Posts Tagged ‘gay rights’

Protecting a Minority

March 13, 2014

Gay rights have come a long way.  Within my lifetime, they have gone from being an illegal activity and a psychological disorder, to a widely accepted alternative lifestyle.  In an increasing number of states, they have obtained the right to legally marry.

The primary opposition to gay marriage stems from religious people that continue to accept certain biblical values.  Of course, not everyone shares the same  values.  How should we react when there is a conflict of values?  When a gay couple is planning their wedding, and they contact a church, a florist, a caterer, a photographer and so forth: do those businesses have a right to refuse their services?  Are we not willing to allow people to live out their own values in this area?  Are we going to force the will of the majority upon the minority?  Or will we allow people to continue to live by their personal convictions in this matter?

There is an increasing number of people who will gladly accept the business generated by gay weddings.  People who feel strongly that gay marriages are wrong should be allowed to refuse service.  They should be able to live by their moral convictions.  They should however, be required to suggest a business that is open, to providing that service.

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A House Divided

August 27, 2009

Last week the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America voted to allow homosexuals in a committed, lifelong relationship with a same sex partner, to be ordained and serve as ministers to churches willing to extend a call to them. 

Some people are rejoicing.

Some do not understand.

Some understand, but vehemently disagree.

Some will join the ELCA because of this decision.

Some will leave the ELCA because of this decision.

One thing is certain, this decision will have a profound, and lasting impact on the character, and nature of the ELCA.  The makeup of it’s constituency will change.  The church of 2015 will be very different from the church of 2005. 

What would Martin Luther think of this church that bears his name?

What does Jesus think?

It may be legal, but it’s still a sin

April 27, 2009

Today in Iowa, gay couples can apply for marriage licenses.  It is now  legal for two men, or two women to get married in Iowa.  The state supreme court made that decision.  It was the result of much hard, well planned, work by a group of gay activists, some from outside of the state.

It may be legal, but it is still a sin.

Leviticus 18:22 says “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman.  It is an abomination.” 

This passage is quite clear.  The penalty for practicing homosexuality under Mosaic law was death.    Some say, correctly, that Jesus never addressed the topic of homosexuality.  There was no reason for Jesus to address the issue with a Jewish audience.  It was not an issue up for consideration. 

Others may say that we are not under the Mosaic law.  They are correct. However Paul, whose primary work was with Gentiles throughout the Roman Empire, which widely accepted homosexual practice,  is quite clear in addressing the issue. 

I Corinthians 6:9-10 says “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 

Lawyers may have been successful with their arguments before the Iowa Supreme Court, but ultimately it is God, to whom we will answer.

Wrong Answer?

April 23, 2009

During the recent Miss USA pageant,  Perez Hilton, one of the judges, asked Carrie Prejean  (Miss California) if every state should follow Vermont in legalizing same sex marriage.  She responded by saying “No offense to anyone out there, but in my family, I was raised to believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.”  (This quote may not be exactly correct word for word since I am going by memory, but I am sure that it is close.)

The judge, who is openly gay, was not happy with her answer. 

Recently California had a statewide vote on the issue, and gay marriage was soundly defeated.  It appears to me, that Miss California correctly represented the majority of her state with her answer.  Actually, in every state where the issue has been put to a popular vote, gay marriage has been soundly defeated, so her answer also appears to represent the majority of Americans.  She also remained true to her own personal moral and religious convictions, even though she probably realized that it was not the answer that the judge wanted to hear.  She demonstrated a moral integrity to her personal values that should be commended. 

Or has moral integrity somehow become a bad thing?

I hope not.

Rejoicing and Weeping in Iowa

April 4, 2009

Yesterday the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriages.  This is a reason to celebrate for some, a reason to weep to others.

For those who rejoice, they rejoice because the state is granting gays the right to a legal status that they did not enjoy previously.

For those who weep, they see this decision as a step for the state, further away from the particular religious morals that many still hold in their personal lives.

This is a land of religious freedom.  People are still free to believe that homosexual acts are sinful,  and to proclaim their belief.  It is a particular religious belief, and others are free to accept or reject that teaching.

People do not have to believe in God, or the Bible.  They can ignore or remove the parts that they do not like,  but I believe that we will all one day face the God of the Bible, and be held accountable for our actions.

Religious Diversity

January 13, 2009

I read in the paper this morning that New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson will participate in the the inauguration by saying a prayer at the Lincoln Memorial. 

The reason that this is noteworthy is that Robinson is an openly gay minister.

A few weeks ago the gay community was outraged that Rick Warren had been asked to participate in the inauguration festivities.  Warren is an evangelical who classifies homosexual activity as a sin.

President elect Obama is making good on his promise to be inclusive in his administration.  He wants to allow representation from all America during his term, from start to finish.  That is a good thing.

I suppose it would even be appropriate to have a Muslim say a prayer.  We have many American citizens who are Muslim.

We are supposed to be a country of religious freedom for all.

Aren’t we?

Gay Rights and Wrongs

November 20, 2008

I remember back in the seventies when young men would go “gay bashing”.  A group of guys would drive around looking for someone who “looked gay” … and give them a beating.  It was a terribly wrong thing to do, and I said that to any guys who ever talked about it around me.   The gay culture was just beginning to go public, and it was a dangerous time to be openly gay.

Gay people have the right to live their lives without fear of being beaten.  What consenting adults do in private should not concern the rest of the world.  They have the right to not be discriminated against in the job or housing market.  Their sexuality should not be considered in their applications for loans, or in a wide variety of other areas.  The list of rights in this blog is not meant to be exhaustive, but merely representative.

However, a small minority of gays in trying to advance their rights, have done some things that are wrong. 

It is wrong to assume that a person preaches hate, simply because their religious convictions includes the view that homosexuality is a sin.  To say “homosexuality is a sin” is not to say “I hate homosexuals”.   

It is wrong to insist that everyone agree with you.

It is wrong to riot when a vote does not go the way that you want it to go, as happened recently in California.

It is wrong to invade a church service, set off fire alarms, act provocatively, seeking to provoke a response; all while you videotape it, hoping that you can then use the tape to show the “hate” of the Christians in that service, as happened recently in Lansing, Michigan.   

I appreciate and respect the right of people to hold different opinions, but not to bully or “bash back”.

“Stop the Hate” should apply to all.