The role of religious art: 8-26-09
The essence of ministry: 8-28-09

Lutherans move ahead: 8-27-09

Because I was on the road last week when the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted at its national governing convention to "find a way" to allow committed gays and lesbians to be pastors, I have waited until now to get into the subject.

Stole

Those of you who have read me for any length of time know that I would approve of this move. And I do. I can find no biblical or theological reason to ban otherwise-qualified gays and lesbians from any ministerial office in the Christian church. At the same time, I recognize there are many people who disagree with me and do so with passion and with conviction that I am wrong and they are right.

I do not want to dismiss such people. I want to understand them and to have them understand me.

Part of understanding my position requires an appreciation of language. The new ELCA document that undergirds the church's decision is called "Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust." You can find a link to download the document by clicking here.

Elca

If this subject is of any interest to you at all, I hope you will read the carefully crafted statement and appreciate its nuance and its frank admission that there is disagreement about many aspects of human sexuality within the church.

This kind of document is exactly the right tool for learning about various approaches to this question and for appreciating differences. It is so, so different from the radically myopic know-nothingism that typifies so much talk radio today on any hot-button issue. That's because the ELCA paper refuses to demonize people who hold positions different from the ones it proposes.

As I say, I think Christians of good will can find biblically justifiable reasons to permit gays and lesbians to be clergy (and that such people can add immeasurable gifts to the church). But that requires an appreciation of the complexity of understanding scripture written 2,000 or more years ago. To insist simply that, say, Leviticus 18:22 settles the matter for all times and all places is not to take scripture seriously.

At any rate, have a look at how the Lutherans dealt with this and, if you can, join me in congratulating them for the care they have taken throughout this process.

By the way, for a wealth of source material from the Religion Newswriters Association on the subject of gay clergy, click here.

* * *

UNDERSTANDING TED KENNEDY'S RELIGION

I thought this Washington Post "On Faith" blog entry offered a good analysis of how Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died this week, viewed his Catholic faith. Does any of you come from the "social justice" tradition of Catholicism? If so, do you agree with this analysis?

Comments

Will Graham

Bill, the article on Ted Kennedy did a good job of showing the social justice tradition oF Catholism, something we that isn't heard much around here. Ironically, the Catholic is unreservedly Pro Life, but Ted was willing to set aside that aspect of justice to maintain the favor of the democratic party and thus his leadership role.

Will Graham

Harry, I want to follow up on your contention that Dawkins is not comparing those who question evolution to Holocaust Deniers.

You say he is just comparing their "tactics".

Sure. And by doing so he is engaging in the marginalization tactic of using ad hominem to call them NAZIS.

Such tactics were a well known method of an organization here in Kansas that pushed an atheistic interpretation of science, at least on their discussion board, while claiming to be "all about science education."

In fact, their media representative was famous for declaring that her goal was to portray all the opposition in "the harshest light possible" and as "ignoramuses, unprinciple bullies", etc.

And they used a lot of anecdotal stories, as you do...in fact, those anecdotal stories did not help you win the school board election, now did they?

I am well aware of your role as a teacher; let me tell some anecdotal stories as well.

What about the science teacher who got canned in the Raytown area because he asked questions about mainstream evolution? Or, about the Biology teacher I personally had who repeatedly managed to slip in disparaging remarks about religion, going beyond anything that had to do with science?

Do those count? But you ask what Dawkins is lying about?

A few of the things most notable are.

1. Of course the about moral equivalence between questioning evolution and Holocaust denial. Oh, tactics, yeah, I get it.

2. About the JEWISH LOBBY being the NOTROIOUSLY most formidable in Washington. (page 67 TGD.) Those darn Bronze Age people again!

3. About science proving there "almost certainly" is no God. page 137 of TGD...and you know Science can't do that Harry.

4. About SEXUAL ABUSE being worse that being brought up Catholic! page 356 of TGD.

And there is much more if you even want to debate it.

Will Graham

JD, I find it amusing that you agree with the Iggy/Cole twins on many social issues, since Iggy has...to his credit...bluntly admitted that he thinks there is NO TRUTH and that he is a Moral Relativist.

That said, any agreement you have would only be based on expediency, and subject to the will of the controlling parties.

Abortion, infanticide, euthasia, construction of nuclear weapons, its all on the table, sports! LOL!

But although they may have been personally polite to you...they sure weren't to a friend of ours...your common ground is ILLUSORY.

If you look back through the archives, the one of them most certainly does not want that...he has REPEATEDLY said that his goal is for believers to SHUT UP and KEEP THEIR BELEIFS TO THEMSELVES and to DIE OUT.

Common ground? Yeah. Right. Got it.

Dolores Lear

Bill:
"I can find no biblical or theological reason to ban otherwise-qualified gays and lesbians from any ministerial office in the Christian church."

What is Biblical in the Christian Church, about the One God of the Hebrews? The Pagan Trinity Gods of the Heathens, in Scripture and Myth?

What did Jesus and the group that followed him teach about a One God, and what does the Catholic, Christian, etc., Church teach about the Pagan Trinity Gods?

Jesus taught about a One God, and his Movement was Male Celibacy and the Mixed Group including women, was 'Common'istic. They all Shared their Resources Equally 'in Common', and did not live in the Mainline Society.

There was nothing about Jesus' Movement, to be described as the Trinity Religion of Catholics, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, etc., too many to list. What happened in 300?

What changed the Roman Trinity Religion of Father, Mother, Son, to the new Trinity Religion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

Has there been any studies on this phenomenon, of the Jewish One God being Changed to a Roman Catholic Trinity God in 300?

Did the past Mixtures of Religions have GLBTs also? Did they also have God's Commandment 'Thou Shalt Not Kill'. History proves this God Commandment has not been followed by most religions, if any. Jesus said 'Turn the other Cheek'.

You cannot be True to your Country, if you would not be willing to put it above God and Kill for it. So much for Religion as a Way of Civil Life. I guess Monks and Nuns come closest to being like Jesus taught

So how do we Stop Religious Humans from Killing GODs Children, and GODs Planet?

What Is a Child of GOD/LIFE? A Passivist like Celibate Jesus?

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Bill Tammeus wrote>>>>>>>>>I can find no biblical or theological reason to ban otherwise-qualified gays and lesbians from any ministerial office in the Christian church.

Bill,

You are delusional, my friend... You "CHOSE" not to "apply" the Biblical "truths" :o) that are "self evident" to any number of Christians - "crazy" ones especially.

Why don't you just publicly announce that you are a "deist" and just "interpret" the word of "god" to suit your particular system of beliefs?

I know you have a lot emotionally invested in your church, but reality is you are so far off the branch of the "real" Christianity that it is the only intellectually honest decision in my opinion.

But who am I to tell you not to call yourself a "Christian"? - we all define and redefine the meaning of words all the time. So, be it...

Romans
# With his usual intolerance, Paul condemns homosexuals (including lesbians). This is the only clear reference to lesbians in the Bible. 1:26-28

# Homosexuals (those "without natural affection") and their supporters (those "that have pleasure in them") are "worthy of death." 1:31-32

1 Corinthians
# Paul lists ten things that will keep you out of heaven, including homosexuality and being "effeminate." 6:9-10

1 Timothy
# Homosexuals (those "that defile themselves with mankind") are included on the list of lawless, disobedient, unholy, and profane people. 1:10

2 Timothy
# Iin the last days people will become evil, "without natural affection." Fundamentalist say that this refers to homosexuals. 3:3

Jude "Dogs [homosexuals], sorcerers, whoremongers, idolaters" and along with anyone who ever told a lie will not enter the heavenly city. 22:15

adam harrison

Harry, just to clarify, are you saying that science, more specifically current mainstream views of evolution, imply atheism?

Dawkins does, I know, and goes way beyond "science" into philosophy.

Do you agree?

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

******UNINTELLIGENT DESIGN OF GOD*******

Kidney development

As we develop in the womb, we form three sets of kidneys. The pronephroi ('forekidneys') are non-functional and appear in the fourth week; they soon degenerate, but the ducts are recycled in the... mesonephroi ('midkidneys'). These contain glomeruli and tubules; they degenerate during the first trimester, but the tubules are recycled in the... metanephroi ('hindkidneys'), which are our permanent kidneys. As my copy of Moore & Persaud's The Developing Human says, the pronephroi correspond to the kidneys of primitive fishes, and the mesonephroi to the kidneys of fish and amphibians.

It has been suggested that these things are necessary as scaffolding for the final kidneys, since some bits are reused. However this is rather like building an Eiffel Tower as scaffolding for another Eiffel Tower, which is used as scaffolding for a final bigger Eiffel Tower, ripping down each one along the way. (Intelligent Design proponents normally seem to avoid scaffolding arguments.)
_______________
Useless eyes - is god a slacker? Or flunked basic engineering in his celestial school?

There are hundreds of species of animal which, living in total darkness in deep caves, have no need for eyes. They range from fish (eg the Mexican blind cave tetra Astyanax fasciatus mexicanus) to insects (eg the Hawaiian cave planthopper Oliarus polyphemus), spiders (eg the Tooth Cave Spider Neoleptoneta myopica), salamanders (eg Typhlomolge rathbuni) and crayfish (eg the Dougherty Plain cave crayfish Cambarus cryptodytes).

Yet, these creatures do in fact have eyes. The eyes are often tiny, lacking crucial parts, and so on, and so they would not function even if there were light to see. But they are clearly eyes, set in skull apertures, on stalks etc as normal, nevertheless.

Eyes that don't work in creatures that don't even need eyes? Surely not?!

adam harrison

KCF, you knowledge of biology is even more inadequate than your knowledge of cosmology, abiogenesis, history, and philosophy.

Fascinating. I never would have guessed! LOL!

But you are the master of the False Analogy, the Straw Man, and quote mining, I'll grant you that!

adam harrison

Abiogenesis on YOU TUBE;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PRNcm8963s&feature=response_watch

adam harrison

By the way, I see our people handing out tracts in Westport has the atheists hot and bothered!

Looks like we will have some competition Friday! Hahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

(You guys never did catch on, did ya?)

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

On yesterday's topic of dog evolution from wolves... Here are two short fascinating clips on the Russian experiment in the 50's with silver foxes and connection of andrenalin/melanine/dopemine and what huge behavioral and appearance changes can take place in about 10-20 years with animals.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enrLSfxTqZ0&feature=quicklist
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR-GHmuumAw&feature=quicklist

The next clip start watching it from 3 min 10 seconds - you will see changes in appearance of fruit flies and also behavioral changes by changing just one letter in one gene of a fruit fly. This is the most studied gene of the eye, imagine what other unexpected evolutionary develpments can happen with just one little fruit fly in millions of years.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR-GHmuumAw&feature=quicklist

And my favorite one - Sarah Palin on fruit flies :o) Priceless.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eg1vIeuQT1s

Super cow -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhwgf2vmNfU

Ken Miller on evolution of whales - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9a-lFn4hqY

Full lecture by Ken Miller on (Un)Intelligent Design (2 hours) - Ken Miller is a Catholic and evolutionary biologists. His books on Biology are used all over US and Canada in high shools and universities.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVRsWAjvQSg

Tetrapod Evolution - 5 segments of 10 min each
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-5oQlnXSTM

From Ape to Man - 8 segments of 10 min each
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZmRobJlcZc

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Bill, you failed to mention that Lutherans of the Missouri Synod are not accepting gays in the clergy. The other night when we had the Bible Study at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Overland Park I asked one of the guys there what there thoughts on gays and marriage are - the answer is predictable "sin".

But when you tell them that gays "will" have equal rights under the law, what does it mean then according to their mythology? - they immediately fall back on "law is the god's way and we need to obide by the earth's law"

So, you go to bed a Lutheran bigot who says gays are abomination and sin and then in the morning when the law is passed you accept them as "equal citizens" under the law - and your "knwledge of god" is furthered?

What the hell are the Lutherans going to say now about the OT and NT that "condemns" gay? So - it "doesn't not condemn gays now?" - it was OK to condemn them then when "god did not reveal himslef?" and now we have a "different understanding?" - what a crock of BS.

The most ridiculous thing I have hear in my life. Goes to show you that Christians are moral relativists just like everyone else. During the Bible study one of them kept saying other churches are not "true" ones and "apostacies" - what???????????? The same thing we keep hearing from the minister of the Sunday 6 p.m. class.

OK, now, it is pretty clear now that gays are "born" - so the A-Holy God creates them this way and then "condemns" them? And now when we know that it is biological - "it is god's revelation" of a plan?

At what point do religious delusions need to be called just that?

Fortunately, all these "social" issues - slavery, women's rights, interracial marriages - have "always" been resovled in "favor" of "fairness". Gays no doubt will be "vindicated" by law, scientific research "already" show biolgical nature of being gay/transgender/lesbian.

Christianity is losing on "theolgical" grounds as younger people and "rational" Christians "de-Christianilize" by the society, technology science, medicine, etc.

memberofKCFreeThinkers.org

Atheist said, “Iggy/Cole/JD,
Why would I waste the time it requires to attend one of your 'bible studies'? What's in it for me?
The ten minutes I spend here on the days I post is more time than I should waste.”
I agree with you, a theist. Just stop posting if it is a waste of your time. Think for yourself.

Hey, Iggy. Most Xs I talk with or listen to are agreeing there is no actual physical Hell. The concept is just the absence of god.

God must be evolving…First a fiery lake now an idea. 50 – 100 years ago there was a hell now there isn’t. Was the fiery like just a story, a metaphor? It is so easy to twist it around. Oh, well, I suppose it’s the thought that counts. Like all the ’heart’ stories.

Egyptians use to save the heart for burials and discard the brain. And the world was thought to be flat. We move on as we learn more. And the more we learn, the more god evolves, becoming nicer…

5 Myths about Women's Bodies
http://www.livescience.com/health/090607-women-body-myths.html

5 Myths About the Male Body
http://www.livescience.com/culture/090717-myths-about-mens-bodies.html

7 Perfect Survival Foods
http://www.livescience.com/health/7-survival-foods.html

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole

Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org

Iggy, I still think you ought to drop the word "delusional" as it puts people off. And I still think the story of David and Jonathan is a gay love story, so there are parts of the Bible just about anybody can cherry pick. Better that they cherry pick correctly, I think.
===
From yesterday:

Harry, Thanks for the link yesterday! BTW, I see you are a high school biology teacher. The Greater Kansas City Chapter of Americans United is doing a multi-speaker talk this November called "150 years after 'The Origin of Species': How did a scientific model become a church-state separation issue?" It'll be divided into sub-topics with different people each speaking for a few minutes. If you have any interest in speaking or know anyone who would like to speak on this, email me at info@aukc.org Thanks!

Will, don't confuse natural with good. Ebola is natural. That doesn't make it good. Saying it's natural doesn't mean that I think it's good.

Bill wrote: "At any rate, have a look at how the Lutherans dealt with this and, if you can, join me in congratulating them for the care they have taken throughout this process." They did the right thing, yes.

Lynne - www.kcfreethinkers.org

Bill, Obviously I'm not a Catholic of any variety, but the link you posted did include comments from people, some of whom clearly are social justice Catholics. Here is my favorite, written by Fate1 who is replying to someone else:

BrianX9 wrote: "But I know for sure that he wasn't a Catholic. He intentionally separated himself from the communion of the Church, even though he might have (wrongfully) taken the Eucharist ("Communion") at Mass."

Now that's an interesting comment. I grew up Catholic and remember when abortion was legalized. I remember the reasons, women dying in back alley abortions (had a girl on my street almost die from one. She was lucky enough to get to a hospital in time). That is where the legislation came from, not some intention to kill "babies". In fact, I don't ever remember anyone refering to a fetus as a baby, not until the evangelical nuts started using the term which Catholics later adopted.

The Catholic church has always been there for the sick, the down, the poor. They still stand up against the death penalty as many Catholics continue to support it, yet no one talks of withholding communion to them.

But Catholic church of Ted Kennedy has changed in the past few decades, for the worse of you ask me. Its fundamentalism is foreign to the church Kennedy and I knew. Its spurning of the poor and sick by supporting the lies coming from the republicans lately must have hurt him. But Kennedy, like any Catholic, knows the church makes mistakes. One day it will see its errors. He knows the church is just Christ's church on earth, run by mortals. He never lost his faith in Christ's church even as the Catholic church wandered.

BrianX9 wrote: ""Catholic" means something. It is not subject to interpretation or redefinition."

Yet it redefines itself all the time, unless you still do not eat meat on Fridays (all year long, not just during lent). And I heard those in limbo have been promoted to heaven, by signing a letter, as though the pope can sign letters and redirect the direction of a soul. What "Catholic" meant to the Kennedy's and most of our generation was to replace hate with understanding, suffering with compassion, and wealth for all, not just a few. Kennedy also understood the value of placing these ideals into our nation's infrastructure, not just hope the second offering at mass (the first going to the church) will be enough to feed and cloth the poor. And he fought against those who attempted to bring down that infrastructure, like social security, medicare and unions. And he fought the republicans to his last breath on health care reform. He died a Catholic, a Catholic many Catholics could only hope to be.

Posted by: Fate1 | August 26, 2009 2:57 PM

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

Cole,

I agree Christians are evolving and "absense of god" is mentioned again and again too. Only in the "crazy" churches "hell" concept is practiced. In others "absense of god", "separation from god", "not being able to communicate with god" etc. - Punishment in the lake of fire is a metaphor of course that can be traced to the garbage dump around Jerusalem and concept of "Hades" from Greek mythology (I just taped the show on it on "History" Channel and we can watch it during our movie night). So, if it is "separation from god" how in the bloody hell is it different from Earth? - I am separated from god and don't feel any discomfort? Why should it be different and how? It appears to be the Jewish concept of "lights out" or "silence" on the after life that many Christians are taking on. The junior pastor of a church I spoke to a couple of weeks ago flat out told me "there is no hell" - or at least this is how they "interpet" it.
_____________________
Heads up - we maybe adding Bible Studies at Churches to http://www.KCFreeThinkers.org/calendar.htm. This way any freethinker in KC (including Christians) can come.

We're working on identifying studies up North and in Liberty/Blue Springs/Lee's Summit area. This way there maybe a good dialog with the Bible Study attendees regularly and there will be a freethinking presense - 1-4 people or none :o) to keep the religous folks on their toes.

We'll try to update the calendar regularly by adding or deleting studies - in different denominations too.
Should be fun.

adam harrison

KC Freethinkers info on bible studies:

http://www.kcfreethinkers.org/calendar.htm.

Site not found.

Whatever.

Dolores Lear

Iggy:
"Christianity is losing on "theolgical" grounds as younger people and "rational" Christians "de-Christianilize" by the society, technology science, medicine, etc."

All our Scientific Knowledge today, does not do All Species on Earth any Good, if Humans Kill their Home Planet with High Tech Pollution and Nuclear Bombs.

All Religion and Myth can be de-Religionized and de-Mythized, when High Tech Science Colonization and Male and Female Clone Reproduction, is accepted by Natural Born Body Birth Humans.

We cannot throw out the baby with dishwater. It is Time to accept there are High Tech Planets without Children.

Genesis has been handed down for generations, and now it is Time to accept all the High Tech Science in Religious Scriptures, and in Myth, recorded before the 1900s.

Or, end up in the Planetary Judgment Day Fire of Fallen Humans. Fallen from High Tech Birth 'in the beginning' of Life as we Know it, to Body Birth 'in the ending' of Life as we Know it on Earth.

High Tech Human Male and Female Clones, with Eternal Physical Life After Birth on Planets an in Spaceships is possible today with our High Tech Science.

Why not use our High Tech for Life, instead of for Death to All Life and our Home Planet?

IGGY - www.KCFreeThinkers.org

a.theist wrote>>>>>>>>>Iggy/Cole/JD, Why would I waste the time it requires to attend one of your 'bible studies'? What's in it for me? The ten minutes I spend here on the days I post is more time than I should waste.

a.theist,

Who told you you "should" "waste time?" - you "should not". Don't come. Fine by me.

If you decide to "come", then "don't waste time" at these Bible Studies - make the "most of it".

It is "not required" that you attend studies - if it was required, you would have gotten a telepathic message from your LORD into your brain directly - you'd have a "vision/revelation".

These are not "our" Bible Studies. They are studies at "churches" which we freely attend and the Christians there so far don't have any problems with it - it may change as there is always a "come to Jesus" talk looming - "will you become a Christian?" and "why are you here? our goals are different."

"What's in it for you?", atheist? - I really don't know and honestly "don't care" - it's your own version of morality that you are creating in your brain based on society and the world. It's up to you to decide. If there is nothing there in it for you - "you don't frigging show up at the Bible study" and "pose rehtorical questions" here.

"The ten minutes you sepnd on this site" is ten mintues lost for you - as it's "more" than you should waste.

Then don't waste the 10 min - 70 min per week X 52 weeks=360 hours per year or almost 15 dasy per year - spend this time on doing other stuff that "makes sense" and "doesn't waste your time".

For all I care, you can also crawl under the rock like the crazy Christian trolls on this blog and die out with them and their crazy ideas. Maybe you all can find a big enough rock to fit you all? Or smaller rocks, makes no difference.

Your coming to the Bible studies or not coming will not bother me - the Bible studies will go on with or without ou wasting your time.

Tough cookies for you, ping pong - maybe you should consider coming to freethinking Meetups? - this is where you after attending them really can crawl under the rock or rationality and reason :o)?

adam harrison

Iggy, if you really want to dialog, contact any of the assistant ministers at First United Methodist Church of the Ressurection.

I know you know where it is! (wink wink)

Harry

Will said:
"Sure. And by doing so he is engaging in the marginalization tactic of using ad hominem to call them NAZIS"

Where did he call them NAZIS? He was talking about Holocaust Deniers.

"Such tactics were a well known method of an organization here in Kansas that pushed an atheistic interpretation of science, at least on their discussion board, while claiming to be "all about science education."

No organization, including the KCFS, was pushing "an atheistic interpretation of science". That is only the creationists interpretation of any science teaching that doesn't allow for their religious opinions being included.

"What about the science teacher who got canned in the Raytown area because he asked questions about mainstream evolution? Or, about the Biology teacher I personally had who repeatedly managed to slip in disparaging remarks about religion, going beyond anything that had to do with science?"

I would have to know what the "questions about mainstream evolution" were, in order to address it. If a teacher says any disparaging remarks about religion to a student, that teacher should be reprimanded and monitored for a while. If the offense continues, termination should follow.

As to Dawkin's "lies". Since when is stating an opinion lying? Obviously, others - including you - may disagree with him, but it is a stretch - in my opinion - to say he is lying.

Harry

Adam:
"Harry, just to clarify, are you saying that science, more specifically current mainstream views of evolution, imply atheism?

Dawkins does, I know, and goes way beyond "science" into philosophy.

Do you agree?"

I agree that Dawkins is using science to support his philosophy. I also know this makes him a lightning rod and, as such, does a disservice to the field of science. He is as much a 'fundamentalist' atheist as perhaps you are a 'fundamentalist" theist.

This is the way I explained it to my students in a Catholic High School. Science is neutral on the subject of theism or atheism. My students were taught that "Nature is God's Plan", but in my class, I taught biology without reference to a God. Science is the means of learning how nature works.

What we have here then is a philosophical difference between atheists and theists. In other words, is there a God or isn't there? Go ahead and have that argument, but leave science out of it. There is no scientific test to support either position. From a philosophical standpoint, an atheist (Dawkins) may take the position that a God isn't necessary to explain science and a theist (you, for instance) may take the position that a God is necessary.

I believe Dawkins is wrong to use science to support his philosophical position just as I believe it is wrong for a theist to use science to support his/her position.

Both atheists (Dawkins) and theists (Ken Miller) can do outstanding science work and agree 100% on the outcomes, but still adamantly disagree philosophically on the underlying theistics.

DW

KCFree, your post this morning at 7:45 am was brilliant! It is a wonderful defense of the unequivocal Biblical position against homosexuality, although I'm sure you were being sarcastic and trying to belittle God's word. Even so, the Holy Spirit can use your words to bring understanding and open the minds of people like Bill and some others on this blog to God's truth.

Bill's statement that he finds nothing in the Bible against homosexuality proves he and people of like mind do not respect the Bible. To them, it's just a piece of ancient literature, much of which is no longer applicable to people in the 21st century. It's not surprisinig that a freethinker has a better understanding of the Bible than does the Christian author of this blog.

It is ironic that you use your biblical knowledge to try and tear down the Bible and attack God, while Bill's uses his lack of knowledge of the Bible to do the exact same thing. While you and Bill obstensibly have completely different agendas, and both of you come at many of the same issues from totally opposite directions, the end result is the same... you both end up disparaging, ridiculing and making a mockery of the Bible. Bill should be ashamed, and you should be more open to hearing and believing what God has to say to all of us in the Bible.

Red Biddy

Richard Dawkins was Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and has done a lot of good work in that field.
I agree with Harry though, that he is wrong to use science to support his philosophical position - mainly on the grounds that it really doesn't work ! Same with Ken Miller whose book refuting the Intelligent Design arguements was a real treat, but when he started writing about religion, towards the end of his book, it just doesn't make any sense !
Both these scientists should just stick to science and helping toward a Public Understanding of science and leave philosophy and religion to the professionals !
Looking forward to Dawkins new book as I'm sure he will explain evolution beautifully.
I do like his position that evolution is now a FACT and urges a stop with the "only a theory" rhetoric ! I have read similar views in Scientific American.

Red Biddy

I'm not sure what Bill means by his comment that taking "... Leviticus 18:20 settles the matter for all time...... is not taking the scripture seriously." ? Surely Bible literalists do take scripture very, very seriously don't they ?

I'm glad the Lutherans are catching up with the rest of the world on the matter of gay clergy. I read some of the ELCA document Bill referred us to....did anyone else ?

Problem with taking scripture "seriously" is that it contradicts itself over and over again. Lynn said "...better to cherry pick correctly" but who is to judge what is correct ?

Iggy quotes anti gay quote after quote from the NT but doesn't ever quote the "nice" things in the NT like the Sermon on the Mount and the injunction to love our neighbor and welcome the stranger at our gate etc...he seems to have no idea what "the Grace of God that passeth all understanding" means to a religious person ......and I wish he'd stop calling Bill delusional....it's very rude and not true either.
I have just watched The Laramie Project about the Matthew Shepherd murder. I didn't know, until I watched this movie, that one of his murderers was a Mormon; the town's Baptist minister, even after the murder, still believed that homosexuality was a sin; and the only decent priest to hold a vigil outside the hospital where Matt Shepherd was dying, was a Roman Catholic.

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