Clear biblical teaching on human sexuality did not damage us,” he said. “And let me say this plainly: clear biblical teaching on human sexuality does not damage anyone. Can that teaching be misapplied? Can people use it as an excuse to harm people? Well, of course – but the same could be said about clear biblical teaching on parenting children.

“Most people, whether Christian or non-Christian, would agree that parents should have authority over their children and that there should be consequences for misbehavior when children misbehave. Now some people have misused that authority as an excuse to physically abuse their children, but we wouldn’t be silly enough to say that because a small minority has misused that teaching and caused harm, that therefore the majority should abandon that teaching – and the same is true here."

I think there was a serious miscalculation on the part of those advocating same sex mariage in that they probably thought it would be a breeze to pass such legislation after numerous countries in liberal Europe adapted such legislation. But Europe is not America and I predict that the level of opposition to such sweeping legislation to reorder society will bet met with much more organized and widespread opposition here. Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention had this to say about Judge Walker's ruling..

"The confession of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention, which states what the Bible says about the family and about marriage – those are not the products of centuries of hate or animus toward homosexuals. They are adherence to the revealed teachings of the Creator of the universe -- God Almighty. These are religious affirmations of revealed truth,” Land said.

“It is quite clear that God condemns same-sex relations as particularly abhorrent. And if that is indeed the case, and we believe it is, it is an act of love towards those who are engaged in such relationships to tell them that they are violating the most sacred laws of God,” he said. “It would be indifference – or worse – to not tell them.”...

“Let me spell it out for you, If they say that telling what the Bible says about homosexuality is hate speech, and cannot be allowed -- we will be arrested in our pulpits. We will obey God rather than man,.."

In addition to the Southern Baptist Convention, Judge Walker's 136 page decision went on to criticize the positions of such diverse groups as the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Church, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as well. We might well see that through one man's strivings, such equal opportunity, myopic criticism will serve to unite the different segments of God's church in a way they never could have hoped to come together on any one issue if they had faithfully tried to do so on their own.



29 comments:

Froggie said...

This is all right wing spin and scare.

The judge said the bill was harmful to gays who have the right to their pursuit of happiness and equality as any other American citizen. The judge did nothing to stop free speech and the hate crimes bill does not either.
The text of the bill states that one may not make statenments that incite or recommend violemce against minorities, including religious groups of any kind.

There is nothing in the bill that precludes ministers from proclaiming their draconian beliefs that gayness is a sin.

JD Curtis said...

Does it state "Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians."?

Froggie said...

No. Period.

JD Curtis said...

Well, either you are correct or CNS News is correct.

They put the quote in quotation marks and everything.

The link to the judge's ruling is in pdf form and I can't open a pdf file right now.

So I guess the question is, how confident do you feel about tour above statement Froggie?

Andy said...

If you're waving verses like this:

"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, they have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood-guilt will be on their own heads."

in front of people maybe it could be consided hateful.

Andy said...

The religions must be left alone, no matter how hatefilled.

The Maryland Crustacean said...

J.D. a friend of mine shared a link to Frank Turek's well written commentary on the case:
http://www.onenewsnow.com/Perspectives/Default.aspx?id=1122842

You might also be aware that Turek is co-author of the excellent book "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist"

JD Curtis said...

Ge Andy, you went from Zero-Hypercritical of religion in 2 seconds flat.

"If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, they have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood-guilt will be on their own heads."

And is this admonishion for modern day New York or largely simple people living in the ANE?

The religions must be left alone, no matter how hatefilled

I am not hate filled and I doubt you could find anything on this log that is. (Unless you count the attitudes of certain skeptics. And then, maybe)

Nobody I know at my church is hatefilled either.

You arent lumping different religions in together are you Andy?

Andy said...

Nope.
You jumped to the conclusion that I was talking about you.

JD Curtis said...

Not really.

You stated that religion is "hate filled". I was stating that I am not.

In fact, I don't know any "hate filled" Christians personally.

Has that been your experience with them on a personal level?

Andy said...

no, I didn't. I said in a seperate comment that A religion, even a hatefilled one, must left along (by the government)

JD Curtis said...

If you want to offer up substantive dialogue, then go ahead.

JD Curtis said...

Froggie, you should check out MDC's link that he providd.

It seems that in addition to CNS News that there is alot of widespread confusion about Judge Walker's decision.

Ross said...

I have met a few hate-filled Christians in my time, but I don't mix with them very often. I think homosexuality is wrong, but as far as sexuality is concerned, Scripture makes it clear that any sexual behaviour outside of marriage is wrong as well.

Froggie said...

JD,

"It seems that in addition to CNS News that there is alot of widespread confusion about Judge Walker's decision."

The only real confusion is that fabricated by CNN to obfuscate the fact that gays have every right that you and they have to marry.

All of the outrage, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, merely represents the death throes of the bigoted side of the right wing religionists. They have already lost this one and they know it.

The same exact people were battling against interracial marriage complete with biblical evidence in my own lifetime but now they try to take credit for breaking that bigoted paradigm.

The religious right's chicken littles will end up with egg on their faces over their bigoted views on this manner too.

Equality will win, as it has in every other civil rights battle. All that's left are the last few gasps and sputters of outrage from the bigots. And even most of them will be embarrassed in 20 or 30 years by their own behavior today.

GentleSkeptic said...
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GentleSkeptic said...
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GentleSkeptic said...
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Froggie said...

GentleSkeptic said...
Froggie, I really hate to contradict you, but the ruling does say exactly that. It's "finding of fact" #77. But that's not what counts. It's the evidence supporting it.

Behold.



77. Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.

------------------------------------------

That is correct, but JD's question was concerning the hate crimes bill (as I understood it.) I stand by my answer.
There is a clause in the HCB that addresses free speech and states that the bill will do nothing to abridge free speech.

Thus, the judges statement is confined to the spirit of the ruling on prop 8, but does not limit people from saying that gayness is a sin.

Froggie said...

GS,

In response to JD, I said,

"There is nothing in the[Hate crimes] bill that precludes ministers from proclaiming their draconian beliefs that gayness is a sin.

August 16, 2010 12:16 PM
JD Curtis said...
Does it [HCB] state "Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians."?

I said, "No."

Froggie said...

I can now see that there was some confusion as to what document we were talking about.

It is important to note that when regional judges make a ruling like this, they throw every supporting scrap of history into their finding, knowing that they will not have a chance to file briefs or submit fiurther evidence to the apellate courts.

Yhis will go to the 9th District apellate court and they have tons of options on what to do with it.
They can strike it down in it's entirety, uphold parts of it, or uphold the entire finding.

No matter what, in this case, the finding will go to SCOTUS.

"Harming" gays does not mean it is "Injurious" or incites violence. The "harm" is that their civil rights are being violated.

JD Curtis said...

GS,

If you wish to comment here you can either retract your statement that I am a bigot, or answer the questions I left for you concerning your accusation on the Advocating morality doesn't make people bigoted thread.

GentleSkeptic said...

JD: you didn't even check, did you? Done.

Even zilch liked it.

Anyway, thanks for the blatant censorship.

Froggie, I agree wholeheartedly with your finding that "the judge's statement is confined to the spirit of the ruling on prop 8, but does not limit people from saying that gayness is a sin."

And again I say:

I fear that this post supports my working thesis: JD isn't as concerned about morality so much as he's concerned about preserving the moral authority of his church.

And again, I think your fear of a change in the law is misplaced; you'd be wiser to fear the change in the culture. It won't be lawsuits that open up the churches to same-sex weddings, it'll be market share. Denominations are splitting over it and a new landscape of homo-friendly and homo-banishing congregations, with shades of cool-with-us-but-not-IN-the-church, will emerge, is emerging, today. Conservative sects will calcify and hope to retain members, more liberal churches will draw some new interest, but ultimately, the war will be for hearts and minds, especially of the young, and the hard line on same-sex marriage may be a net loss in the long run.

It all comes down to marketing and message. Because if folks just don't buy the working conservative biblical view about homosexuality anymore, because now they know that gay couple down the block, and they're so nice, and their little girl is SO cute and talented and happy, and Jack's cobbler, MMM! … I mean, how you gonna get the butts in the pews?

The change in the church will come from within, in response to market pressure.

GentleSkeptic said...

Hey JD: did you catch this?

http://www.thesunnews.com/2010/08/16/1640228/judge-mo-funeral-protests-ban.html

That's right: keeping Westboro away from military funerals is unconstitutional. In other words, silencing free speech, even repulsive religious speech, is unconstitutional.

The rule of law: it cuts both ways.

JD Curtis said...

JD isn't as concerned about morality so much as he's concerned about preserving the moral authority of his church

Not really. I think the church is a matter best discussed amongst Christians. Why bother to discuss it with skeptics? It would be pointless.

GS, you are free to answer the reply I posted on the other thread.

GentleSkeptic said...

Since your readers may still appreciate the full text of Finding of Fact #77:



77. Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.

a. PX2547 (Nathanson Nov 12, 2009 Dep Tr 102:3-8: Religions teach that homosexual relations are a sin and that contributes to gay bashing); PX2546 (video of same);

b. PX2545 (Young Nov 13, 2009 Dep Tr 55:15-55:20, 56:21-57:7: There is a religious component to the bigotry and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals); see also id at 61:18-22, 62:13-17 (Catholic Church views homosexuality as “sinful.”); PX2544 (video of same);

c. Tr 1565:2-1566:6 (Segura: “[R]eligion is the chief obstacle for gay and lesbian political progress, and it’s the chief obstacle for a couple of reasons. [I]t’s difficult to think of a more powerful social entity in American society than the church. [I]t’s a very powerful organization, and in large measure they are arrayed against the interests of gays and lesbians. [B]iblical condemnation of homosexuality and the teaching that gays are morally inferior on a regular basis to a huge percentage of the public makes the political opportunity structure very hostile to gay interests. It’s very difficult to overcome that.”);

d. PX0390 Video, Ron Prentice Addressing Supporters of Proposition 8, Part I at 0:20-0:40: Prentice explains that “God has led the way” for the Protect Marriage campaign and at 4:00-4:30: Prentice explains that “we do mind” when same-sex couples want to take the name “marriage” and apply it to their relationships, because “that’s not what God wanted. It’s real basic. It starts at Genesis 2.”;

e. Tr 395:14-18 (Chauncey: Many clergy in churches considered homosexuality a sin, preached against it and have led campaigns against gay rights.);

f. Tr 440:19-441:2 (Chauncey: The religious arguments that were mobilized in the 1950s to argue against interracial marriage and integration as against God’s will are mirrored by arguments that have been mobilized in the Proposition 8 campaign and many of the campaigns since Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign, which argue that homosexuality itself or gay people or the recognition of their equality is against God’s will.);

g. PX2853 Proposition 8 Local Exit Polls - Election Center 2008, CNN at 8: 84 percent of people who attended church weekly voted in favor of Proposition 8;

h. PX0005 Leaflet, James L Garlow, The Ten Declarations For Protecting Biblical Marriage at 1 (June 25, 2008): “The Bible defines marriage as a covenantal union of one male and one female. We will avoid unproductive arguments with those who, through the use of casuistry and rationalization, revise biblical passages in order to condone the practice of homosexuality or other sexual sins.”;

i. PX0770 Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons at 2: “Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts as ‘a serious depravity.’”;

GentleSkeptic said...

j. PX0301 Catholics for the Common Good, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, Excerpts from Vatican Document on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Unions (Nov 22, 2009): There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be “in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”; “homosexual acts go against the natural moral law” and “[u]nder no circumstances can be approved”; “[t]he homosexual inclination is objectively disordered and homosexual practices are sins gravely contrary to chastity”; “[a]llowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children”; and “legal recognition of homosexual unions would mean the approval of deviant behavior.”;

k. PX0168 Southern Baptist Convention, SBC Resolution, On Same-Sex Marriage at 1 (June 2003): “Legalizing ‘same-sex marriage’ would convey a societal approval of a homosexual lifestyle, which the Bible calls sinful and dangerous both to the individuals involved and to society at large.”;

l. PX0771 Southern Baptist Convention, Resolution on President Clinton’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Month Proclamation (June 1999): “The Bible clearly teaches that homosexual behavior is an abomination and shameful before God.”;

m. PX2839 Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Position Paper on Homosexuality at 3: “[H]omosexual practice is a distortion of the image of God as it is still reflected in fallen man, and a perversion of the sexual relationship as God intended it to be.”;

n. PX2840 The Christian Life —Christian Conduct: As Regards the Institutions of God, Free Methodist Church at 5: “Homosexual behavior, as all sexual deviation, is a perversion of God’s created order.”;

o. PX2842 A L Barry, What About Homosexuality, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at 1: “The Lord teaches us through His Word that homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife.”;

p. PX2844 On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life, Orthodox Church of America at 1: “Homosexuality is to be approached as the result of humanity’s rebellion against God.”;

q. Tr 1566:18-22 (Segura: “[Proponents’ expert] Dr Young freely admits that religious hostility to homosexuals [plays] an important role in creating a social climate that’s conducive to hateful acts, to opposition to their interest in the public sphere and to prejudice and discrimination.”);

r. Tr 2676:8-2678:24 (Miller: Miller agrees with his former statement that “the religious characteristics of California’s Democratic voters” explain why so many Democrats voted for Barack Obama and also for Proposition 8.).

Ross said...

We seem to easily forget that homosexuality is just one form of sexual immorality that the Bible comdemns. When I get the chance I'm going to do a thematic study on this topic.

photogr said...

The one question is what if a gay couple wishes to become a part of a church and worship God. Does the church run them out or welcomes them in hopes of helping them have a relationship with God and mend their missgivings?